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Weed 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis

Comprehensive guide to understanding cannabis for beginners

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Are you curious about the world of cannabis but unsure where to begin?

Welcome to Weed 101, your comprehensive guide to understanding the basics of cannabis and its various aspects. Whether you’re new to cannabis or just looking to expand your knowledge, this guide will provide you with a solid foundation to navigate the world of weed. What is cannabis?

Understanding Cannabis: The Basics

What is Cannabis? What is Weed? What is Marijuana?

Cannabis, Marijuana, Weed, Pot – What’s the Difference?

These terms are often used interchangeably, but they all refer to the same plant: Cannabis. It’s a genus of flowering plants that includes several species, with the most well-known being Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Cannabis contains compounds called cannabinoids, which interact with our bodies and produce various effects.

What is Cannabis Sativa? and What is Cannabis Indica?

Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids

Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are two major species within the cannabis plant genus. These species are known for their distinct characteristics, growth patterns, and effects when consumed. Here’s an overview of each:

What is cannabis? indica and sativa cannabis bud

Cannabis Sativa:

Cannabis sativa plants are known for their tall and thin stature, often reaching heights of up to 15 feet. The leaves of sativa plants are typically long and narrow, and the plants have a longer flowering time compared to indica varieties. Sativa strains are associated with uplifting and energizing effects. They are often chosen for daytime use as they may promote creativity, focus, and sociability.

Sativa strains are known for their high levels of THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid) and lower levels of CBD (the non-intoxicating cannabinoid). They are popular among individuals seeking an active and cerebral experience.

They are often chosen for daytime use as they may promote creativity, focus, and sociability.

Cannabis Indica:

Cannabis indica plants are characterized by their shorter and bushier stature, usually ranging from 2 to 6 feet in height. The leaves of indica plants are broader and wider than those of sativa plants. Indica strains typically have a shorter flowering time and are known for their relaxing and sedative effects. These strains are often chosen for evening or nighttime use, as they may induce feelings of relaxation, calmness, and even sleepiness. Indica strains often contain higher levels of CBD and varying levels of THC. They are favored by individuals seeking relief from pain, anxiety, and insomnia.

It’s important to note that many strains available today are hybrids, which combine characteristics of both sativa and indica plants. These hybrids can offer a diverse range of effects and benefits, as breeders have crossbred different strains to create unique combinations of traits.

While sativa and indica classifications can provide a general idea of a strain’s potential effects, the chemical composition of the cannabinoids and terpenes in a particular strain also play a significant role in determining its overall experience.

These strains are often chosen for evening or nighttime use, as they may induce feelings of relaxation, calmness, and even sleepiness

2 Types of Cannabis

Indica and Satvia – The following is considered a balanced Hybrid strain with 50/50%

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What are Cannabinoids? & What are Terpenes?

Cannabinoids: The Chemical Compounds

Cannabinoids are the active compounds found in cannabis that produce a wide range of effects. The most famous cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), responsible for the psychoactive “high” associated with cannabis. Another prominent cannabinoid is cannabidiol (CBD), known for its potential therapeutic benefits without the intoxicating effects.

Additionally, we recently wrote about CBG. A lesser known but emerging cannabidiol under research.

Check out our blog on CBG

Terpenes: The Aromatic Powerhouses

Terpenes are aromatic compounds responsible for the unique scents and flavors of different cannabis strains. They also contribute to the effects of each strain. For example, myrcene is associated with relaxing effects, while limonene can provide an uplifting mood.

Close-up view of cannabis terpenes

How to consume Cannabis?

Smoking, Vaping, Edibles, and More

Cannabis can be consumed in various ways, each offering a unique experience. Smoking and vaping involve inhaling the vaporized cannabinoids, while edibles are ingested and provide a delayed but longer-lasting effect. Other methods include tinctures, topicals, and concentrates like shatter and wax.

Consumption Method Description
Smoking and Vaping Inhaling the vaporized cannabinoids by igniting the dried flower (smoking) or vaporizing the cannabinoids without combustion (vaping). Provides rapid onset of effects through the lungs.
Edibles Food products infused with cannabis extracts, like gummies, chocolates, and cookies. Ingested and metabolized in the digestive system, resulting in a slower onset of effects that can last 4 to 8 hours.
Tinctures Liquid extracts made by soaking cannabis in alcohol or another solvent. Consumed by placing drops under the tongue, providing rapid absorption through sublingual blood vessels.
Topicals Creams, balms, and lotions applied directly to the skin. Provides localized relief from pain, inflammation, and skin conditions without producing a psychoactive high.
Concentrates Highly potent extracts in forms like shatter, wax, and oil. Created through extraction processes and often consumed by dabbing. Produces intense effects.
Sublingual Strips Dissolvable strips infused with cannabinoids. Placed under the tongue for quick absorption through sublingual blood vessels.
Capsules Cannabis oil or powder in measured doses. Provides a precise and convenient way to consume cannabis. Effects depend on the formulation and dosage.

7 Ways to Consume Cannabis

How I Can Consume Weed

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Cannabis flower in a glass jar

Is Consuming Weed Illegal?

Cannabis Laws and Regulations

This all depends in where you live. In Canada, cannabis consumption is legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes. The Cannabis Act, which came into effect on October 17, 2018, regulates the production, distribution, sale, and possession of cannabis.

Adults aged 18 or 19, depending on the province or territory, can legally purchase and possess a limited amount of cannabis for personal use. However, it’s important to note that driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal, and strict regulations govern where and how cannabis can be consumed. It’s essential to stay informed about the specific laws in your region to ensure you’re consuming cannabis in a legal and responsible manner.

Cannabis scale and gavel symbolizing weed laws

Starting Your Cannabis Journey

Tips for Beginners

  • Educate Yourself: Start by learning about the basics of cannabis, including strains, effects, and consumption methods.
  • Start Slow: If you’re new to cannabis, begin with low doses to gauge your tolerance and reaction.
  • Choose the Right Strain: Select a strain that aligns with your desired effects. Sativa strains are great for daytime activities, while indicas are ideal for relaxation.
  • Stay Hydrated and Snack Ready: Cannabis may cause dry mouth (cottonmouth) and the munchies. Have water and snacks on hand.
  • Create a Comfortable Environment: Choose a safe and comfortable space to enjoy your cannabis experience.
  • Use Responsibly: Always consume responsibly and be aware of your limits.


Welcome to the world of cannabis, where a rich tapestry of strains, effects, and experiences await. As you embark on your journey, remember that knowledge is your best ally. By understanding the basics of cannabis, you can make informed decisions that align with your preferences and goals. Enjoy the exploration, and remember to consume responsibly. Happy cannabis adventures! Learn more


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