Using cannabis to help you get through the holiday season is okay. You may find that others in your family or circle of friends use cannabis but aren’t open about it. Medicating should be done responsibly so that you are still functional, are able to participate in conversations and do not cause a scene. Consider microdosing this holiday season, so you can feel comfortable but not stoned out of your mind.
This guide will provide some tips for responsible medicating through the holiday season.
Managing Seasonal Depression
The holidays aren’t easy or joyous for everyone. Several cannabis strains aid in improving your mood, combatting depression and keep smiles on your face. When you know that you’ll be in a situation that may affect you, medicate in advance with edibles or capsules. These last longer in your body and are likely to provide relief for several hours at a time.
Keep vape or a dry herb vaporizer with you to give yourself little boosts as needed so that you don’t have to leave a family function or event early. Quietly excuse yourself, go outside (if there is no safe place to medicate inside) and take a few hits. Just a few though, you don’t want to go back in looking wrecked or in another universe.
Strain choice is very important. Always read strain information, and consider passing on strains that don’t have any information about them. The last thing you want is to need to control your anxiety, depression or pain and have a negative effect like anxiety, paranoia or dizziness present itself. This will not make your time with friends and family any easier. Choose strains that promote mood stabilization, uplifting effects, happiness, and (if you have pain) pain relief.
Stress reduction strains are also ideal as they may help keep you calm in stressful situations. If you have pain and stress, consider a strain like Sour Diesel, Blue Dream or Granddaddy Purple. These all help relax the body and mind while combatting pain. They are strong strains, so you really only need a little bit. Start with a small dose, around 10mg if you are using dry flower or an edible. This should be about 3 – 4 hits from a pipe, bong or joint. If you’re choosing an edible, portion it out so that you aren’t too medicated.
Author’s Note: When I view dispensary menus, I only purchase strains that have complete descriptions. This means that the expected effects, characteristics, medicinal uses and negative effects are all provided. I also view the general description discussing the strain’s lineage and general information. These are all important component of choosing the proper strain – make sure it has the properties you need it to have so that you have the relief you require. I am not one to take suggestions from budtenders on strains that are new or have no information because cannabis strains affect every individual differently. For example – for me .. White Widow makes me very dizzy and anxious but for others it helps anxiety.
Using the right dosage amounts for your needs might be difficult – especially if the holiday event or gathering is not at your own home. There may not be a place for you to medicate, so you may want to take that into consideration. Dose ahead of time with edibles or capsules, but have something with you (like vape) to help you maintain your mood once your edible or capsule wears off.
Microdosing is the key to making it through the holidays. A little at a time, just to make your stress, pain, anxiety and other issues manageable. Consider hard candy edibles. You can keep these in your pocket and take in cananbinoids sublingually a little at a time. At first, the effects may be a little strong, but they do even out, so try a candy at home first so you can see how you react to the THC within the candy. Try to stick to a 5mg or 10mg per piece type of hard candy – these are small, manageable doses that aren’t likely to put your head in the clouds but make you comfortable enough to handle the situation.
Tip: Try a few inconspicuous medicating methods at home first. You want to make sure that the product is going to work for you in a way that reduces stress, keeps you in a pleasant mood and helps your other ailments and not be too strong. Find strain-specific edibles whenever possible. These are more beneficial than THC isolate products as your body needs all of the cannabinoids in a strain, not just the THC.
Although cannabis is more widely accepted now, there are still those that strongly oppose it. If it is not something that is accepted in your family, but provides you the relief you need – don’t go without your natural remedy just because your friends or family don’t support your choice. Just find other methods (we’ll offer more suggestions in the next section) that won’t give off that distinct marijuana odor.
Delivery Method Choice
Delivery method makes all the difference in the world when you’re around others. Now, if your family and friends are comfortable with cannabis or use it themselves, dry flower to share with the group may be ideal. You may have positive conversations, laugh and enjoy each other’s company.
Edibles are great when you want to medicate but don’t want anyone to know that you’re “stoned”. Pay attention to the dosage on the edible and how many doses the edible is suggested to be. Only have a single dose at a time, and remember, edibles take about an hour to start showing effects.
Portable dry herb vaporizers are ideal for those that are traditionalists when it comes to cannabis. The benefit of the dry herb vaporizers is that some of the aroma is masked and you can still use the flower for other applications, such as infusions and as additions to ground cannabis for joints and pipes.
Vape pens are great, and are portable. There is no cannabis aroma with vape, so no one will be the wiser if they see you toking on a vape pen – as far as they’re concerned, it’s an e-cigarette.
Transdermal patches aren’t available in all markets, but where they are, they might be the right option. You can put them almost anywhere on your body and they can be covered by clothes.
Tinctures are another option when you need to feel relaxed, reduce pain or just be able to be social. They go under the tongue where you’ll hold the liquid for 1-full-minute and swallow them. The cannabinoids start absorbing sublingually within seconds and the swallowed tincture works faster when swallowed because it is a liquid.
You don’t have to go without your cannabis during the holidays. As you can see, there are several ways to medicate without anyone knowing. Be careful and pay attention to THC concentrations. Medicate but don’t over-medicate – remain functional and please do not drive while the effects are still present. You may not look forward to the holidays, but choosing the right cannabis strain or product may make them tolerable and easier to get through. Some people have painful memories, PTSD, depression and other reasons that make the holidays difficult to get through, and it’s just a stressful time of year altogether, but you don’t have to stay locked up in your home, separated from your family/friends – you can be present and interactive when you choose the right product, strain and dose.