• What effects does CBD have on the immune system?

    Overall, CBD has an immunosuppresive effect on the immune system. This means it dampens down pathological immune responses like the ones we might see in autoimmune disease.

  • What are some of the mechanisms by which CBD modulates immunity?

    CBD is able to increase rates of cell death and reduce inflammatory cytokines, sometimes acting through the neuroimmune axis, sometimes via gene alteration.

  • What’s CBD’s clinical significance in terms of immunomodulation?

    Because CBD is able to reduce pathological immune responses, it’s in the limelight for diseases like fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and Crohn’s disease for which inflammation and dysfunction of the immune system are major factors.

We recently published an article about the immunomodulatory effects of cannabis as a whole and now we want to go into a little bit more detail about CBD in particular. Immunomodulation is arguably the most important medical aspect of cannabis and the immunomodulatory effects of CBD can’t be understated.

From topical inflammation reduction to systemic reduction in inflammatory cytokines, CBD shows great potential in a number of diseases — even including Type 1 diabetes. Notice how CBD shows an overall immuno-suppressive quality. That means that its clinical application is typically to reduce pathological immune responses but not usually the other way around.

Interestingly, it appears to scientists that the immunomodulatory effects of CBD are mediated, not through cannabinoid receptors, but through other mechanisms in the body. This makes CBD extremely interesting and complex, but we’ll do our best to break down some of the science behind how CBD works in the immune system and what clinical significance that has for modern medicine.

Mechanisms of CBD in the immune system.

A digital illustration of a woman holding a cannabis leaf to her heart and holding a joint while her hand is in a mudra.
@brunovergauwen

There are a number of different mechanisms by which CBD has been identified to exert its effects through the immune system. Consider the immune system; it’s made up of various types of cells with a common cause: kill pathogens. Because the process of killing pathogens is complicated, different cells do different things. For example, immune cells known as T cells can produce signalling molecules that activate other immune cells. There are also B cells that can produce antibodies and have memory.

And so there are a number of different ways to measure how CBD might work through the immune system. To understand how CBD works in the immune system, scientists can measure the levels of certain inflammatory cytokines (chemicals produced by T cells), the rate of apoptosis (cell death), and by measuring intermediary compounds in the inflammatory process.

CBD has showed results in a number of these different measurable outcomes and when we have a look through them, it might become clearer the different stages in the inflammatory process that CBD can interfere with.

Immunosuppresion via the neuro-immune axis.

In one study, scientists uncovered a neuro-immune axis by which CBD exerts axis on the immune system of the human intestine. The gut is an interesting example because it has its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. Glial cells are a part of this enteric nervous system and they play an active role in inflammation; they release neurotrophins and other chemical signals that trigger other cells to begin the inflammatory process. 

In the research, scientists demonstrated CBD’s capacity to reduce the reactive response of glial cells, thereby reducing the amount of inflammatory cytokines. But it doesn’t do this via any kind of endocannabinoid receptor on glial cells; rather, scientists concluded that CBD exerts anti-inflammtory and immunosuppressive qualities via the PPAR gamma receptor pathway

It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean this is where CBD’s anti-inflammatory qualities stop in the gastrointestinal system (GIT). For example, the GIT is rich with cannabinoid receptors and so changes to the endocannabinoid system caused by CBD ingestion will likely have an effect in the GIT. However, through this investigation it becomes clear the myriad ways that CBD can exert an anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive effect.

Immunosuppression via apoptosis.

Apoptosis refers to cell death. Cell death isn’t a bad thing — it’s a very important thing. Imagine your skin cells never died and they continued to grow. Your skin would grow too thick to be healthy. It’s the same with tissues and organs. Cells need to die and then new ones need to take their place. This is especially true if we’re talking about immunity because the best fate for infected cells is death. This way, the pathogen doesn’t continue to replicate and cause ill health to the organism.

In this study, researchers showed that CBD is able to induce apoptosis in human monocytes. Monocytes are a particular kind of white blood cell (white blood cells form part of the immune system). They are large cells that differentiate into macrophages and other kinds of immune cells. They are typically higher in level when the body is fighting a pathogen, and so they are used as a marker for increased or pathological inflammation.

This is why it’s relevant that CBD is able to increase apoptosis rates of human monocytes. For the nerdy soul whose wondering, it does this by increasing mitochondrial permeability and causing oxidative stress to the point of apoptosis. 

There are a number of other studies that show CBD’s ability to induce apoptosis in in vitro murine and human cells.

Immunosuppression via gene alteration.

This is an especially interesting aspect of the way CBD can alter the human immune response. Scientists of this research tested CBD on human gingival mesenchymal stem cells and tested for a number of different biomarkers and surface antigens. Incredibly, researchers found that CBD was able to downregulate genes codifying for antigens that activate the immune system.

This study is the only one of its kind, although this kind of research has taken place with respect to cancer rather than specifically the immune system. It’s also important to remember that this study took place in a petri dish and not a human, and it’s never clear whether it’s translatable until it’s tested in a human.

It does begin to shed light on the depth that CBD is able to reach within the human cell, sometimes even altering the immune response through gene expression.

The clinical significance of CBD.

An illustration of a cannabis flower in a bouquet, tied up with a ribbon.
@useless_treasures

The anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive effects of CBD are its most sought after effects. It is these qualities that put it under the spotlight for cancer, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and fibromyalgia. The reality is that there are a lot of modern diseases with some kind of inflammation or immune dysfunction involved. Autoimmune conditions are another great example.

Consider the study we mentioned earlier in this article about CBD’s potential role in the gastrointestinal system. This is an important outcome for those with Crohn’s disease whose symptoms are almost entirely caused by gastrointestinal inflammation.

Looking at cancer in particular, CBD has been shown to inhibit INF-y (interferon-gamma), a cytokine of the immune system that is implicated in different kinds of cancer. It potentially does this by balancing out the various types of cells that do and don’t produce this cytokine, again demonstrating the complexity by which CBD works on the immune system.

This cytokine also plays a role in certain autoimmune diseases and allergies. For example, lupus is a systemic autoimmune disease that affects the whole body. INF-y is highly implicated in lupus, and interestingly CBD has shown value for those with lupus. However, CBD showed specific action against interleukin-6 in this particular disease.

The reason CBD is clinically significant is because there are not many safe ways to suppress immune function. Immunosuppressive therapy often comes with strong side effects, such as hugely increased susceptibility to infections. On top of this, we have very few treatments for autoimmune diseases such as Crohn’s and lupus and CBD poses a novel therapy that could be useful for these treatment resistant conditions.

One cannabinoid doesn’t fit all inflammation.

A collage art of two people standing in a art gallery looking at massive paintings of cannabis.
@eugenia_loli

We’ve clearly demonstrated how complex CBD is and how wondrous its journey through the human immune system is. From this article, it might look like CBD does just about everything in the immune system. But that’s not the whole picture. If anything, it should be clear that every kind of inflammation is different, involving different cells and mediators, and therefore, there’s no one cannabinoid that will solve all inflammatory problems. 

For some people, immune modulation simply means avoiding a certain trigger. Think of those with a peanut allergy. All they have to do to avoid that inflammatory reaction is avoid peanuts — not take CBD! 

The continuing investigation into CBD’s immunomodulatory effects and how these can be correctly, efficiently, and safely applied in the clinical setting is paramount. The increasing incidence of autoimmune disease and immune system-mediated disease necessitates this greater understanding so that cannabis can find its way into the hands of those who need it.

We look forward to getting nitty gritty into the science of other cannabinoids and their effects on the immune system.

Have you used CBD for inflammation or autoimmune disease? How did you use it and was it effective for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • What makes smoking harmful?

    Toxic substances called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are produced during combustion that can cause cells to transform and become cancerous.

  • What are the top benefits of vaping?

    Vaping produces a more robust, pronounced flavour, it’s more discreet than traditional smoking, and you have the ability to control the temperature and therefore your experience.

  • What are the risks of vaping?

    We still don’t know a lot about the technologies used in vapes and the e-liquids themselves, and the risks revolve mainly around what we don’t know yet. Plus, the substances used in e-liquids, though they are considered safe, might not be considered safe for inhalation.

The modern alternative to smoking cannabis is vaping. For some users, it’s a healthier inhalation option. For others, vaping delivers a better flavour experience. But how much healthier is it — and does the fact that it’s healthier also mean that it’s risk free? 

Given how new vaping is in the overall scheme of things, there’s not an awful lot of research to guide us in our decision making. There is, however, a consensus that vaping is much less harmful to health than smoking. 

There are other benefits to vaping cannabis such as the variety and versatility of cannabis e-liquids. For example, cannabis vapes often have very precise cannabinoid content and cannabinoid ratios. For some users this is seen as better control over their cannabis experience.

In this article, we’re going to check out firstly, what makes smoking harmful, then we’ll look at all the pros and cons of vaping cannabis. Inhale responsibly!

Why is smoking harmful?

A collage art of a woman sitting on a cannabis bud, fanning her face in the sunlight.
@wetoast

Before we talk about some of the reasons you might want to switch from smoking cannabis to vaping, let’s have a look at exactly what makes smoking harmful. It’s really important to remember that smoking cannabis and smoking tobacco are two completely different things. But in any case, the lungs were made for inhaling air and using its oxygen — they were never intended to inhale burning plant material.

Smoking is harmful because smoke, whether from cannabis or tobacco, irritates the lining of the bronchial airways. The smoke also causes a transformation of the normal cells that line the bronchial passages, turning them into cells that secrete a large amount of mucous.

When you burn cannabis (and virtually anything), toxic chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are produced. These can be converted via enzymatic pathways into cancer-producing cells, and so they are pro-carcinogens.

Smoking is harmful, not really because of what is being smoked, but because fundamentally the act of inhaling burning fumes is harmful. Burned substances are not supposed to be consumed in the general sense because they are known to contain toxic PAHs — this is even what makes barbecued meats a less healthy option than grilled or baked meats

Why is vaping healthier than smoking?

Vaping removes the combustion aspect of smoking without the inhalation aspect. And so what the user receives is vapour rather than smoke. As we just talked about, PAHs are typically produced during the combustion of any carbon-based organic matter like wood or coal, for example. So the reason that vaping is healthier than smoking is because no matter is combusted before inhalation, therefore there are no PAHs in vaped cannabis

According to the Royal College of Physicians, vaping is unlikely to cause greater than 5% of the damage caused by smoking. Although their analysis specifically relates to vaping nicotine rather than cannabis, it wouldn’t be farfetched to assume a similar comparison with cannabis.

(Other) Benefits of vaping.

So we’ve established why vapourizing cannabis is considerably healthier than smoking cannabis. Without PAHs, there’s way less mutagens and carcinogens getting into your lungs which equals better lung health. But there are more benefits to vaping than the simple fact that it’s healthier than smoking.

In fact, for a lot of vapers, it’s also more enjoyable than smoking.

Better flavour.

Vaping cannabis is altogether more flavourful with less contamination of the cannabis taste. Even if you roll straight green joints, the taste and effect of the paper alters the taste of pure cannabis. The same can be said for a pipe, where most of the aromatic terpenes are burned by direct flame. 

Better control.

Vaping gives you better control over your cannabis experience in a number of ways. Firstly, you can control the temperature at which you vape. You can then completely optimise the different vaping temperatures for different cannabinoids to maximise their taste and effects. 

Secondly, you have greater flexibility in terms of cannabis products. Cannabis vapes and e-liquids are typically sold with precise cannabinoid concentrations such as 1000mg CBD or 500mg THC. Sometimes, they are mixed to a precise ratio, allowing you to fully tailor your cannabis experience.

Better discretion.

By virtue of the smell only (let alone the amount of smoke), vaping is much more discreet than smoking. This is especially true if you vape at lower temperatures. Many people prefer to vape because you can do it on the fly without everybody in your street noticing!

What are the risks of vaping?

A collage art of a woman wearing cannabis clothes and a cannabis hat and pointing her finger towards the sky.
@_third_eye_art

It’s somewhat hard to have a conversation about the risks of vaping because there are few studies, and those that exist are inconsistent. It’s a difficult topic to study because of the variation in different materials and technologies used in vapes, the variation in composition of the liquids, and the difficulty in comparing the number of puffs of a vape to the number of cigarettes smoked. For this reason, it’s been hard to compare the risks of vaping to the risks of smoking.

The fact that we don’t know much could be considered a risk, too. For example, many of the flavourings used for vape liquids are made of substances that are “generally considered to be safe”. But these additives and colours are considered safe for oral consumption, and very little is known about how these additives affect our health when inhaled.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, lungs were made for breathing in air and nothing else. But we also said that vaping isn’t likely to exceed 5% of the damage of smoking — so that gives us an idea of where on the Richter scale of harmful vaping is.

Making the switch from smoking to vaping.

The switch from smoking to vaping is a positive one albeit a personal one. Some people simply never switch to vaping because they use cannabis recreationally and don’t use it often enough to feel the need to switch. Often, medicinal cannabis users prefer to vape to minimise the potential harm caused by smoking.

It can also happen that sometimes you don’t find your favourite strain in a vape and so you decide to buy it in its flower form! The versatility of cannabis is also one of the reasons cannabis is so accessible to so many different kinds of people. And that’s also why cannabis is so much loved!

Do you prefer vaping or smoking? Have you made the switch from smoking to vaping before? We’d love to hear your experience in the comments.

This article is brought to you by Joe Sunnyside, co-founder of Sunnyside Botanicals. Dive with us into Sunnyside Botanicals’ origin story, the transformational effect CBD had on Joe’s life, and three tips he wishes he was given when he started his CBD journey.


A few years ago, my circumstances made it clear that I needed to embark on journey to improve my wellbeing. I’d been coping, or suffering with chronic pain from youth sports injuries and a serious car accident, along with newly diagnosed mood disorder. Gratefully, I was given a wonderful opportunity to take time and I initiated a quest for self improvement.

I have to admit that, while it was a slow start, it wasn’t until I introduced CBD to my routine that everything catapulted forward with life-changing momentum. Including a CBD tincture into my daily routine has without question been among the most positively impactful decisions I’ve ever made – the benefits have allowed me to make profound improvements to both my physical and mental health.

But, despite almost being a poster child for someone who could benefit from CBD, noting the ailments I was suffering from, I was hesitant to try CBD. I was very familiar with cannabis, having varying periods of consumption, heavy or otherwise, over my late teens and 20s and working in the industry. But CBD… I was a skeptic.

3 Tips to Maximizing CBD's Effects and Benefits | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
Tincture formulas, left to right: 150mg Nano CBD, 600mg Full Spectrum CBD, 600mg CBD Isolate.

Three main reasons I was skeptical of CBD:

  1. It sounded too good to be true. Because it seemed to be all the rage especially down in the USA (Where it was more or less unregulated completely) bold hyperbolic claims that it could cure and solve anything and everything. It just wasn’t believable sounding to me.
  2. Many of the people I knew personally who’d tried it felt it didn’t seem to work for them.
  3. At the time, most of the products available here in Canada didn’t resonate with me. This was pre-legalization, and it seemed there were only recreationally focused “stoner brands” that had little education on proper dosing, or what the product was really about. It didn’t leave me with much confidence in the products available.

But it was after (too long) a period of agony with the arthritic issue, and having stomach issues as a result of some of the medications I’d been on for both arthritis and anxiety, a degree of desperation set it in and I gave CBD a chance…

For me the impact was so profound, I sit here today with the opportunity to write educational blogs for you after co-founding a CBD company that is now the basis of my career, and purpose. I’m so grateful, I still can’t believe it at times. It is our goal at Sunnyside Botanicals to not only provide high-quality remedies, but to educate you, the conscious consumer, so they can make the most out of our products. We hope our contributions leave the industry a better place than when we entered it, and that our own experiences can provide guidance and conversation to enrich the lives of those we come across.

Anyone who seeks CBD is doing so for some sort of relief. It is of great disappointment to us that the experiences of some are so underwhelming that they not only continue to have to cope with their ailment, but they now may even discourage others from seeking the potential life changing benefits of CBD. We feel its usually because of a bad product, or they’ve not given CBD the chance to work for them.

Here are 3 pieces of information I wish everyone knew so they can make the most out of their CBD journey.

3 Tips to Maximizing CBD's Effects and Benefits | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
Sunnyside Botanicals’ Nano products, top to bottom: 600mg CBD Isolate, 60mg CBD Relief Roller.

Edibles are bad — sublingual tinctures FTW.

The #1 reason people feel that CBD didn’t work for them is because it didn’t. Why not? Often it’s because they’ve consumed their CBD as an edible, like a gummy, a capsule, or even dropping their CBD oil into a beverage.

Many studies conclude the same — this is the least bioavailable way to get your CBD. The gastrointestinal system, i.e. your digestive system, has been shown to only absorb approximately 6% of a CBD dose (some studies show as low as 4%, one shows as high at 9%). This means if you’re taking a 10mg gummy, or dropping 10mg of oil into your morning coffee, you’re actually consuming less than 1mg.

The simple reason: our water-based bodies do not absorb oil-based nutrients very efficiently. It can also take between 1-2 hours for any benefits to be felt. Not ideal.

To be clear, nothing really absorbs at 100% efficiency (the proper term is bioavailability) — there’s a reason why you get an IV if you go to the hospital. It injects nutrients/medicine directly into the bloodstream instead of through a digestive system. CBD, however, is particularly awful at being absorbed gastrointestinally.

We always recommend taking your CBD with a tincture, holding the oil under your tongue so it can be absorbed by the sublingual gland.

This absorption method delivers the therapeutic agents directly to the bloodstream at approximately 35% (that’s much better than 6%!) and in as little as 30 minutes. Best held for 60 seconds or so, we encourage people to take the time to integrate a mindfulness ritual into their routine during this time. Taking 60 seconds to be still, or even go over a list of things I’m grateful for was a simple yet rewarding improvement to the experience.

Note: Vaporizing and suppositories have better bioavailabilities, but those come with potential other health risks or convenience factors to consider.

Your ideal dose is as unique as you are! Finding it takes time, a little experimentation, and consistency.

People take CBD to remedy a variety of things, be it arthritis or chronic pain, insomnia, varying degrees of anxiety, stomach or bowel issues, aches and cramps, or even for supplementation to encourage things like homeostasis and as anti-inflammatory antioxidants.

Each of these can be remedied with different doses (let alone different products, e.g. isolate or full-spectrum).

Chronic cases of both pain and insomnia are best remedied with a full-spectrum product, and may require larger doses. Those with anxiety may prefer a CBD isolate tincture at, depending on your anxiety, a small dose of 25mg or a large dose of 300-400mg (per studies examining benefits of CBD for individuals with PTSD).

Crucially, like any supplement like magnesium or fish oil and especially those affecting the body’s or brain’s chemistry, it can take 2 or more weeks for the full benefits to be reached. Consistent daily dosing for up to a month is the best way to ensure you’ve given it the best chance.

We always recommend people start off taking 5-10mg (under the tongue, sublingually of course!) 2x daily (depending on their condition) and increase by 5-10mg every 4-5 days. After benefits are no longer being felt with increases, you’ve hit your ideal dose. Some people track and journal their experiences too.

CBD is not a cure-all… but it can be a wonderful ally on your wellness journey.

As I integrated CBD into life, it offered some relief from chronic pain and took the edge off from the side effects I was feeling from my medications. Having a greater capacity to be more physically active, as well as bringing some mental clarity, if not stability, was the miracle of my CBD journey. But I did have to do something with that capacity. Feeling better physically made it easier to become more active, which improved my mental state. Feeling better mentally motivated me to continue working on myself, and the confidence to purse something I was passionate about. But work had to be put in, CBD was just there to take the edge off, and then provide support along the way.

Ensuring you’re active is key to feeling better physically and is a crucial contributor to mental wellness. If pain is limiting your ability to be active, CBD is a proven potent pain reliever. An all natural anti-inflammatory. If you suffer from chronic pain, (condition depending, of course) consider trying something like yoga or Thai Chi if you can start feeling able.

If you’re taking CBD for an anxiety issue, no matter the severity, please consider talking to someone about it.The best remedy for anxiety is talking about it. It’s hard to do so when one isn’t in the state of mind though, and CBD might help get one there. The more we talk about it, the easier it becomes.

I hope you’ve found my tips and tricks insightful. You can find our full selection of products throughout getmysupply.co/brand/sunnysidebotancials — I’m sure there’s a product (or 2, or 3 at least!) that can help you enjoy the Sunnyside of Life.  ???

Joe Sunnyside

Joe is the Co-Founder of Sunnyside Botanicals, established in 2019 to design and deliver effective hemp-derived CBD products. A leader in transparency, quality, and sustainability, Sunnyside Botanicals has dedicated itself to the creation and refinement of products we can all rely on consistently, trusting they’ll meet the health needs of loved ones.

Joe lives in Vancouver BC.

  • What does smoking cannabis during a shroom trip do?

    It can either intensify the experience, reduce nausea, or it can help you relax into the experience and have less resistance to ego death.

  • What’s the low-down on how to use cannabis while tripping on shrooms?

    Right before a trip, cannabis might help to reduce nausea. As soon as you take the mushrooms, smoking a joint might help you relax a little into the experience. And during the peak, it can intensify the experience.

  • How do you handle a bad reaction?

    Breathe; try to relax; remember you’re not dying. The more composed you can stay, the better you’ll be able to turn the whole thing around.

Cannabis and shrooms — arguably the most common poly-drug cocktail that exists. And there are a lot of anecdotal reports that smoking cannabis while tripping on shrooms potentiates the journey. But is a more-intense journey what everybody wants? Just because a joint is being passed around during a magic mushroom trip, does that mean you should accept it?

When you smoke cannabis during a mushroom trip is also a factor. You can use cannabis before, during or after a journey, and depending on where in the journey you decide to introduce cannabis, the effect can be totally different. 

It goes without saying — if you’re a newbie to either mushrooms or cannabis, do yourself a favour and don’t cocktail. Firstly, it will be hard to understand which effects come from mushrooms and which ones come from cannabis. And secondly, you might be signing yourself up for a too-intense experience that will leave you with a sour taste in your mouth (which neither you, nor any mushroom/cannabis advocate wants).

So before you smoke cannabis while tripping on shrooms, read this informational article about the effects, and when is the best time to use cannabis in a mushroom journey.

Cannabis can help reduce nausea associated with shrooms.

Everything You Need to Know About Smoking Cannabis While Tripping on Shrooms | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@raphaellacosteart

A number of anecdotal reports on Reddit and Shroomery that suggest that using cannabis can help to reduce the nausea associated with shrooms. For a lot of mushroom users, the upset belly can really impede on the experience, making it less pleasurable.

Cannabis is a common therapy for nausea, so it’s no real surprise that it helps to reduce a mushroom-induced upset belly. Most of the anecdotal reports suggest using cannabis as soon as you take the shrooms so that during the come-up, you’re protected from nausea.

There are other ways to reduce nausea on shrooms such as making mushroom tea or using the lemon-tek method. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended to use the lemon-tek or tea as a means of reducing nausea instead of introducing another psychedelic substance.

Cannabis during the peak intensifies a magic mushroom trip. 

Other users claim that using cannabis at the peak of a magic mushroom trip (around 2 hours in) intensifies the trip. Users have reported intensified auditory and visual hallucinations and increased physical sensations. 

For seasoned users, this could be an interesting experiment. Obviously we don’t recommend this for inexperienced users. Be really mindful about the importance of set and setting and the kind of preparation you should do before a mushroom journey, especially if you plan on intensifying it with cannabis.

A more intense experience isn’t always a better one; keep that in tow when deciding to use cannabis at the height of a mushroom journey.

Cannabis might relax you into the mushroom experience.

Everything You Need to Know About Smoking Cannabis While Tripping on Shrooms | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@stephen_fraser_art

Using cannabis to relax yourself into a mushroom experience is another way to look at things. Those who use cannabis at the beginning of a mushroom journey report that it helps them relax, be more open, and be less resistant to the ego death phenomenon.

That’s another way of saying that cannabis might help you feel your way into the kind of God experience that mushroom users talk about.

Is that always the case? Well, probably not. Depending on who you are and how you handle cannabis, it might not have this effect at all. For some people, cannabis is a stimulant that gets the mind racing with ideas. This isn’t exactly conducive to relaxation.

Then again, the strain could be an important factor. High CBD strains are more associated with balance and relaxation than high THC strains, so that’s something you might want to consider if you’ll be using cannabis and shrooms for this purpose. 

Handling a bad reaction. 

Everything You Need to Know About Smoking Cannabis While Tripping on Shrooms | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@psychedelicnymph

So, what happens if you planned an astral travelling adventure with cannabis and shrooms but it all goes sour? The first step is to relax. 

There is, unfortunately, no “undoing” what you did. You can’t “un-take” all those shrooms and cannabis, so instead of trying to stop yourself from feeling what you’re feeling, you have to buckle up, breathe, and get through it.

Hopefully you’re reading this before you experiment with smoking cannabis while tripping on shrooms. You have to remember to remind yourself that you’re not dying and that this too, shall pass.

Some magic mushroom experiences are scary and uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean they’re bad for you. If you can patiently experience what you’re going through, you can “reframe” a bad trip into a really powerful, enlightening experience about your own psyche. 

To mitigate having a bad reaction, be in the right place, and take shrooms and cannabis together at the right time. We have detailed articles on how to correctly prepare for a psychedelic journey and how to integrate a journey post-dose. We recommend reading these before embarking on a cannabis-shroom cocktail.

Have you ever smoked cannabis while tripping on shrooms? At what point in the journey did you do it? Let us know your experience in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • What does psilocybin do to the brain?

    Psilocybin causes modes of greater brain interconnectivity; i.e. the parts of the brain talk to each other better. This may explain the feeling of divine knowledge and synaesthesia.

  • Why is cannabis so euphoric?

    Some scientists think it’s because THC makes you forget. That means forgetting your worries and your traumas, and according to some researchers, forgetfulness is next to godliness.

  • Why do psychedelics make us feel so good?

    Emotional processing coupled with better brain interconnectivity might explain the divine experience or the euphoric realisations that come with using psychedelics. And ultimately, an improved state of mental health.

Closed-eye hallucinations. Rebounding of thoughts in the epic chamber that is the universal mind. Revelations. Mind-bending revelations. These are the hallmarks of a psychedelic experience. But what is it about psychedelic substances like psilocybin and cannabis that open up a person’s mind to entirely new realities, altering their mood, their perceptions, and their thoughts? 

There’s a harrowing lack of research into the neuroscience of psychedelics although a few rogue scientists have been deep in the idea. At the same time, it’s one thing to explain the change in brain activity under the influence in psychedelics and how that dictates the physical or mental perception of events and objects. But it’s all together another thing to explain the emotional response to the events and feelings we experience under the effects of psychedelics. What is it that bursts our hearts open into unconditional love and never-ending acceptance?

In this article, we explore these ideas and what some scientists believe is happening in our brains, bodies, and feelings when we consume psychedelic substances.

Psilocybin and connectivity.

An concept illustration of connectivity and magic mushrooms.
@mindfulsav

As we are, understanding the complex integration of aspects of the brain and the essential networking that takes place in there is a huge challenge for neuroscience. What’s beautiful is that studying the effects of psilocybin on the brain has actually taught us more about the human brain (much like the study of cannabis led to the discovery of the endocannabinoid system!). 

In 2014 at the Imperial College of London, a team of researchers (that included the famous Prof. David Nutt by the way) took advanced brain images of those who took a psilocybin dose and those who took placebo. The researchers observed less “constrained” brain function and greater intercommunicative modes in the brain in the psilocybin group. The researchers think this could occur as a result of stimulation of a specific serotonin receptor in the cortex. 

The researchers then went on to talk about the implications of this in the real-life, hands-on psychedelic experience. There is a phenomenon called synaesthesia, characterised by the overlapping of senses. Being able to hear or taste colours or to see music are examples. The increased intercommunication between brain parts might be responsible for synaesthesia, which is commonly reported in the psychedelic experience. 

Moments where it all… comes together.

Revelatory ideas and realisations are reported as part of the “mystical” psilocybin experience. But given the opportunity to explain these experiences, people define it as simply a light bulb moment. Everything simply comes together. It’s not farfetched that the simultaneous merging of thoughts into a single, coherent, idea (some call it singularity) resembles the scientific observation that scientists made.

Terrence McKenna talks at great lengths about archetypes and draws on Carl Jung (he actually gave a speech to the Carl Jung Society once). He talks about the merging of these different aspects of self and the resolution that can only come with their integration. It’s obviously unclear from a scientific perspective how much the inability to make those integrations contributes to mental illness or whatever makes us feel down. 

The reconciliation of memories, senses, thoughts, and emotions through interconnectedness of brain parts could be a precursor to the mystical experience that is so often reported on psilocybin.

Anandamide, man’s bliss molecule and THC; two peas in a pod.

A collage art of a woman with psychedelic cacti and flowers, staring into the sky.
@astralmoonbeam

During very clandestine research into cannabinoids in the 90s, scientists discovered the first human endocannabinoid, anandamide. It was a funny story actually, because it was the study of THC that led to the discovery of the cannabinoid receptor, which in turn led to the discovery of an endogenous cannabinoid. So you could thank THC for all this good science.

Anandamide and THC are structurally very similar. Anandamide also has some very interesting neurological properties as an endogenous cannabinoid. One of those qualities is forgetfulness. A lot like THC, spikes in anandamide levels are associated with impaired short-term memory. But this isn’t seen as a bad quality of anandamide. In fact, one of the researchers who gave anandamide its name said it was one of the very reasons that it was blissful. 

Anandamide gets its name from ananda, the Sanskrit word for bliss. Raphael Mechoulam, who was on the team in the discovery of anandamide said that it was an endogenously produced antidepressant that also made you forget, because why would you want to remember every face you saw on the train that day? 

In May 2020, researchers were able to inhibit anandamide in mice and could therefore observe the consequences. They found anandamide inhibition disturbed the emotional processing and tone of emotional behaviour, suggesting that anandamide’s ability to make a person forget is part and parcel of emotional health. 

Remember that song, Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin? That’s literally the sentiment. Cannabis has long been associated with “forgetting your worries”, but this was often looked upon as a negative consequence of cannabis use. At the same time all cannabis users know that this is exactly what makes it so damn beautiful.

Forgetfulness, something that’s always scorned, is also what we look for after a traumatic experience or an awful day. We want to forget. Because forgetting, moving on, and getting on with it are all really beautiful things. And maybe that’s what makes us feel high.

When emotional processing and increased brain connectivity come together.

Why do Psilocybin and Cannabinoids Make us Feel High? | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@robbieritchie

The psychedelic experience is all together emotional, mental, and physical. And even though we don’t know much, we know something extreme is happening under the effects of psychedelics. We also know that something emotional happens under the effect of psilocybin — a level of emotional processing and changes in limbic brain activity that facilitate mystical experiences. 

You can kind of think of it as a form of psychotherapy only there’s no therapist. You are the therapist. That “kind” of psychotherapy coupled with the fact that parts of your brain are talking to each other that haven’t spoken to each other in years begins to explain the euphoria and the highness of psychedelic drugs like magic mushrooms and cannabis.

It’s like receiving 10 years of psychotherapy in a few hours. And the long-lasting effects of psychedelics aren’t hearsay. At 6 month follow ups after only a single dose of psilocybin, patients showed lasting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects.

We want that connectedness within ourselves and our environment. We want to emotionally process these traumatic memories. The problem with psychotherapy is that it relies on the participation of the individual. With psilocybin or ayahuasca or even cannabis, it’s not asking for permission. We are essentially forced into a place that’s at once, safe to do the emotional processing and equipped with the tools for doing it. And sometimes, even if it’s not what you signed up for, it’s what you get.

This begins to touch on the importance of psychology in our long-term mental health and how understanding our own minds is fundamental to the “high” of life. What happens to us under the effect of psychedelics is a glimmer into the potential of feeling and understanding.

What makes us feel high when we use cannabis or psilocybin is us. Feeling the potential of a human brain or simply forgetting a worry to come back to what it feels like to be in your body, in your mind and in your feelings is what it means to be high. Perhaps that’s why the mind-bending, unfathomable realities and the boundless blissful feeling that comes with being high.

Key takeaways.

  • What are some reasons to give your pet CBD?

    Pet owners might give their pets CBD to manage anxiety, epilepsy, arthritis, cancer, inflammation and painful conditions, and age related conditions such as poor appetite.

  • How much CBD should you give your pet?

    Anywhere between 0.5 and 50mg, depending on the size of the pet and how severe their ailment is. Scroll down for a table on different doses for different sized pets.

  • Is it the same for cats and dogs?

    Though the endocannabinoid system is different in cats and dogs, the recommended dosages for cats and dogs are the same. It all depends on their weight.

  • Can pets have a bad reaction?

    Pets might become drowsy or get diarrhoea if the dose is too big. However, these symptoms typically stop as soon as you stop giving your pet CBD.

Every pet parent needs a 101 on administering CBD to their pets. As it goes most often in the cannabis industry, the excitement to use and explore cannabis products comes a lot quicker than the genuine understanding of how to use them correctly. And when we’re talking about our furry friends, there’s much less scope for that exploration and experimentation. Pet parents have a major responsibility.

In a still heavily unregulated industry, pet owners need to be discerning on a number of things. Firstly, they need to be discerning on the kind of cannabis product they choose to give to their pet (we’ll go through toxicity later in the article). They also need to be discerning about dose, timing, and whether or not it will genuinely help the symptoms associated with their pet’s condition.

Veterinary care is a special kind of medicine because we don’t get to ask animals what their goals and expectations are for treatment. We make these decisions for our pets, and that’s why it’s important to exercise more caution than when making health decisions for yourself.

This article is a full breakdown of the kinds of reasons a pet owner might give CBD to their pets along with dosage instructions so that if you do choose CBD for your furry friend, you know exactly how to administer it safely.

When and why should you give your pet CBD?

CBD For Pets 101 | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@greenforce_staffing

Nobody can stand to watch their furry companion suffer through pain, arthritis, inflammation, epilepsy or anxiety. Veterinary medications exist for these health conditions in animals. However, for the same reasons people seek out CBD, pet owners do the same. Pet owners might prefer to use something more natural on their pets or might also find that CBD treatment is less costly than conventional veterinary pharmaceuticals (which are often very expensive).

With that in mind, the first things you need to ascertain are:

  • What is my pet’s diagnosed health condition?
  • Is CBD an effective treatment for that health condition?
  • What does my pet’s vet say about using CBD for this health condition?

It’s really important for pet owners to acknowledge that only a vet can diagnose their cat or dog with a health problem. We can (dangerously) play self-diagnosis with our own selves because we experience our own symptoms, but the general population has a lack of understanding of animal bodies. Please don’t play Google doctor with your pet.

With all of that being said, here are some of the most common pet problems that CBD might be helpful for:

  • Arthritis
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Cancer
  • Inflammation and painful conditions
  • Age related symptoms such as poor appetite 

A note on safety, toxicity, efficacy, and research

It’s worth mentioning that until now, there is very minimal research with respect to CBD and animals in terms of efficacy. In the few trials that have taken place, CBD seems to be well tolerated by cats and dogs, although it’s noted that cats absorb and eliminate CBD differently to dogs. We still don’t know the implications of this or how this affects dosage and efficacy.

There is also clinical evidence to suggest that THC may have toxicity potential for dogs. It’s believed that cats can also become intoxicated with CBD. Researchers believe this is because dogs have a higher concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains, making the intoxicating effects of THC stronger for dogs than humans.

Toxicity does not necessarily mean death. It means that THC ingestion by dogs can lead to unwanted symptoms such as loss of motor control, drowsiness, sleepiness, and in some very bad scenarios, coma. The very minute amounts of THC in full spectrum CBD products is not toxic for cats and dogs, and shouldn’t be considered dangerous.

How much CBD should you give your pet?

The moment of truth — what every pet owner wants to know: how much CBD to give your pet? Well, it’s all going to depend on what kind of pet you have, their size, and their physical ailment. We understand very little about the pharmacokinetics of cannabinoids in animals. We still aren’t sure of the bioavailability of cannabinoids, and in any case, erring on the safe side is better!

The following information should help you to decide the most appropriate dose to give your pet. Remember to start on the lowest possible dose and watch your pet to see if it’s working or if there are any adverse effects.

A chart describing the CBD dose for different sized pets

Is it the same for cats and dogs?

The simple answer is yes. The complicated answer is no. As we mentioned, we know that cats absorb and eliminate CBD differently to dogs but we don’t know the implications of this. However, dosage guidelines are based on weight and can therefore be applied to cats. Given that most adult cats are in the 5-10kg weight range, it would never really be appropriate to administer more than 10mg in any given dosage.

What about bigger animals like horses or farm animals like chickens?

There are reports of people using CBD on bigger animals such as horses. But again, there is so little research that nothing can be said conclusively about horses, exotic animals or even farm animals. The majority of studies exist around the use of CBD on dogs. It’s important to consult your vet if you want to give CBD to any animal other than a cat or dog.

What happens if your pet has a bad reaction to CBD?

It’s normal for your pet to have a response to CBD. Here are some normal side effects your pet might experience if they take a little too much CBD:

  • Drowsiness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Signs of digestive upset

These symptoms will go away when CBD has worn off and is a sign that you should administer less next time.

If any other symptoms occur that are not drowsiness, diarrhoea, or mild digestive upset, you should immediately take your pet to the vet. It is extremely unlikely that your cat or dog will experience a bad reaction to CBD but it’s very important to be watching your pet when you give them CBD. Observe them and if any concerning events take place, go straight to the vet.

What’s next?

CBD For Pets 101 | Cannabis 101 | My Supply Co.
@dabbing_tabby

Go to the vet and ask for their opinion and advice.

The fact that CBD is readily available for pets doesn’t replace the need your pet has for real veterinary care. Most pet owners are not qualified to diagnose and treat their pets, so it’s fundamental to include your vet in this process. It’s especially true if your cat or dog is taking other medications. You don’t want a reaction to happen that your vet is unaware about or that you don’t want to have to explain at the emergency.

Before giving your pet CBD, it’s nice to have the vet on your side. A cannabis-friendly vet will also help to manage your expectations as a pet owner about the symptom management and recovery of your pet.

Finally, make sure you source a top-quality CBD product. Animals shouldn’t tolerate contaminants or inferior cannabis products the same way humans shouldn’t. Be sure to care for your furry friends by shopping for CBD products specially formulated for a pet’s palate and needs.

Have you ever given your pet CBD? What did you use it for and was it effective for them? We’d love to hear your stories. Drop it in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • What do edibles feel like?

    Edibles take around 1 hour to kick in and can last for around 5-6 hours. You can still feel the effects of an edible up to 12 hours later.

  • What does smoking feel like?

    Smoking takes effect instantly and lasts for about 3 hours. The effects can be felt after a joint for up to 5 hours.

  • Why do they feel so different?

    It’s likely because of the way they are metabolised. While cannabinoids that enter the lungs enter the blood stream before they have a chance to be metabolised by the liver, edibles have to first pass through metabolic organs before finding their way into the bloodstream.

Experiencing cannabis in the 21st century is exciting. There’s a smorgasbord of different kinds of products to try, each with their own purposes and effects. Lots of people choose to ditch smoking because, well, inhaling combusted plant material into your lungs isn’t all that healthy. Eating cannabis a healthier way to consume, and as you’re going to discover, can have a different set of effects and medical uses. 

Understanding the difference between smoking and edibles is easier when we break down the different ways that these two ingestion methods are processed by the body. Inhaled cannabis essentially sends cannabinoids directly to the brain and bloodstream, whereas edibles first have to pass through the digestive tract, first and second pass metabolism before they enter the bloodstream. 

Naturally, the different metabolic processes change the way that the user perceives the effect of cannabis. Let’s have a look at the edibles experience at a glance.

Edibles vs smoking at a glance.

It’s already pretty clear that edibles take longer to take effect, last much longer, and can have a stronger “stone over” effect. 

Avg. time of onsetRecommended waiting timePeak highCome down
Edibles30 mins – 1 hr2 hours2-5 hours7-12 hours
SmokingImmediately-10 minutes10 minutes1-3 hours2-5 hours

It’s also worth mentioning that inhaling cannabis has a greater bioavailability than edibles. That means less cannabis is actually absorbed into target tissues when you eat it. 

But that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

For certain medical consumers, it might be more pertinent to get cannabinoids to the right places (like the intestines, for example), rather than just loading up on more cannabinoids. In which case, the method of ingesting cannabis is just as important as the cannabis itself. Let’s check out how edible weed is digested compared to smoking.

Absorption of edible cannabinoids vs smoked cannabinoids

An illustration of the human digestive tract, decorated with flowers.

When we talk about the absorption, digestion, and elimination of a drug or substance, we’re talking about that substance’s pharmacokinetics. The pharmacology and pharmacokinetics of cannabis is extremely interesting for one very important reason: cannabinoids are lipophilic.

When it comes to liver metabolism of drugs, the primary objective of the liver is to break down substances and make them more water soluble. Water soluble things can easily be excreted in sweat or urine, but fat-soluble things will often find a “home” in fatty tissues. 

Side note: That storage of cannabinoids in fatty tissues is exactly why cannabis lingers so long in the human body. Alcohol, heroin, and cocaine are all excreted faster by the human body than cannabinoids.

When you consume a THC edible or CBD edible, it first travels through your digestive tract and into your stomach. In your stomach, some digestive acids like HCl start the breakdown process of the edible. It then travels to the small intestine where the rest of digestion takes place and the absorption process begins.

Another side note: Edibles are almost always made with fatty substances like butter or coconut oil. This is because the liver/gallbladder release bile salts which help fatty substances pass through the epithelial layer of the intestine and into the liver for metabolism. In the process of absorbing/digesting fatty substances, the cannabinoids can be facilitated across the basolateral layer.

Yes, this is a bit of human biology 101.

After absorption in the intestine, cannabinoids make their way to the liver where they undergo first and second pass metabolism. It’s during this process that the liver breaks down cannabinoids like CBD and THC into their metabolites. For example, THC is broken down into THC-COOH.

From here, cannabinoids and their metabolites can start moving through your blood into their target tissues. The brain is a major target tissue of cannabinoids, and cannabinoids can pass through the blood-brain-barrier. This is what gives you the sensation of being “stoned”. 

How is smoking different?

With smoking, the lungs are the first site of contact and that is where most absorption takes place (rather than through the intestines). Given that the lungs oxygenate the blood, it’s clearer why inhalation takes effect faster. As the lungs receive cannabinoids and go on to oxygenate blood, cannabinoids are delivered directly to blood and pass through the blood-brain-barrier. 

The benefits of eating cannabis

Aside from the fact that eating cannabis means you don’t do any damage to your lungs, there are other health advantages of using edible cannabis.

For those who suffer from digestive problems like IBS or Crohn’s disease, it’s better to send cannabinoids directly to the digestive tract – which can only occur through eating cannabis. The same goes for conditions that affect the liver or stomach.

The longer-lasting edible high also means that doses can be taken less frequently. Whereas a cannabis smoker who needs constant relief might have to smoke several times in one day, an edible may solve the problem for the better part of the day!

What does it feel like to use edibles?

A piece of cannabutter and a cannabis leaf on a plate.
@butter_lifestyle

Any seasoned edible user will tell you that the edible high is considerably different from the smoke high. It’s the same cannabinoids, but something about this ingestion method makes it somehow… different.

For starters, the edibles high lasts much, much longer. Now knowing how cannabis edibles are absorbed and processed by the body, it makes sense that it just takes the body a whole lot longer to move through it all.

Aside from lasting much longer, the edibles high is also typically more psychoactive than the smoking high. There’s no real logical explanation for this. It’s just stronger in general, making it more obvious to the body and mind. 

If you eat a cannabis edible at night, it’s often felt well into the morning. For those who need cannabis for a good night’s sleep, this is fantastic – it means that cannabis keeps working on you all throughout the night. For those who use cannabis for pain relief, it might be better to use a tincture at night time to minimise stone over.

The difference between cannabis edibles and tinctures.

At My Supply Co., we consider cannabis tinctures to be cannabis edible, too. That’s because they go in your mouth. However, the absorption of cannabis tinctures is a little bit different.

Cannabis tinctures are absorbed sublingually. That is, they go under the tongue and are absorbed through the mucous membranes of the tongue into the blood vessels directly under the tongue. In this way, cannabis tinctures don’t necessarily have to make their way through your digestive tract. They can be absorbed faster and their effects are also faster than traditional cannabis edibles.

The finest cannabis edibles from the My Supply Co. pantry.

A collage art of an angel holding up a piece of weed to the heavens.
@cannagazine

You should be well and truly convinced that for regular cannabis use, edibles are a fine option. But they’re also a fine option for every-now-and-then-cannabis-use if you like cannabis edibles at social events. Here are our finest edible products!

180mg THC Vegan Sour Bears

The THC Vegan Sour Bears fby Faded Cannabis Co. are delicious vegan treats that each contain 30mg THC. It’s a strong dose for those who like a strong high or those who have more potent medical issues to work with. Great to use to reduce stress and anxiety or do deal with pain.

120mg 1:5 CBD:THC Sativa Wigglers

Lovers of both THC and CBD, these 1:5 Sativa Wigglers are for you. Mota keeps things balanced with these gummies, with 2mg CBD and 10mg THC in each delicious candy. These are perfect for daytime use as they’re made with sativa cannabis. For anything that calls for a cannabis remedy, this is the perfect daytime symptom management.

80mg THC Indica Cara-Melts

Ahh, for the delicious and indulgent way to get THC into you. These THC Indica Cara-Melts are THC edibles and can be dropped into your tea to melt in or can be enjoyed as it is for its pure deliciousness. With 10mg per candy, this is a nice light dose for those who need an extra night-cap before bed or for those who like chilling out on the weekend and doing creative, relaxing things. 

Have you tried edible cannabis products before? What were the effects like for you? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

Key takeaways.

  • Why does a cannabis tolerance happen?

    Chronic THC use eventually desensitises the CB1 receptor and can even cause its internalisation (retraction). This causes a tolerance to build and the effects of cannabis are less pronounced.

  • How to avoid getting a cannabis tolerance?

    If you’re medicating, you can alternate between THC and CBD. You can also alternate between plants. For example, if you’re using cannabis for anxiety, consider switching it up and alternating between cannabis and passionflower (another anxiolytic herb).

  • What to do when your tolerance is too high?

    As much as you don’t want to hear it, taking a tolerance break is the only way to get a tolerance back down once it’s become too high.

Anybody who uses cannabis every day will eventually start to notice their tolerance levels increasing. The body can easily develop tolerances to virtually any substance, even if it’s a non-psychoactive pharmaceutical drug. It can even happen with CBD-based cannabis products which aren’t psychoactive at all.

It just happens that you start to realise that day by day, you’re using more and more cannabis to get the same effect. It’s exactly the same as working out. The more you work a muscle, the stronger and more resistant it gets to the work out. Which is exactly the point when you need to switch up the workout.

It happens in herbal medicine a lot because genuinely natural materials are also much easier received and integrated by the body. Which means there are also ways that you can avoid a cannabis tolerance. 

In this article, we’re giving you tips on how to reset your cannabis tolerance or avoid it if you’re not already there.

Why does a cannabis tolerance happen?

You shouldn’t think of cannabis tolerance the same way you think about alcohol. Whereas with alcohol, your genetics, your sex, and your body-weight all are pretty indicative of your tolerance, no such predispositions exist with cannabis. You mostly don’t know until you try.

However, we do know that chronic cannabis use eventually leads to desensitisation to cannabinoids. Research shows that chronic THC use eventually causes the desensitisation and internalisation (retraction) of CB1 receptors. These are the receptors that respond to THC entering your body. If they retract back into the cell, then less interaction between cells and THC takes place. At the same time, we also know that these effects can be reversed after cessation of cannabis.

There’s less research about the effects of long-term CBD use, but it’s unlikely it happens in the same way as it happens with THC. CBD doesn’t have such a strong affinity for CB receptors. However, it does cause a cascade of events that involve other receptors, and with those constantly engaged, a tolerance is easily built.

It’s also important to remember that the endocannabinoid system is a balancing and regulating system. Its very purpose is to restore imbalances, so it’s not altogether strange that it responds to chronic cannabis use.

Avoiding a cannabis tolerance.

Tea bags full of herbal tea hanging in a row.

Prevention is the best cure — and avoiding a tolerance is better than having to reset one. Although… they’re kind of the same technique.

The first thing is obvious: if you use cannabis chronically, you will develop a tolerance. So the way to avoid it is to use it when you need it.

Alternate with other plants that have the same effects.

Some are using cannabis everyday for medicinal reasons, which means that identifying when you need it can be difficult. If you are using cannabis under medical advice, follow that medical advice. If you’re self-medicating, consider using other herbs that get the same effects in a different way.

It’s like taking a different route to get home. You get to the same destination but another way, and that way you don’t wear out the same pathways all the time. For example, if you use cannabis for pain, try alternating cannabis with magnesium baths or topical pain-relievers. If you use cannabis for anxiety, try alternating between cannabis and passionflower tea.

It can be as simple as a one-day-cannabis, one-day-not scenario. Alternatively, if cannabis is your “strongest” sleep aid or pain killer, you can reserve it for when nothing else is working.

Alternate between THC and CBD.

For THC users, you can alternate between THC-based cannabis products and CBD-based cannabis products. Alternating will reduce the likelihood, or it will take much longer, for the desensitisation and internalisation of CB receptors to occur.

Use a lower dosage.

To minimise the chance of building a cannabis tolerance, use the lowest possible dose you need to get the effects you want. The lower you keep the dose and the smaller the increments when you increase, the less likely you are to build a tolerance.

Combating a cannabis tolerance: taking the tolerance break.

A vintage picture of a woman holding cannabis buds
@exotic.cowgirl

It’s what no-one with a cannabis tolerance wants to hear but it’s what must be said. If you’ve got a way-too-high cannabis tolerance, the thing you absolutely have to do is take a tolerance break. Two weeks is long enough for your receptors to get re-wired and sensitive to cannabis again.

If you have a cannabis addiction or it’s the only therapy that works for you, taking a tolerance break can be really difficult. Your symptoms can come back and you might notice other withdrawal symptoms (like excessive dreaming or some agitation). But it only takes a couple of weeks for that tolerance to drop way down again.

Is it imperative to take a tolerance break? Well, yes — because if you don’t, your tolerance will only continue to increase. After a certain point, it can’t really be financially sustainable anymore to continue to increase your dose. Plus, many rivers lead to the same ocean, so there are always multiple ways of dealing with a health issue.

Once you’ve taken your tolerance break, it’s really important to take the advice of how to avoid getting a really high tolerance back. It’ll be way less painful for you in the future and way healthier for your cannabinoid system. Plus, it’s scientifically proven that a tolerance break works.

Have you taken a tolerance break before? How was it going back? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Key takeaways.

  • What’s a full-spectrum cannabis product?

    A full-spectrum cannabis product means that the whole plant has been extracted and nothing has been removed. It contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenoids and flavonoids of the strain it was extracted from.

  • What’s a broad spectrum cannabis product?

    Broad spectrum products are the same as full-spectrum except they’ve had THC removed. It is also the term used when a cannabis product is made and has had terpenes added after the fact.

  • What’s an isolate cannabis product?

    Isolate is a crystalline substance that is made out of pure cannabinoids. That means CBD isolate is pure CBD and nothing else, and likewise with THC.

The cannabis world is full of new terminology that can sometimes be confusing. The two worlds of cannabis and technology have merged together to create an enormous variety of different cannabis products. From this spawned the creation of full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, and isolate (or single cannabinoid) cannabis products.

These terms are just a hierarchy of cannabinoid profiles, where full-spectrum contains the whole cannabinoid profile, broad-spectrum contains some of it, and isolates contain just a single cannabinoid. It’s worth noting here that distillates are either broad-spectrum or full-spectrum. The word “distillate” simply refers to an extraction method, and not the final phytochemical profile.

Any given cannabis specimen contains up to 400 different chemical entities. Up to 60 of those could be cannabinoids. The spectrum here represents how many of these cannabinoids and compounds are represented. 

Maybe you’re wondering what the difference is between taking an isolated cannabinoid and a full-spectrum cannabis product. That’s the question we plan to answer in this article so that by the time you’re done reading, choosing will be kind of like choosing between full-cream, skinny, and soy.

The pros & cons of full-spectrum cannabis.

The full spectrum of the rainbow comes shining through a prism onto a cannabis flower
@_shadesofjade_

Full-spectrum cannabis, like its name suggests, is a cannabis product that contains the full spectrum of cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids. A full-spectrum cannabis product is created using extraction techniques that preserve the complete chemical profile of the plant as it existed on the day it was extracted.

It’s the full monty of cannabis products.

The pro.

The most important advantage of full-spectrum cannabis products is the fact that it can employ the full potential of the entourage effect. This is the effect caused by the synergistic activity of all the compounds in cannabis. It’s thought that through the entourage effect, the therapeutic potential of all compounds in cannabis (including cannabinoids and terpenoids) is amplified.

Given that full-spectrum cannabis products contain all cannabinoids and aromatic compounds, they retain the taste of cannabis. Full-spectrum extracts and edibles made with them retain the taste of the original plant specimen.

Choose full-spectrum cannabis products if…

  • You want the entourage effect in your life
  • You’re okay with using THC, even in small amounts
  • You don’t mind the taste of cannabis

The con.

Those who can’t use THC for legal reasons (such as getting drug tested for work) might not be able to safely use full-spectrum products. Even full-spectrum cannabis products made out of hemp contain small amounts of THC by the very nature of the fact that they’re full-spectrum. 

Those who simply want to avoid the psychoactive effects of THC can use a full-spectrum CBD. Full-spectrum CBD products are usually made out of hemp which contains very small amounts of THC. These small amounts are negligible when it comes to psychoactive effect.

Don’t choose full-spectrum if…

  • You don’t want to use THC at all 
  • You can’t palate the taste of cannabis

From the pantry.

If you’re curious to try some full-spectrum cannabis products, we recommend the 500mg CBD Tincture by Faded Cannabis Co. This hemp-derived tincture contains the full-spectrum so you can feel all the benefits of cannabis. Because this is a hemp-derived tincture, it contains only negligible amounts of THC and won’t have any psychoactive effects.

The pros & cons of broad-spectrum cannabis.

A close up of a growing cannabis flower.
@cannalinemarketing

Broad-spectrum cannabis is the next step down the ladder from full-spectrum cannabis. Instead of containing the entire chemical profile, it contains most of it?

So what does that mean?

Well, depending on the manufacturer, what they’re making, and why they’re making it, they may remove a single cannabinoid from the extract. For example, a broad-spectrum CBD product is created by first, creating a full-spectrum extract, and second, using fractional distillation to remove THC from that extract.

This leaves a final product that has all of the cannabinoids, terpenoids, and flavonoids intact bar THC. 

It’s unlikely that broad-spectrum ever happens in reverse. It’s unlikely for a manufacturer to create a broad-spectrum THC product. As CBD is non-psychoactive and has a good track record for being good for you, it’s not typically removed from a THC product.

However, broad-spectrum is also used when terpenes are re-added to an extract. For example, THC may be distilled and extracted to its pure form and used to create a vape juice. For the vape itself to have the taste of cannabis and the therapeutic effects of terpenes, the terpenes are re-added. This creates something like a pseudo-broad-spectrum effect.

As with full-spectrum products, because broad-spectrum cannabis products retain the flavonoids and terpenoids, these extracts also retain the taste of cannabis. 

The pros.

The advantage of using a broad-spectrum product is that you can avoid THC entirely without compromising the rest of the valuable compounds in the extract. For all intents and purposes, you get most of the entourage effect, but without the consequences of THC, whatever they may be for you.

Choose broad-spectrum cannabis products if…

  • You don’t want THC in your life at all (choose broad-spectrum CBD)
  • You don’t mind the taste of cannabis (choose broad-spectrum CBD or broad-spectrum THC)

The cons.

The con of broad-spectrum products is that they aren’t really the entourage effect. WIthout one of cannabis’ major cannabinoids (if not the major cannabinoid), it’s not reality the entourage effect. It’s most of it, but missing an important link. Some might also find broad-spectrum products a disadvantage because they lack psychoactive effects — but that’s all about preferences.

Don’t choose broad-spectrum cannabis products if…

  • You want the psychoactive effects of cannabis (don’t choose broad-spectrum CBD)
  • You want to feel the entourage effect in all of its greatness
  • You can’t palate the taste of cannabis

The pros & cons of isolate cannabis products.

A close up of a cBD or THC isolate crystal

@cbdxtract

Finally, we have isolate cannabis products such as THC isolate and CBD isolate. These come last on the hierarchy of cannabinoid profiles. As the name suggests, isolates contain a single cannabinoid compound only.

THC isolate and CBD isolate look more or less the same — a white, crystalline substance. There are no flavonoids, terpenoids, or other minor cannabinoids present. They are essentially pure cannabinoid extracts. Note that they don’t have a taste because there are no terpenoids or flavonoids. 

The pros.

Isolates have an interesting position in the world of cannabis. There are massive advantages to this feat of technology, and many of them are also enjoyed by the pharmaceutical cannabis industry. For the consumer, isolated cannabinoids have few uses. They can be used in DIY cannabis products such as cannabis topicals or CBD vape juice. They can be consumed directly, but dosing is much harder than with full-spectrum or broad-spectrum products.

The pharmaceutical cannabis can benefit greatly from cannabinoid isolates. For the purpose of clinical testing and clinical use, cannabis products must have very specific, very accurate cannabinoid ratios. This can only be consistently ensured using cannabinoid isolates. 

Commercially, isolates are used by cannabis product manufacturers to make vape juices, topical products, edibles, and tinctures. This is where things get interesting, because product manufacturers can create new and interesting cannabinoid ratios with isolates. Or they can make single-cannabinoid products for consumers to use.

For the consumer, isolated cannabinoids have the advantage of being a no surprise kind of thing. The experience is consistent every single time as there is less variation what constitutes full-spectrum between strains and cannabis varieties. The effects can be very targeted and therefore very user friendly.

When we talk about choosing an isolate product, we don’t necessarily mean choosing the powdery crystalline substance. We mean choosing a cannabis product that’s made with isolate cannabinoids

Choose isolate cannabinoid products if…

  • You don’t like the taste of cannabis 
  • You know that you want to use one cannabinoid and have no interest in the rest
  • You don’t need the entourage effect — you just want the effects of that single cannabinoid
  • You like your cannabis experience to be consistent, every single time

The cons.

The obvious major con to cannabinoid isolates is that they completely lack anything that even resembles an entourage effect. There’s no cross-communication between cannabinoids and aromatic compounds to create a holistic effect. This might be seen as a downside, and a price too big to pay for a consistent experience every time. 

Don’t choose isolate cannabinoid products if…

  • You can’t live without the entourage effect
  • You like getting as many therapeutic compounds into your body as possible
  • You love the taste of cannabis

From the pantry.

If you’re keen to experiment with isolate cannabinoid products, we recommend Delush’s 1200mg CBD solvent-free tincture. With just pure CBD isolate, you can experience the purest effects of CBD and leave out what isn’t necessary for you.

Don’t be afraid to experiment.

An austronaut floats through outer space, except outer space is filled with cannabis.

@pufcreativ

This is going to look like a lot of words on a page if you’ve never tried different types of cannabis products. We hope this guide helps you decide which might be the most appropriate for you, but don’t be afraid to experiment and find out for yourself which one feels best. You might find that you don’t like the side effects of psychoactive cannabis, or you might discover that it helps you combat that ailment of yours.

Which types of cannabis products have you tried? Which one worked best and what did you use it for? Tell us your story about the spectrums in the comments. 

Key takeaways.

  • What are terpenes?

    Terpenes are the volatile, aromatic compounds found in cannabis flowers and throughout the plant kingdom. They’re responsible for the aroma of different plants and flowers, including cannabis.

  • Do they contribute to the entourage effect?

    Yes! Terpenes work synergistically with cannabinoids to produce the different variations in effects that we experience between strains.

  • What are some of the most common terpenes?

    Among the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis are alpha-pinene, d-limonene, myrcene, and humulene.

You’ve likely come across the word “terpenes” before, and if you’ve been browsing the My Supply Co. store you’ll have noticed that we share which terpenes are in our smokeables and vapables. Terpenes aren’t exclusive to cannabis, but cannabis has a lot of them! They are the aromatic, volatile compounds that give many plants their distinct aroma.

Cannabis has a characteristic smell like no other plant, which is the result of the combination of terpenes present in any given bud. It’s estimated that there are around 120 different terpene compounds that the cannabis plant produces, although many of them are only produced in trace amounts.

Terpenes also have an interesting chemical relationship with cannabinoids. In the biological cascade of events that produces cannabinoids, terpenes are used as the building blocks. In this way, they are also essential to the development of cannabinoids.

Like we mentioned, terpenes are found in a huge variety of plants and most of us smell them in everyday cooking and juicing. In this article, we’re having a look at some of the common terpenes found in cannabis, what they do, and whether they serve any purpose in the therapeutic effects of cannabis. 

A little world of terpenes.

Spoons displayed full of colourful and aromatic herbs.

Terpenes are a group of aromatic hydrocarbons that can be further broken down into monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes etc. Their categorization depends on the number of isoprene units it carries, where a monoterpene is made of two isoprene units. A sesquiterpene contains three linked isoprene units, diterpenes four, and so on. 

There are thousands of different terpenes out there in the world, and as we mentioned, over 100 in cannabis.

What makes these little guys funky is that they form the building blocks of cannabinoids. In the biochemical process of making cannabinoids, the cannabis plant itself actually uses terpenes. The cannabinoid is also known as a terpenophenolic compound, which means “terpene with a phenol group”.

It’s why often when cannabis enthusiasts talk about cannabis, they also talk about terpenes. The different combination of terpenes and their concentrations is what enables you to distinguish between a bag of Sour Lemon OG and Pink Kush using only your sense of smell. 

Terpenes, cannabinoids, and the entourage effect

Hand and flower collage showing the entourage effect

Only recently have terpenes piqued scientific interest in how they might contribute to the therapeutic effects of cannabis. Dr. Ethan Russo has a particular interest in the subject, where he talks about the synergy of cannabinoids and terpenes being fundamental to the therapeutic properties of cannabis. In his research, he gives special attention to terpenes that might produce synergy with respect to pain, inflammation, addiction, anxiety, epilepsy, and more. 

When researchers began to dabble in the pharmacokinetics of how CBD might counteract some of the psychoactive effects of THC, the torch all of a sudden shone very brightly on the concept of the entourage effect. Here we have an example of how CBD and THC might work together to create an altogether third effect that isn’t quite CBD and isn’t quite THC

The entourage effect is basically what we’ve just said, but the amalgamation of hundreds of compounds. Given that terpene concentration in cannabis are usually as high as cannabinoid concentrations, the final “entourage” is extremely complex. The fact that different strains of cannabis have been tested and demonstrated wildly different terpene profiles is also a testament to the fact that there is real variability between strains and their effects. 

Which terpenes can be found in cannabis?

With over 120 different terpenes found in cannabis, there aren’t enough words in this article to go through all of them. However, the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis are d-limonene, α-pinene, β-caryophyllene, myrcene, and humulene. We’ll have a look at some of these terpenes in a little more detail.

D-limonene.

D-limonene is the citrus smell that comes out of your Sour Lemon OG bag or packs the punch in your Super Lemon Haze Vape Cart. D-limonene (as a component of citrus essential oils) is traditionally used in aromatherapy to energize and awaken.

In alternative medicine, d-limonene has been shown to reduce heartburn and gastric reflux.

Α-pinene.

The pinenes (α-pinene and β-pinene) are among the most abundant terpenes on the planet. They can be produced from turpentine, which is distilled from coniferous wood. They’re also found in plants like Sage, Eucalyptus, and anywhere you can imagine smelling that piney scent. 

The pinenes have primarily been researched for their antifungal and antibacterial properties

Β-caryophyllene.

Β-caryophyllene is the interesting terpene that’s also a cannabinoid. It has a spicy scent and is also found in black pepper. Most of the research around β-caryophyllene is in murine models, and has demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity. We wrote a whole article about this terpene, so check it out if you’re curious to know more. 

Myrcene.

Myrcene is the most abundant terpene found in cannabis — in some strains, it makes up to 60% of the essential oil content. It’s thought that myrcene may lower resistance to the blood brain barrier and therefore potentiate the effects of cannabinoids when they’re used. This is what’s behind the rumour that eating a couple of mangoes a couple of hours before getting high makes you get higher.

But more pertinently, myrcene has been shown to increase transdermal absorption and is analgesic, which makes it a great therapeutic target for topical formulas.

Humulene.

Humulene is a terpene also found in hops — which is an ancestor of the cannabis plant! Hops are added to beer preparations to give them the “hoppy flavour” that beer drinkers love. This is a result of the humulene in hops. It has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity in murine models, although little research has been done otherwise.  

Bringing it all together.

A man and woman roll a cannabis joint

WIth the entourage effect in mind, it’s important to remember that the effects of any one given terpene don’t necessarily define the effect of a strain of cannabis. The medicinal effects of a given terpene are an aspect of cannabis’ overall therapeutic effects, as the combination of all of them is what’s finally received by the user.

It’s what makes cannabis so complex and so rich — at least from a research perspective.

Have you ever used isolated terpenes? We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments.