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Learn the Basics for Creating the Best Experience

Maybe you experimented with pot earlier in life but didn’t fully board the Mary Jane train. Or perhaps you’ve never tried cannabis before but are intrigued by the plant’s therapeutic benefits, championed by advocates young and old. Whatever the reason, at Juva, we believe knowing more feels better. So we’re help to help you learn.

A Long Way Since Reefer Madness
Today’s cannabis is vastly different from the mass-produced “brick weed” which contained a mixture of leaves, stems and flower. In the 1960s and 70s, the “back-to-the-land” movement, sparked by the disillusionment with mainstream society, left young people fleeing San Francisco for the Emerald Triangle to seek a self-sufficient lifestyle. The remote area offered ideal growing conditions and a covert redwood canopy, perfect for cannabis farming. Many used the income from their “homegrown” to feed their families –– and so began the sun-grown cannabis movement, which continues today.  

But not every region is as fertile and secluded as Northern California. In the 80s, hydroponic systems allowed Americans to grow cannabis discreetly in their homes and produce higher-quality strains from coast to coast. When medical marijuana was first legalized in California in 1996 under the Compassionate Use Act (aka. Prop 215), everything changed. Cannabis became available to those who needed it for medicinal purposes, and flavorful, potent indoor and outdoor strains began to line dispensary shelves. 

How Cannabis Promotes Healing
Fast-forward to 2021, and cannabis is now legal for adult use in 34 states and counting. Because the plant is still federally illegal, research has been challenging. However, scientists have made some significant progress, including the discovery of our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the early 90s. The ECS is responsible for regulating a number of important processes, from communication between cells to immune response; from appetite to metabolism to memory and more.

The compounds in cannabis –– cannabinoids like THC, terpenes, flavonoids, lipids –– interact with your body’s ECS by binding to different receptors and activating biological pathways to promote healing. For instance, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) binds to your body’s CB1 receptor and produces feelings of euphoria, relaxation and pain relief. CBD (cannabidiol) activates your serotonin and adenosine receptors to alter pain perception and helps with anxiety, epilepsy and even psychosis.

Choosing the Right Strain: It’s All in the Terpenes
Now that you have a basic understanding of how cannabis provides healing, how do you choose the right type of product? You may have heard the terms “sativa” and “indica,” two cannabis subspecies that deliver different sensations. Sativas produce a cerebral rush that creates a mood-enhancing and energizingexperience perfect for fostering creativity and enjoying daytime activities. Indicas are associated with “couch lock,” as they’re known for generating a full-body highthat promotes deep relaxation and helps alleviate insomnia, muscle pain and stress.

Pure sativas and pure indicas are rare these days, due to the wide genetic variation among breeders. What you’ll often find are indica-dominant, sativa-dominant and hybrid (50/50) strains. 

Now let’s think back to your body’s endocannabinoid system. One group of cannabis compounds, terpenes, are aromatic oils that give a plant its particular smell and flavor. Terpenes work alongside cannabinoids like THC and CBD to activate the receptors in your brain and nervous system and dictate the effects of different cannabis plants.

Therefore, strains like Jack Herer are considered “sativa-dominant” due to the high levels of pinene –– a terpene also found in pine needles that’s known for alertness and memory retention. When smoked or ingested, the result is a euphoric, energetic high that ignites creativity and stimulates deep conversation.

Which Consumption Method is Best for Me?
Once you know what kind of effect you desire, it’s time to choose your method of consumption. Keep in mind that everyone’s ECS is different, so what works best for one person may not be ideal for another. Always start with a modest dose and see how you feel before taking more.

Here are a few pros and cons of the different consumption methods for new users:

Smoking

· Enters your bloodstream immediately, effects are felt within minutes

· Preserves the full range of terpenes and cannabinoids

· Requires paraphernalia (pipe, bowl, bong, bubbler, etc.) or rolling papers and some level of skill

· Harshest on the lungs

Vaping

· A more convenient and discreet alternative to smoking cannabis (you’re producing odorless vapor, not smoke)

· Easiest on the lungs 

· Requires a battery charge and regular cleaning

· Cost of refillable cartridges, pens and vaporizers can add up

Edibles and Tinctures

· Metabolized by your liver when ingested, taking it longer to kick in

· Turns into a different compound in your GI tract, making the effects stronger

· Easy to microdose in small, precise servings  

· Also easy to overconsume and feel anxious

Topicals

· Applied directly to the skin to target pain and inflammation

· Provide relief without feeling high

· Multiple applications are often necessary, increasing the cost

Legalization has made a variety of consumption choices available today. But more importantly, it’s made cannabis safer. Rigorous lab testing and labeling requirements mean your cannabis is free of toxic chemicals and pesticides –– and you’ll know what physical and emotional experiences to anticipate based on the breakdown of cannabinoids and terpenes.

If you want to talk about what products are best for your individual needs, Juva offers complimentary 1:1 consultations. Schedule yours today –– because knowing more feels better.