After a recent interesting experience going in to buy marijuana with my mom (WTAF?), I realized that a lot of people in America must be newly being introduced to these good times everyday, and how annoying is that?
Seriously, though, if you are with your family, don't let them come inside the dispensary with you unless they are actually interested. They will embarrass you immensely by making a face at the smell the entire time or not wanting to hand over their ID because they don't want it recorded by the federal government that they'd been to a cannabis dispensary (stated loudly and emphatically towards the camera).
I did not grow up a pothead, and I've never been an illegal pothead, so in a sense I could be considered a newbie, but boy, have I dived deep in it these past five years since I discovered the relief it offers me.
I truly only use marijuana for medicinal purposes (anyone who says that is lying), although mental health is as just as good a reason as any and marijuana helps me relax. These are the reasons why my mom and family understand my need for it; no one wants to watch their loved ones suffer.
Without marijuana, I could not sleep at night due to chronic pain from a condition I don't need to get into explaining here. Lack of sleep (I mean, weeks of not sleeping) triggers minor seizures, adding to the severe nerve pain and neuropathy I already experience from my medical condition.
Cannabis (both CBD and marijuana) helps with all of this and keeps me from having a drug chest like an 80-year-old—the real reason pharmaceutical companies hate it.
As it becomes legal recreationally in more and more places, you don't need an excuse like I have to buy and enjoy pot. I won't say I don't enjoy it just because I use it as a literal medical lifeline because it gets me high, too.
Some doctors make a face when I mention it, but most say, "It's legal, isn't it?"—which usually gives me a picture of my doctor toking up after work. Bottom line is feelings of guilt should not come with doing something that helps you enjoy life that is also legal.
Anyway, if you're new to buying and trying marijuana, there are some things that you may just want to know before you walk into a dispensary and stand there asking a million questions to the "pot barista" while a line forms behind you.
I am not a doctor or a scientist, although I do have a degree and always got As in my science and biology classes, and I spent a year apprenticing with a grower and testing edible recipes. But really these are just my personal experiences to possibly provide answers to the questions I see commonly posed when one walks into a dispensary.
The conversation usually goes like this:
Barista: How can I help you?
Newbie: I want pot.
Barista: Okay, do you want edibles or weed?
Newbie: I want to smoke pot.
Barista: Okay, are you looking for more of a sativa or indica?
Newbie: **blank stare**
So this is a bit of anecdotal high ranting on some of the more common questions about buying and trying pot, particularly WEED to smoke or cook with (if you know how), and getting used to when and how to use sativa or indica.
See my weird recipe for pot-ash butter right here on Vocal.
Sativa vs. Indica Effects
If you are familiar with wine, the whole concept of marijuana might sink in better if you compared your pot barista to a sommelier. The strains are varietals, and so on.
If you are not familiar with wine, that was just a confusing and annoying analogy with a few words that are making you scratch your head.
Indica and sativa are actually two different types of marijuana plants—much like red and white grapes. Both plants are marijuana, but the flavor, body, and overall effect of each is a bit different.
Some will argue that one might be better than the other, but that's just a matter of preference and what you personally need or want. The most popular sellers are actually hybrids of the two (a rosé, if you will), which is a combination of effects and an entirely new experience.
The way I best remember it is: Indica = In da couch. (Cheesy)
Smoking Indica makes me feel relaxed and often super sleepy, yet super hungry (crazy munchies) at the same time. It's not something I'm going to take unless I need to sleep. Or I'll take a hybrid that has part indica in order to eat (when I can't) and relax.
The first edible I ever tried was an indica and it freaked me out because I felt like I couldn't control or move my body. I literally "sank" into the couch. I was lucky to have my experienced pothead hubby there to talk me through it, and after a while it wasn't so bad.
Truth is, I took too much for a first-timer (10mg)—it's really best to start at 5mg and go from there. I've since worked up to about 30mg, but a heavy pothead can do as much as 80mg and have fun with it. Remember that the purpose is to relax your body, so if you go with the flow then you will enjoy it A LOT more.
I recommend, if you want to try an indica, make plans to binge watch something fun on Netflix with a big spread of little foods you can pop in your mouth, and a bunch of cushy pillows. You'll have the best sleep of your life.
Sativa doesn't really have the opposite effect, although that's how it's thought of. I've heard descriptions of people being energized by it. Really, it amps me up in a truly unnatural way—a nervous energy that turns me into annoying chatty Cathy.
I've been told by many that the best way to a clean house is smoking sativa, and I disagree. It must be different for me because the pent up energy mixed with the brain fog of being high will have me vacuuming the same spot on the floor for 30 minutes, while my mind is off visiting France and building skyscrapers.
Sativa can make functioning much more pleasant for me because it numbs some of the pain sensors. But I can't say I'm truly reliable because my thoughts get crossed and I find myself anxiously going in numerous directions at once. I think it is this sativa anxiety that might make the hybrids so popular.
The best hybrids are a perfect breed of relaxation and pain-free, though mellow, function. But if you are looking for something more motivational and you want to try a sativa, ask for a sativa-heavy hybrid. This will give you a bit of weird motivation without too much of the anxiety.
Most recommendations I've seen for a good sativa hybrid is "Blue Dream." I like Blue Dream and I can function well through it. It relaxes my muscles and releases some of my pain while allowing me to get things done.
The indica I would recommend for amazing and heavy sleep affects would be Black Water OG. I keep a bowl near my bed all night and take a little between my two-hour sleep sessions and it puts me right back to sleep—no more painsomnia for the most part. I can't say there aren't truly bad nights that nothing can touch.
Sativa vs. Indica Pain
Someone had a question about this in one of my chronic illness groups, so I thought I'd throw something out there. I would say they equally address pain depending on what you want to be doing.
If you're trying to sleep and can't because of pain, then obviously go with an indica. If you were to take a sativa at night, your brain would start to go a mile a minute and you wouldn't be able to shut up. That's not a scientific opinion, just something I personally experience that annoys my husband.
If you need to get things done, then go with a sativa hybrid because the indica does relax muscles better and will offer pain relief in that sense, on top of the numbing, disconnecting, yet motivating effect of the sativa.
A sativa by itself is one of the worst things for pain. I can't get my brain to shut down on a solid sativa. Stick with something mellow like Blue Dream, and just don't expect to be super brilliant. Then move to an indica when you're ready to sleep.
PS: I hope it goes without saying, driving or operating heavy machinery is not an option when you are on pot—so it's not really something to take to manage your headache before you go to work. And unless you want to be part of the D-Club, don't do it before class.
That being said, I am someone living with chronic pain. I work from home. I work for myself. My choice is this or agonizing. For me, the sativa hybrid helps me function on days when I can't get out of bed, and the indica helps me every single night to be rid of all kinds of pain.
Sativa vs. Indica High
As with the effects, neither one offers a better or more of a high, just different. But I bet the people searching for answers to this want something a little more along the lines of, "I was gonna go to class, but then I got high."
I haven't yet mentioned the indica-heavy hybrid, which is one of my favorites for days off. If you want to get just totally doped up high, like you don't know what's going on, try a hot box with an indica-heavy hybrid or a solid 50/50.
If you aren't familiar with hot boxing, a quick Google search will probably do you well to define it. In a nutshell, if you shut yourself in a small room (or typically a car) and fill it with smoke (and sometimes steam) by smoking repeatedly and not airing it out, some believe you can get really, really high.
We did try to test this theory last year, but honestly, it's very hard to experiment while high because keeping the facts straight is a nightmare. Essentially, all I can tell you is that, if you smoke a bong for several hours straight you will get very, very high and possibly go to sleep and not remember much of what happened. Whether or not this was benefited by being shut in a bathroom with no fan on is debatable. We eventually moved to the couch where it was more comfortable.
Sativa vs. Indica Anxiety
There's a rumor being spread that marijuana causes anxiety. This tends to happens when first-time users take way too much of an edible, or smoke certain sativas.
If you are already an overactive thinker or anxious person, just stay away from heavy sativa until you know how pot makes you think and feel. Different strains are going to create different reactions and effects, whether sativa or indica. You may have to learn what is best for you.
If alcohol got a bad name because some teenager spread that it makes you vomit, I'm sure there would be people to defend it, of course that teenager wasn't able to handle his liquor.
It's not really different with getting high. If it's your first time take it slow and make sure you get a good recommendation. Again, try Blue Dream if you're smoking.
I just really hate the idea that marijuana should get a bad name. Drinking isn't for everyone. Even sugar and gluten aren't for everyone. Meat isn't for everyone. And many don't do dairy. So if you try it and don't like it, fine—but don't give it a bad name until you've really tried it.
Bookmark my profile and visit again for further rantings from a pothead that are marginally educational. I also accept tips. Thank you!