Cannabis has been legal for nearly two years now!
But we all know the rollout hasn’t been perfect. Even though cannabis was legalized in 2018, most cities across the province didn’t get a cannabis store until early 2020. Sault Ste. Marie didn’t get its first retail cannabis store until Hello Cannabis opened its doors in early March of this year.
Afterwards, things were rolling smoothly for a few weeks until the coronavirus came along and changed everything. And although cannabis stores had to shut down for a little while, the government quickly decided to add them to the list of ‘essential services’. It was a remarkable moment for cannabis because it meant that in just a few short years, cannabis went from being an illegal narcotic to an ‘essential’ part of society.
However, with all the options in the cannabis market, it can sometimes feel like an overwhelming experience. Do you want an indica or a sativa? Do you want CBD or CBN? Which terpene, Myrcene or Limonene? Ever since the emergence of regulated strains in the legal market and the increased focus on terpenes, buying cannabis has gotten a lot more complex than simply asking the guy down the street for an eighth of an ounce.
So now that cannabis stores are fully open to the public again, we asked a couple budtenders to help answer some of the most common questions that they get on a regular basis. To answer these questions, Kelsy Charrette and Michael Vandenberg from Hello Cannabis in Sault Ste. Marie weigh in!
What’s The Difference Between THC and CBD?
The first decision for most cannabis consumers is usually, do I want THC or CBD? But what does that even mean.
Well it really comes down to the effect you’re looking for.
THC is intoxicating to people in the same sense that alcohol is intoxicating, meaning it gives you a buzz or an altered state of mind. In short, if you consume THC, you’re going to know it. But CBD is generally not intoxicating and this means that most people who consume CBD will notice no change in their mental state, and very little if any euphoria. CBD does cause a change but it’s just so slight that it’s considered non intoxicating.
That often brings up the question, “why would I want CBD?”
The answer to that is different for everyone. Some people are looking to use CBD because they’ve read or heard about its medical benefits while others simply want to consume cannabis in a way that will prevent them from feeling the strong effects that can sometimes be caused by THC. We must remember that just like with alcohol, people react differently to cannabis and have different tolerances for THC.
People often search for high CBD products because they’ve read that it’s been shown to help mitigate the strong effects of THC. Some people find that a higher percentage of CBD will give them a more enjoyable experience.
What Are Terpenes And Why Should I Care?
The simplest decisions a consumer can make are THC or CBD, and Indica or Sativa, but the choices go much deeper than that when you take terpenes into account. And trust us when we say that learning about terpenes will give you a whole new appreciation for cannabis!
Terpenes are like the brick and mortar to the plant. Cannabis has to have terpenes otherwise it’s just going to taste and smell like a dirty leaf. Terpenes are the actual plant compounds that build the flavour profile, and help alter a plant more indica or sativa, along with other factors.
An Indica that is mainly Limonene (think Lemons) and Omicine, is going to feel much different than an Indica rich in Myrcene and Pinene (think Pine trees). A Sativa can have a wide bouquet of terpenes, which means that different people will have different experiences based on how they react to specific terpenes.
What Is Shatter And What Am I Supposed To Do With It?
People are afraid to dabble if they have never had shatter before.
Shatter is the result of taking a large volume of cannabis and reducing it down to a small volume of extract. This means that shatter is a highly concentrated form of cannabis which is significantly stronger than your average bud, and should be consumed by veteran cannabis consumers. For most beginner to novice users, consuming shatter could result in an unpleasant experience.
The way you consume shatter is to smoke it with a concentrate accessory such as a dab rig or vaporizer pen.
Why Are Edibles Only 10MG?
10mg was the limit that the government decided on after putting in some thorough research to determine ‘safe dosing’. A 10mg edible will give most casual cannabis users an effect. It is an entirely functional dose for recreational purposes.
Another very important reason why edibles were kept to 10mg is to keep children safer in case they accidentally consume an edible. Obviously no one wants kids to eat edibles, but the reality is that accidents do happen and there is always the possibility that a child might mistake a cannabis infused cookie with one of their own snacks.
Of course, the edible packaging has been manufactured in a way that makes it hard to anyone to open, but even with all the precautions in place, there’s always a chance. For that reason, the government chose to strongly regulate edibles.
Why Is One Option More Expensive Than The Other.
A question we often get is, “Why is this particular 3.5 gram product 20 dollars, and this other 3.5 gram product over $50?”
The answer is that a large array of variables come into play, including nutrient quality, wattage of lights used, how many hours of sunlight did it receive, how close to the canopy of light were these buds, and many more.
An entry priced company can be using a strain that needs essentially no pruning, where other strains have a worker maintaining every plant in that room for months. Some companies cure for 6 days, others for months. Every time the cannabis in storage is opened, it allows the less desirable evaporated plant compounds to escape, and fresh oxygen to enhance the flavours and smoothness.
In short, just like with any other products, whether it’s cars or shoes or even alcohol, there are ‘premium’ strains, ‘value’ strains and a whole bunch of other options. It all depends on the resources that go into the creation of that strain or that cannabis product.
If you’ve got more questions that weren’t covered here today, the budtenders at Hello Cannabis, located at 317 Northern Ave E, in Sault Ste. Marie, ON are always ready to answer them!
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