Smoking vs. eating pot — why is the high so different?
Shellene Suemori, director of science and R&D at Dixie Elixirs & Edibles suggests production methods may actually alter the sativa, indica and strain attributes. Suemori says, “Due to many processing techniques, most of the terpenes that people associate with strain-specific attributes are largely lost before the oil is incorporated into an edible. If not lost in processing, many will be lost during the making of the edible (especially if exposed to heat).” …
Suemori describes smoking and vaping effects as having a quick onset, and the overall effects are not as long-lasting as an edible…
As a medical cannabis patient who cannot tell the difference between a sativa, indica or hybrid, it was difficult to choose strains just by these labels. When I was in the program, I was not really interested in the “kind” of high that is described between indica and sativa. I was more interested in the strength of the effect, because so many of my purchases were not strong enough for chronic pain.
For a chronic pain patient, the strength of the plant is important, especially because the medicine is used on a daily basis. If the bud you purchase isn’t strong enough, you’ll end up consuming a lot more each day, which is an expensive way to medicate.
My uneducated guess is that I need at least 20% THC to find the strength I need, but cannabis testing is a very new industry and it’s difficult to trust the labels used by dispensaries. Heck, you can’t even trust the food labels in the grocery stores (the FDA allows for a 20% error rate).
The only way to determine if the medicine will work for you is to try it. Unfortunately, that’s a very expensive way to medicate also, going from dispensary to dispensary, trying strain after strain. I think there is one dispensary in New Mexico that allows patients to try products onsite before purchasing, as long as you have a driver. I don’t have access to a driver, so whenever I’m able to afford to renew in the program, I guess I’m stuck with the expensive ways in choosing and buying my medicine.
Really, it’s a crap shoot no matter where you purchase your bud, as the production of one batch of a good strain doesn’t guarantee the same quality with the next batch. It’s so frustrating (and expensive) to purchase hundreds of dollars of what was a great strain a month ago, but is now just mediocre. And not strong enough for your pain levels.
I spent a lot of money during the year I was in New Mexico’s Medical Cannabis Program, experimenting and searching for the right medicine for me — mostly bud, with a small amount of edibles (I couldn’t afford both). I was successful only about 20% of the time. And now I’m broke (thanks also to Unum), and stuck in a beautiful state with a medical cannabis program for rich people. Is there anyone out there who wants to fund my move to Colorado, where the medicine is more affordable and the quality is better?
In all seriousness, I would love to stay in Albuquerque. I don’t want to move again. But as a chronic pain refugee, there’s only a few states where I can afford medical cannabis, and New Mexico isn’t one of them. An expensive lesson for me, but I hope other pain patients learn from my mistakes.