At The Happy Camper, we often hear a common refrain from our customers: I want to try using cannabis, but I’m worried. What if it makes me too sleepy? Or worse, too paranoid to function?
Paranoia or heightened anxiety is a common side effect people experience when they ingest too much THC. Similarly, taking the wrong amount can make users extremely drowsy, hungry or thirsty. (As regular users ourselves, we can attest to finding ourselves at the bottom of a bag of Doritos more than once.)
The great news is that even if you experience unwanted side effects from using marijuana, they typically last no longer than a few hours. But your experience doesn’t have to be negative. In fact, the large majority of our customers are delighted with the results they experience from using our products. They claim using marijuana helps them feel calm, happy and confident, and in some cases even promotes better sleep and weight loss.*
There are a lot of factors that go into finding the right marijuana type, strain, format and dosage for you. Age and weight are some things to consider, as well as your personal tolerance and your desired side effects. In this article we’ll offer tips for exploring the different types of weed and choosing the right type and dosage for your individual needs.
First, get familiar with the different types and strains of pot.
You’re probably aware that there are many different strains of marijuana that have been cultivated over the years. Some of the most popular include Blue Kush, Sour Diesel and Wedding Cake, but there are thousands more. Each strain incorporates different levels of:
- Indica (think: “I” for Indoor) which is associated with feelings ranging from calm to extreme drowsiness; and
- Sativa (think: “S” for Social) which promotes more energetic feelings in users that can verge on anxiety or paranoia if you take too much.
Marijuana producers offer a wide range of strains that reflect different percentages of these two main common types of source hemp. So, for example, if you’re choosing a product that contains 60% Indica and 40% Sativa, you can reasonably expect to feel a balance of those two sensations, with a slight tinge of calmness or drowsiness as the experience progresses. On the other hand, higher levels of Sativa will produce the opposite effect.
Second, consider the format of marijuana you’re using.
Just like the other factors we mentioned previously, when it comes to anticipating how a certain marijuana product will make you feel, format matters. And while there are tinctures, capsules, patches and other modes of transport, the two most popular ways to ingest marijuana are by smoking it or eating it.
- Traditional “flower” or pot as you probably know it, can be smoked via joints, blunts, pipes or bongs. There are also now a wide variety of vape pens on the market, and many users enjoy the lower maintenance and discretion these devices offer.
Smoking delivers THC rapidly to the bloodstream via the lungs, and most users report feeling the effects almost immediately. To gauge how you’ll feel after smoking, it’s important to keep in mind that smoking results in typically between 60 to 63 percent THC loss, where vaporizers lose about 46 percent of THC content when inhaled.
- Conversely, a growing number of marijuana users are opting for candies, gummies, cookies, seltzers and other edible products as their preferred mode of consumption.
THC from edible products is delivered much more slowly to the bloodstream via liver metabolization. It can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to start feeling the effects of a THC-infused edible. Additionally, users report stronger and longer-lasting side effects from consuming edibles, compared to smoking or vaping.
And finally, use a little (safe) trial and error to find your dosage.
As stated, your experience using marijuana products can depend largely on your own personal tolerance—and that tolerance can increase if you’re using marijuana regularly. For that reason, we suggest that THC beginners start with a very low dosage (2-5mg) and increase as needed to achieve desired effects.
Want more information on the different types of marijuana products and how they will affect you? Check out our cannabis resources page, or stop by our dispensary, where our friendly budtenders will be more than happy to answer any questions you have.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.