How to Use Cannabis Responsibly

Cannabis affects each person differently.  Among cannabis users there is a very wide range of tolerance levels, depending on experience, frequency of use, and sensitivity to the plant.   With so many cannabis products on the market, potency levels are also greatly varied and can be unpredictable. How to use cannabis responsibly?

Cannabis use can be a very uplifting, relaxing and life-enhancing experience. In order to ensure that your cannabis experience is enjoyable, it is essential that you patiently experiment to find your own ideal dose, and gradually get to know your tolerance levels. 

For safety and consistency, buy lab tested edibles and concentrates, with potency and dosage information clearly written on the package.

Cannabis edibles can be 9-10 times more potent than inhaled cannabis, and the effects remain strong for several hours.  Phoenix tears and other concentrates sometimes only require a dose the size of a pin-head. 

If you are new to eating cannabis edibles or concentrates, start with a low dose of 5mg of THC or less.  Observe the effects over the course of the day. The next time you ingest, gradually increase or decrease the dose in small increments, depending on your previous experience.  A commonly recognized daily dose of THC for a regular user is 10 – 20mg of THC. For many people, a 5mg dose is plenty. 

With cannabis, more is not always better, and longevity of use doesn’t always necessitate increasing dosage.

Do not ingest cannabis on an empty stomach.   Similar to alcohol or some pharmaceuticals, this can cause you to feel the effects too soon or too strong.

Since the THC is converted through the digestive system, the effects of edibles take much longer to set in than inhaled vapour or smoke.  This can be anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the state of the body, what foods you have already eaten, etc.

It is a common mistake to take a second dose too soon before the first dose has fully influenced the body and brain. This can lead to an overwhelming feeling of being too “high”.   It is not advisable for new or novice consumers to eat THC twice in one day.

Uncomfortable effects can include but are not limited to increased heart rate, extreme fatigue or fogginess, a sense of paranoia, and a general inability to function at normal capacity.  To make matters worse, the effects can last all day.  Although this is in no way life threatening, it can be a very unpleasant experience.

Remember that smoking and vaping have a vastly different effect than eating.  Even if your tolerance is high when you inhale cannabis flower, it doesn’t mean your tolerance will be the same when you ingest.

Beyond Dosing:

– Keep your herb well stored, far out of the reach of minors and any other accidental  

  consumers, whether pets or people that do not want or intend to consume.

– Be aware of set and setting: What is my current mindset and environment? Will 

  using cannabis in this situation be productive and enhance my experience?

– For products that are new to you, experiment to find your ideal intake, in a  

  comfortable, low-demand environment, such as a day off in your own home, or a     

  leisurely stroll in nature.

– Do not operate heavy machinery or drive motor vehicles while under the influence.

– Know what times of day work best for your cannabis use.

* While cannabis dependency is not believed to be as common as alcohol or tobacco dependency, it is still possible.  Please be aware if your cannabis use is getting in the way of your ability to perform the regular functions and duties of your life.  If it is negatively affecting your responsibilities or relationships, it may be wise to stop taking cannabis and seek advice from a health care practitioner.

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