Cannabis Concerns: Culture and Usage

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Shanti Ryle - Content Writer

Aug 19 2021 - 4 min read

Are you considering using medical marijuana? Perhaps a friend or doctor suggested it, but you’re worried how people might view you, you won’t know what type to get, where to get it, our countless other concerns. This article will help to put your mind at ease. After all, medical marijuana is precisely that – medicine.

This week we’re looking at the social and cultural concerns you might have. We also have an entire article about how cannabis mixes with other medications and conditions. If you still have any questions or want to know more, get in touch.

What is considered relevant medical history for medical marijuana qualification? How to get your medical records.

1. The Impact of Cannabis on Families and Friends

The fact is, cannabis still faces a lot of stigmas, even if it’s for medical use. While many find that they feared “coming out of the cannabis closet” more than they should have, this is not the case for everyone. It’s worth noting, however, that most judgment comes from a place of naiveté on the topic. Why not include your loved ones on your cannabis journey, educating them and yourself along the way? By not shying away from the subject, you might dispel some dark, judgemental clouds that hang over it.

2. What about my job and insurance?

Another factor many consider when it comes to medical cannabis use is, “Will it affect my job prospects and insurance claims?” While some jobs and insurance companies may be lenient towards cannabis use for medical reasons, this is not always the case.

Individuals who work in government departments, for example, may operate under contracts that prohibit the use of any federally illegal controlled substance. In some instances, using cannabis – even for a proven medical problem – may also invalidate your insurance.

The unfortunate answer, for now, is yes, cannabis may indeed affect your job prospects and insurance coverage. Though laws are changing, this is an impactful area where much work still needs to be done.

3. Will I get arrested for cannabis use?

Unfortunately, this is a possibility, especially if you’re growing any or a significant number of cannabis plants. Different jurisdictions also have different rules regarding cannabis, sometimes even within the same state.

Those worried about getting arrested can do the following to reduce their chances of trouble:

      • never carry cannabis across state lines;
      • keep use to within their own home;
      • grow several plants of their own, on their own property (though this legality varies by state);
      • do not hold any equipment that a police officer may use to accuse you of illegal activity(e.g. scales);
      • do not drive or use heavy machinery under the use of cannabis;
      • and most importantly, hold a valid medical card and recommendation letter.
Download Our Guide To Your Cannabis Rights

4. What’s the best method of cannabis consumption?

The best consumption method depends on what works best for you. We say that for first-time users, smoking is a good place to start as you can control the dosage more easily. You are getting the full range of cannabinoids if using flower, which means you’re reaping the full benefit of a strain’s entourage effect and potential medical use. Additionally, smoking flower from a joint is often easier and easier to transport than fancier contraptions such as pipes and volcanoes.

However, we appreciate that not everyone likes the idea of smoking. As such, you may want to try vaporizers or edibles. Vaporizers are efficient, easy to dose and smoke-free, and when vaping flower, you will still enjoy a full range of cannabinoids. Be careful, though: cannabis oil is much more potent than smoking, so you’ll want to start low and go slow to find you’re ideal dose. Also, if the vape cartridge is constructed from poorly made plastic or untested oil, they can be worse for your health than smoking.

Edibles are also an efficient and long-lasting way to consume cannabis. However, due to the way the digestive system processes THC, the effect of edibles can be stronger and much longer lasting than desired. Everyone’s body is different, so we recommend trying a precisely dosed product from a reliable brand and starting with as low a dose as possible before gradually increasing the amount of THC consumed.

5. Sativa or Indica? THC or CBD? What should I use?

When it comes to THC and CBD, most people looking for pain relief seem to get by best on a 1:1 ratio – i.e., equal amounts of CBD to THC. However, do not be tempted into thinking that CBD is the “medical” part of cannabis and THC the “recreational.” Cannabinoids need each other in order to be properly effective, in what is known as the “entourage effect.” Other cannabinoids like CBC (cannabichromene) and CBG (cannabigerol) should be considered properly, too, as should terpenes like myrcene and alpha-pinene.

As for sativa vs. indica, much of this can be down to personal preference and the condition for which you’re seeking to use cannabis, although certain ratios of cannabinoids and terpenes are selected more commonly for certain conditions. Both sativas and indica strains tend to be high in THC, and both can contain a very similar chemical profile when looked at under the microscope.

Sativa and indica are both words used to describe growth patterns of a cannabis plant, and the labels are far from the ideal – or most accurate – way of gauging a plant’s effects. In terms of cannabinoid patterns, some indicas from Afghanistan and the Kush Mountain regions may contain both high THC and CBD. Sativas from equatorial regions may contain more THCV as well as high THC levels.

The only way to know whether a strain is right for you is by reading reviews, asking others, getting your cannabis mapped genetically, getting the cannabis lab-tested for cannabinoids and terpenes, and good old-fashioned experimentation.

Free Infographic Guide to Cannabinoids

6. Finding the right dispensary

Dispensaries are all different. Some have a more social vibe, whereas others run like clinical offices. They are also likely to attract a diverse clientele, depending on the area and the sorts of program they run. However, for some general advice on finding a good one, it is worth looking at various aspects of the dispensary.

Does the dispensary hold “cannabis education” classes, including classes on health positives/negatives and how to grow? Do they run other health and wellbeing programs? How well do the budtenders know the products and strains, and is the company appropriately licensed? Do they have quality controls on the cannabis that comes into their store? How do others feel about the dispensary, based on reviews? Once you know the basics, it’s just a matter of finding the right dispensary for you.

Hopefully, this article has provided some guidance on medical marijuana and assuaged your concerns. If you are still curious and want to know more please get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

Written by
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Shanti Ryle

Shanti Ryle is a content marketer with more than half a decades’ experience writing about cannabis science and culture. Her work has been featured in Forbes, Weedmaps News/Marijuana.com, Wall Street Journal, and other publications.

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