Constance Finley is founder and CEO of Constance Therapeutics, a California Proposition 215 compliant medical cannabis company inspired by her personal experience with medical cannabis as a means to manage symptoms caused by a rare autoimmune disease. Constance Therapeutics works alongside health-care professionals to provide patients with the best possible treatment options, including high-quality, whole-plant cannabis extracts developed through a stringent, science-informed and patent-pending extraction methodology.
In this article, Constance shares her top seven tips on how to have a successful experience with medical marijuana oil.
So, you're new to cannabis oil. Cannabis oil comprises cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) that have been extracted from the marijuana plant. You may feel like there's a lot to learn, that so much of this feels like trial and error. I assure you that we've all been where you are now—myself included.
I discovered the medicinal benefits of cannabis for myself after being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease. I tried just about every pharmaceutical medication on the market to make myself feel better, even at the detriment of my already declining health. At my breaking point, I decided to give medicinal cannabis a try, and I'm happy to say that I'm doing so much better now than I was before.
Your goals for giving medical cannabis oil a try may be different from mine, or from the person next to you at the dispensary. It's fascinating how much potential this plant holds as a form of treatment.
But you likely also have some hesitations about using cannabis oil. I had those, too. To help answer your questions and address your concerns, here are a few tried-and-true suggestions and best practices to encourage a positive first experience with cannabis oil.
If you've never used cannabis oil before, I recommend starting with a small dose. Everyone experiences it differently, and different strains of cannabis and cannabinoid ratios in oil elicit different effects. So it's best to learn how your body reacts and consume accordingly.
For example, if you're using a vaporizer for the first time, I recommend starting with one 10-second inhale and waiting 2-3 minutes to feel the effects. First-time cannabis oil users should start with a rice grain-size drop at first. It's entirely possible to build your tolerance, but it takes time, so start small and increase your cannabis oil intake slowly.
Take cannabis oil in a comfortable, familiar environment around someone you know and trust. I recommend that anyone who's trying cannabis oil for the first time do so in an environment that's safe to them. I find that home is always best. Also, it can be good to have someone nearby that you're comfortable with just in case you begin to feel anxious. That can really make the difference in your experience.
Few things are best done on an empty stomach, and cannabis oil is no exception. It helps to avoid any potential nausea that can result.
You should have something in your stomach when you're ingesting cannabis oil, but that something shouldn't be alcohol. This is because alcohol can increase levels of THC in the blood, thereby intensifying marijuana's effects.
If you feel nauseated at all from consuming cannabis oil (or any time, really), try drinking some ginger tea. Ginger is a natural nausea suppressor, and it works wonders for settling an upset stomach. The process of making and drinking tea can also be quite soothing and grounding on its own, should you experience any anxiety when having cannabis oil.
If you feel as though you've taken too much cannabis oil, always do your best to remain calm. Lie down in a comfortable area, dim the lights, and remember that the uncomfortable feeling will eventually subside.
Every treatment has its side effects, but it's important to keep the goal of your treatment in mind. If you're taking medicinal cannabis oil and find that you're having a hard time adjusting to some of THC's side effects—dry mouth, fatigue, paranoia, anxiety, know that these aren't permanent. Think about the potential benefits from the treatment, how it will help your overall health, and why you're using cannabis oil in the first place. Reminding yourself of potential positives can help to keep yourself focused.
Do you have additional tips to share for fellow cannabis oil users? Have questions about using cannabis oil for the first time? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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