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The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis

girl smoking pot

The Ultimate Guide to Cannabis

The popularity of weed has exploded in recent years with more and more countries choosing to legalize weed, not only because of its excellent recreational uses but also for the medical benefits. With this new popularity there are many looking to try weed for the first time. Now, there are a few things that cannabis newbie should be aware of before getting into jumping into the deep end.

With this article’s help, readers will learn all the basics about smoking weed, from what it is to what accessories one needs to smoke weed.

What is weed?

There are many different names for weed, including but not limited to  herb, ganja, bud, marijuana, grass, pot, and everyone’s favourite Mary Jane. No matter what a person calls it, they are referring to the extract from the Cannabis plant.

The leaves of this plant are easily recognizable because it has distinguishing leaflets in a single leaf. There may be up to thirteen leaflets, but usually, the number is around seven to nine. It flowers annually.

Marijuana is said to have originated from Central Asia. At the same time, some researchers accept it to be from the upper part of South Asia. The three main species of Cannabis that are worth knowing:

  • Cannabis Indica
  • Cannabis Ruderalis
  • Cannabis Sativa
indica leaf
Marijuana Leaf

Which part of the Cannabis plant to use?

A person can technically consume any part of the Cannabis plant to experience its recreational and medical uses. However, the most common element that people smoke is its flowers or buds. The reason smokers go for these bits is that they have a stronger effect than the other portions.

How do you consume weed?

There are many ways in which a person can consume marijuana. Here are some of the most common methods of ingesting weed:

Smoking cannabis

The tried and true method of using marijuana is by smoking it, whether it be by rolling it into a joint or smoking it through a pipe, this is the most basic way of smoking weed, and the most popular. Inhaling the smoke gives you a quick high and easy control over how much you use.

Vaping cannabis

This method is similar to smoking, just that here, a person inhales the vapor, which contains the trichomes. The vaporizer heats the cannabis oil or matter at high temperatures and produces less of the unwanted weed smell as smoking. Vaping has also been proven to be the healthier alternative as you are also not inhaling any of the burnt matter from the dry herbs. It is one of the purest and cleanest ways to consume weed.

Cannabis Edibles

Ingesting Cannabis, in its edible form, in chocolates, mints, gummies, and even beverages delivers the longest highs, but takes much longer for the user to feel the effects. Eating the edibles on an empty stomach accelerates the body’s ability to absorb the desired properties. New users to edibles should take caution as the effects of edibles are much more potent than that of smoking, so its advised that when trying edibles you should take it in small doses to see how your body tolerates the edibles.

Dabbing Cannabis

Once a person gets used to ingesting weed and wants to take it to the next level, they can try dabbing. Here, the user burns a small amount of the highly potent marijuana concentrate on a titanium nail. This action leads to combustion, which the user will then inhale. Dabbing Cannabis has the most intense effects, and low tolerance users should take extra caution when dabbing.

Direct application to the skin

Using cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and creams have been a common practice amongst many ayurvedic practitioners. They are used to heal ailments like cramping, arthritis, and skin conditions. Cannabis creams and balms are for the most parts safe as they do not have the psychoactive effects.

What items will a person need to smoke weed?

Consuming edibles and using topical creams are pretty straightforward, but smoking it requires some tools and items. Here is a list of things you might need to smoke weed:

A grinder

Many dealers sell marijuana in the form of whole dried Cannabis flowers. So smokers will need a grinder on which they can twist and get the texture they want.

The right smoking device

Whether a person wants to smoke it as a joint by rolling a paper, use a vaporizer, or smoke with a pipe or bong, they should make a decision and keep it ready.

Lighter to light her up

The weed is not going to burn itself. Do not forget to bring a couple of matches or a lighter to get the party going.

Keep an ashtray nearby

Making a mess is never a good thing. Naturally, when a person smokes, some ash will form. Keep the surroundings clean by placing the ash where it belongs.

Treats for later

There is no such thing as over-preparation. There is a high chance that the smoker might get a case of the munchies after the session. Keep some snacks and drinks ready for this specific reason.

Aftercare items

Red eyes and bad breath are two inevitable signs of smoking weed. If there is any need to hide such physical signs, an eye drop and some fresh breath mints will do the job.

Woman using a vaporizer

What are the effects of smoking weed?

The results of ingesting marijuana can be instantaneous. Now that the technical and scientific part of smoking weed is over, let’s look at what kind of effects a person might experience:

Getting high

For recreational users, the goal of smoking marijuana is to get high. Cannabis increases the release of dopamine, which is responsible for triggering the feeling of pleasure. A person usually feels this “pleasure” from food or sex. With the increase in dopamine in the body, a person enters a relaxed and euphoric state.

Increased sensory perception

In some cases, marijuana users experience heightened senses. Such effects may be seeing brighter colors, hearing familiar sounds much louder than before, food starts to have a richer and more intense taste, and their sense of smell gets stronger.

Increase in appetite

One common effect that many users, whether new or experienced, experience a sharp increase in their appetite. This result of smoking weed comes in handy for those who are getting cancer or AIDS treatments.

Change in mental health

Some people may experience a decrease in depression or anxiety, while others feel an increase in both of these issues. If a person has underlying mental health problems, they should take care while smoking weed to avoid unpleasant experiences.

Loss of sense of time

Even if a weed smoker does not lose complete sense of time, they might experience some slow down in their perception of time. High people might think the time is passing much slower than usual. One thing to keep in mind here is that not everyone goes through this situation.

Hampered motor skills

There are chances that a person might lose control or have trouble controlling their movements. Many people experience their motor skills getting hindered, and their coordination abilities reduce. The cognitive skills may also undergo a decline.

Some side effects of smoking weed are as follows:

  • Slight pain in the lungs and throat
  • Difficulty in learning or remembering things
  • Weakened immune system
  • Symptoms of withdrawal

The Psychoactive properties of Cannabis

First of all, one should know about a constituent in marijuana called Tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC. It is the primary element of Cannabis that contributes to weed’s psychoactive properties. The term THC may sometimes refer to different cannabinoid isomers.

Although there are many other compounds, the highest concentration is THC. Hence, one can accept that this chemical substance is the substance responsible for the effects of weed. There is a chemical in the brain called anandamide, which has a similar structure with THC. This reason is why the body recognizes THC and does not sound off alarms. In a nutshell, THC enters the body without facing any problem and changes the regular communication inside the brain.

What happens after THC enters the body is that it activates the part of the brain that triggers pleasure, thinking, coordination, the perception of time, movements, memories, and the senses. They can connect themselves with neurons in the brain and disturb normal physical and mental functions.

What are the medical benefits of smoking weed?

The most likely reason people try smoking weed is to see if they can reap the advantages they have heard from others. There are many rewards of smoking marijuana, including but not limited to medical benefits. Here are some of the pros of smoking weed:

Relief from chronic pain

Smoking marijuana can help in reducing chronic pain temporarily. It can even reduce inflammation in any part of the body. This benefit is one of the most popular reasons for medically administering Cannabis to patients.

People who have arthritis, multiple sclerosis, migraine, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome may get some relief after smoking weed in controlled amounts.

Treatment of mental health problems

As mentioned briefly earlier, one of the effects of smoking weed is that it can reduce mental health problems like depression and anxiety. This psychoactive drug can stabilize a person’s mood. An individual’s depressive episodes might not be as bad as before after taking weed. It can calm people down and prevent a person from feeling extreme anxiety. The secret to a successful treatment is monitoring the dosage correctly.

It helps in fighting cancer.

Based on many studies and a multitude of evidence, one can safely say that Cannabis can help treat some types of cancer. Since it increases a person’s appetite, they can ingest food that will help fight against cancer. At the same time, Cannabis is an effective drug against nausea. Some studies say that it slows down the growth of some cancers.

Treatment for insomnia

Insomnia is a widespread problem that many people face in this day and age. The fast-paced and stressful lifestyle that humans live leads to loss of sleep and the inability to rest at night, and smoking weed may change all these. Improved sleep is a common benefit of Cannabis. This effect might be because it reduces pain.

Treatment for epilepsy

Epilepsy is a disorder, also known as a seizure disorder. There are not many medications that can treat this problem. When the FDA approved the use of a CBD containing medicine for the treatment of epilepsy, it was a win for people all over the world. This chemical does not have any psychoactive properties and hence is safe for use.

However, some side effects of this medicine include fever, nausea, and fatigue. Some other possible side effects are the damage of the liver, having suicidal thoughts, and sedation.

A remedy for ADHD or ADD

People who have ADHD or ADD have trouble focusing or concentrating on a particular task. They show signs of hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. One of the effects of Cannabis is heightened senses. People with ADHD or ADD might be able to use this heightened sense and focus on tasks. Many people consider it to be a safer option as compared to Adderall.

Healing broken bones

After thorough research in bones, scientists and doctors have concluded that cannabidiol, a component of Cannabis, can help in mending broken bones. In addition to this medical benefit, this compound also strengthens the bones that it heals. It makes bones tougher and more robust so that they do not break so quickly in the future.

Helps in treating alcoholism

Some people replace alcohol with weed. Although this is not the most recommendable course of action, weed is much safer than alcohol. Of course, weed comes with its own set of risks, but it is useful for a person to get over their alcohol addiction.

Things to remember before smoking weed

Always remember that different individuals will react differently to the psychoactive properties of weed. As such, some may have good experiences while it might not be so pleasant for others. Stay hydrated at all times, and remember to know the limits that one should not cross.

As anyone can see, there are many benefits that a person can get from smoking weed. The only point to keep in mind is that one should carefully monitor the amount of marijuana ingested, especially for medical use and always enjoy responsibly.


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