A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis

You’ve probably heard a lot about cannabis lately. It’s been in the news, on social media, and even in casual conversation. With so much information (and misinformation) out there, it can be hard to know what’s true and what’s not. So, let’s set the record straight. Here’s everything you need to know about cannabis.

The Basics: What is Cannabis?

Cannabis is a plant that contains over 400 different chemical compounds, including more than 100 compounds that are unique to the plant. Of these compounds, more than 60 belong to a class of molecules called cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are chemical messengers that play a vital role in many of the body’s physiological processes, including appetite, pain sensation, mood, and memory. The best-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. THC binds to cannabinoid receptors throughout the body and alters neurotransmitter release in the brain, resulting in the “high” associated with cannabis use. 

The other major cannabinoid found in cannabis is cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD does not produce any psychoactive effects. In fact, CBD actually counters some of the negative effects of THC, such as anxiety and paranoia. CBD is thought to have numerous medicinal applications, including relief from pain, inflammation, anxiety, seizures, and mental disorders like schizophrenia. 

How is Cannabis Used?

Cannabis can be used in a variety of ways. The most common method of consumption is smoking dried buds (the leaves and flowers of the plant), but cannabis can also be consumed as an oil or tincture (a liquid extract), eaten in edibles like brownies or gummies, or applied topically as a cream or ointment. The method of consumption will affect how long it takes for the effects of cannabis to kick in; smoked or vaporized bud takes effect almost immediately, while edibles can take up to two hours to take effect.

What Accessories Should I Own to Start?

If you’re going to be smoking cannabis, you’ll need some basic supplies. This includes smoke glass pipes, bong, or rolling papers (if you’re going to roll your own joints). If you’re vaporizing cannabis, you’ll need a vaporizer. And if you’re consuming edibles, you don’t need any special equipment; just someplace to keep your edibles safe and out of reach of children and pets.

How Do I Store Cannabis?

Cannabis should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container. This will help to preserve the potency and freshness of your cannabis. 


Now that you know the basics about cannabis, you can make an informed decision about whether or not it’s right for you. If you do choose to use cannabis, be sure to start low and go slow; because it can take up to two hours for edibles to take effect, it’s easy to accidentally consume too much if you’re not careful. No matter how you choose to consume it, always remember that weed isn’t for driving – cannabis impairs coordination and reaction time just like alcohol does. So make sure you have a designated driver if you plan on indulging!

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