It used to be that young people looked forward to their twenty-first birthday because it meant they could legally go out drinking. These days, some young people in the eighteen states with recreational marijuana programs look forward to turning twenty-one because they want to try cannabis. If you are among them, remember this one important fact: turning twenty-one does not make you a cannabis expert.
Do not fall into the trap of believing that cannabis is all good and no bad. If you are anticipating using cannabis to get high, then you are looking forward to using a drug known as THC. THC is a cannabinoid that naturally occurs in marijuana plants. It is a psychoactive substance in that it affects brain function. Any and all psychoactive substances should be approached cautiously.
Why do you want to use?
Responsible cannabis use starts with asking and answering a few questions. The answers you provide largely determine whether you’re ready to go down this road. Here is the first question: why do you want to use cannabis?
If your sole purpose is to get high, there is already reason for concern. Consuming cannabis only to get high is no different than drinking alcohol only to get drunk. It is a risky road to travel. On the other hand, consuming cannabis because you think it might help you sleep better is another matter.
How do you intend to use?
Just like there is more than one way to skin a cat, there is more than one way to consume cannabis. The vast majority of recreational users either smoke marijuana flower or vape THC liquids. Other delivery methods include edibles, tinctures, oils, and capsules or tablets.
Smoking and vaping tend to deliver THC’s effects almost instantly. Edibles can take several hours to kick in, but the effects tend to last longer. Each delivery method will affect your experience differently. You should probably research the various methods before you get started.
From whom do you intend to purchase?
Cannabis can be purchased legally or on the black market. Experts recommend legal purchases at licensed dispensaries and pharmacies. Why? Because the products sold at licensed retail outlets must be tested and certified. Testing ensures you are getting a quality product not contaminated by unknown or unwanted substances.
There is also the issue of state law. For example, Utah is a medical-only state. All cannabis products consumed within Utah’s borders must be bought from a licensed pharmacy. Beehive Farmacy is one example. They have locations in Salt Lake City and Brigham City.
Even states that allow recreational use mandate that all cannabis products be sold by licensed dispensaries. Anything sold by an unlicensed entity or individual is considered black-market cannabis. And with black-market products, you never know what you are getting.
Are you prepared to stop using?
People new to cannabis sometimes forget the fact that THC can cause problems. Like anything else, cannabis can be harmful if using it begins to interfere with normal life. Are you prepared to stop using it under such circumstances? If not, you are better off not even getting started.
You will be happy to know that the internet is a treasure trove of helpful information. Just be sure that any research you do is conducted using high quality, reputable sources. Just because you read something on a random blog does not make it true.
Also remember that turning twenty-one does not mean you are automatically prepared to start using cannabis. You are not an expert. Neither are your friends. Do your research before you start using. If you need help, ask.