Cannabis is truly such a powerful and beneficial plant. It gets its benefits from THC, CBD and other lesser known cannabinoids. Terpenes in cannabis also carry their own list of benefits and the terpene makeup can vary from strain to strain and plant to plant. Cannabis can aid in treating many different ailments and can be helpful when used both medicinally and recreationally.
Benefits of Consuming Cannabis
- Can reduce pain to tolerable level (Chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, Multiple Sclerosis, Crohn’s)
- May help with insomnia by inducing sleep
- Can help relieve nausea and stimulates appetite (HIV/AIDS, Recovery from eating disorders, Cancer patients, those receiving Chemotherapy, Anxiety/Depression)
- May help prevent damage from Glaucoma
- Can help reduce tremors in some Parkinson’s disease patients
- May help with treating Epilepsy
- Can ease symptoms of Crohn’s disease
- May help people come off of opiates and opiate addiction
- Can reduce headache and migraine attacks in some
- May reduce anxiety & depression in some
- Can help eliminate nightmares associated with PTSD
Negative Side Effects of Using Cannabis
Most of the negative side effects of cannabis are temporary but they can still happen and are worth discussing in hopes of harm reduction. Not everyone will experience these side effects but education is important when using cannabis for wellness.
- Increased appetite
- Dry mouth
- Red eyes
- Increased heart rate
- Can impair short term memory
- May increase anxiety in some
- Can impair your ability to drive for a few hours
- Causes decreased blood pressure
- May cause fainting in some (especially on an empty stomach & if you’ve consumed too much THC)
- Can cause paranoia in some (If you’ve consumed too much THC)
- Sweating, nausea & vomiting (If you’ve consumed too much THC)
What to Do If You’ve Consumed Too Much THC
If you happen to consume above your tolerance level, you may feel sweaty, nauseous or even vomit. Luckily, there are some things that you can do to help sober up enough to feel comfortable. The most important thing is to try and stay calm. You can try eating some snacks if you’re not nauseated. Eating is shown to reduce your high. If you’re able to safely do so, a bath or shower can help reduce your high as well. It will also leave you feeling refreshed, so that’s a bonus.
You can try some CBD products if you have any because this will help to counterbalance the negative effects of too much THC. If you drink some water with a couple tablespoons of fresh lemon juice in it. The terpene Limonene in it will help to reduce your anxiety. It is always a good idea to stay hydrated when you’re consuming cannabis because it helps combat the dry mouth that can occur.
With more legalization across the globe, it is quickly becoming more socially acceptable to use. There is still a lot of work to do to deal with the stigma around its use though. It is still not as widely accepted as alcohol, even though it’s proven to be less damaging to your body in the long term. I hope to see improvements in the way the world views cannabis use in the future, both medicinally and recreationally.
Breaking the Stigma for Parents
There is still a lot of stigma around parents using cannabis for their mental health and general wellness. Whether it be medicinal or recreational, people still have the idea that consuming cannabis somehow makes you a neglectful, inattentive parent. That just isn’t true! I’m here to help be a part of breaking this stigma. Parents can still use cannabis responsibly and take great care of their kids in the process. Educating our children about cannabis as medicine will help break the stigma. Some parents may choose to take a pharmaceutical pill for depression, while others may go the more natural route of cannabis. This should be normalized.
Different Forms of Cannabis
- Dried flower/Buds
Dried flower or buds are the commonly used form on cannabis. You can find cannabis buds that have high THC and buds that have high CBD with low THC. It can be smoked or vapourized. It can be smoked as a joint, blunt, in a bong or in a pipe. Whatever suits your needs.
Edibles are cannabis products that are ingested. Commonly made with cannabis infused oil, butter or sugar. They’re are typically baked goods, gummies/candy, chocolate or even in snack foods using cannabutter or cannabis infused oil. When ingested the effects of the THC are much stronger and typically last longer compared to smoking or vaping. It is always best to start very small and work your way up with cannabis products, especially edibles. Capsules also fall under the edibles category. Some edibles are available for CBD such as gummies, CBD oil and capsules.
Concentrates are highly potent forms of cannabis. They can be made with solvents or solventless. The solvents that are most coomonly used in extraction process are butane, isopropyl alcohol & CO². The solvent concentrates are also put into different conditions after extraction to change the consistency of the final product. Concentrates come in both high THC & high CBD. The high CBD ones are a great place to start with concentrates as they can be more mellow than the THC ones.
- Kief/Sift/Crystals (the trichome heads that fall off your cannabis)
- Rosin (cannabis or kief pressed in heated plates)
- Bubble hash (uses water, ice and different micron bags to filter the trichomes into pastes of different levels of refinement)
- Pressed hash (kief pressed under pressure into compressed block)
Solvent extracted concentrates:
- Live resin
- Rick Simpson Oil/Pheonix Tears
Topicals are cannabis products that are applied topically to your skin. They give all the benefits without feeling any intoxication. They come in a variety of forms. Lotions, creams, salves, sexual lubricants, massage oils, bath soaks and bath bombs are all available in both high CBD & high THC formulas.
Start Low and Add More If Needed
When you’re trying a new medication (natural or otherwise), it’s always a good idea to start at the lowest dose possible and work your way up slowly. This will help you find the perfect dosage that works for you without overdoing it. I would also recommend growing or buying cannabis with CBD levels above 1%. This is better when you’re looking for therapeutic effects from your cannabis. You can also buy CBD oil, CBD gummies or a CBD vape pen to add more CBD into your regimen. It is recommended to take between 20mg and 45mg per day, depending on your weight.