Over the last decade, cannabis has transcended from mystical medicine to a household ingredient for natural healing. Now that both medicinal and recreational cannabis has been legalized in the majority of the United States, you may be interested in jumping on the bandwagon. But before you do, take a moment to read our beginner’s guide.
Part 1: Know the differences between CBD and THC
While both THC and CBD are compounds found within the cannabis plant, there are important distinctions between the two that can influence your journey with medicinal cannabis. Before we dive into any other tips, let’s clear up any confusion between CBD and THC:
CBD (cannabidiol): Compound found in the cannabis plant that does not cause psychoactive changes, but does possess several medicinal benefits, including, pain management, stress relief, and anti-inflammation properties. Additionally, CBD can be used to minimize the cognitive effects of THC, such as memory impairment.
THC (tetrahydrocannabinol): Compound within the cannabis plant that’s most associated with its mind-altering properties. THC, like CBD, offers up several medicinal benefits, including stress relief, mood enhancement, pain relief, and increase in appetite for individuals who may have issues with nausea or eating.
As you learn more about the differences between CBD and THC, think about what kind of effects you’re looking for. Do you want to experience the psychoactive effects of THC, or would you rather maintain more cognitive control?
Part 2: Consider dosage and preferred method
Finding the right natural treatment plan for you ultimately comes down to your body and your preferences. Everyone has a different tolerance with cannabis and some of us will experience different effects than others. Some of this depends on your body’s natural response, but that can also change depending on the product you’re consuming and how you’re consuming it.
For example, some people say that smoking a rolled joint enhances their high more than when they vape. CBD on the other hand, has its differences, too. Applying a topical cream can be a more effective approach when trying to target muscular pain whereas a CBD tincture or edible may be better suited to leverage stress relief properties.
Whether you’re trying to find your favorite strain or find the perfect CBD edibles, remember to factor in dosage. If you’re new to cannabis, it’s especially important to be conservative with your dosage, starting small and increasing incrementally. Any time you decide to increase your dosage (especially with THC), be sure to wait around 2 hours before taking more as effects can take a long time to kick in.
Part 3: Monitor progress
If you’re using CBD or THC for medicinal purposes, it’s a good idea to keep a personal health diary. This will help you keep track of your symptoms, how your medicine is working, and serve as a record-keeping resource for when you talk to your physician.
To get your health journal started, make sure to include these details:
- Health insurance information
- Physician contact details
- Existing health conditions and related medications
- Physician recommendations
- Type of alternative medicine used and how much
- Catalog of symptoms and changes
Part 4: Take a holistic health approach
While the cannabis plant offers up many amazing medicinal benefits, it’s important to remember that health should be approached holistically. Getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy diet, and prioritizing your mental health are all essential to staying healthy and strong!
In addition to seeking the natural healing benefits of cannabis, consider incorporating these practices as well:
- Yoga and meditation
- Plant-based dieting
- Spending time in nature
- Know the difference between THC and CBD
- Understand dosage and find your preferred method of consumption
- Monitor your symptoms and progress
- Approach health holistically