A beginner’s guide to cannabis

All over the country, people are turning to cannabis. Whether they’re looking to alleviate pain without resorting to opiates, enhance their experience of their favorite album, relieve stress, or find creative inspiration for an art project, America is waking to an exciting new era of cannabis acceptance, curiosity, and research.

There is a growing wealth of information about cannabis out there, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Every day, we see additional news stories about cannabis research, legality, and culture.

What is marijuana, exactly?

Cannabis, or marijuana, is a variety of cannabis Sativa genus—a psychoactive plant that has been cultivated and used for thousands of years for a variety of purposes. Another common variety of this genus is hemp. Marijuana and hemp are sometimes used as interchangeable terms, but these varieties are quite different from each other. According to US law, cannabis plants that produce less than 0.3% THC are considered industrial hemp and are legal under federal law.
Marijuana is a resilient plant that can be grown indoors or outdoors. It thrives in most regions, but does especially well in warmer climates.

Medical use

Managing discomfort is the most common application of medical marijuana. However, it has a growing number of other possible applications that are currently under review in the medical community. New potential benefits of the plant are being discovered regularly as more studies are conducted.

Recreational use

In states that allow recreational cannabis use, adults 21 and over can typically purchase marijuana in a variety of forms at dispensaries. Because recreational cannabis isn’t prescribed by a medical professional with specific dosing, we recommend that new users start low and go slow when it comes to determining appropriate dosages. (In other words, start with the lowest dose possible and gradually increase it over time—as you can tolerate, and only as needed.)

Marijuana strains

Cannabis strains are often referred to as being either indica or sativa weed. However, due to widespread crossbreeding, you’re more likely to encounter sativa-dominant and indica-dominant strains on the market (rather than pure sativa or indica strains). You’ll also see strains that are labeled hybrids, which are intended to provide a balance between these categories.


Cannabis indica is a short, bushy plant with wide fan leaves that are dark green. You may have heard that indica-dominant strains produce relaxing, body-specific effects—however, it’s important to note that strain categorization isn’t this simple. The effects of a cannabis strain are not dependent on its categorization of indica or sativa; rather, this is determined by its terpene and cannabinoid content, the interaction of these compounds, your own body, and many other factors.


Cannabis sativa is a long, tall plant with long, thin leaves that are light green. You may see sativa-dominant strains being described as energizing and cerebral. However, just as with indica-dominant strains, the truth is much more complex. Cannabis experience can vary widely depending on the chemical profile of a specific strain, your body, and additional factors.


For years, indica and sativa strains have been crossbred to cultivate a strain that provides a combination of effects. Therefore, you’ll discover that there are thousands of hybrid strains, and that each has its own unique properties. Indica sativa strains can possibly be the best of both worlds.

More Questions? Visit one of our dispensaries.

There is no one-fit-all dosage for any cannabis product, and no single product that’s right for everyone. The effect of cannabis depends on a variety of factors such as your own body, the strain and its compounds, and how you actually consume it. Doing your research really pays off—and remember to start low and go slow!

Have more questions? Visit one of our dispensaries located in Longview and Port Angels and ask your bud master what are the best cannabis products for you. We only have the best quality cannabis products at the best price. Visit us today!

NIST Study Will Help Labs Distinguish Between Hemp and Marijuana | NIST
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Cannabis (Marijuana) and Cannabinoids: What You Need To Know | NCCIH