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Where to start with cannabis consumption

Best consumption methods for beginners.

Many people start out using cannabis as a means to manage their anxiety, depression, or pain. Others begin their journey from a recreational perspective, wanting to see what all the fuss is about. Or maybe they paused their journey years ago and want to get back into the wonderful world of weed. There are many reasons why someone might want to add a little cannabis to their life, but one question every newcomer has in common – Where does the journey begin? 

There are many different ways to consume cannabis, and while it may sound like a trivial decision, the method you use to consume it for the first time can have a lasting impact on your perception of the plant and its effects. Different consumption methods can vary in price, psychoactive effect, and ease of dosage. Which method works best for you will depend on all these factors and your comfort level.

For most first-time consumers, we would recommend starting out with pre-rolled joints. This is the most convenient method for smoking, as you won’t need to directly handle any cannabis. If you already smoke any other substances such as tobacco, lighting a joint will of course be pretty intuitive. Many brands in the legal market offer convenient pre-roll packs at inexpensive prices. You also forgo the need to buy a grinder or any other smoking accessories which makes the financial investment quite low. If you decide cannabis isn’t for you, you’ll still have some money left in your wallet for other adventures. If you are averse to smoking, or ease of dosage is a concern, you’ll want to avoid this method. While joints in the legal market are carefully weighed, the cannabis isn’t always dispersed evenly which makes it difficult to determine exactly how much you are consuming with each toke.

The next method of consumption to consider is ingestion. Edibles in the form of gummies and candies, or something more traditional like brownies, along with tinctures, can be another great low investment way to get into cannabis. While all of these products are consumed the same way, how they are made is vastly different. Traditional baked goods like brownies and cookies get their psychoactive effects from the butter used in baking them. Cannabutter is made by first decarboxylating the cannabis which activates the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids. This cannabis is then cooked in with a butter mixture and strained to then be chilled, stored, and used in any product that uses butter. This makes it a pretty versatile method for infusing foods with cannabis; however, because the THC is within a single ingredient, Dosage is a lot less predictable than tinctures or gummies. If the ingredients were not mixed well, you can end up with varying levels of THC from one bite to the next in a baked product. If you choose to start your cannabis journey with some ‘special’ brownies, it’s a good idea to start with a small bite. You can always eat more, but you can’t eat less.

The aforementioned advice applies to gummies, candies, and tinctures as well, but due to the nature of how these products are made, the psychoactive ingredients are usually much more evenly distributed, making an accurate dosage much easier. Cannabis gummies are often made with cannabis-infused oils, while tinctures are a liquid extract usually dosed from a syringe or spray bottle. The syringes are usually marked making this method very effective for accurate dosing. Gummies and tinctures are also much more common to find at dispensaries than cookies or brownies, which makes it easier to find a safe, trusted supplier. Whether you are starting your journey with a medical need, or for recreation, edibles are a great starting point that can provide accurate dosing and are a safer alternative to smoking.

The last consumption method we’d recommend for beginners is disposable vape cartridges. These are another low-cost entry into the world of cannabis that also provides relatively accurate dosing. It's easy to dose in small amounts, and unlike with pre-rolled joints, or baked goods, you don’t have to worry about an even distribution of the psychoactive ingredients in the product. As with any other consumption method, you should start at a low dosage to make sure you’re comfortable with the effects. Since you are inhaling vapor instead of smoke, this is also a less harmful method of consumption than smoking. To use a vape cartridge, you just need to purchase an inexpensive battery that the cartridges thread into. When taking a puff, the battery activates the coil which vaporizes the oil contained in the cartridge. These devices function very similarly to the e-cigs that you've probably heard about. Starting with disposable cartridges will provide an easy entry point into other ways of vaporizing cannabis like non-disposable handheld vaporizers and the more traditional volcanoes. 

A final point to remember is that cannabis consumption can have both positive and negative impacts on your life. Always make sure that your decision to consume cannabis is yours and yours alone. Do not let outside sources pressure you into consuming anything you are not comfortable with.