Cannabis, a.k.a. marijuana, weed, pot, za (if you’re my cousin Gabe), or the devil’s lettuce is a legal and widely-used recreational drug in BC. Trying weed is a common (but by no means mandatory or expected!) part of many UBC experiences, so here’s a guide for beginners.
HOW DO I DO IT?
Cannabis can be taken in many forms, and choosing which one depends on what you’re looking for. The two most common methods are ingesting and smoking.
Ingesting weed through food (often a gummy or brownie, but it can be any food that includes cannabis oil) is called an edible. It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour to hit, and then lasts between four and twelve hours depending on the dose and your tolerance. For some people, edibles have a more intense and full-body effect than smoking, but that also depends on the strain and your personal chemistry.
The most common ways to smoke weed are joints (which are just weed rolled in cigarette paper), blunts (which are weed rolled in a cigar paper, so they’re larger and contain a bit of nicotine), pipes or bongs. Smoking can make you feel high within minutes and lasts between one and three hours. Although the effects of smoking weed may wear off sooner than edibles, detectable amounts of THC may remain in the body for days or weeks after.
There’s also vaping (inhaling weed through an electronic vape) and dabbing (not the dance move — breathing in heated cannabis resin through a dab pen). Vapes and dab pens are convenient to store but are often much more potent. Beginners should tread carefully.
HOW MUCH SHOULD I TAKE?
There are different types of cannabis, which are called “strains.” The two most popular are sativa and indica. Sativa strains tend to provide energizing effects while indica strains offer more relaxation. There’s also CBD, which isn’t psychoactive (so pure CBD won’t get you high) but is said to have a calming effect for sleep or stress relief. There are also hybrids, which combine elements of all three.
THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, making you feel “high.” Commercial weed products come with their THC content labeled. If you’re a beginner, look for an edible with less than 5mg. If smoking, keep it under 20-25 per cent THC. You can always take more if needed.
Smoking is generally better than edibles for beginners, because it’s easier to control how high you get. The effects of cannabis can vary from person to person, so always start with a low dosage and experiment cautiously.
HOW DO I GET IT?
If you choose to buy weed, get it from a credible and safe place. Trinity is the closest dispensary to campus, and they have a 10 per cent student discount. Evergreen on 4th ave also has student discounts.
All authorized weed shops in British Columbia can be found at www.bccannabisstores.com. Another good website to check out is weedmaps.com. Enter your location, and the service will list dispensaries in your area. Some dispensaries provide delivery services. All will require proof that you’re 19+.
I GOT TOO HIGH AND AM FREAKING OUT. WHAT NOW?
If you or a friend gets too high, try and get to a safe place that feels comfortable. Make sure to drink a lot of water. Although it’s unlikely to have a fatal overdose from weed, if your reaction becomes severe, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
While cannabis is deemed safer than many other recreational drugs, it does not mean it will cause no harm. If you’re someone who frequently gets anxious or paranoid when high, it’s important to know this about yourself and potentially limit your use. Some prescription drugs may also influence the effects of cannabis. How weed affects people can vary significantly, so listen to yourself and others. Have fun and stay safe!