For years, marijuana was considered a dangerous and illegal substance that was to be avoided at all costs. But, thanks to recent research, we now know that it contains therapeutic properties that make it a safe alternative treatment for a number of maladies.
But, as with anything, it’s important to use medical marijuana responsibly. Just like any other remedy, it must be taken in the right dosages and at the right time in order to receive the desired relief and avoid any possible side-effects.
The best way to get the most out of this natural remedy is to follow the guidance of a qualified medical professional, i.e. the physician who prescribed it to you. Until then, here are some helpful tips on how to use medical marijuana responsibly.
If you’re going to take medical marijuana for the first time, you need to plan for this all-important moment. Whether you’re taking medical marijuana in the form of edibles or tinctures, the first encounter can be overwhelming.
Of course, your body will get used to it over time and subsequent treatments won’t trigger any adverse or unusual reaction.
Due to this gradual tolerance development, it’s advisable to start your journey with the smallest possible dose, based on your condition. Most people start on 4 to 6mg, typically in the early evening between 7pm to 9pm.
Beginners are also recommended to only take medical marijuana if they’re not doing anything the next day.
It might help to have a sober family member or friend who can hold your hand through those initial reactions and help you distinguish between reality and this new state of mind that you find yourself in.
Some people might experience paranoia and anxiety when taking marijuana. But, these symptoms are very mild and often pass within several minutes.
Other common, first-time symptoms of medical marijuana intake include dilation and changes in the perception of time, but these aren’t necessarily pervasive.
The “munchies” refers to a feeling of hunger where you want to snack on something just to satisfy a gnawing craving.
If the idea of gaining weight due to midnight snacking doesn’t sound like an attractive prospect to you, then you might want to eat before you take your dose and brush your teeth after.
This tells your body that you’ve stopped eating for the day and will improve your ability to resist the urge to eat should you feel a nagging for a snack. However, if you don’t mind giving in to the munchies, then you should stock up on healthy options.
With all the expectations of how people should act after taking medical marijuana, it’s not surprising to notice that most people will actively play into these stereotypes without even being aware of it.
If you’re going to use medical marijuana before going out, then you should pay attention to your behavior and avoid playing into common tropes of what it’s like to be “high”.
You might be tempted to lose your inhibitions and blame it on your marijuana prescription but becoming pretentious, giggly, upbeat and annoying won’t earn you any points with the people you’re hanging out with.
Use eyedrops to avoid your eyes getting red and ask a friend to come with you so you have someone there to check you if you start acting differently.
Regulate Your Tolerance
It’s common to build up a tolerance to any substance that you take regularly. This means the dosage you start out with loses its effect over time because the body modifies itself according to its presence.
The human body has numerous cannabinoid receptors so it takes a long time to build a tolerance to marijuana but you must be prepared when it does eventually happen.
The good news is you can regulate tolerance by switching between the two types of marijuana that are available, i.e. sativa and indica.
There are noticeable differences between the two, and if you can handle the switch then you’ll improve your ability to slow down tolerance building.
Another way to put off tolerance to medical marijuana is to take one week off every three months. This isn’t always easy to do, especially if you depend on the drug to manage conditions like chronic pain, but you can use other pain medications in the interim for the sake of resetting your system.
Marijuana itself doesn’t cause physical dependencies but you can develop a psychological dependency. Keep in mind that human beings are hard-wired to seek pleasure and avoid pain so you’re most likely to want more of what makes you feel good.
The best way to avoid psychological dependency on medical marijuana is to take periodical breaks or avoid taking it on days that you don’t need to.