If there’s one defining characteristic of Canada’s new legal cannabis industry, it’s the overwhelming variety of products that are now available.
From candies to high-tech vape products, legal dispensaries today offer hundreds if not thousands of products to choose from. Some options are non-psychoactive where others are discreet, potent or flavourful. With so many new cannabis products regularly entering the market the dispensary experience can be overwhelming for a first-time consumer looking to find the right product for their needs.
The fact is, there are many different things for first-time consumers to consider when comprehending their cannabis experience, not the least of which is deciding what to buy. To assist in those decisions, Due North Cannabis Company offers this cannabis guide for beginners.
“There are four really popular categories this summer,” explained Robert Carroll, co-founder and operator of the Due North Cannabis locations. “Dried flower, pre-rolls, edibles, and vape pens. Flower is still the biggest seller. For most cannabis stores, dried flower can still represent 50 to 60 percent of their sales.”
Despite its popularity, consuming dried flower typically involves combusting or burning a substance and inhaling it, which means consuming carcinogens. According to studies, when certain carcinogens are introduced in the body they can damage genes leading to illnesses like cancer. While smoking flower may the be most popular option there are many other products that offer discreet consumption, accurate dosage and no carcinogen in-take by the consumers.
Here are a few of the important things to know about cannabis prior to making a purchase.
THC is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis and cannabis products. This compound or cannabinoid produces the high sensation that many associate with cannabis consumption. It can be consumed by smoking cannabis and is also available in oils, edibles, tinctures, capsules, and more.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the most naturally abundant compounds found in hemp and cannabis plants.
CBD has quickly become a popular natural wellness product for cannabis consumers who want to experience the benefits rather than the high. “CBD is typically purchased by people coming in for some sort of relief,” said Carroll. “However, our stores are recreational adult use - we are unable to provide any form of health advice. You should always consult a doctor before using cannabis products for any form of relief.”
Multiple studies from credible medical sources are touting CBD for it’s therapeutic qualities.
For example, one study of Pubmed Central suggests that CBD is shown to have anxiolytic, antipsychotic, and neuroprotective properties. In addition, basic and clinical investigations on the effects of CBD have been carried out in the context of many other health conditions, including its potential use in epilepsy, substance abuse and dependence, schizophrenia, social phobia, post-traumatic stress, depression, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and Parkinson.
Cannabis plants contain more than 150 different types of terpenes, which are naturally occurring compounds found in the trichomes of female cannabis plants. Trichomes are the sticky, translucent glands that cover the surface of the buds. These glands also contain cannabinoids such as THC and CBD. Besides providing cannabis plants with their unique scents, terpenes can also produce a range of therapeutic and mood-altering effects in cannabis consumers.
“Terpenes are oils secreted by the plant found in the glands or trichomes,” said Carroll. “Many of the terpenes found in cannabis are commonly found in other plants such as pinene which is found in pine trees and myrcene which can be found in ripe mangos. Where one experience might feel uplifting and energizing and provide the user with a cerebral high, others may result in an experience that’s more sedative and drowsy. In part is an outcome of the terpene profile of the strain you are consuming.”
Knowing how much to consume is not an exact science for any user of cannabis. For first time users, it’s important to follow a simple rule championed by the bud-guides at Due North Cannabis Company.
“We always say ‘go low, go slow,’ and take your time with it,” said Carroll. “It takes time to discover the type of consumption method – ie smoke, vape or ingestion – and the dosage that works for you. Cannabis and cannabis products interact with everyone’s cannabinoid system differently. There are a variety of terpene profiles, THC and CBD strengths and product formats to choose from. It’s important to consume responsibly and take into account how you are consuming as smoking and vaping will have an instant effect where ingestible products like edibles will take more time to be felt.”
Carroll said choosing products like capsules, oils and edibles can make it easier to control the dosage. They have a stated number of milligrams per piece and can be taken discreetly.
Other products like pre-rolls and dried flower can be more difficult to control dose as every inhale can be different from the last and there can be slight variances in potency from one bud to another. It is always recommended to start with a low dose and actively monitor your physical and mental state to ensure you are getting the desired effects.
Ultimately, the bud-guides at Due North are always there to help educate consumers.
“We sell two things in our organization, great customer service and education,” he said.
“Our job as bud guides is to help you along your journey with cannabis. Education is a big component in helping to break stigmas and long held beliefs about what cannabis is, who consumers of cannabis are and what it can do to you or for you.”
To learn more, visit Due North Cannabis in Churchill Plaza, Pine Plaza or at their new location at 710 Second Line East.
Due North Cannabis is locally owned and operated and is now the Soo’s #1 Cannabis Dispensary with three locations to serve the community of Sault Ste. Marie. They also offer pickup and delivery on their website. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook for new product updates and daily deals.