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Frequently Asked Questions
What is cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant from which THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids are derived.
What are terpenes?
You already know that the cannabis plant has over 60 cannabinoids that produce physical and neurological effects. But there are hundreds of other chemical compounds in cannabis, including terpenes. Terpenes are in almost every plant, fruit, and vegetable you’ve ever come across. They are the chemical components that give plants like herbs, flowers, and cannabis their own specific scent and flavor. Terpenes are responsible for the smell of citrus on your lemons and the pine-scented holiday goodness wafting from your Christmas tree.
When it comes to cannabis, terpenes are responsible for that tell-tale cannabis scent. You know, the slightly weedy, piney “skunk” that drifts over from a neighbor growing cannabis or ends up on your hands after grinding some bud. Scent can have a powerful effect on people. Consider how lavender can produce a sense of calm, or how catching a whiff of a certain cologne or perfume will immediately bring back the memory of someone you used to know who wore a similar scent
When it comes to cannabis use, it is believed that terpenes do more than just produce the cannabis scent people have come to expect; they play a role in the impacts felt when people consume or smoke cannabis. After all, it’s not just one component that produces an effect; it’s the combination of elements in any given strain
What are cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the chemical components of the cannabis plant that produce physical and neurological effects when consumed.
What should I look for when I'm purchasing cannabis?
The good news is that the budtenders at most cannabis dispensaries tend to be highly educated on their products and eager to help customers who walk through their doors. They are excited about legalization, and about the benefits that cannabis use can provide to those who may have been afraid to try it previously. Tell them what you are looking for and why you are interested in trying cannabis, and they can usually point you in the direction of the right products to try.
Regulation may vary from state to state, so it’s crucial to find a reputable dispensary. If you’re new to the area, or cannabis purchasing in general, ask for recommendations from locals regarding the best dispensaries in town. You can also look to WeedMaps for a listing of available products at most local dispensaries as well as dispensary ratings.
Look for established cannabis dispensaries that have been in business for a while—legitimate storefronts with budtenders who aren’t afraid to answer questions about where their products come from and how their cannabis plants are cultivated. Of course, you should also always trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, find a different establishment. In legal states, there are usually plenty to choose from.
What are the cannabis legal states?
As of now, the following states have fully legalized cannabis use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Marijuana use is also fully legal in the District of Columbia.
What are the potential medicinal uses for cannabis?
Medicinal marijuana has been studied for everything from epilepsy and anxiety to chronic pain and treating chemotherapy-related nausea.
How much cannabis should I smoke?
Not every cannabis user wants to experience a high. Or, if they do, most don’t want to get “too high” (the point at which the psychoactive effects of THC can take a less pleasant, often paranoid turn). The type of high you want to experience (if you want to experience a high at all) may differ based on your reasons for using cannabis. Perhaps you are hoping it will help with anxiety, but you still want to remain functional to do your job and socialize with your peers. Or maybe you have a chronic pain condition that you feel could benefit from micro-dosing.
Then again, maybe it’s Friday night, and you just want to relax into an enjoyable high with your friends.
There is no one right answer for everyone (and your own personal reasons may vary from day to day.) But knowing what your goals are can help you to determine the type of high you want to achieve—and the best products for meeting your needs without exceeding that level. Different products can produce different types of highs. Edibles are said to provide an all-body high, for instance, while smoking produces more of a head high. High CBD, low THC products will produce less of a high (and sometimes no high at all). And the greater the THC to CBD ratio, the more intense your high will likely be.
The level of your high is also impacted by the type of product you use, how much you take, and a variety of other factors like your weight, frequency of use, and even gender. The best advice for determining the right dosage for you to achieve the type of high you are looking for is to start low and slow. You can always increase your cannabis intake, but you can’t take back what you’ve already consumed.
What are the side-effects of cannabis?
While cannabis tends to have a relatively high safety profile when compared to other drugs, that doesn’t mean it is without side effects. All cannabis users should be aware of these potential effects:
- Short term memory impairment
- Impairment of motor coordination
- Diminished judgment
- Paranoia and psychosis (in high doses)
In addition, cannabis use in early adolescence has been associated with:
- Increased risk of addiction
- Inhibited brain development
- Cognitive impairment
And smoking cannabis has been associated with potential damage to the lungs while concerns are emerging about the risks of vaping to the lungs. There are also some potential drug interactions to be aware of when using cannabis; research has found contraindications with warfarin, theophylline, and clobazam.
What are the different types of weed?
While cannabis sativa and cannabis indica plants do present with some physical differences, the real difference between various strains of cannabis comes down to the CBD to THC ratio as well as the inclusion or exclusion of other cannabinoids and terpenes.