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A Few Things to Consider When Going to a Dispensary

By Matt (Grower Rep @ Oregon’s Finest)

Terpenes

Before legalization, life was the same for the majority of black market smokers. You would meet up with your connection and fork over some cash for a bag of green stuff. You had no idea what it was, who grew it, or who’s been handling it.  A lot of people had symptoms they were looking to relieve, but were forced to take a “whatever I can get my hands on” approach without actually knowing too much about any of the compounds that make up cannabis. In the days of the black market we often had no choice, but today things are different with recreational cannabis. With a little extra knowledge about the products, you can feel more confident in picking the right strain for you.

THC and CBD get talked about a lot, but beyond the THC/CBD numbers in the plant, there are several chemical compounds called terpenes. They are what we perceive as smell, but work synergistically with THC and CBD to give us the different effects. If you’ve ever wondered how one chemical can have such a varying array of effects, there’s your answer.  These scents, with a little trial, error and education, will give you a good idea on how this will affect you. For the beginner, however, I simply tell them to pick the one that smells the best.  Our brains are magnificent mass spectrometers when given the chance.  You might not be able to distinguish every individual odor but you will recognize the almost salivary response when your body finds the right one!  I like to tell my customers that, in the end, your wallet isn’t going to be smoking this. Unless you are avoiding a high THC strain, I don’t tend to even look at the THC numbers, if there’s anything I look at number wise, it is the CBD in my opinion.

Edibles

With edibles being allowed for early recreational sales there are a few things people should keep in mind. When I first got my medical card and went to a dispensary I had no clue what I was looking at as far as the strength of edibles were concerned. I thought “I’m a daily smoker, so I should be able to handle a big dose.” As much as I’d like to think I’m a fairly experienced cannabis user, in life we tend to get humbled quickly just when we think we have a handle on things. My first industry edible proved to be one of those moments.

Looking back, I wish I had a little more knowledge before consuming edibles. Elise McDonough wrote, “Eating 10 – 25 milligrams of THC will make your muscles relax, and waves of bliss will blanket your body. Giggling and silliness are common. You will feel relaxed and cozy, and get the best “super sleep” of your life. The high can last from four to six hours, or longer with higher doses. Keep in mind that everyone’s metabolism is different, and your weight and fitness will play a role in how your body reacts to edible pot foods. Pain patients seeking to replace pharmaceuticals can grow to tolerate daily doses of THC in the hundreds of milligrams.”

I’d like to stress “everyone’s metabolism is different” piece. Both the State of Oregon and yours truly feel that 5 to 10 milligrams is a good starting point for newbies.  It is important to give yourself plenty of time for the medication to set in.  It can take up to an hour for you to fully feel the effects.  If you take too much it is important to remain calm, and trust that it is physically impossible for some to die from cannabis. So make good choices folks, and remember to start slow and low.