How To Consume Cannabis Responsibly And Safely: Tips and Guidelines

This article may contain affiliate links. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Privacy Policy.

This article was written by a guest contributor. For guest contribution guidelines, please visit this page.

Laura Henry is a writer and editor passionate about alternative health products and practices. They explore local wellness/new age spaces and practice yoga when they’re not outside with their rescue dog.

Legal Disclaimer: Cannabis products are intended for use by adults over the age of 21 and should not be used by pregnant or nursing women. Any statements made in this article have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult with a healthcare professional before using any cannabis products. Use of cannabis is at your own risk.

Cannabis consumption has been a hot topic for a while now. With more states legalizing certain forms of marijuana, it’s crucial to educate yourself before diving in headfirst. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a curious newbie, learning the different types of cannabinoids available and their effects will help you on your journey. Plus, you’ll want to know which products are legal and lab-tested before making any decisions. 

Armed with this knowledge, this guide will walk you through the safe dosage and consumption of cannabis, so you can indulge responsibly.

Cannabis 101 – Understanding the Basics

Woman's hand holding up a cannabis leaf

Before exploring the diverse ways to consume cannabis, let’s go over some cannabis 101 basics. According to various studies, cannabis is a plant that contains over 400 different cannabinoid and non-cannabinoid entities. The cannabinoids, which is what we’ll cover, contain over 100 compounds, each with its own unique effects on the body. 

The four most popular compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG), and cannabinol (CBN). Other cannabinoids in cannabis include tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabicyclol (CBL).

Effects of Different Cannabinoids

Each cannabinoid has a different outcome on the body and mind, and researchers are continuing to study their potential benefits and risks.

THC THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis. Many people report experiencing side effects such as altered senses, mood changes, and impaired memory, thinking, and movement. This is what users describe as being high. THC can also increase heart rate, blood pressure, and appetite and can cause dry mouth and red eyes. Still, when used correctly, THC has possible medicinal benefits, such as reduced pain and inflammation. 
CBDCBD is known for its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties as well, but unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive, so many of the side effects are not as intense or are non-existent. CBD has also been studied for its potential to alleviate anxiety and depression and treat epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
CBGCBG is a lot like CBD, with its non-psychoactive properties, and has all the same health benefits as CBD. However, CBG has been shown to have antibacterial properties and may be effective in treating conditions such as glaucoma and inflammatory bowel disease.
CBNCBN is believed to have sedative effects, so it’s useful in promoting sleep. It acts as an anti-inflammatory and pain reliever like CBD and an antibacterial like CBG. CBN has been known to have appetite-stimulating properties as well.
THCVTHCV is psychoactive. You can use this for appetite suppression, weight loss, and as an anti-inflammatory. Some research has also maintained that THCV could be used to treat conditions such as Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.
CBCCBC is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid with interesting health benefits. Besides reducing inflammation, relieving pain, acting as an antidepressant, and promoting brain health, CBC has been found to stimulate bone growth and reduce acne.
CBLCBL is similar to CBC in that it has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, as well as treating acne and bone development. However, CBL is derived from a form of degraded THC—when a cannabis plant has aged and lost its potency.

Backing up for a second, all cannabis compounds are broken down into two main species: Indica and Sativa. Indica is sleep-inducing, while Sativa has an energizing effect. Both THC and CBD can be found in either classification, depending on where and how the plant is grown. Typically, CBD, HHC, and Delta-8 are derived from an Indica strain, while Delta-9 and Delta-10 are from Sativa strains. Alternatively, some cannabinoids, like THC-P, are hybrid strains. We’ll talk more about these specific products and others on the market later.

Related: What Are CBN Gummies [And How Are They Different From CBD?]

The History of Cannabis

Cannabis didn’t always have a bad reputation. For thousands of years, the plant had been a part of human culture. Ancient civilizations in China, India, and Europe were aware of its properties and used it for numerous reasons, such as fiber, oil, and medicine. Early adopters of the drug didn’t misuse it, contributing to its safe and acceptable integration into society. 

Fast-forward to the 20th century, many countries criminalized cannabis because of concerns surrounding its mind-altering and addictive recreational effects. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 classified cannabis as a Schedule I drug, citing it as having “no acceptable medical use.” However, with more research and movements behind the drug, we are, once again, recognizing the advantages of using these resources responsibly instead of banning them outright.

Forms of Cannabis Consumption—Smoking, Vaping, Edibles, and More

Cannabis in liquid form next to a dropper and the plant

Smoking and vaping are two of the most common methods of cannabis consumption. Smoking involves inhaling the smoke produced by burning dried cannabis flowers, while vaping involves heating cannabis liquid inside an electronic cigarette, cartridge, or disposable to a temperature that releases the active ingredients. The method of adding heat to both THC and CBD is called decarboxylation. This turns THCA (tetrahydrocannabinolic acid) into THC (likewise, cannabidiolic acid into CBD). 

Edibles are another preferred way to consume cannabis, where users ingest cannabis-infused food products such as brownies, gummies, and chocolates. Edibles are typically more potent and intense due to the slow onset of cannabis entering the nervous system. Unlike smoking and vaping—where cannabis goes straight to your brain after being inhaled—edibles must be metabolized in the liver before they can enter your bloodstream and reach your brain.

Other types of cannabis intake include tinctures, topicals, and concentrates.

Related: Top 10 Ways On How CBD Can Help Your Disabled Pet

The Correct Dosage of Cannabis

Mastering dosing can save you from experiencing some pretty scary reactions such as anxiety, paranoia, rapid heart rate, and dizziness. The amount of cannabis needed to produce the desired results can vary greatly depending on body weight, tolerance, and the method of consumption. 

As mentioned earlier, both THC and CBD have many derivatives, and each one renders different potency ranges, expressed in a percentage by weight. Potency also ranges per seller, but here are some general guidelines:

Dosage20-60 mg5-25 mg20-60 mg10-30 mg1-3 mg
% in CBD3%–17%2%–30%3%–17%5%–20%21-30%
% in THC< 0.1%< 0.3%0.1%< 0.3%< 0.1%
Psychoactive EffectsMild-ModerateModerate-Very StrongMild-ModerateModerate-StrongVery Strong
Potency Comparison1/2 as potent as Delta-92X more potent than Delta-10Equivalent potency to Delta-1050% more potent than Delta-1060X more potent than Delta-10

Where to Find Cannabis

When looking for safe, pure, and legal cannabis, it’s best to stick with reputable and licensed local dispensaries. You can also find cannabinoids, like CBD, CBN, and Delta-8 online at retailers that are operating lawfully and offer lab-tested products.

Remember to check the law of the land in your area regarding the purchase and consumption of cannabinoids. Many strains are only legal in certain states, so do your research before making any purchases. 

Tips to Enjoy Cannabis Safely and Responsibly

If you’re new to cannabis, start with a low dose to dodge unwanted reactions. Read product labels and understand the potency to prevent addiction. Also, be mindful of possible side effects and consume it in a controlled environment to avoid accidents. 

Lastly, it’s okay to be open and honest about your cannabis use. There are many different compounds and flavors that contribute to varying outcomes and health benefits. When consumed safely and responsibly, cannabis becomes a smile-worthy adventure!

You might also be interested in: Hempa The Explorer Box From Hemp Crate Co. [Reviewed]

Guest Contributor

view post

More from Lifestyle category