CANNABIS 101

Flower

Smoking flower is one of the most popular methods of cannabis consumption and for good reason. The effects of flower (aka buds) are almost immediate, it’s easy to pass around and share, plus smoking is simply the traditional way to enjoy cannabis. Whether you prefer to roll a joint, smoke a bowl, or even vape flower, you’ll typically feel max impact in 30 minutes and see the effects dissipate in 1-3 hours.

Choose Your Flower Strain

At Medicine Man, we offer a variety of quality flower products, including indica, sativa and hybrid strains. Think of these products as all being on a single spectrum, some strains closer to 100% sativa, others closer to 100% indica.  All strains fall somewhere on that spectrum and depending on where it lands (and what terpenes the strain contains) is how you can better determine how it might affect you.  So, how do you go about choosing the best option for your needs? Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Sativa – Here you’ll get a more cerebral, energizing effect as sativa-dominant strains tend to possess higher THC levels. With the ability to spark creativity and conversation, this is a great option for parties and get togethers. If you worry about anxiety or paranoia, try a sativa with a lower percentage mix (closer to 60%).
  • Hybrid – Get the best of both worlds. If you want to soothe body aches without your body melting all the way into your couch, a hybrid just might be the perfect strain for you. Medicine Man offers several varieties to help you strike just the right balance for any activities you have planned.
  • Indica – These strains tend to be physically sedating and promote full-body relaxation. If you have sore muscles, tension in your neck, or just spent 8 hours sitting at a desk working on TPS reports, indicas will help you shed the aches and pains of the day. Indica is great for mellow nights and getting restful sleep.

Fine-Tune with THC & CBD

Beyond choosing a strain, you’ll want to look at the ratio of THC to CBD the cannabis flower contains.

  • THC, Tetrahydrocannabinol – This type of cannabinoid produces the euphoric high associated with consuming marijuana. It can also relieve pain, nausea and induce hunger (have snacks handy).
  • CBD, Cannabidiol – This non-intoxicating compound provides relief for anxiety, inflammation and body pain. In flower, it can help to block some of the more intense effects caused by THC.

What does this all mean? Well, if you’re a seasoned smoker or want a more potent experience, choosing a strain with high THC and minimal CBD might right for you.

However, if you’re new to consumption or tend to get anxious and paranoid, you’ll want to go with a flower with more balanced THC and CBD percentages. And if you just want a body soothing effect while remaining clear-headed, your ratio should heavily favor CBD with minimal THC.

A Few More Flower Tips

Beyond strains, THC and CBD, selecting flower for your needs can be quite personal. When you visit one of our dispensaries in Denver, Aurora, Longmont or Thornton, your budtender will be more than happy to let you examine our flower products for yourself. Take in the smell, is it fruity, sweet or have citrus notes to it? Look for trichome crystals, check out the coloring and feel free to ask questions. You can also purchase just a gram of several different strains and try them out before stocking up on your favorite flower.

Edibles

They’re discreet, convenient and delicious. Plus, you can find them in all your favorite forms, including gummies, truffles, suckers, cereal bars, macaroons, jerky, cookies, chocolate bars and much more.

Unlike smoking, which takes seconds or minutes to hit your bloodstream, edibles must first be digested in the stomach and processed by the liver. So, you’ll see a delayed arrival of effects – about 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. This will vary according to the individual and how each person’s body processes things. For example, if you have a higher metabolism, you’ll likely feel a change sooner than someone who took the same dose but has a lower metabolism. You’ll then have around 3-6 hours to enjoy the effects.

Some edibles, such as suckers and lozenges, typically kick in faster because they fall into the sublingual category and are absorbed into your bloodstream through the tissues in your mouth.

If you’re new to edibles, take it slow and be patient waiting for the party to start. While a typical dose is 10 mg of THC, you may want to start at 2.5 to 5 mg and see how you respond. Because edibles are made using oil, butter or cannabis distillate, all of which contain highly-concentrated amounts of cannabinoids, they can pack a serious punch in just one tiny square of chocolate.

And whether you’re a novice or expert, you’ll also want to skip mixing your cannabis intake with booze which can produce unwanted and unpleasant effects. Consider having some CBD-heavy flower available to smoke just in case things go sideways. This cannabinoid can help lessen the effects of too much THC.

Pro tip: If you consume edibles after eating fatty foods, you may feel the effects more than if taken on an empty stomach or after a non-fatty meal.

How to Choose the Right Edibles

Creating delicious cannabis treats has come a long way from homemade brownies made with unknown flower quality and random THC amounts. Here in Colorado, things are highly regulated, which gives both recreational users and medical patients full control of how much they want to ingest.

Here’s a quick rundown of how to choose edibles that provide the perfect effect:

  • Determine Your Goals– A good starting point is to choose an edible that fits your needs. If you are looking for a fun high, stick with goodies infused with THC. For relief of pain, stress, anxiety, even help getting a restful night’s sleep, you’ll want to look into CBD-infused edibles.
  • Do a Little Research– While Medicine Man has carefully curated tasty treats from trustworthy manufacturers with high quality standards and good reviews, you can always Google the items we sell to gain a better understanding of what they offer and what to expect.
  • Talk to an Expert– When visiting one of our Medicine Man dispensaries in Denver, Thornton, Longmont or Aurora, don’t be shy! Our budtenders would be happy help you find the perfect edible for your needs and tastes. We’ll walk you through doses, strains, CBD versus THC and more.

Ready to get started with edibles? Browse great options here on the site or stop by one of our brick and mortar locations. We only carry the best products out there, and we want you to enjoy discovering the wonderful world of edibles. Bon appétit!

Concentrates

This method of consumption removes the flower and gets down to business, separating out the terpene and cannabinoid-filled resin located in the trichomes, those little hair-like growths on the flower that look a bit like a crystal frost. The extraction process delivers a final product that contains concentrated amounts of THC and CBD. While THC potency in flower might be 15-20%, this stuff can reach up to 90%.

Thus, concentrates are not typically advised for novice consumers. Consider yourself warned, and if you choose to proceed, just take it slow.

Types of Concentrate

Concentrates come in many forms, the oldest of which is hashish or hash. A seasoned flower smoker can also create a concentrate called kief by using a grinder. Kief will be the sticky, powdery stuff that collects at the bottom. You can then sprinkle it over your bowl to add extra a little extra kick when smoking.

Shatter – Hailed as one of the purest forms of concentrate, shatter is made via extraction using a butane solvent. As the name suggests, shatter comes in hardened glass-like pieces that break apart if dropped. It’s most often found in an amber to golden color and can have around 80% THC. A dab rig, vape or bong are the most common ways to enjoy shatter.

Wax – This form of sticky concentrate can actually be broken down into different names depending on the consistency of the end product after butane (BHO) extraction. Wax has the feel of sappy candle wax. Crumble is drier and broken up into smaller pieces. Finally, there’s Budder or Badder which is thick and gooey (like peanut butter), so keep dab tools handy.

CO2 Oil – Here, concentrate is extracted using carbon dioxide instead of BHO which leaves behind more terpenes for added flavor and greater medical benefits. Aptly named, the end product is a thicker, but fully liquid concentrate that works great in vaporizers and vape pens. CO2 oil is often packaged in plastic syringes for easier measuring and application.

Live Resin– Another concentrate is called Live Resin which uses a relatively new method of extraction. Here, freshly harvested buds are frozen, then the resin is removed from the flower. The process is pretty complex and needs lab equipment, so don’t attempt this one at home.

Sugar – Cannabis sugars are sugar-like crystals made with cannabis products. This cannabis product essentially combines cannabis with sugar, using alcohol to pull the medically-important cannabinoids from the buds before mixing the alcohol with sugar, transferring those cannabinoids to sugar crystals.

Distillate – Gaining in popularity is distillate, a refined cannabinoid oil that is typically free of taste, smell & flavor.  It is the base of most edibles and vape cartridges.

If you’re looking for powerful effects that you’ll feel almost immediately, a concentrate can provide the experience you’re seeking. It’s great for vaporizing instead of smoking flower and provides instant relief if you’re consuming it for a medical condition. Looking for taste? Concentrates with more terpenes offer a deeper, clean flavor to meet the expectations of any aficionado.

If you’re ready to dab, browse Medicine Man’s selection of concentrates here on our site. You can also visit one of our locations in Denver, Aurora, Longmont or Thornton to speak with a knowledgeable budtender.

Topicals

In this category, you’ll find lotions, ointments, balms, oils, salves, creams and even transdermal patches that provide various therapeutic benefits. Applied directly to the skin, topicals provide localized relief for aching muscles and reduce inflammation without the psychoactive high produced by other methods of cannabis consumption such as smoking.

Whether you’ve just upped your workout regimen or currently suffer from chronic pain in your back or joints, topicals are a great option to explore.

How Do Topicals Work?

Our bodies possess a biological, endocannabinoid system that uses a massive network of cannabinoid receptors to regulate physiological functions and ensure homeostasis (balance) across all major systems. Receptors send signals to keep tabs on mood, memory, appetite, pain, sleep and more.

There are two major types of receptors:

  • CB1 – A psychoactive receptor with the job of regulating pain, nausea, depression and more
  • CB2 – This is the non-psychoactive receptor which controls inflammation, pain and appetite

When a topical is applied, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to and activates the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors through the skin providing relief from issues such as muscle pain and inflammation. Topicals containing cannabidiol (CBD) will also bind to CB2 receptors and help with physical relief for a number of issues. However, it does not bind to CB1 receptors which is why you’ll see many topical products that contain both types of cannabinoids.

Topicals and Drug Testing

Will I fail a drug test because of the THC content? At Medicine Man, this is one of the most frequently asked questions when a customer is interested in using topicals. After all, nobody wants to lose their job because they used a topical to ease an aching back. Fortunately, a recent study concluded that the THC found in topicals do not show up in a drug test that screens blood or urine. It simply does not absorb through the skin and into your bloodstream.

Infinite Uses for Topicals

From sports injuries to arthritis and even sprays to treat minor burns, cannabis topicals are now being used in all kinds of amazing ways. Here are just a few applications:

  • Eczema– If you have atopic dermatitis, those itchy red rashes, bumps, and scaly skin patches may all benefit from the anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing properties of cannabis topicals. In one study, 38.3% of patients saw a complete resolution of itching.
  • Skin Infections – Bacterial issues such as boils, cellulitis, and impetigo may benefit from the anti-bacterial properties of cannabinoids. Researchersalso found them to be highly effective against MRSA which has proven to be resistant to all other antibiotics.
  • Aging Skin– Topicals contain powerful antioxidants, possibly more potent than vitamins C and E. Antioxidants protect the skin from damage that can lead to the breakdown of collagen – the stuff that keeps your skin smooth, firm and strong.

Feel free to browse our topicals online or stop by one of our dispensaries to learn more about the many cannabis-based products available today. You’ll find Medicine Man in Denver, Aurora, Longmont, and Thornton.

Drinks

Like edibles, drinking your cannabis is much more stealth than smoking and doesn’t require any extra equipment like a bong or dab rig. This form of consumption is still ramping up as companies explore different ways to infuse beverages while providing consistent dosing and delicious flavors. However, cannabis drinks are a trending market with big players like Molson Coors and Anheuser-Busch getting into the game to bring you a refreshing brew that replaces booze with THC.

For now, there are quite a few options available, typically in the form of sodas, fruit drinks, tea packets, bottled coffee, even kombucha. Many people gravitate to drinks over other edibles because they tend to deliver full effects in around 15 minutes. Any cannabinoids they contain, whether THC or CBD, are somewhat sublingually absorbed while drinking, then digested faster versus a dense chocolate truffle.

Of course, the end result is being able to quickly and more accurately gauge your high so you don’t end up pushing your limits to the point that you’re not having fun.

The Magic in Cannabis Beverages

Like other forms of consuming cannabis, drinks are made using concentrated amounts of cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which produces the euphoric high people are typically seeking and cannabidiol (CBD) which has more therapeutic effects and can even offset the intensity of THC.

So, before chugging an entire cannabis cola, first check how much THC it contains and dose accordingly based on the serving size. For new consumers, start with 2.5 mg up to 5 mg to determine how your body reacts before taking any further swigs. Many beverage containers come with delineation lines or dosing caps, so you can easily pace yourself. Like all edibles, take it slow and see how things go.

Another key element of cannabis beverages are the organic compounds called terpenes (or terpenoids) that give various cannabis strains their own unique scent. Found in the trichomes of the plant, terpenes are the sticky crystal-like structures you see on the leaves and buds.

Along with producing different aromas, terpenes can also affect the flavor of a cannabis drink. This is why many manufacturers continue experimenting with their drink formulas to find the perfect flavor profile. After all, it’s not just about consuming cannabis but enjoying a refreshing beverage.

Mixing Alcohol with Cannabis?

At Medicine Man, we do not recommend mixing cannabis with alcohol, particularly edibles and drinks with significant amounts of THC. Things can quickly go from bad to worse. There are too many variables and each person will react differently when mixing. If you do wish to explore canna-cocktails, stick with CBD fusions only. Even better, stay tuned for upcoming drink products that swap alcohol for cannabis.

Feeling thirsty? Take a look on our website for Keef Cola in a variety of flavors and Drink-IT Coffee by Canyon THC. These products have been tested by the Medicine Man team and are trusted resources for quality and taste. You’re also welcome to stop by one of our locations in Denver, Aurora, Longmont or Thornton to speak with a knowledgeable budtender about exploring cannabis drinks. We’d love to help.

Tinctures

The concept of “tinctures” is certainly not new, but today’s cannabis tinctures offer a very modern and effective method of consumption. Taken sublingually by placing drops under your tongue, cannabinoids and terpenes are absorbed into your bloodstream directly. It’s quick, discreet and convenient, no smoke and no long waiting period like edibles. You will also have better control of dosages with most products clearly displaying how much CBD and/or THC you’ll get from various levels of liquid in the dropper.

You’ll typically feel the full effects in about 15-30 minutes and tinctures last around two hours or more depending on your experience level with cannabis. If you don’t like the taste of a tincture, it can also be added to tea, juice, even your food, however, your body will first need to digest things and process the cannabinoids through the liver. This will delay the onset of effects for up to 2 hours, just like edibles.

What is a Tincture and How is it Made?

Without getting too deep into the science, a tincture is made by first activating the CBD and THC of raw cannabis, typically through heating. This important step is called decarboxylation and without it, you’ll likely see little to no effects from your tincture. Just think about the fact that you ignite flower to smoke it – and that time your friend ate a cannabis bud he didn’t feel anything.

After decarboxylation, cannabis is steeped in a solution of ethyl alcohol or other high-proof alcohol (DIY recipes call for Everclear). The alcohol breaks down the plant, extracting the cannabinoids and terpenes. All plant matter is then strained out and the infused liquid is added to a dropper bottle for consumption.

Extraction can also be achieved using vegetable glycerin, apple cider vinegar and various oils. While the traditional method of creating tinctures uses alcohol, the term has come to include a variety of products that are liquid-based and can be taken sublingually with a dropper.

Using Tinctures for Medical Benefits

While some tinctures provide a THC high, many people have discovered that tinctures rich in CBD with minimal to no THC actually help with a wide variety of medical ailments. Though scientific studies are still in the works to officially determine CBD’s medicinal efficacy, there is plenty of promising research and countless stories out there. People from all over the world have used CBD to treat issues such as:

  • Depression and Anxiety
  • Loss of Appetite and Nausea
  • Psoriasis and Eczema
  • Seizures, Muscle Spasms
  • Bacterial Infections
  • Chronic and Acute Pain
  • Joint Inflammation, Arthritis
  • Progression of Alzheimer’s
  • IBS and Crohn’s Disease
  • Insomnia, Sleep Disorders
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Cancer (Inhibits Tumor Growth)
  • And so much more

If you’re interested in exploring tinctures, check out our products here on the site. For more help, you’re welcome to visit Medicine Man at any of our dispensaries. We have three convenient locations: Denver, Aurora and Thornton. Our knowledgeable budtenders would be happy to help you find the right tincture for your specific needs or explore other product options.

Clones

If you’re thinking about growing your own cannabis or adding to an existing garden, you’ll first have to decide if you want to start with seeds or clones. As you likely know, seeds are the from scratch method while clones are cuttings from another plant, typically one that’s healthy and proven to produce high-quality flower. Cloning ensures the genetic makeup, or phenotype, is preserved for consistency.

Unless you have a certified green thumb, clones are hands-down the easiest way to start growing. The benefits of cultivating clones – from a reputable company like Medicine Man – are pretty clear:

  • Head Start – The most obvious advantage is that you don’t have to wait around for a seed to sprout. Clones are sold in a more mature state and will produce much sooner.
  • Plant Gender – With seeds, you simply don’t know what kind of plant you’ll get. At Medicine Man, we only sell female clones, so you’ll be well on your way to a fruitful harvest.
  • Easier Grow – Even experienced gardeners can attest to clones being heartier and easier to manage than plants grown from seeds. Just keep up their care and you’re all set.

You Bought a Clone, Now What?

You’ll actually want to start your preparations and planning before bringing home your clone. You need the right size of container, growing medium, nutrients and ventilation, as well as a clear understanding of watering and light requirements.

You’ll typically start with a 1-gallon container which will help with proper watering while giving roots the right amount of oxygen and room to expand. You can later transfer your clone to a bigger pot or directly in the ground when the root ball is more developed, about 2 weeks. For your growing medium and any amendments you choose, read the instructions carefully and prepare your container accordingly.

During the first two weeks, you’ll want to get your plant adjusted to the power and heat of real sunlight before moving it outdoors. Most clones are grown in an indoor environment to protect them from bugs and other issues, so don’t blast them right away. During the day, bring your transplanted clone outdoors and place it an area with partial shade and indirect sunlight. In the evening, bring it back inside and keep a basic light on for your plant. Repeat this routine for up to 2 weeks before exposing your clone to direct sunlight. Even then, keep an eye out for curling or wilted leaves. It may need more time in the shade.

Once you’ve made it through the critical first couple of weeks, you can focus on providing the nutrition and watering regimen needed to keep your plant happy. Here’s where you might need to do a little bit of research into nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, as well as pH balance (of your soil and water) and using beneficial bacteria to help your plant grow up big and strong.

And don’t forget to brush up on Colorado law regarding home growing.

Clones from Medicine Man

By coming to Medicine Man, you can trust that we only sell clones that are healthy, have an established root system and are ready to produce for you. We’ll provide all the information you need to and answer any questions you might have. Get growing today!

Menu