Getting started with cannabis

“how do I get started? where do I go?...” -Anonymous

By Cara Luhring

January 3, 2017

I get this question, A LOT. So I am going to address it here.

  • First, be sure you are committed personally to getting your medical cannabis recommendation. No matter how valid your reason for medicating is be prepared for the stigma backlash. Also consider you may run into a familiar face at a dispensary or be surprised by a delivery driver married to your assistant.Will you be drug tested? If you answered yes, you may want to reconsider medicinal adult use of cannabis. Cannabinoids stay in your system for 4-6 weeks depending on usage. I have no personal experience with a product that will fool a drug test to date. Educate yourself on local medical marijuana law and know your rights as a patient. Join groups like Americans for Safe Access - ASA and NormL to get familiar with current events. Appreciate your holistic choice to medicate naturally with a plant you can most likely grow yourself. Hooray YOU!

  • Second, choosing a Doctor. There are a few options out there for patients. Clinics with attentive MD’s, appointments made at an office where you both review your medical history and the Dr. provides a cannabis consultation that should cover methods of consumption and dosage. There is also the online Dr. option. A video chat and credit card can get you a medical recommendation in 30 minutes, depending on your medical history, state of residence and amount of questions you ask. I myself have experienced the online MD to satisfactory results.

  • Third, acquiring medicine. Feeling brave? Pull up weedmaps, try and locate an operational dispensary and check it out. Odds are the place is not legit unless it is one of the few legal San Diego operational dispensary permit holders of which there are currently 15 legally permitted, I believe. A good dispensary is always an experience in itself, the decor, the selection. Ask questions, how else does one learn? Curious about concentrates? Don’t pretend to know more than you do, the good dispensaries provide patients with knowledgeable staff and great customer service. It is an experience every patient should have.

  • Fourth, medicate responsibly. It is understandable that a patient may over medicate at some point, edibles can be tricky to manage and leave a wake of victims in its path. To help manage this always have an isolated CBD product on hand. When our bodies have too much THC for our conscious liking or physical management, ingesting CBD will balance out your endocannabinoid system to a more grounded state, sometimes in a remarkable amount of time. (I have used CBD oil to cure a dreadful hangover achieving results in an almost unbelievable fragment of time. Purely anecdotal speculation of course, there is no proof it wasn’t the few sips of cold water I managed to keep down or the forkful of a vague rice dish that followed the oil.) Refer to dosing answers you have acquired from your recommending Doctor and effective personal experience. Get comfortable with your choices, utilize services like Mary Jane University or CannaCurious Club to introduce you to the necessary equipment for helping to choose the method of ingestion best for your needs.”Start Low, Go Slow”, is best when introducing concentrates, trying a new brand/strain/product or adjusting dosing. Bear in mind as one's body changes, one's dosing may change also.

  • Fifth, embrace the Community. There are many like-minded individuals that share your lifestyle and even your hobbies. I encourage all patients to participate in local cannabis organizations to learn and socialize. Attend educational events and learn more about what interests you most about cannabis. Help build a strong San Diego cannabis community by being a part of it.

I hope this has provided you with a starting point. Salud!

***I am not a therapist, clinician, doctor, nurse or any type of medical professional. Everything I post is based on my opinion, personal experience and research.***