Cannabis 101: An introduction to marijuana

How much cannabis do you need? Which smoking device should you use ? What’s the deal with synthetic marijuana?

To the uninitiated, the world of cannabis can be a complex place, full of more jargon, rituals and conflicting information than you can shake a stick at. Thankfully, there are a bunch of resources out there that shed some light on the affair. We’ve compiled all the information you need to get familiar with the basics of marijuana.

Cannabis 101

Cannabis is a flowering plant that grows naturally in many parts of the world. It comprises some 400 chemicals, approximately 60 of which can impact the human nervous system. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the key active ingredient in marijuana that causes a high when inhaled or otherwise consumed.

How is cannabis consumed?

Cannabis users are a creative bunch , and as such there are myriad ways in which you can choose to consume marijuana. Some of the most common methods of consumption include marijuana cigarettes (otherwise known as joints), pipes, water pipes (commonly referred to as bongs) and vaporisers.

Marijuana also comes in edible forms such as cookies, drinks, lollipops and so on. Such products are very popular in regions where cannabis has been legalised; here in New Zealand, however, you’ll need to make your own if you wish to partake.

How much should you smoke?

Potency can vary wildly between marijuana strains . In regulated markets, products are often tested for potency and consistency, enabling vendors to able to label their products and advise users of what they can expect to experience. In New Zealand’s marijuana black market, this level of information is almost impossible to come by.

With this in mind, inexperienced users should always exercise caution when trying marijuana. Go slow and wait to feel the full effects before having more in order to avoid accidentally consuming too much.

Is synthetic marijuana right for you?

Given the illegal status of cannabis in New Zealand, you might be tempted to experiment with the legal, synthetic variants. These products can be bought over the counter in stores across the country, but they can potentially cause a range of adverse side effects such as:

  • Seizures
  • Hallucinations
  • Vomiting
  • Paranoia
  • Sleepiness
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Faster heart rate
  • Comas

While synthetic marijuana is legal and readily available, it’s important to be aware that the use of such products does expose you to a range of potential health issues. By arming yourself with the basics of marijuana, you’ll be better able to make a more informed decision as to whether or not you should try cannabis.