Believe it or not, marijuana use was legal for a good part of human history. It was not until the early 1900s that the U.S. heavily restricted this drug across its territories. While cannabis remains illegal on the federal level, 37 states have legalized its use for therapeutic purposes — including Florida in 2016.
Medical marijuana is a broad term. It refers to all derivatives of the Cannabis sativa plant that are used to relieve common symptoms of certain medical conditions. Here’s all you need to know if you or your loved ones are considering trying Florida medical cannabis for the first time.
Florida Medical Cannabis: Why and When Do People Use It?
The Cannabis sativa plant contains hundreds of active chemicals called cannabinoids — the most studied being THC and CBD. These compounds are similar to the ones the human body produces. That’s why cannabinoids can interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) and allegedly influence how your body responds to specific triggers.
The ECS regulates essential bodily functions like movement, memory, appetite, and pain. There’s ongoing research exploring how the cannabinoids in medical marijuana bind to the receptors in your ECS to reduce anxiety, decrease pain and inflammation, stimulate appetite, relax tight muscles, and control nausea and vomiting.
Potential Benefits of Medical Cannabis
Medical marijuana researchers and advocates suggest Cannabis sativa derivatives can complement medical treatment for numerous conditions. Although there’s still a long way to go to prove those claims, people are increasingly adopting the use of medical cannabis to ease symptoms associated with:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Interstitial cystitis
- Parkinson’s disease
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sleeping disturbances
Consuming medical cannabis is potentially safer than relying on opioids as it’s less addictive and not likely to cause an overdose. However, there’s no evidence that medical cannabis is strong enough for severe aches. While this drug may help relieve mild discomfort, it will probably do nothing for you when experiencing pain from breaking a bone or having surgery.
When trying medical cannabis, It’s important to acknowledge that each person is different. What works for you may not work for other patients and vice versa. Therefore, before initiating the use of Florida medical cannabis or incorporating it into your habitual regimen, consult your primary healthcare provider first. Ask about any possible drug interactions, especially if you’re already taking other medications.
What to Expect Your First Time Smoking Cannabis
Cannabis has been a taboo topic for a long time. Ever since it was made illegal, it’s been highly stigmatized, causing a lot of misconceptions among the general population. That’s why, even when the narrative around medical cannabis is shifting, many shy away from trying it, even for therapeutic purposes.
A common question for newbies thinking about trying medical marijuana is “Will it get me high?” The answer is: not necessarily. Most medical cannabis products contain THC and/or CBD. The latter has little, if any, intoxicating properties. Consequently, CBD products are unlikely to make you feel a marijuana high. THC, on the other hand, is CBD’s psychoactive sibling. This chemical compound can cause changes in your perception, cognition, and behavior.
No two people have the same experience when consuming medical marijuana for the first time. Some patients report not feeling anything on their cannabis debut, while others may get light-headed, get the munchies, or fall asleep. How it affects you depends on many factors, including:
- Your mood at the time of consumption
- The strain and its concentration of CBD and THC
- The dosage
- The administration method
There are many ways to ingest medical cannabis. Each has its particularities, and some may be more convenient for certain users. Smoking, for example, may help you experience the effects of weed much faster. Conversely, edibles take longer to absorb and show any effects, but they’re a lot more durable. Sublingual applications allow cannabinoids to go straight into the bloodstream, affecting the body much faster than edibles.
Tips for First-time Cannabis Users
It’s okay to feel nervous your first time consuming medical marijuana. However, there are many ways to ensure your first experience with this drug is a success. Here are some suggestions to help you navigate your first cannabis experience.
1. Pick the right strain.
THC is the compound responsible for the famous cannabis high. If you want to avoid any changes in your consciousness, pick strains with less of this substance in them. If you want to play it safe, choose a strain with a higher concentration of CBD to reduce the effects of the intoxication you may feel.
2. Be patient.
Sometimes it might take a little longer than expected for medical marijuana to display its full effects. As a first-timer, it’s easy to get carried away and forget a little can go a long way. Don’t try to rush your experience by consuming more right away.
3. Drink plenty of water before you start.
One of the common side effects of consuming cannabis is dry mouth. Hydrating yourself before you consume any and keeping a water bottle handy can help you rehydrate your mouth when needed and keep it moist. Even when experiencing cottonmouth, take small sips so your belly doesn’t get too full too fast.
4. Pick the right setting.
Some people report experiencing anxiety and paranoia when consuming marijuana for the first time. That’s why it’s vital to surround yourself with people you feel comfortable and safe with when testing the effects of the drug on your body. Pick a place you’re familiar with, and avoid experimenting in a new location.
5. Find the right vendor.
Never underestimate the importance of purchasing your medical cannabis from a knowledgeable supplier. Turning to a dispensary like VidaCann is an excellent way of ensuring you’re buying high-quality products that are compliant with the state’s laws and regulations. Additionally, a trustworthy dispensary can help you ease any doubts you may have and help you find the right product for your needs.
Trying Florida medical cannabis for the first time doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience. It can be a pretty positive one now that you understand what to expect when consuming medical marijuana for the first time. If you’re ready to take the next step in your medical cannabis journey, reach out to VidaCann.