Just because cannabis has been around for at least as long as human civilization doesn’t mean that every person feels totally comfortable with using it. Marijuana can be incredibly intimidating; the culture is filled with incomprehensible jargon intended to separate the in-crowd from potentially disparaging outsiders, and many methods of use simply don’t come naturally. As a result, there is a strong population that is 420-curious but much too overwhelmed to venture into a dispensary alone.
You don’t have to be a cannabis scholar to benefit from using the drug. Here are a few entry-level marijuana products worth trying out, to see if you enjoy the experience of using weed and want to continue learning more about cannabis and deepening your experience.
Perhaps the safest cannabis products to experiment with are CBD products, which do not make users high but can provide some notable health benefits. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that seems to stimulate various systems within the user’s body, helping the body achieve greater balance to alleviate ongoing issues like stress, muscle tension and pain. Because CBD does not have psychoactive effects, it will not impair a user while providing effects, and it is legal under federal and most state law.
There is all manner of CBD products, from CBD oil, which can be dropped under the tongue or mixed into foods and beverages, to capsules, creams, gummies and more. However, not all CBD products are created equal. You should be careful to purchase only high-quality CBD products, ideally from a licensed Salem dispensary — or some dispensary closer to where you live. This will guarantee that your purchases contain the right amount of CBD and are free from contaminants, like lead, arsenic and formaldehyde.
Edibles are snacks or drinks that are imbued with cannabinoids. Users consume small amounts of edibles, and when the edible is properly digested, the cannabinoids seep into the bloodstream and generate the psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects of marijuana. There are many different types of edibles, from gummies to chocolate bars, hard candies, baked goods, chips and various teas and tisanes, as well as cannabutter, a cannabis-imbued butter product that you can use to create your own edibles at home.
There is one danger with edible: consuming too much. Because edibles take a while to kick in fully — anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours — beginners might make the mistake of double or even triple dosing, compounding the eventual effects and potentially causing them to overdose. You should take edibles slowly and carefully, nibbling only a small amount and waiting an hour to judge the effects before consuming more.
The most common way to use marijuana is smoking it — but dealing with raw flower isn’t easy. The best bud comes in small clumps, which must be carefully broken up before they can be rolled into papers or packed into the bowl of a pipe or bong. Preparing flower requires special tools and an experienced hand, so beginners shouldn’t expect to manage raw bud on their own.
A much easier way to smoke cannabis when you lack experience is by using prerolls. Prerolls are like marijuana cigarettes; dispensaries or marijuana manufacturers select, prepare and package the flower into uniform joints, ready for you to light up and enjoy. Prerolls come in a variety of strains, so you should ask a budtender for recommendations during your first dispensary trip.
Topical products are applied to the skin rather than inhaled, ingested or injected. Cannabis topicals can contain THC, CBD or a combination, which sink into the area of application and provide relief. Generally, there isn’t enough cannabinoid content to allow topical products to make you feel high; rather, topicals are intended to provide targeted effects like muscle relaxation or pain reduction. If you want help recovering from strenuous activity or you suffer from a condition like arthritis, topicals are safe and effective tools. However, if you want a psychoactive experience from marijuana, topicals aren’t the right choice for you.
If you are still overwhelmed by your options, you might consider looking for a cannabis starter kit from your local dispensary. These kits contain small amounts of most of the items listed above: edibles, prerolls, concentrated oils, etc. However, the THC and CBD content in them is low, allowing for a beginner level of tolerance to cannabinoids. Though a pre-made starter kit might be a bit more expensive than compiling your own beginner-friendly weed products, it is also likely to be a bit safer and more comforting than total guesswork.
Despite only becoming legally available within the last decade, cannabis is a broad industry that can be befuddling to beginners. You should never be nervous to ask questions of the budtenders at your local dispensary, and you should start slow with products likely to give you a mellow experience. If you find that you enjoy marijuana’s effects, you will have the rest of your life to try more intense cannabis products — because legal weed is here to stay.