Five Things Every New Cannabis Consumer Should Know

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, we’re seeing a surge of new cannabis consumers visiting us at Shambhala / Mission Cannabis Club. For new cannabis enthusiasts, visiting a dispensary can be an overwhelming experience. We’ve decided to outline some basic cannabis knowledge that every new consumer should understand before visiting our shop for the first time.

1 - The Difference Between Indica and Sativa

Before you walk into a dispensary, you should know that there are two major groups of cannabis – sativa and indica – and that each offers users very distinct highs. 

Indica strains typically offer users more physical sensations, and help with increased mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decreases acute pain, and increases appetite. Indicas are best for nighttime use when you want to relax at home, enjoy a long movie on the couch, or need help going to sleep. Indicas can sometimes lead to “couch-lock,” which basically refers to being so relaxed that you don’t want to leave you couch. 

On the other side of the plant, we have cannabis sativa, which offers users a more cerebral, uplifting high. Sativa strains are great for daytime use, act as an anti-depressant, help treat chronic pain, and increase focus and creativity. Sativas are excellent for people that want a creative boost, or are looking to make mundane tasks more tolerable and fun.

*Keep in mind, every individual is different and some users experience reverse effects! The best way to learn what’s right for you is by trial and error.

CBD:THC 4:1 Cookies by The Venice Cookie Company

CBD:THC 4:1 Cookies by The Venice Cookie Company

2 - Edibles Have a Delayed Effect – Start Low and Slow!

Edibles are fantastic for people new to cannabis because they offer an easy ingestion method with healing full body effects and they can be taken almost anywhere. However, we encourage new users to be extremely careful when consuming edibles because the physical high is delayed. This delay can cause people to over consume because they think that the edible isn’t working, when in reality the effects just haven’t set in yet. Edibles need to pass through the digestive track before being absorbed into the bloodstream so the high from cannabis edibles may take up to four hours to peak, and can last for up to 10 hours. You may feel completely sober for several hours after consuming an edible and then suddenly feel intoxicated. Until you know how edibles will affect you, wait at least 2-4 hours after the first serving before consuming more. We recommend starting with 3-5mg if you don’t know your tolerance. Additionally, eating edibles on a full stomach will most likely prolong the effects, while eating them on an empty stomach will cause the edible to kick in stronger and faster.

3 - Understand The Differences Between THC and CBD

CBD Gummies by Plus

CBD Gummies by Plus

THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a type of phytocannabinoid that occurs in cannabis, however, its affects are far different than Cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the primary psychoactive chemical in cannabis that is cultivated for recreational purposes. It is the chemical compound that causes the consumer to experience the euphoric “high” feeling.

In contrast, CBD has no psychoactive effects, and actually contains anti-psychoactive properties which combat the effects of THC. Furthermore, CBD is used in a variety of manners that soothe the body, and it’s a naturally occurring anti-inflammatory. When taking CBD in higher quantities, one will notice the effects are similar to that of a muscle relaxer so although it is technically not psychoactive, it can still lead to a fuzzy state of mind so we never recommend driving while under the influence.

4 - Don’t Be Afraid to Talk to Your Budtender

We understand that visiting a dispensary can be intimidating for new cannabis enthusiasts, which is why we suggest that you talk to your budtender before making a purchase. Be sure to tell them that you’re a new consumer, and communicate what you’re wanting out of your cannabis experience. Before you shop, make mental note of the physical and even emotional ailments you may be struggling with. Having trouble sleeping? Battling anxiety? Back pain? The budtenders are the first-line of communication for any dispensary, and they’ll be able to point out the right products that can help you enjoy your cannabis experience. But only if you share what you need!

Pro-tip: Budtenders know all of the in-house deals and can make sure you get the best value with your purchase so be sure to ask them about any deals that are happening in-store.

5 - Make It Easier on Yourself

For people enjoying cannabis for the first time, visiting a dispensary can be an overwhelming experience. There’s an abundance of new products, terms, and seemingly countless ways to enjoy cannabis today, and that’s a lot to take in for a person new to cannabis. Before buying that brand new glassware, a grinder and top-shelf flower, we suggest making it easier on yourself by buying something that is simple to consume. Edibles, pre-rolled joints, THC beverages, capsules, and THC tinctures all offer new consumers an easy way to enjoy cannabis, without having to know how to pack a bowl or roll a joint.  

Checkout our blog covering popular cannabis terms to get the knowledge you need before visiting Mission Cannabis.

First Timers Love Visiting Mission Cannabis

It’s important to remember that THC is an intoxicant, so if you’re enjoying cannabis for the first time, then make sure that you’re doing it in a safe environment, and don’t try to drive or operate any heavy or dangerous machinery.

If you have any question about cannabis, CBD products, or marijuana in general, then visit our dispensary. Our team of budtenders are the leading cannabis experts in San Francisco, and we are happy to answer and questions about marijuana that you may have. Together, we can help find the right products for you so that you can enjoy cannabis more thoroughly, and safely.

Alexa Jesse

My name is Alexa and I am a New York native that moved to San Francisco, California in October of 2015. Gypsy Universe is a reflection of my personal wellness and creative journey, inspired by the loss of my best friend and my own near death experience.  I have been a closet singer my whole life and I finally decided to stop dreaming and start living. I am a singer, a writer, a traveler, a sister, a lover, and a planet earth activist. I am also a certified Health Coach and Pilates instructor. Follow my journey for travel tips, plant-based lifestyle how-to's, original music and more!