Choosing to use Cannabis

Marijuana and its active components (such as THC and CBD, among other cannabinoids) exist in many forms and strengths and can affect people in different ways.  Whether it's your first time or you're a frequent user, here are some things to consider if you choose to use cannabis.

If you choose to use cannabis, think through the experiences you want to have as well as those you’d rather avoid. Knowing how you want to use cannabis and what you want to experience can help you tailor your use to avoid unwanted experiences and think through other ways to get the outcome you want.

​​If I choose to use cannabis, I want to:

  • Feel calm and relaxed
  • Reduce feelings of anxiety, depression or worries
  • Socialize more easily
  • Reduce physical symptoms related to other conditions (e.g. pain)

​​If I choose to use cannabis, I don’t want to:

  • Lose control
  • Have memory problems
  • Experience anxiety or have my anxiety worsen
  • Negatively impact my school, work or relationships

Dosages can vary between different forms of cannabis products.

It’s a good idea to double check the serving size, especially for edibles. A standard serving size contains no more than 10 mg of THC. However, your own tolerance may affect how serving sizes impact you. If it’s your first time using edibles, start with a smaller amount (i.e. 2.5-5 mg). It’s also important to remember that it may take 2 hours for edibles to begin to take effect and up to 4 hours to feel the full effect.

Start low and go slow!

If you’ve never used cannabis before, start with a smaller amount and go slow until you know how it will affect you. This is especially important when experimenting with edibles and concentrates. Look for products with lower THC levels and wait to see how it affects you before consuming more.

For reference, flower usually contains 10% to 30% THC, while concentrates commonly contain 60% to 90% or more. If you choose to use, go with products that are within your limits, and always follow the guidelines and directions provided on the original packaging.

  • Flower (bud): 10% to 30%
  • Edibles (eat, drink): 5 to 10 mg (per serving)
  • Concentrates (oils, hash, dabs, wax): 60% to 90%

It’s recommended to wait at least 3-6 hours after vaping or smoking and 6-8 hours after consuming edibles before engaging in higher risk activities like driving, skiing or swimming. Keep in mind that these times can vary depending on your tolerance and use. In some cases you may need to wait longer than the recommended times.

Avoid mixing!

Mixing substances (example cannabis and alcohol) can make it challenging to predict what is going to happen or how you will be affected. Additionally, substances used together can result in adverse side effects. Play it safe by only using one substance at a time.

Source: University of Colorado

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