I lived in Washington State recently, where recreational marijuana is permitted by the state (not by the Federal Government) all sales staff are required to be educated about the various problems with overuse, as well as the basics of the law (no public consumption, and stay away from where children are, but in your own home it’s pretty much whatever you want to do. If you rent, your landlord can prohibit smoking.) And of course sales staff need to be informed about the various varieties and applications. Sales staff are called Budtenders, sort of a pun on bartenders, but you cannot consume the product at the point of sale, unlike a bar.
You walk into a marijuana shop in Washington and show your ID, and it’s like a candy store, lots of creative promotional packaging, flashy colors and advertising, in addition to dried flower buds (loose, packaged in grams or more, and pre-rolls which used to be called “joints”) there are a wide variety of edibles. The thing about edibles is that an hour later you might still be waiting for the effect, so you eat some more, maybe a little more after that, then discover that you have taken too much. An overdose can be uncomfortable but it will pass in an hour or two, just walk around or sit or lie down and relax, maybe drink some water, and most of all do not panic. Most edibles actually are candy infused with cannabis, so you must be careful to keep them away from children, who love to gobble candy.
Colorado takes a less showy medical marijuana approach, no advertising, no flashy packaging, when you walk in they scan your ID and then you enter a separate area with lots of big glass jars full of bud, they weigh out what you want and it goes into a plastic bag you put in your pocket.
Some big news in the science of medical marijuana is the Endocannabinoid System.
All people and many animals have natural receptors in their brain that correspond exactly to some active components of marijuana. Don’t take my word for it, look up Endocannabinoid System.
Marijuana is not for everyone. If you feel uncomfortable with its effects then STAY AWAY FROM IT! There are many forms of medicinal cannabis that do not cause the “high” intoxication effects.
Back in the day one could either buy what the black market bootleg dealer had or not. It was simple. Take it or leave it..
With legalized marijuana there are choices, and each type has some different effects.
There are three main types: indica, sativa, and an expanding range of hybrids which are a combination of the original two in various ratios.
Sativa is said to be more energizing and mind-stimulating. It might keep you awake. It might make you a bit paranoid. Or not.
Indica is said to be more relaxing and produces a body-high. It will most likely allow you to sleep after a while.
There are something like 80 different kinds of Cannabidiols (active ingredients) found in marijuana. There is so much to learn about them.
Terpenes are one of the frontiers of medical cannabis.
There are 100+ kinds of terpenes, usually distinguished by their smell, such as having the scent of lemons, or pepper, or lavender, or pine, for example.
Limonene smells like citrus and is uplifting, it can provide stress relief, and has some interesting properties including being antidepressant, antifungal, antibacterial, and some say it dissolves gallstones.
Beta-caryophyllene smells something like black pepper, it has little psychoactive effect but has a useful therapeutic effect on inflammation.
Linalool smells something like lavender and is relaxing, it is good for promoting anti-anxiety, its anticonvulsant, and anti-acne. That last one is puzzling, for the best results do you consume it orally or rub it on your skin? I have so much to learn.
Pinene smells something like pine and has a clear, bright, sunny effect, some say it can provide asthma relief, it is antiseptic and is said to promote memory retention.
Smoking is harsh, the modern way to consume marijuana orally is through vaping, which heats the herb up enough to release the active ingredients without causing it to burn. There are some vape devices that work exclusively with extracts, and some that you can put dry flowers or leaves directly into the device.
Overall, I find that marijuana causes me to feel happy and works best when used the least. Some say that the ideal situation is taking it once every other week or so, some say that daily use gives the best results. Excessive use can overload the Endocannabinoid System and is counter-productive. I am still figuring out what works best for me. Marijuana is illegal for me in Michigan (medical marijuana in Michigan is prescribed for serious health problems listed below) so I am busy doing other things these days.
Michigan Medical Marijuana is prescribed for the following conditions:
- Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, or nail patella.
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
- OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Chronic Pain, Spinal Cord Injury, Autism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tourette’s Syndrome, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
- and, any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.
Is liking something like chocolate an addiction or an indulgence? I guess it has to do with quantity.