How to finely tune a cannabis routine to suit your lifestyle

Published May 1, 2019 10:28 a.m. ET
Canadian Press, Chad Hipolito

Now that smoking marijuana is a legal activity in Canada it is time to recognize the need for education and recommendations from the professionals. There are thousands of people who are their trying or at least considering using cannabis for the very first time, and many others having difficulty in managing their marijuana use regularly. The guidelines for a recommended amount of pot to consume on a regular basis are vague since every person will react differently based on tolerance levels, prior exposure, and how effective their body is at absorbing the cannabinoids. Our goal today is to provide a few tips and tricks that can help anyone plan their marijuana use in a way that won’t negatively affect daily responsibilities and obligations while allowing for the direct benefits of using cannabis to be enjoyed to the fullest.

1. Create a plan and write it down

Since you came here for advice on how to finely tune your cannabis routine, we’re going to go ahead and assume that you are dedicated to this endeavor for the long haul. It helps to get out a pen and paper while figuring out what approach you want to take in incorporating marijuana use into your daily life. Especially if you are new to the substance or hesitant in anyway, it can help to calm any concerns to organize any thoughts you have to refer to later.

2. Start small

This applies to both new and experienced marijuana consumers. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is getting far too high too early in the day and wanting to sleep instead of working on the big project that’s due soon or catching up on some much-needed housework. No matter what time you decide to begin, you should always start small. This is especially true for those who choose to consume cannabis early in the day.

3. If you have young children, consider a babysitter

This one is controversial, and not everyone will require a babysitter just to use some marijuana, but anyone who doesn’t normally ingest cannabinoids, or has little to no prior experience with using them should probably call a friend for a bit of help. This works as an extra safety precaution in case things get a little overwhelming, but much like with parents who drink a few glasses of wine with dinner. Not everyone will need a sitter just to get high.  

4. No smoking marijuana before operating motor vehicles or heavy machinery

Though the research shows that many consumers admit to smoking marijuana before getting behind the wheel or some other form of heavy-duty machinery, it is a federal offence to do so while under the influence of any substance and that includes pot. Cannabis consumption should be planned at least 12 hours or more prior to driving. Since cannabinoids do have the ability to impair motor function, reaction time, and judgement it’s just the safest choice to walk or take a taxi instead.

5. Portioned doses

Portioned doses doesn’t mean that you must weigh or measure out the amount you are ok with consuming before each smoking session. Instead, it helps to control how much is used in each sitting and allows you to increase the dose for times where you don’t have to do anything immediately afterwards. Most people will begin with a small portion of cannabis early in the day and end with a more substantial amount to take before bed for a better night's rest. Others may need larger doses early in the day to control pain or other symptoms, so be sure to adjust your expectations accordingly. Pill organizers make an excellent cheap way to set up portioned amounts for weeks ahead of time for accurate consistency.

6. Choose a weed strain with an aroma and cannabinoid count to suit the activity

Cannabis is a unique plant species that is made up of hundreds of different strains that each comes with its own terpene and cannabinoid profile. Both aspects can dramatically affect how a specific kind of marijuana makes you feel. Some smells that can be soothing like lavender or flowers which are perfect right before bed, while others like citrus or coffee and more invigorating and uplifting and more suited for the morning and most active times of the day. The higher the THC content, the more sedative a weed strain tends to be, so choose less potent strains for the morning and higher doses for the evenings whenever possible.

7. Consider only smoking marijuana on weekends

Some people can regulate their consumption throughout their day to day life with no issues whatsoever, but not everyone is so lucky. If you find that even with following these handy tips and tricks your marijuana use is harming your quality of life, then the safest option might be to forego weed throughout the week and save the cannabis for the weekend when there is nothing important to get done.

8. Buy legal marijuana

Black market marijuana is the backbone of the legal marijuana industry, and without it, the latter would not even exist as we know it today. However, it is important to recognize that a producer growing cannabis in his basement is likely not going to be able to provide the same quality, consistency, or selection to suit your needs. Legal marijuana dispensaries offer a wide variety of choices that all provide very different effects to suit almost any day or activity, and a consistency that is required by current regulations.

9. Choose a method of consumption that suits your needs for every time of day

There are many ways that you can use to consume marijuana, and all of them will have a slightly different effect. Below you will find a list of methods vs. expected effects for the most in depth look at how each one might alter the experience.

Edibles - Marijuana edibles are a lot of fun but should be taken with the utmost care to avoid having any sort of adverse effects. They can take the longest time, up to two full hours to fully kick in and up to twelve hours to leave your system. During that time the effects are referred to as strong and often intense.

Joint - Joints are the most common way that consumers use cannabis as they are easy to use and cost very little. This is also the lightest and most recommended way to smoke marijuana during active or early times of day when you need to stay the most alert.

Blunt - There are many different variations of blunts, and many of them include using a tobacco leaf of paper to wrap cannabis in preparation for smoking. Blunts tend to hold 3-6 times more dry herb than a typical joint, and the addition of the tobacco paper can enhance the high leading to a more sedated feeling. This method of consumption is most recommended for later at night, or lazy days when you don’t have too far to travel.

Weed pipe - Pipes can come in all different shapes and sizes and are typically a bit harsher to use than regular joints. By choosing a bowl that suits your own needs pipes can be a helpful tool in controlling a person's overall consumption but using one can burn a lot more green faster which leads to a slightly stronger high. Weed pipes can be great for regular users but might be too overwhelming for a first time or occasional cannabis consumers during daytime use.

Bong - Marijuana bongs are a larger, and harsher version of weed pipes. Their bulky and often breakable base is difficult to use on the go, and the effects can be cough inducing and a bit intense for brand new or inexperienced users.

Dab rig - Dab rigs work using marijuana concentrates which can be excellent for those who require a potent dose of medication to make it through the day, but the effects of using a dab rig are strong, mainly due to the types of cannabis products used in them. Unless you are a medical marijuana patient, we would strongly recommend saving the dab rig for late in the evening as they are known for sedating consumers with a massive and condensed hit of cannabinoids.

Vaporizer - Vaporizers have come a long way since their inception, and now come in a wide variety of models and prices to suit almost any need or budget. The best part about this method of consumption is the user’s ability to administer the most precise doses of either THC or CBD with minimal effort or negative effects on the lungs. Vaping is a great way to ingest marijuana concentrates at any time of day and can be easily controlled to suit any pain level or activity.

Oral - Oral marijuana products are a mixed bag of everything from watered down to incredibly potent, so it is critical to know that the manufacturer or maker of the oils you take is reliable. Tinctures and oils that are meant to be taken orally can be an excellent way to consume marijuana at any point during the day or night as long as the doses are monitored and controlled accordingly.

10. Stick to the plan as much as possible

This sounds like a whole lot of work to perfect the routine to work with your life, but we promise that once you find a groove, it will be like second nature. There will come a point where the paper and pen are no longer needed, and you obtain a comfortability with consumption that allows for more freedom. In the meantime, while you are first learning about how your daily use affects you, it is best to stick to the plan as much as possible. This makes it easier to make necessary tweaks if you find something wrong as you try it out for real.  


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