The day I was first asked by a budtender, ‘Are you looking for a sativa or for an indica?’ marked the beginning of my modern day cannabis education and the understanding that I was in control of the experience and outcome based on the intention that I had.
After visiting a cannabis storefront for the first time, I became determined to improve my cannabis knowledge so that I could make choices to increase my positive experiences with cannabis and reduce any likelihood of a negative experience.
Let’s explore how I now make decisions about cannabis based on the experience I desire.
Intention is my guide to consuming cannabis
If a dish of organic, home-grown, balanced cannabis was placed in front of me right now (a girl can dream), would I consider it to be recreational or medicinal?
My personal answer to this is: the physical cannabis is the same whether I use it for its varied levels of euphoria (the high), for relaxation and laughter in a social setting with friends, or because I want to relieve pain and sleep through the night.
With this reflection, the only difference between recreational and medical cannabis is the intention with which I consume it. The results I desire from the cannabis will affect the amount and the comsumption method I choose.
I have come to understand this mindful, intention-based approach as therapeutic cannabis use.
Understanding the basics to consume with intention
Understanding the basics of cannabis has been the key to my success when making choices to achieve my goal (or intention).
This is not to say that there hasn’t been some trial and error along the way, so I am mindful to start low and go slow whenever trying something new.
Some of the most important cannabis 101 topics that I’ve had to understand to improve my ability to make the choices that match my intention include cannabinoids, terpenes, and methods of consumption.
Understanding the different effects of the active compounds in cannabis (phytocannabinoids) was an important part of being able to select cannabis to match my intention.
There are upwards of 100 cannabinoids so I started by getting to know the ones found in highest concentration, THC and CBD.
I now understand that CBD (cannabidiol) does not have the strong euphoric and psychoactive properties of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and might instead induce a calming anti-anxiety sensation, while also offering pain relief.
I was fascinated to discover that one cannabinoid, THCv (Tetrahydrocannabivarin), might suppress my appetite or that another, CBN (cannabinol), might be powerful at inducing sleep.
Continuing to get familiar with more cannabinoids helps me make better consumption decisions to match my intention.
Terpenes are the essential oils that drive the mood and feeling of each cannabis strain (also cultivar or varietal) so I’ve learnt to match my intended feeling with the terpene known to induce it.
It’s these terpene profiles that might lead to a strain to be described as a sativa or indica. Sativa strains are often high in the terpene limonene which I find to be uplifting and energetic while indica strains tend to be loaded with myrcene which help me sleep.
By understanding the different terpenes within a strain, I’m able to increase my chances of getting the feeling I intended from my cannabis use.
The different methods of consuming cannabis alter how the cannabinoids and terpenes are absorbed in the body so familiarizing myself with these helps me decide which method is best for each time I consume.
While smoking is a quickly felt and a popular method of consumption, there are many other alternatives for the health conscious consumer. I have become familiar with the different effects of vapourizing, oil drops, capsules, topical products, sublingual sprays, edibles and more.
I understand that I will feel the cannabinoids and terpenes differently throughout my body with each of these different methods so I have taken time to familiarize myself.
In addition, by focusing on microdosing when trying a new method of consumption I’m able to carefully monitor its effects in relation to the intention that I have.
How I intentionally choose cannabis products
There are many innovative cannabis products on the market that I consume for different reasons.
When I‘m trying to ease back pain I will apply a cannabis topical directly to inflamed area. My Miss Envy Botanical Buddha Bar works for this every time.
For the days when I get a nagging headache I’ve discovered that the low dose capsules produced by Tilray take the edge of the pain and allow me to be focus on my tasks at hand.
When I need some energy for socializing and I’d rather not drink, I take one draw (a microdose) of a sativa strain on my DaVinci portable vapourizer.
When I’m having trouble falling asleep I drop a low dose of oil drops under my tongue using the indica oil I purchased through Aurora Cannabis.
If I’m feeling uninspired and am struggling to problem solve, I often use my Toko vape pen to drive some creativity and the ideas usually flow.
When I’m having anxiety and feeling stressed I turn to CBD rich products like the Nu CBD tincture or the Calyx Wellness calm spray.
As you can see these different cannabis products work for me for different reasons and I focus on matching up the feeling that I want with the cannabis strain or product and it’s effects.
Overall, my continued cannabis education has taught me that I can control the physical and mental experience by choosing products or strains based on the intention that I have, rather than playing a guessing game each time I consume.
I enjoy being able to explore cannabis as part of a healthy lifestyle and will continue to share my cannabis experiences on Flower & Freedom where we are passionate about showing how cannabis can be a supplement to one’s health and wellbeing.
Stay tuned as we are announcing our first official event in October, an interactive evening in Vancouver where you can come and learn more about cannabis topics in an safe and fun environment!