Now that medical marijuana (MMJ) is in full-swing in Missouri and many folks have already started getting their cannabis treatments, there are some things that new users tend to do incorrectly. These are common mistakes for any new user - recreational or medical - and can hinder the amazing benefits of the cannabis. Here is a list of the 5 most common mistakes we’ve found from new users …
1. All strains are the same
The multitude of strains and varying quantities of THC vs. CBD (the cannabinoids) and indica vs. sativa can be really confusing - even for some of us long-time users! But knowing which strain is best for you is very important because each predominant straight - sativa and indica - will have different effects individually and together. Be sure to follow the recommendation of your caregiver and especially your dispensary budtender. The ratios of cannabinoids and ratio of the main strains are unique to each individual; the budtenders will know which of the products their dispensary carries will be the best for you.
Also, a mistake even this seasoned MJ user makes is thinking that you are strictly one strain. Sativa-dominant strains/products tend to give more of a physical high, while indica-dominant strains tend to have a lethargic effect. Because of this generality, I stayed away from indica-dominant strains, thinking I would wind up ‘in-da-couch’ (a well-known wordplay to describe Indica’s effect). However recently I’ve found that a more balanced presence of both strains works best for me.
2. Not keeping your gear clean
We will do a whole series of blog posts on how to keep some of the more popular intake gear (pipes, bongs, dabbing rigs, etc.) clean, but generally speaking you should keep your gear as clean as possible. This is because of the sticky residue called ‘resin’ that cannabis products leave behind when combusted or vaped. This sticky resin can hinder your experience with smoking or vaping for a few reasons. First, if you smoke/vape different strains the residue from the last strain will mix with the new cannabis when you smoke or vape it. Then, this resin can be quite harsh on your mouth, throat and lungs if you combust or vape it at too high of a temperature. Finally, a ‘resinated’ pipe or bong will only be harder to clean the longer you leave it. If you are smoking out of a bong, this resin build-up is also a concern.
Best practices for MJ users is to clean their gear at least once a month for light users, and more frequently for heavier users. How do you actually clean your pipes and bongs? There are solutions you can order online, but stay tuned to this blog for an upcoming post on different ways you can clean your bong or pipe!
3. Getting too high, too fast
Knowing your limit is extremely important. Fortunately most new users are overly cautious about taking their medical MJ for the first time. But there are some - especially edible users - who might take too much too quickly. Be sure to follow the recommendations from your budtender. If you are apprehensive about getting too high the first few times, communicate this with them and they will help you with a plan to take your cannabis slowly enough to not get too high too quickly. If you do get too high too quickly, simply find a quiet place to sit and either listen to soothing music (no Miles Davis here!) or watch a calm, relaxing movie (no horror movies here!). Drink plenty of water and have something healthy to snack on (carrot sticks, grapes or blueberries); be sure it’s a healthy snack because you do not want to develop a case of the ‘munchies’.
If you think you’re not getting high enough, very slowly increase the amount you are intaking and monitor the effects. If you are taking edibles, be sure to wait at least 45 minutes before increasing your intake amount. Then even more slowly increase the intake amount and wait at least another 30 minutes from there. Edibles tend to have a compounding effect, so even a little more taken on top of a regular/low dosage will have an increased effect.
4. Selecting cannabis based on the price
This can go both ways: buying less expensive cannabis to be budget-conscious and selecting more expensive cannabis thinking it will have a greater effect. This relates to our first point of misunderstanding strains. In this case, many people who buy based on lower prices might think they are being wise with their money, but the lesser expensive cannabis might not be what they should be taking for their particular needs. Conversely buying more expensive cannabis thinking it will have a stronger or more lasting effect could also be a mistake if that particular MJ product isn’t what your individual condition needs. As always it’s best to go on the recommendation of your caregiver and particularly your budtender. Once you have used MJ for a while, you’ll begin to know which strains, products and ratio of components work best for you.
5. Not properly storing your cannabis
There are two parts to this common mistake of new users: one, not storing your cannabis correctly can dry out the cannabis and can also create mold in your cannabis (yes, mold. Ewww gross). If you are storing actual flowers or buds, we recommend storing it in the packaging it came in. Personally, I then put that container in an airtight container (like Tupperware or Rubbermaid containers). This will help keep it from drying out too quickly. I keep these containers in a dry place away from other people, obviously away from children and away from pets. Which leads us to the second part of improper storage …
The second part of not storing your marijuana correctly is the people around and living with you. Never keep your marijuana products or treatment where or how it could be mistaken for something else. cannabis looks like oregano or dried parsley leaves - so be sure that it is nowhere near these spices. It also goes without saying to keep all your products away from children’s reach and pets - especially edibles. Follow the directions above and keep your products in their original container, put that container in an airtight plastic container and keep that container away from the kitchen and high above a child’s reach. I even go an extra step and write ‘MJ’ in huge letters with a permanent marker so there is no mistaking what’s inside.
Staying in the know
Knowing the mistakes that others have made can help you have a better experience with medical marijuana. This wonder drug is fantastic and we hope you have nothing but amazing experiences with it. Avoiding these mistakes can help make that happen. And as always, consult with your budtender or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Also stay tuned to this blog for our upcoming series on how to keep specific marijuana gear clean and how to get the most out of your chosen intake method. Happy partaking!