Ok. So, we have a couple of these articles under our belts. I know you a little better now. I feel like you should know me a little better too. I’m a fourth generation Pacific Northwesterner, a mom, an entrepreneur and an advocate. I’m interested in the greater good more than my personal benefit; collective evolution. I promote a socially conscious industry, rather than duplicating the downfalls of capitalism over and over again. I’m a serial optimist in an industry that feels like we’re trying to move a continent with a thimble. And at this point we should all be pretty clear: cannabis is not The Devil’s Lettuce. Are we good? Are we all on the same page? Awesome. Let’s get candid then: Please don’t be afraid of THC.
Once a week I get an email from a woman over 45 saying, “I have XYZ ailment and I want to explore cannabis. But I only want the CBD. I don’t want to get high.”
Stop the press.
My first question is: Why do you think you only want CBD?
If you listen to the news, they would have you think that cannabidiol (CBD) is the medicinal part of cannabis and that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) just gets you high. But like many things in the daily news, this is an over simplified version of a more complex issue. CBD and THC work synergistically, together, like dark chocolate and red wine. Like chocolate and peanut butter. Like rainbows and unicorns. The so-called “Entourage Effect.” So, if you only get CBD, you’re not getting the whole plant medicine which is what experienced cannabis users swear by.
Furthermore, it’s the complex terpene profiles generated by quality cannabis that exacerbate the healing qualities people are looking for. Terpenes, in layman’s terms, are found across nature and are the smells that carry medicinal properties. Pinene (a terpene) is the pine smell we associate with coniferous trees. Limonene (a terpene) is the smell in oranges, lemons and limes. Myrcene (a terpene) is found in hops. All of these terpenes are found in cannabis and have therapeutic benefits such as anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-anxiety, etc. It was once explained to me that the cannabinoids (such as CBD and THC) are the vehicle and the terpenes are the driver. In the end, everything needs to work together to achieve the greatest benefit. Just CBD is probably not going to get you the desired effects that you’re looking for. It is whole plant medicine. Check out projectcbd.org, reserachgate.net and anything by Dr. Ethan Russo for quality information.
My second question is: Why don’t you want to get high?
Have you ever been high? Do you not like to be relaxed? Are you anti-fun? Or should the statement be “I don’t want to get too high” because that is a very different statement. No one likes being too high. Nobody. Paranoid. Mute. Self-conscious. When’s this going to end? I totally get that.
If you are new to the cannabis consumption world, then I always encourage people to start with a 1:1 CBD:THC, or if you’re really trepidatious (which is totally ok), start with a high CBD, low THC product. But the statement “I don’t want to get high” always makes me wonder and should lead any budtender to ask more questions.
I hear “I like to be in control” a lot, but that leads me back to what you’re really saying is you don’t want to be too high. I have two small children and the last thing I need is to be too high around them. Nothing about that is fun. I want to be slightly relaxed, let my cares and worries of the day wash away, and maybe a little excessive giggling. I want to feel like a kid again while being present with my family. Cannabis can do that, but you have to find the right product and really ease into it. Don’t smoke a joint; have one hit. No more than one. With edibles, have one bite. No more than one. Tinctures? Have a partial serving. And when you think you want more, DON’T.
When trying new products or strains, I wait until the next day, and then I try a little bit more. People get over excited (especially with things you ingest) and they have a couple hits off a vaporizer or they don’t feel anything with an edible and they decide to have the rest of the cookie. Do not make these mistakes. It’s likely you will regret it and make statements like “I don’t want to get high” for the rest of your life.
I am thankful that so many mainstream people, like you, are exploring cannabis as a natural remedy to medical issues. I think that’s awesome. Just make sure that you do your research, checking several verifiable sources including medical professionals, research papers, budtenders’ opinions and several product options. If you live near Bellingham, I encourage you to check out the offerings of the Center for Mindful Use, which — among other things — regularly hosts cannabis education classes that further their mission of supporting mindful, informed use. As an emerging industry, finding a product that is consistent every time you purchase it may be a challenge, but they are out there.
And don’t be afraid to get a little bit high.