Weed, trees, pot, herb, marijuana, ganja, bud, kush, gas, dope, and so many other names come to mind. What do you think of when you hear the word Cannabis? Many think “oh yeah, I smoke all da weeds”, while others may think “that’s the Devil’s lettuce and I am not going near it.”
With the legalization of cannabis happening in certain places across the global, Canada has decided to hop on board. Making it legal, each province can decide the rules and regulations, jurisdiction and allowances. This has allowed us, as Canadians to have both a clean and safe opportunity to purchase and consume the plant without the fear of getting arrested, having a messy plug, getting involved with the wrong dealer or being judged as a “Pothead”. We also have the ability to study and learn all that cannabis has to offer, outside just getting high or that it’s “the gateway”. For longtime users, conversations back in the day were all centered around “is it indoor, or is it outdoor? “Is it Hydro?” “Will it make me sleepy?” “Is it going to make me laugh?” “Am I going to think a lot, or get super anxious?” The list goes on!
Here is some basic information about the Cannabis plant that many people may not know.
Cannabis And The Body
To start, Cannabis is a plant with psychoactive components used for recreational and medicinal reasons and has over 500 compounds, known as cannabinoids. It is mainly known for its intoxicating component, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), of which is becoming very popular and highly requested, and CBD Cannabidiol, known for its non-intoxicating components, and the counteracting effects it has from the THC high. Our bodies have a system called the endocannabinoid system. Endo meaning internal, our bodies create our own cannabinoids naturally. THC and CBD are 2 of the most well-known cannabinoids that interact and react with this system. It is responsible for binding cannabinoids like THC and CBD to receptors and transmitters in our body and brain, just like a puzzle piece to cause the effects needed. We were made for Cannabis and Cannabis was made for us.
Most are familiar with consuming Cannabis the combustible way by smoking a joint, bong or pipe. As smoking has become more of a hazardous health epidemic many people are switching over to the vape world. Vaping is known to be a less carcinogenic way of consuming cannabis. The legalization of edibles also arrived on October 17th, 2019 for those that don’t smoke and can’t smoke. This also means there will be no more “ I don’t feel anything, let me eat another” dialogue, as you will know exactly what you are getting. These forms are not the only methods of consuming Cannabis, but they are the most common. Risks of “greening out” and the onset/duration of effects can differ amongst individuals and between methods. Smoking can take up to 15 – 30 minutes to kick in and may last 2 – 3 hours depending on the dose and the strain. Vaping has the same results as smoking. With edibles always start low and go slow. Edibles can take from 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in and last between 4-8 hours. It can even go up to 24 hours depending on the potency and the individual’s metabolism. Repeat! Always start low and go slow, or end up with a bad high.
Legalization and Regulations
Recreational legalization in Canada offers access to clean and safe Cannabis across the country, online, and at regulated retail stores. In Ontario, our online store is like the LCBO, and it’s called the Ontario Cannabis Store (OCS). The Cannabis sold here is grown by Licensed Producers across Canada who have been granted approval by Health Canada to grow and sell clean, tested, and safe Cannabis products to the public both medicinally and recreationally. If you self-medicate with Cannabis, make sure to talk to your health care professional to consider reasons and establish a care plan.
This interesting conversation is far more than smoking weed and getting high. Today it is about education, empowering women, saving lives and new experiences. It’s about breaking the stigma on “reefer madness” and opening minds. Becoming aware will allow everyone to increase overall confidence about Cannabis and Cannabis use, and will ensure yourself, your family and friends, and children utilize this plant to its full capacity, smartly.
As with anything, smoke responsibly and smoke in moderation!