It’s no secret that smoking marijuana, or anything, can have adverse effects on your lungs. However, that doesn’t mean cannabis can’t be used safely and responsibly. Now recreationally legal in Canada, a handful of U.S. states, and various countries and jurisdictions across the globe, you can use weed in moderation and enjoy the high with few, if any, drawbacks.
Most “bad” marijuana highs occur because the user takes too much in one session. Knowing the right dosage and learning to read the product label will help you consume cannabis safely and get a better sense of your personal preferences and limitations.
First-timers may find it difficult to decipher cannabis product labels because the unit of measurement used for THC and CBD content differs depending on the product type. For example, dry cannabis flowers are measured in cannabinoid content percentage, whereas capsule content is measured in totals per unit. Typically, oil THC content is expressed in milligrams per milliliter. To avoid confusion, you should always look out for “total THC” and “total CBD” levels to determine its potency.
If you’re consuming cannabis as edibles, know that the right dose depends on many factors, including your tolerance limit and the effect you desire. For example, for mild relief of pain symptoms, one to 2.5 milligrams is the generally recommended dose, while 2.5 to 15 milligram THC edibles provide relief for more severe pain and may be appropriate for more tolerant and experienced users.
Alternatively, you can opt for pills or transdermal patches for a consistent dosage of THC. Tinctures also help to get a regulated dose using a pharmacy dropper. Tinctures are a great way to opt for micro-dosing with a four to five-milligram dose of THC.
Knowing Your Limits
Especially if you have never used marijuana before or have low tolerance, you should practice caution and try to understand your limits. Take heed of the following advice often offered by experienced users:
- Always read the labels.
- Only use marijuana in a comfortable, familiar setting the first few times you use it. If you’re using cannabis for the first time, start with a dose less than five milligrams.
- If you’re smoking marijuana, you’ll feel the high relatively quickly, so take a puff or two and wait for 15 to 20 minutes to see how it affects you.
- Concentrates are a powerful version sourced from cannabis extracts. Go very slow with them, and wait for at least 20 minutes before the next round.
- Edibles typically take an hour or two to kick in, so start with a small amount and wait before taking another dose.
Modes of Use
There are numerous ways to consume cannabis, some of which are generally considered “safer” or “healthier” than others:
- Smoking with a Bong, Bowl, or Joint– As previously mentioned, smoking anything can have a damaging effect on your lungs, and marijuana is no exception. No matter if you use a bong, bowl, or joint, the smoke produces carcinogens that deplete your lung tissue. Bongs offer a smoother toke because of the smoke’s cool effect, but your lungs won’t know the difference.
- Edibles– Edibles are a safer option than smoking because they do not affect the lungs. However, edibles take a longer time to kick in because your body needs to digest it to get it into the blood, so be careful how much you consume. Edibles come in the form of baked goods, gummies, lozenges, etc. If you’re 19 years or above, you can buy edibles in Canada through government retail outlets and cannabis dispensaries.
- Tinctures– Tinctures are cannabis extracts soaked in alcohol. It comes in bottles with droppers, so it’s easy to monitor the dose. Place a few drops below your tongue for the best result or mix it into your drink.
- Capsules– Cannabis capsules are pills that you can ingest. Since capsules follow the same digestive route path as edibles, it creates a similar kind of effect. Many people consider taking capsules a “safer” way to use marijuana since you know exactly how much THC you’re getting per use.
The Choice is Yours
Now, you hopefully have a better understanding of marijuana dosages and modes of use. Each method has its pros and cons, and you may need to experiment a bit until you find what you like best. So, start with a slow dose and try out the different methods before deciding which option works for you. If you use cannabis for medicinal purposes, consult your physician to make an informed dosage decision based on your health.