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weed basics

I’m asking for a friend!
It’s more difficult—and possibly dangerous. Again, marijuana laws vary from state to state, especially when it comes to consequences for buying and possessing it illegally. In some states, like South Dakota and Indiana, being caught with even a single joint can lead to a year in prison and thousands in fines.

Should I just not try edibles? It sounds like they’re more trouble than they’re worth.
Edibles are a great choice if you’re using cannabis for pain control, as the effects are more intense and last longer. But for recreational users, edibles are fine as long as you do your homework and practice discretion. Take much, much less than you think seems like the right dose for you—between 5 and 10 milligrams of THC is more than enough for a beginner, according to the Oregon Responsible Edibles Council—and if it doesn’t put you in the happy place you were expecting, “move up from there on a different day,” Browne says. “Most pot freakouts are from people who didn’t wait, ate too much, and then spent the night in the fetal position.”
What’s the difference between sativas and indicas?
Sativa strains are “more energetic and appropriate for daytime use,” Elliott says. “They’re known for a soaring, cerebral high with energetic qualities. Indica strains are more soporific and sleepy, and are best used in the evening. They are known for a heavy body high and pain/anxiety relief.” (Dan Michaels, author of Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana and founder of cannabis research group Sinsemedia, suggests using a mnemonic trick to remember the distinctions between the two strains: “Indica means ‘in da couch’.”)

Well what about lung cancer? Heart attacks?
A 2013 UCLA study found no connection between marijuana use and lung cancer, and pulmonologist Donald Tashkin, the study’s main author and a longtime marijuana researcher, claimed there was “even a suggestion of some protective effect.” As for heart problems, a 2017 study showed that weed enthusiasts may face a higher risk of dying from hypertension. But the study has its shortcomings, especially its assumption that anyone who has tried marijuana even once qualifies as a “user.”
Think of it this way: If you’re buying your very first comic book, you probably don’t need to be concerned with where it lands on the CGC grading scale. Whether a comic is in “Very Fine” or “Near Mint” condition doesn’t mean a damn bit of difference, at least not for you right now. It’s your first comic book. Just find something that looks cool and stop stressing about what the hardcore collectors are doing.
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As Earleywine points out, “Sooner or later we’ll have some baby boomer have a heart attack with THC-metabolites in his system. I say ‘his’ because men are more likely to smoke cannabis and more likely to have a heart attack. Given how prevalent cannabis use and heart attacks remain, we’d expect this to happen a few times a year, by chance. [But] if you’ve got some kind of cardiac problem and can’t have your heart rate go above 90, the plant is not for you.”
What’s a good amount of weed for a beginner? And how much should I buy?
The price varies from state to state, but where marijuana is legal, grams average between 8 and 20 dollars. “Over $20 and they know you’re a rookie,” says Jake Browne, a cannabis critic for the Denver Post. “For the uninitiated, you’ll be able to tell after a gram if you like cannabis, so don’t worry about saving up for a huge investment.” If you’re buying from a legal pot store, Elliott suggests starting with some ready-rolled joints. “Another good option is an eighth-ounce, or 3.5 grams, which is enough to get high on once a day for about a week for a novice,” he says.

The effects are (mostly) the same, but the biggest difference is control. “Smoking has almost instantaneous effects,” Elliott says, “and thus allows the user to titrate his or her dosage, controlling the intensity of the high.” You take a puff, see how you feel, and if it’s not too intense, take another puff. But with an edible, the onset is much slower. It needs to be digested and processed by your liver before you feel anything, and that can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes, Elliott says. It also comes with a deeper, longer body high. “You might feel high four to six hours instead of just a couple hours as with smoking or vaping,” he says.

Can you actually get addicted to marijuana? Is vaping better than smoking? We answered all your most burning questions.