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Cannabis 101

Different people may feel different experiences from cannabis. There are many factors that impact the effect: amount used, strain used, method of consumption, environment, experience, history of use, biochemistry, mood, nutrition or diet, and type of cannabis. It is always best to start low and go slow.

Sativa strains are often used during the day as they are reported to be uplifting and energizing.

Indica strains are often used at night as they reported to be calming and provide deep body relaxation.

Hybrid strains are created when two or more strains are crossbred. Hybrids often provide the best of both worlds by combining attributes of Indica and Sativa.

CBD is an abbreviation for Cannabidiol. CBD-rich products produce little to no psychoactive effects or “high.”

Marijuana is legal in Massachusetts for people 21 and older, but that doesn’t mean you can use it anywhere you want.

Here are some basics about the law:

  • You can’t use marijuana in any form (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.) in public or on federal land
  • You can have up to 1 oz on you and up to 10 oz in your home
  • You can grow up to 6 plants in your home, and up to 12 plants for 2 or more adults
  • If you have more than 1 oz of marijuana in your home, it has to be locked up. But it’s best to keep any amount locked away to keep kids and pets safe.
  • You can’t have an open container of any form of marijuana in the passenger area of your car while on the road or at a place where the public has access. It must be stored in a closed container in your trunk or a locked glove compartment.
  • It’s illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. If you use, don’t get behind the wheel. Instead, use public transportation, ride-shares, or catch a ride with a sober friend.
  • Employers, landlords, cities, and towns may have their own policies about the use of marijuana. Check with them to see what is legal.
  • Consumers may not sell marijuana to any other individual; only Marijuana Retailer Establishments licensed by the Commission may sell marijuana and marijuana products directly to consumers.
  • Selling marijuana to others is illegal and a first-time offense (under 50 pounds) may be punishable by up to 2 years imprisonment / $5,000 fine. Subsequent offenses may be punishable by up to 2.5 years imprisonment / $10,000 fine.
  • Possessing more than the legal limit (1 oz.) outside your home may be penalized by up to 6 months imprisonment / $500 fine.
  • Individuals who knowingly and intentionally supplies or allows a person under 21 years of age to possess marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana accessories on premises or property owned or controlled by the person charged shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $2,000 or imprisonment for not more than one year or both the fine and imprisonment.
  • Marijuana has not been analyzed or approved by FDA. There is limited information on side effects and there may be health risks associated with using marijuana. All marijuana products should be kept away from children.
  • When under the influence of marijuana, operating heavy machinery and driving is prohibited by M.G.L.c.90, s. 24.
  • Cannabis may pose risks to women who are pregnant or who are breastfeeding. Please contact your physician for guidance.
  • Do not drink alcohol when using any cannabis products.

Cannabis is most effective when used in the smallest possible dose to achieve the desired effect. Using higher doses than needed may result in a tolerance to cannabis. Tolerance is defined as a decreasing response to repeated constant doses of a drug or the need for increasing doses to maintain a constant response.

Dependence refers to a physical condition in which the body has adapted to the presence of a drug. If an individual with drug dependence stops taking that drug suddenly, that person will experience predictable and measurable symptoms, known as withdrawal symptoms.

Some patients may experience withdrawal symptoms when choosing to cease their cannabis use. Those symptoms can include: irritability, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety, and drug craving. These symptoms usually resolve within a few days.

While different drugs can have a range of physical and behavioral effects on the user, the signs and symptoms of substance abuse are often similar:

  • Failing in attempts to stop using cannabis
  • Neglecting social or professional responsibilities
  • Difficulty maintaining healthy relationships or increased desire for privacy
  • Changes in attitude or personality
  • Lack of interest in non-drug-related activities
  • Decrease in maintenance of personal hygiene or selfcare
  • Changes in physical appearance
  • Issues with financial management

Massachusetts Substance Use Information and Education Helpline:
(800) 327-5050

Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration Facility Locator:

SAMHSA 24/7 National Helpline:
(800) 622-HELP (4357)

Emergency Services Program:
(877) 382-1609

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