How to: Jump into cannabis

Breaking down the stigma of marijuana.
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Recreational cannabis legalization is stretching across the United States, including Michigan.

While the once-taboo drug winds its way into the mainstream, there still are plenty of hesitancies about the use of marijuana. Whether you are a person who once was against its use but are now curious, or a newbie simply unsure where to start, it’s important to realize there are people willing to help and be a guide. There are numerous uses for marijuana, whether for wellness or simply looking to wind down.

Perhaps a fundamental piece of the process is finding a dispensary that works for the consumer. From there, trust can be established with the marijuana retail employees, also known as bud tenders.

“They’re trained to be educated and make recommendations to use marijuana,” said Jamie Cooper, Michigan market director for Sensi Magazine.

Cooper recently spoke to a group of more than 40 women who were age 75 or older about the broader handling of marijuana. She said the women were surprised to learn about all the uses and how it’s not just “to get high.”

Beyond those at the dispensaries, Cooper said people should tap into their own network of friends and family who might be users. But, she cautioned, everybody is different and how one person handles a 10 mg cannabis dose (a standard measure of an edible at dispensaries) may be different from how the next user experiences it.

“You have to experiment for a while to find that sweet spot; start low and go slow,” Cooper said. “If you smoke, start with a hit or two, not a whole joint. Same with edibles. Most adult packages are 10 doses of 10 mg. That’s how it’s marked, but start with 2.5 or 5 mg. Start with half of one and see how it affects you.

“Be aware of how long it takes to hit the body, too.”

If the “start low and go slow” path still ends up a little fast and the mind starts to go a bit wild, some CBD oil might help alleviate those feelings, as does the passage of time. Chewing on a black peppercorn — however bizarre that sounds — also might help.

This story can be found in the May/June 2022 issue of Grand Rapids Magazine. To get more stories like this delivered to your mailbox, subscribe here

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