For medical marijuana patients or designated caregivers, visiting a dispensary can be a confusing and intimidating experience. It is essential to research a few things before you go so that you know what to expect.
Remember that everyone’s body and chemistry are different, so what works wonders for one person may not work for another. Also, the consumption mode can significantly alter a strain’s effects.
When you walk into a dispensary, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the selection. You’ll likely see bestselling strains on the shelves alongside medical cannabis products explicitly cultivated for medicinal purposes and lab-tested for safety and quality.
Many of these cannabis products are called strains, which are different breeds that differ in their chemical composition and varying effects on the user. While the general rule of thumb is that sativa is more energizing and indica is more calming, it’s important to remember that each strain can produce a wide range of effects.
The chemical composition of a strain can vary between batches and crops, even within the same grower or processor. This is called the entourage effect and can impact how the product feels from one person to the next.
Understanding each strain’s terpene content and aroma can help you choose the right marijuana. If you’re new to marijuana, consider choosing a CBD-dominant strain with an 80:20 CBD: THC ratio so you won’t experience a high. Alternatively, patients experienced with cannabis can opt for a strain with a 50:50 CBD: THC ratio to enjoy the best of both worlds.
The cannabis plant contains cannabinoids that produce different effects, including sedation, pain relief, euphoria, and appetite stimulation. The primary cannabinoid responsible for these effects is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It is accompanied by other compounds, called terpenes, which produce aromas and flavors. Cultivators and breeders work to create strains with a specific look, smell, or effect by crossing two plants. The result may be a hybrid or a pure sativa or indica strain. The terpene and cannabinoid ratios are what determine the effects of each strain.
Sativas also produces feelings of productivity and creativity. Another sativa strain has an earthy scent associated with mood elevation, pain relief, and stress reduction.
But when choosing a cannabis strain at a dispensary in Utah, you should remember that the effects of each depend on your weight, overall health, and experience level. The best way to determine how a strain will affect you is to try it. Ingestible products are better for first-timers because smoking or vaping can irritate the lungs and airways.
Mode of Consumption
The consumption mode can significantly affect how quickly the cannabis takes effect and its duration. Depending on your medical needs, you may find that a particular method offers more rapid or longer-lasting effects.
Generally speaking, smoking marijuana produces a quicker onset and short-lasting high, while vapourization provides a more gradual onset and a longer-lasting effect. Additionally, vaporization eliminates the harmful effects of smoking.
Oral consumption methods are available in the form of edibles (cannabis-infused foods) and cannabis capsules. When consumed orally, the cannabis is digested and absorbed into the body through the digestive tract. The active compounds, known as terpenes, are released during digestion, which is how different strains produce unique effects.
For example, linalool-heavy strains can provide calming and soothing effects, while pinene-heavy strains are known to boost focus and energy. However, combining these and other terpenes within the same strain can produce various effects for each user.
In our survey, respondents reported that symptom relief was the most critical dimension for selecting a consumption mode, followed by cost and stigma. Interestingly, respondents also reported that their preferences for modes of consumption differed by gender and race.
When used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare practitioner, medical marijuana can be helpful for a variety of conditions. It may alleviate chronic pain from a condition such as cancer or fibromyalgia. It can also ease nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer or other serious illnesses. It can help stimulate appetite for people who have lost their appetites due to HIV/AIDS or other illnesses. It can lower pressure inside the eyes, a problem linked to glaucoma. In addition, it has the potential to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Medical marijuana may interact with some medications, including sedatives and antipsychotics. Patients should talk to their healthcare practitioner about possible drug-drug interactions. The CDC recommends that people who use medical marijuana do not smoke tobacco or drink alcohol simultaneously.
People who want to use medical marijuana must get certified by a registered healthcare practitioner. The healthcare provider will review the patient’s symptoms and history and evaluate whether medical marijuana would be helpful. They must determine the type and strength of cannabis product to be prescribed, the frequency of use, and how long it should be used. The health care provider must also explain to the patient how to properly use, store, and handle medical marijuana and safely grow it at home.