If you’re new to using cannabis, whether adult use, medicinally, or therapeutic, it can take some time to accustom your system to the new effects. Even if you’re a seasoned consumer, switching to a new strain can bring back side effects you were previously accustomed to, like dryness of mouth or eyes, or initial dizziness. Preparing for cannabis consumption with the right setting can be key to a pleasant experience without any unwanted side effects. If you’re used to drinking tequila with lime and salt or taking aspirin with a glass of water, it’s time to get educated with your cannabis consumption checklist!
1. Start sitting down
Cannabis has been shown to lower blood pressure and can sometimes cause an almost immediate dizziness effect, especially when smoked (rather than vaporized or ingested). While these side effects tend to disappear with more frequent use, it can be jarring to a new cannabis consumer and may pose problems for medical patients with coordination or balance problems, such as the elderly. Better be safe than sorry: Start off any new strains or new consumption by sitting down when you smoke.
2. Keep something sweet on hand
Along with lower blood pressure, cannabis also may cause a drop in blood sugar which sometimes contributes to the dizziness effect described above. Drinking or eating something high in glucose can quickly mitigate those effects, which is why our patient professionals always recommend keeping something sweet on hand, such as a glass of honey water or a piece of sweet fruit. It’s also good to avoid ingesting cannabis on an entirely empty stomach (though no need to be full either – the good meal comes after the cannabis is consumed!).
3. Drink a glass of water
One of the best-known side effects of cannabis is dryness of mouth and eyes, though the good news is there’s nothing easier to counter than dehydration – since all it takes is to drink some water! Our patient care advisors recommend drinking eight glasses of water daily if you’re a frequent medical cannabis patient or consumer to prepare your body for the inevitable dehydration, and absolutely keeping a glass of water nearby when smoking. Drink one in advance to prepare your body and keep hydrating frequently after ingesting.
4. Prepare a meal in advance
The attack of the munchies is expected anytime you consume cannabis, so how come half the time we’re not prepared for it and attack the fridge for the most ridiculous snack combinations? (Hummus and potato chip sandwich, anyone?) Cannabis is used to stimulate appetite for medical patients frequently and requires good preparation and planning to be effective in nourishing and fueling your body properly. Instead of ransacking the kitchen, prepare a good meal in advance before ingesting. In fact, we recommend patients suffering from nausea, lack of appetite, or wasting (cachexia) to stimulate their appetite by frying onions or creating other nice smells in the kitchen beforehand, so once the THC kicks in, a good eating experience is inevitable. Nourish your body and complement the cannabis effects for a holistic experience.
5. Write down reminders
Short term memory loss is a common side effect of THC, though interestingly, it can also help long term memory at different doses and for certain conditions, such as Alzheimer’s. Most cannabis users don’t fit the “stoner” stereotype of escaping responsibility and sitting at home all day, and that’s because cannabis is here to improve your functionality, not impede it. Give yourself a hand, though, and employ tricks and reminders to remember day-to-day to-do’s and reminders. Use your smart phone or a calendar to track appointments, write notes and to-do lists, and create reminders for yourself so you don’t lose track of time. Cannabis is here to help you function with a better life, rather than escaping it.