Leaf411’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide: PHoto of a couple opening holiday gifts by a Christmas tree

Leaf411’s 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

To help you out with your holiday shopping, we asked our Leaf411 business members to share their products they’re most excited about this holiday season. If you’re looking for gift ideas for hemp CBD or cannabis lovers, these products would be a great place to start!

You’ll find hemp CBD products listed first, followed by cannabis products available in select Colorado dispensaries. Product details were provided by the manufacturers or retailers.

Be sure to read all the way through! You won’t want to miss Nové Luxury Edibles’ exquisite cannabis-infused chocolate bar or Seed & Smith’s holiday gift sets specially priced for all kinds of budgets, and more!

The best hemp CBD gifts for friends and family

Hemp CBD makes the perfect gift for friends and family who live too far away to visit in person, since hemp products are federally legal and can be mail-ordered and shipped. Of course, hemp CBD is also a great option for local family members, friends and neighbors who are interested in health, wellness and relaxation during the busy holiday season!

Elixinol Calm Stress Support Capsules and Everyday Rapid Reset Liposome

Elixinol Calm Stress Support Capsules pair Ashwagandha – a natural root known for its calming effect – with CBD to help relieve occasional stress. Perfect for just about anyone who could use a little help combatting daily stress during the holiday season!

Looking to boost your non-alcoholic holiday beverage? Elixinol Everyday Rapid Reset Liposome

tincture leverages liposome technology for efficient CBD absorption. Liposomes are microscopic bubbles that carry CBD, making it easy and efficient for your body to absorb. They give your body more CBD per serving that might otherwise be lost in the digestive process. The product tastes delicious too, as it is naturally flavored with orange & lemon extracts. Click here to learn more about Elixinol’s current promotions and products.

WelCel CBD Sleep Creme

Support a restful night’s sleep with WelCel’s CBD Sleep Creme featuring 3,000mg CBD Isolate per bottle. This groundbreaking product doesn’t contain drugs or hormones, only the power of CBD and natural botanicals. Welcel Sleep Creme effectively relaxes your mind and body so your body can do exactly what it is designed to do at night – SLEEP!

When developing this product, WelCel founder Dr. Lisa Gardner started with an amazing antioxidant creme that has both natural and organic ingredients, without harmful chemicals or hype. She then sourced the highest quality ingredients and essential oils like Organic Aloe Leaf Juice, Vitamin E, Organic Rosemary Leaf Extract, Vitamin C, Organic White Willow Bark Extract, and Organic Lavender. Next, she infused this amazing creme with 3,000mg of powerful pure CBD! WelCel CBD Sleep Creme makes the perfect stocking stuffer or gift for your loved ones this holiday season. Order at Thrive Apothecary via this link.

Myriam’s Hemp Gift Bundle

For the friend who loves exploring new products: Myriam’s Hemp offers a wide range of hemp topicals and tinctures featuring CBN, CBG, and even CBDA (a cannabinoid that Leaf411 recently covered in our blog). Even better, Myriam’s Hemp offers options to customize with terpene boosts and your favorite flavor. Diana Peña, Myriam’s Hemp co-founder, suggests putting together a gift bundle with their bestselling CBN and CBG tinctures, together with their CBD balm topical cream. Keep an eye on Myriam’s Hemp website for holiday deals.

RESTART CBD CBN Sublingual Oil

Relaxation is at the front of RESTART CBD co-founder Shayda Torabi’s mind as holiday parties gear up. She recommends RESTART’s CBD CBN Sublingual Oil 1200mg as a great gift for busy people, explaining that CBD:CBN Oil is typically used for calming nighttime relief that standard CBD extracts can’t fully solve. Depending on how you respond, it might help you chill out after a long day, loosen up for a social situation or get some solid rest. CBN alone could bring relief, or it might benefit your routine as an addition to CBD so that you get the entourage effects of multiple cannabinoids working together. CBN Oil can also be added to THC therapies to elevate its effects. Find RESTART CBD’s full product lineup, including CBD flower and vapes, at this link.

Calm Better Days Holiday Box

Want to give your friend the gift of product support along with a collection of great hemp products? Calm Better Days has you covered. Not only do they sell over 20 well-known CBD brands, many of them woman-owned, but they also provide free consultations where consumers can learn the basics of CBD and complete a personal assessment to discover which products are best for their specific health situation. This holiday season, Calm Better Days is also offering the Women of Wellness Holiday Box featuring the best CBD products by woman founders in cannabis. The curated set includes different CBD products for the best self care experience, from bath bombs, tea, oral spray, intimacy oil, facial oil and more. Click here to learn more.

Hemplily Menopause Complex Tincture bottles and roses, pairing two great gift ideas.

Hemplily Menopause Complex Tincture

Maintaining good mind/body balance is more important than ever, especially for women with menopause symptoms. The new Hemplily Menopause Complex tincture with full-spectrum hemp extract (FSHE) plus Ashwagandha and Reishi Mushroom is great for helping to manage mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats and more. Hemplily also offers Everyday CBD tinctures, topicals and gummies that will appeal to health-minded friends of all ages. Visit Hemplily at this link for the latest deals and product information.

Ology Essentials Full Spectrum CBD Muscle Gel

Looking for that perfect warming product to soothe and nourish your body? Ology Essentials has formulated a product specifically for you – the hemp CBD Muscle Gel is a beautifully synergic product with 300 mg of full spectrum hemp CBD, capsicum, menthol, hyaluronic acid, and a powerhouse of essential oils. Click here to find product information and holiday deals.

CAASI CBD products including CBD Bath Bombs, Water-Soluble Drops, Scalp & Skin Soother, and Soothing Transdermal Body Lotion.

CAASI Water-Soluble Drops and Scalp & Skin Soother

CAASI’s flagship Water-Soluble Hemp CBD Beverage Drops are perfect for the athletes, cooks, bartenders, home hosts or anyone that wants to relax. These drops are available with either broad-spectrum CBD or CBD isolate, providing a convenient option for adding CBD to food or beverages.  

Looking for a topical gift? CAASI Scalp & Skin Soother is perfect for anyone looking for new options to help with scalp psoriasis or eczema, conditions which are often aggravated by dry winter air.

CBD Garage – Foria Wellness Intimacy CBD Quickie Kit

Intimacy plays a big role in wellness, and this year CBD Garage has you covered with a special Foria Wellness Intimacy CBD Quickie Kit. Whether you’re already a Foria fan or new to CBD in the bedroom, this bundle includes all the bestsellers from their Intimacy collection, in deluxe mini sizes: Awaken Arousal Oil, Sex Oil and Intimacy Suppositories. With an unwavering commitment to clean ingredients, organic and regenerative farming, and responsible packaging, Foria is on a mission to support lifelong sexual wellness and pleasure. 

CBD Garage carries hemp products, nutritional supplements and adaptogens made by over 20 different high-quality brands, many of them Colorado-based. Check out CBD Garage’s full catalog at this link.

Foria Wellness The Quickie gift set showing Awaken Arousal Oil, Sex Oil and Intimacy Suppositories.

Cannabis options for celebration, relaxation and wellness

Cannabis can make a great gift for yourself or for friends who you know enjoy the plant’s many benefits. Of course we recommend sticking with legally-manufactured products that have undergone testing and are compliant with state laws. Remember as well to always start low and go slow when trying new products so that you don’t become too high. After all, the goal is to enjoy and savor the product!

Nové Luxury Edibles Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Bar with 10mg THC per piece and 100mg THC per bar.

Nové Luxury Edibles Sea Salt Caramel Chocolates

New from the creators of incredibles, Nové Sea Salt Caramel Chocolates are the perfect infused edible for everyday luxury. There’s no need for wrapping paper with their sophisticated and sleek packaging, which happens to be environmentally friendly. Recyclable, biodegradable, and made with 33% post-consumer materials, the eco-conscious would appreciate this elevated gift, as would the foodie! Crafted with a sprinkle of fleur de sel, 38% single-origin cacao sourced from Venezuela, and filled with decadent caramel, this flavor is sure to impress both the canna-curious and the cannabis connoisseur. Available to adult use consumers, packages contain ten 10mg THC pieces. Please remember to consume responsibly, waiting at least two hours before eating more than a single serving.

Nové is luxury without the luxury price tag, averaging $20 retail. Find Sea Salt Caramel as well as other Nové chocolates and gummies at exclusive Colorado retailers including Medicine Man, Euflora, and Rocky Road Aurora. Check Nové’s online store locator for more information.

Ripple Gummies

Putting together a cannabis-infused gummies gift basket? You’ll want to be sure to include Ripple Gummies! Ripple Gummies combine everyone’s favorite edible with a high that’s clinically proven to be 2 times faster than the leading gummy. Available in delicious, all-natural flavors and a wide range of doses, there’s a Ripple Gummy for every high. Learn more and find retailers at this link.

A man shares two cannabis-infused Ripple Gummies with a friend.
Gift-wrapped Seed & Smith Holiday Vape Bundle featuring the Dart battery which uses Live Dart Pods.

Seed & Smith Holiday Vape Bundle

Give the Gift of Happy with Seed & Smith! Starting December 6, you’ll find holiday bundles at multiple price points exclusively at Seed & Smith retail locations: 5070 Oakland St, Denver CO 80239, and 1413 Hecla Way, Louisville CO 80027. Our Holiday Vape Bundle includes two Live Dart Pods, a Limited Edition Holiday Dart battery, two Live 1gram carts and a Seed & Smith 510 battery for a special low price that you won’t want to miss! Visit Seed & Smith’s website to learn more.

Give the gift of knowledge by supporting Leaf411

If you’ve spent much time talking to others about cannabis and hemp, you know that the old stigmas and myths are going strong. Even experienced cannabis users may have questions as new product types roll out, and everyone is looking for reliable sources of information they can trust. That’s where Leaf411 plays a vital role–but we need your support!

As you plan your holiday giving, please consider giving the gift of cannabis guidance by contributing to our Leaf411 GoFundMe campaign at this link. By joining the movement, you’re providing access to cannabis education from cannabis-trained RNs with the goal of supporting safe consumption and effective use of plant-based medicine.

Interested in supporting Leaf411 as a business member? Visit our Business Membership page to learn the benefits of supporting Leaf411

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.

Hands holding a heart, representing how to support Leaf411 with your contributions.

Woman who uses THCV standing on scale celebrating weight loss

How to use THCV to support weight loss goals

The non-intoxicating THCV cannabinoid helps with appetite control and focus 

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN, and Eloise Theisen, NP
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

THC or CBD are probably the first things that jump to mind when you hear about cannabinoids. However, THC and CBD are only two out of over 100 unique cannabinoids that have been found in cannabis and hemp, although many exist at very low levels and have not been studied. THCV, a cannabinoid that Healthline dubbed “Diet Weed” is one of the lesser-known cannabinoids that is rapidly moving into the spotlight.

THCV (tetrahydrocannabivarin) recently popped up on our radar with the launch of Wana Fit THCV gummies as a non-intoxicating option to help reset eating habits. Wana is one of Leaf411’s supporting members and is an industry leader when it comes to integrating cutting-edge science and technology into cannabis and hemp product development.

For their Wana Fit THCV gummies, Wana partnered with ECS Brands to source proprietary organic THCV and utilized Azuca TiME nano-encapsulation technology, creating a gummie with faster onset and increased bioavailability of THCV and other cannabinoids when compared to traditional edibles. You can read more about Wana’s product development process at this link.

What is THCV?

THCV only has one additional letter—the letter “V”—when compared to the more well-known THC. However,  when it comes to potential effects, there’s a world of difference between these two cannabinoids which are molecularly different.

In fact, THCV affects your body’s endocannabinoid system differently than other cannabinoids. Mike Hennesy, Vice President of Innovation at Wana, offers an easy-to-understand explanation using the example of a car’s gear shift as an analogy for the CB1 receptors found throughout your endocannabinoid system.

(Need a refresher on the endocannabinoid system? Check out our 101 blog here.)

“Some cannabinoids put the CB1 receptor in neutral, while others put it in second gear or high gear or even put it in reverse gear,” Mike says. “That’s why you can find very different effects depending on the product or flower strain you’re using.”

Mike continues, “Using THC is like putting the car in “drive” with a range of effects including the intoxicating ‘high,’ while CBD is like putting the car in ‘neutral,’ or downshifting the car to a lower gear if someone is also using THC at the same time. THCV has an even different effect, like putting a car in ‘reverse’ with effects that are nearly opposite what the user would get with THC.”

Person in glasses with wondering expression looking at THCV molecular diagram
Close-up of word “cannabinoids” in a research journal

Will THCV make you high? What are THCV’s effects?

Because THCV works differently on CB1 receptors, it does not create the intoxicating high that you would get from the more well-known THC. You can see a breakdown of the differences between THC and THCV in the table below.

Table showing how THC and THCV effects differ.

(Research sources: https://jcannabisresearch.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s42238-020-0016-7  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576603/ )

Will THCV help you lose weight? Here’s what the research says

We are guessing that many of you are interested in THCV’s potential to help with weight loss goals. What does the research say on this front?

ECS Brands, which Wana sources its THCV from, recently ran a 90-day, randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled human clinical study on their proprietary Nitro-V THCV with support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Participants did not make any other changes to their diet or exercise. 

Among those participants who were assigned to the daily THCV group:

  • 100% experienced weight loss, with participants losing up to 22 pounds over the 90-day study
  • 61% reported a reduction in hunger
  • 40% reported fewer food cravings
  • 52% reported a reduction in anxiety
  • Average body mass index (BMI) dropped by 3 points

In contrast, among the study’s placebo group (the participants who did not take THCV), only 36% lost any weight, and average BMI remained unchanged. 

Wana Fit THCV gummies use the same Nitro-V THCV extract that was used in the ECS Brands study, but with the additional technology of Azuca TiME nano-encapsulation, meaning that bioavailability is improved.

The word “research” spelled out with wooden blocks representing THCV research
Wana Fit THCV gummies label information showing dose per piece: 0.5mg THCV, 10mg CBD, and 0.1mg THC, with 10 pieces per package.

Interested in adding THCV to your routine? Here’s what you need to know.

Your success in using THCV will hinge on setting realistic expectations and building an overall routine that supports your goals, whether that’s healthier eating habits or reducing stress.

Remember that THCV is a tool, not a magic wand. You still have to put in the work, but THCV can make it easier to overcome challenges and setbacks. If you’ve been trying to lose weight you’ve likely learned that a mix of strategies that includes mindful eating, exercise and adequate sleep is the best approach. Sustaining those good habits can be tough, though, especially in the face of cravings, holiday treats and less daylight hours for getting outdoor exercise. That’s when a cannabinoid like THCV can be useful as a tool for reinforcing your wellness goals.

In other words, THCV won’t cancel out the calories in that pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, but it may make it easier for you to stick with one serving as an after-dinner treat instead of polishing off the pint while watching a movie.

A special caution for consumers who face workplace drug testing

While Wana Fit THCV gummies won’t cause intoxication, they do contain very small amounts of THC (0.1mg per serving). This THC is converted into the THC-COOH metabolite and stored in body fat, where it accumulates over time. It doesn’t get you high, but it could trigger a positive workplace drug test result. Click here for more information on workplace drug testing, THC and CBD, and call our special Wana hotline number at 844-WanaFit (844-926-2348) if you have questions about how Wana gummies may impact workplace drug testing. 

Caution sign warning consumers that Wana Fit THCV gummies may trigger a positive workplace drug test.

How to use Wana Fit THCV gummies

At Leaf411, we are very excited to see Wana Fit THCV gummies become available to consumers, given the company’s reputation for bringing high-quality, all natural, trustworthy products to market. 

We thought we’d answer some basic questions here.

Bottle of Wana Fit THCV gummies with “How to Use” spelled out with stacked wooden blocks.

Q: When starting with Wana Fit THCV gummies, what’s a good starting dose?
A: We suggest starting with either a half-gummie or one gummie, and then adjusting your dose based on your tolerance. On this front, it can be helpful to use a journal to record how the product is affecting you. Some consumers have found that half of a  gummie is a good dose while others have found two gummies to be most effective for focus and energy. 

Q: Should I take the gummie at the same time each day?
A: Wana Fit THCV gummies should be taken in the morning to help with focus and energy. Take the daily gummie with food to help increase bioavailability (absorption). 

Q: How long will it take before I notice a difference from taking THCV?
A: Most consumers report an immediate effect with regard to focus on and energy

Q: If it doesn’t seem like a single gummie is working, what’s the maximum dose I can take?
A: We suggest that you may increase your daily intake to two gummies a day if you are not experiencing any changes taking one gummie a day. Remember that journaling the effects of the product will help dial in your dose better to achieve maximum benefit.  

Of course we encourage you to call the FREE Leaf411 WanaFit hotline at 844-WanaFit (844-926-2348) if you have specific questions about how to use THCV, or have other questions about potential medication interactions or even something as simple as how to read the product label.

Stacks of cards spelling “stack” alluding to adding THCV to an existing cannabis stack or regimen.

How will THCV impact your ongoing cannabis or hemp regimen?

If you’re adding Wana Fit THCV to your ongoing cannabis or hemp CBD regimen, we suggest reviewing the products you’re using to know how many total milligrams per day of each cannabinoid you are consuming in case your clinical team asks. For the record, each Wana Fit THCV gummie provides 10mg of CBD, 0.1mg of THC and 0.5mg of THCV, so be sure to add that to your journal.

Also, if you already use cannabis, you may be wondering if THCV will impact the familiar high you get from THC-dominant products like cannabis flower. Indeed, we talked earlier about how THCV acts very differently on your endocannabinoid’s CB1 receptors than THC.

Does that mean that THCV can actually cancel out intoxication, for example when you over-consume and feel too high? Unfortunately, research is very limited in this area. One small study reported that THCV seemed to dampen the effects of THC based on participant reports; however, at this point it is not possible to make general conclusions from that one study.

Close-up of keyboard key that says “Hotline” indicating the Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline offers both chat and call options.Leaf411 can help you with your questions about THCV

Our Leaf nurses have completed extensive education on the THCV cannabinoid as well as Wana Fit THCV gummies and are ready to answer your questions about this new non-intoxicating option for improved focus and appetite control. In fact, Wana has even partnered with Leaf411 to launch a special toll-free hotline number, 1-844-WanaFit (1-844-926-2348) that’s being shared with consumers who are new to Wana and the world of wellness-driven cannabis. Leaf411 nurses are also providing in-person consultations during special pop-up events at dispensaries in the Denver area. Keep an eye on Wana Brands or Leaf411 social media for dates and times.  

Access to trustworthy information is especially important as Denver begins allowing cannabis delivery, which means that consumers may not be able to ask budtenders product-related questions like before. And of course budtenders are not qualified to answer medical questions about using Wana Fit THCV gummies or other products–but our Leaf411 nurses are fully up-to-date on the research and qualified to answer your questions!

Call the FREE Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat with us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

For more information on Wana Brands’ Optimals product line, visit https://www.wanabrands.com/optimals/

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Cannabis flower strains displayed in glass jars at a dispensary.

Cultivars, Clones and Kief: Your Guide to Common Cannabis Flower Terms

Written by Whittney Wacker, BSN, RN

The world of cannabis has changed with legalization, and that includes the terminology used to describe cannabis flower (buds). Whether you’re brand new to cannabis or returning after a long hiatus, today’s terminology and flower options can be intimidating.

At Leaf411, we can help! Today, we’ll explain common terms you’re likely to hear when shopping for cannabis. These terms reflect the life cycle of dispensary-grown cannabis plant flower products.

Lightshade’s Green Crack cannabis strain being grown.

Cultivar: Another word for cannabis strain

The term “cultivar” refers to any species of plant (not limited to just cannabis) that has been produced in cultivation by selective breeding of two parents with specific and desired profiles, not a wild type/species. Plants like tomatoes are often referred to as different “varieties” instead of “cultivars” but they mean the same thing.

Likewise, in cannabis, the word “strain” is often used in place of “cultivar.” While there are a lot of strong opinions in the industry about whether we should push to use the scientifically correct term “cultivar,” the reality is that most dispensaries use the term “strain” for the flower products they sell. Don’t get too hung up on this—both sides are talking about the same thing!

Different cultivars are crossbred to develop specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles for their desired effects, with their names reflecting their lineage. This is where we get some of the fun, crazy, and creative names of cannabis strains today, like the ones shown below:

Seed & Smith Purple Trainwreck (Trainwreck x Mendocino Purps)

Seed & Smith Purple Trainwreck (Trainwreck x Mendocino Purps)

Seed & Smith Malibu Sunrise (Malibu Pure Kush x I95)

Seed & Smith Malibu Sunrise (Malibu Pure Kush x I95)

Lightshade Primus OG (303 Kush x Arcata x Trainwreck)

Lightshade Primus OG (303 Kush x Arcata x Trainwreck)

Lightshade Green Crack (lineage is less certain, but likely Skunk x an Afghani landrace).

Lightshade Green Crack (lineage is less certain, but likely Skunk x an Afghani landrace).

We can look at the cultivar DJ Short Blueberry to see how new cultivars are developed. DJ Short Blueberry reflects the namesake of its creator, the legendary Oregon cannabis breeder DJ Short. The Blueberry cultivar’s parents are Afghani and Thai cultivars that were crossbred to create the Blueberry genetic that is known for its fruity aroma and euphoric, relaxing high. DJ Short went through multiple filial (f1, f2, etc.) generations to arrive at the world-renown genetics of the Blueberry F5

Shopping for cannabis at Takoma Wellness medical dispensary in Washington, D.C.

Shopping for cannabis at Takoma Wellness medical dispensary in Washington, D.C.

Cannabis flower products

Now let’s take a look at the flower options you’ll likely find at your closest dispensary.

Flower is raw plant material/bud that can be smoked in joints, blunts, bongs or pipes. Heat converts (decarboxylates) the primary cannabinoid from THCA (which is not intoxicating) to THC which provides many therapeutic benefits as well as the sensation of being “high” at certain doses.

Flower is typically sold either by the gram or in 1/8 ounce (3.5 gram) amounts. Each legal state sets its own limit for how much cannabis flower consumers and patients can buy in a day. You can find an updated list of laws by state at this link

When people talk about cannabis, flower is usually what first comes to mind, along with smoking the buds in bongs, pipes or rolled joints.

Some cannabis manufacturers like our business members Lightshade and Seed & Smith use flower to make their pre-rolled joints or “pre-rolls.” Other manufacturers may instead use shake or trim, which we’ll discuss further down.

Bonkers top shelf flower

Bonkers top shelf flower displayed at Nature’s Gift Shop medical and recreational dispensary in Pueblo West, Colorado, sold in grams, eighths, quarters, half-ounces or ounces. Bonkers is a fruity strain with calm, happy effects.

Flower from Maryland’s Herbiculture medical dispensary packed into bong bowl.

Flower from Maryland’s Herbiculture medical dispensary packed into bong bowl.

Seed & Smith pre-rolls are made with full cannabis flower, not shake, and use all-natural rolling papers.

Seed & Smith pre-rolls are made with full cannabis flower, not shake, and use all-natural rolling papers.

Lightshade pre-rolls are made with full-flower cannabis, not shake, and are available in three different sizes catered to different consumer needs.

Lightshade pre-rolls are made with full-flower cannabis, not shake, and are available in three different sizes catered to different consumer needs.

Flower can also be used in dry herb vaporizers such as the iconic desktop Storz & Bickel Volcano, the Storz & Bickel MIGHTY, the Pax2 or Pax3 or the Arizer ArGo. These dry herb vaporizers heat the flower enough to convert THCA to THC and also release many of the flower’s terpenes without burning them. Because vaping doesn’t actually combust the flower, some people find it offers a smoother inhale than joints, pipes or bongs.

Flower’s versatility extends to using it to make tinctures, cannabutter and edibles, a topic we’ll cover in a different blog post. 

Buying flower is more expensive than popcorn buds or shake (discussed below); however, flower is cheaper than other products like edibles and is flexible in how it can be used.

Popcorn buds available at Nature’s Gift Shop medical and recreational dispensary in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Popcorn buds available at Nature’s Gift Shop medical and recreational dispensary in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Popcorn buds are smaller buds that come from the part of the plant that did not get the same light exposure as the topleaf of the plants. These buds are typically deemed “B grade” as they are not aesthetically pleasing to the eye as “top shelf” buds and are therefore lower in cost. There’s no medicinal difference in popcorn buds, although in some cases the concentration of trichomes (where many terpenes are found) may be reduced due to breakage. Popcorn buds may be sold in larger quantities of 1/2 ounce to 1 ounce.

Shake/Trim-leftovers/scissor clippings are created when the cannabis buds are harvested, made up of bits and pieces that fall off or are cut off the main bud, as well as an occasional stem or seed. Shake also includes the “crumbs”—little bits of bud—leftover in dispensary jars. Shake is often the lowest-cost raw flower product offered by a dispensary, selling for up to 80% cheaper than full bud.

Shake is used by some cannabis brands to make pre-rolled joints. It can be an affordable ingredient option for making homemade cannabis edibles. Manufacturers also utilize shake for making hash or other concentrates.

A few dispensaries like Lightshade and Nature’s Gift Shop in Colorado as well as Takoma Wellness in Washington, D.C., sell their trim by the cultivar/strain; however, most do not. That means when you buy shake or trim at most dispensaries, you will likely get a random mix of all the strains they sell (some older, some new). That is the unfortunate part if you are looking for specifics for your medicine because you don’t know the exact potency of the THC, CBD and terpene profiles you are buying.

Two different strain-specific shake/trim options at Nature’s Gift Shop medical and recreational dispensary in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Two different strain-specific shake/trim options at Nature’s Gift Shop medical and recreational dispensary in Pueblo West, Colorado.

Herb grinder designed for cannabis flower. Kief is shown in the compartment on the right side, after passing through the screen in the multi-chambered flower grinder.

Herb grinder designed for cannabis flower. Kief is shown in the compartment on the right side, after passing through the screen in the multi-chambered flower grinder.

Kief is not to be confused with shake, though it also comes off of buds. Kief is a powder-textured substance made up of resinous trichomes from the cannabis plant that have fallen off the flower bud after it has been harvested and cured, and often contains high amounts of terpenes and cannabinoids. 

Kief is sometimes added to prerolls or sprinkled on top of home-rolled joints or bowls to add potency. It can also be added to cannabutter or made into hash or press rosin using pressure and heat.

Adding kief to your cannabis flower routine? Keep in mind that kief packs a potent punch, and that you’ll want to use less product for the same effect.

You bought cannabis flower—now what?

Let’s get back to the basics—cannabis flower. You’ll need to prepare your cannabis flower, grinding it before rolling it into a joint or packing it into a bowl or a herb vape. 

How do you grind cannabis flower? Most people use a handheld herb grinder designed to grind or break up raw flower buds into a smaller, more manageable size for placement into pipe, bong, joint, or flower vaporizer. 

Check out this link for a video of our Leaf nurse Natalie Murdock, BSN, RN, demonstrating how to use a flower grinder.

Some herb grinders have multiple compartments separated by screens. Ground flower is captured in one compartment. Then another compartment, separated by a screen, catches kief.  

Only grind as much flower as you plan to use in a session, so that your remaining supply stays fresh longer.

How to store cannabis flower

The dispensary grower and the cannabis plant have worked hard to produce those potent, healing flowers. By taking a few simple steps, you can ensure that your cannabis doesn’t turn into dry, crumbly bud that has a harsh smoke and no aroma. 

Dispensaries often sell raw flower product in dark-colored, childproof plastic containers. These may not be the best storage to preserve your flower and the terpenes contained within as plastic may be porous and allow for air exchange. 

Also keep in mind that when cannabis is exposed to light, air and heat, then degradation of the cannabis flower can occur. In extreme cases, for example if you leave your flower in a hot car, decarboxylation may occur (THCA converting to active THC).  

cannabis flower in storage jarWhat is the best way to store cannabis flower? A glass jar that is amber colored with a tight fitting lid may be the best way to preserve the fresh aroma (terpenes) and potency of the raw flower. You can also use a clear glass jar to store cannabis flower, but be sure to keep it in a dark spot away from direct sunlight.

If preserving the terpenes and quality of the bud is important to you, it may be advantageous to look for a humidity packet that helps keep the flower at optimal humidity while it is in storage. Boveda packets are just one brand of desiccant that can be placed in a jar to aid in the preservation. They can be found at this link 

Using clones to grow your own cannabis

Dispensaries that are vertically integrated (grow their own product) may sell clones of their cultivars if local and state regulations allow the practice. A clone is a marijuana plant clipping that is planted and grown, creating an exact genetic replica of the mother. Buying a clone is much like buying a plant start at a nursery. You know exactly what you’re getting. 

Growing your own plants from clones may be ideal if you want to grow your medicine at home, and it can be very cost effective. In fact, last year’s pandemic-related lockdowns sparked new interest in gardening and other self-sufficient practices, including growing your own cannabis. 

If you decide to go this route, you’ll first want to fully research city and state regulations that outline how many plants you can own, as well as where they can be grown on your property. For example, Denver, Colorado, requires that home grows be located indoors in a locked area. Details like that are good to know before you invest in a pricy outdoor raised bed for your clones!

Why not use cannabis seeds to grow? Put simply, your odds of success are much higher with clones. When it comes to seeds, there are a lot of ins-and-outs, including finding the best phenotype of that specific cultivar and ensuring the plants you sprout are female and not male. Male plants produce pollen but not flowers, and that pollen can wreak havoc on any female plants you’ve been carefully cultivating, with the pollinated female plants shifting their energy to creating seeds, not bigger buds. 

Cannabis clones ensure you know what you’re getting when growing your own.

Cannabis clones ensure you know what you’re getting when growing your own.

Shopping at A Therapeutic Alternative cannabis dispensary in Sacramento, CA.

Shopping at A Therapeutic Alternative cannabis dispensary in Sacramento, CA.

We can help with your cannabis shopping questions!

All calls to our free Leaf411 hotline are answered by cannabis-trained fully-licensed RNs who are familiar with the wide range of products on dispensary shelves today. If you’re looking for a flower strain or product to help manage a specific health concern, a quick call to our hotline may help save you money and time.Our RNs will help point you in the right direction based on your specific concerns. 

Even in areas without legal cannabis, we can suggest hemp CBD products that may help you achieve health and wellness goals.

Our fully-licensed Leaf RNs are ready to help answer your questions at no cost to you. Call the Leaf411 hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. MDT.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Hand holding sign that says “National Nurses Week” celebrating cannabis nurses.

Recognizing Cannabis Nurses During National Nurses Week

Cannabis-trained nurses hold a unique spot in the nursing field 

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Patients have long known the potential benefits of cannabis, though the medical establishment has been slower to acknowledge cannabis’s therapeutic potential. Between federal prohibition and outdated stigmas, cannabis has faced an uphill battle gaining credibility among many healthcare providers. However, as additional states legalize and research rapidly grows on cannabis’s potential as an alternative to opiates and other pharmaceuticals, more doctors and nurses are giving cannabis a fresh look.

Cannabis leaf in foreground, being held by a medical marijuana doctor.

Healthcare pioneers have long supported medical marijuana

Pioneering nurses and doctors have been chipping away at cannabis misconceptions and stigmas for over 50 years. In 1971, Dr. Lester Grinspoon published Reconsidering Marihuana, supporting the safety and efficacy of cannabis. Ironically, when he first began researching cannabis his goal was to prove the plant was dangerous, but the research resoundingly said otherwise. (The late Dr. Lester Grinspoon is the father of Dr. Peter Grinspoon, keynote speaker at our most recent Leaf Learning Series.)

Dr. Lester Grinspoon wasn’t the only healthcare professional interested in cannabis therapeutics prior to legalization. The organization Patients Out of Time was formed in 1981, and the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) was first envisioned at the Fourth National Patients Out of Time conference in 2006, with ACNA formally founded in 2010. Our own Leaf411 Chief Nursing Officer and Board President Eloise Theisen, AGPCNP-BC, is the current ACNA President, and all our Leaf Nurses are members of this visionary organization.

Unique challenges in cannabis nursing

Nurses have been on the forefront of cannabis therapeutics all along, often with very little professional support and at risk of losing their nursing licenses or jobs. In many cases, these nurses became interested in cannabis after seeing its benefits firsthand in patients they were caring for, or after diving into research on cannabis as an alternative to medications that have worrying side effects.

Nurses in blue scrubs sitting at a classroom table, learning about cannabis therapeutics.

Unlike their nursing colleagues in more conventional specialties, nurses pursuing cannabis specialization have often had to go outside of their organization and spend their own money on professional development. These nurses also miss out on bonuses and incentives that large healthcare organizations often offer for other speciality certifications.

Needless to say, these nurses—including our own Leaf Nurses—are driven by a passion to provide patient-centered care that addresses the whole person and considers all available research-backed options to restore health and quality of life.

Fortunately, when it comes to healthcare the tides are turning. In 2016, the American Nurses Association (ANA) released a position statement in support of cannabis, urging reclassification to allow for more robust clinical research on the efficacy of marijuana and related cannabinoids. Two years later, in 2018, the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) released guidelines for nurses caring for patients who use medical marijuana. Eloise played a central role in developing a nursing continuing education (CE) module for the ANA on this topic, and led creation of a clinical dosing regimen to the cannabis space.

Smiling cannabis nurse in background, holding up stethoscope with a marijuana leaf image printed on it.

Cannabis nurses offer knowledge in an emerging field

For now, cannabis nurses like the Leaf411 Nurses who staff our hotline hold a unique place in healthcare. More people are accessing plant medicine, yet many mainstream medical providers don’t have the necessary background or professional education to answer patients’ questions about cannabis therapeutics. Cannabis-trained nurses help fill that gap.

At Leaf411, we’ve seen the demand on our hotline, with calls increasing by 50% during the first two months of 2021, and we only expect that demand to increase as more states legalize medical and adult-use (recreational) cannabis. Public support for cannabis is also at an all-time high, with 91% of U.S. adults saying medical and/or adult-use cannabis should be legalized, according to a Pew Research Center report released in April 2021.

Stacked wooden blocks with up arrows,indicating increasing support for cannabis legalization across the U.S.

Access to legal cannabis is expanding and attitudes are changing, but patient resources remain scarce. We launched the nonprofit Leaf411 hotline with the goal of providing balanced, accessible cannabis information to the public while also paying our fully-licensed Leaf Nurses a fair market rate, acknowledging the time and resources they have invested into pursuing a cannabis specialization. 

We help patients and consumers cut through marketing claims and anecdotal data to find cannabis and hemp CBD product types and potencies that fit their goals, lifestyles and overall health regimen. We are not beholden to one brand, but instead help consumers sort through the options where they live, whether in a fully legal state, medical-only state, or even an area where cannabis has not been legalized yet hemp CBD is available.

During National Nurses Week, we want to acknowledge our Leaf Nurses’ commitment to making the Leaf411 hotline a leading resource for cannabis patients and consumers. To the best of our knowledge, we are the only RN-staffed cannabis hotline in the United States that provides this service for free to the public, and we couldn’t do it without the incredible passion and dedication that our nurses bring to their work.

Sticky note that says “Share This!” encouraging readers to share the Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline as a resource for others.

Spread the word about Leaf411 and help us grow!

One of the best ways you can support Leaf411 is by spreading the word about our service:

  • Have a friend with questions about cannabis? Point them in our direction.
  • Visiting your favorite dispensary for your cannabis medicine? Mention how Leaf411 has helped you, and suggest that they look into a business membership to help support patients like yourself.
  • Know a physician, nurse or other allied health professional with questions about cannabis therapeutics? Point them to us—we also serve as a resource for healthcare professionals.

We also appreciate individual donations, no matter how big or small. Visit this link to learn different ways you can support Leaf411’s work via direct donation or Amazon Smile. 

For cannabis businesses, a Leaf411 business membership provides a valuable educational resource for your customers while also demonstrating that you care about healthcare inequality. Leaf411 business membership can also set you apart in the increasingly crowded cannabis and hemp CBD marketplace, an issue we tackled in a recent blog post

We have revamped our business membership model to meet you where you’re at, whether you are a newly-launched brand or an industry heavyweight looking to make your mark on the future of patient-centered cannabis education and support. Keep an eye on our Business Membership page for more details, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter below!


Cannabis on American Flag with Stethoscope

The Cannabis Industry Needs Nurses

Headshot of Eloise Theisen

By Eloise Theisen, AGPCNP-BC
CEO, Radicle Health
Executive Board Member, Leaf411

(Note: This article was originally published on the RadicleHealth blog.)

The cannabis industry (and particularly the hemp space) has been gaining momentum. Last year was a monumental year for cannabis legislation. With 36 states and the District of Columbia allowing some form of medical cannabis, 15 states plus D.C. allowing adult use, and the descheduling of hemp, it is safe to say that cannabinoid therapy is here to stay.

It is estimated that there are around 3,000 CBD companies in the United States alone. Many of those companies are not expected to survive, with COVID-19 playing a significant role in their demise. According to Hemp Industry Daily, the top 20 hemp CBD companies account for 17% of the market share. The rest of the market is made of new CBD enthusiasts who are not well-established brands, and they are finding it harder to survive in the crowded space.

Cannabis companies like Acreage, Tilray, Aurora, Canopy, Cresco Labs, GW Pharmaceuticals, and Tikun Olam are hoping to position themselves as leaders in the cannabis space. These companies have multistate operations in medical and adult-use states. More states are predicted to put cannabis legalization on the ballot in 2021 and there is talk of federal decriminalization happening by 2022. As these national brands expand, they too will need to consider unique ways to positions themselves among the competition.

So how do brands establish brand loyalty and secure a piece of the market? A leading data analyst and consulting company speculated that survival will depend on brand differentiation. Companies can position themselves by increasing distribution through multistate operators, aligning with well-established nutraceutical companies, and working with large retail chains. What else can they do to establish brand differentiation? They can hire a nurse.

As the market becomes more competitive, brands will need to be creative about offering services that help them stand out. Nurses are an excellent way for brands to craft credibility, brand differentiation, and brand loyalty.

For 19 years in a row, consumers have voted nurses as the most trusted profession. Beyond gaining the public’s trust and respect, nurses are educators, counselors, leaders, and advocates. Nurses promote health and wellness, interpret patient information, conduct research, and improve practices and patient outcomes. And yet nurses are rarely employed by cannabis companies.

Nurses can bring incredible value to cannabis companies. In addition to offering instant credibility, they can collect data, identify trends, provide training and education, and coach patients through the medical cannabis process. Cannabis companies: what are you waiting for? We need more nurses in the industry.

Eloise Theisen (CEO, Radicle Health) is a board-certified Adult Geriatric Nurse Practitioner with over 20 years experience in nursing. Prior to cannabis, Eloise worked for 14 years in oncology at John Muir. Eloise started her own cannabis practice in 2015 and has treated over 7000 patients using cannabis. Eloise is the current President of the American Cannabis Nurses Association and an Executive Board Member for Leaf411.

References

Nichols K. Chart: 2020 an ‘extinction event’ for thousands of CBD companies, but industry remains crowded. Hemp Industry Daily. https://hempindustrydaily.com/chart-2020-an-extinction-event-for-thousands-of-cbd-companies-but-industry-remains-crowded/. Published August 3, 2020. Accessed February 25, 2021.

Skelly C. Top CBD Companies. https://blog.brightfieldgroup.com/top-5-cbd-companies. Accessed February 25, 2021. Skelly C. Top CBD Companies.


Cannabis journaling can be in the form of a simple diary or any number of specialized mobile apps

Why you should be keeping a cannabis journal

Note: Our Leaf411 Blog periodically shares articles from The Cannigma, a trusted resource for research-backed medical cannabis education and information. We loved their recent piece on cannabis journaling! Journaling is a practice we often recommend to callers.

You don’t need to be a gifted writer to keep a cannabis journal! The purpose of the journal is to record your goals and experiences using specific cannabis products, doses or CBD:THC ratios, which can help you identify the most effective cannabis regimen moving forward. 

Cannabis journaling only requires a notebook or a simple spreadsheet. However, there are several apps on the market that can help, if you’re looking for a more customized approach. Check out the Cannigma article below to learn more about what to track and how journaling can help you dial in cannabis to your health goals. Remember, too, that the Leaf nurses are available to help at no cost via our hotline: 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) 

This article was originally published on The Cannigma and appears here with permission.

by Ben Hartman
Feb 15, 2021

Despite the traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and years of PTSD, Otha Smith considers himself one of the lucky ones. 

Pronounced dead at the scene of a car accident in 2003, a friend and medical student he was traveling with performed CPR until a medivac helicopter arrived, giving him another chance at life.

Otha Smith, CEO of Tetragram (Otha Smith)

Otha Smith, CEO of Tetragram (Otha Smith)

Smith eventually recovered, but “started to go down a really dark path” with the prescription medications, so he turned to cannabis. 

Years later, when medical cannabis was legalized in Maryland, where he lives, Smith told The Cannigma how he suddenly had access to a whole world of weed he had never encountered with his old dealer. He had to find the products helped him the most, and it was a lot more work than just choosing a jar with a pleasant-enough sounding strain name.

Fast-forward to 2020, and Smith and two co-founders launched “Tetragram,” a mobile app designed to help medical cannabis patients determine which products — including which strains, formulations, and delivery methods — work best for their ailments or even their recreational use goals. 

Tyler Dautrich, the COO of Releaf, another cannabis journaling app, told The Cannigma that his app “is geared towards helping that individual lessen the amount of time and money they spend in that trial and error process and strictly hone in on what works for them.”

Both apps are technological tools for journaling, a technique that can be used by medical patients looking to treat specific symptoms or conditions, but also by recreational cannabis users trying to hone in on the products and delivery methods that will reliably produce the effects they’re looking for.

What is cannabis journaling?

Cannabis journaling can be in the form of a simple diary or journal, Hello Kitty stationary, or an Excel spreadsheet on your computer. Online apps like Releaf and Tetragram are growing in popularity, and are well-suited for a smartphone. 

Journaling can make cannabis use more mindful, deliberate and based on goals, past experiences, and your own personally cultivated data tracking what works best for you. It’s a way of getting the most out of the legal cannabis field in which there is an almost bewildering amount of options. 

It can also help cannabis consumers tune out some of the noise, Dautrich said. 

“As legalization trends continue and more and more options become available, companies are branding completely different products in the same way so there a lot of products that are labeled differently than what they’re actually for,” Dautrich stated, adding that “with journaling, you have a lot of knowledge and data and information backing up your purchase so you know you’ll get a similar outcome.”

When you go to the grocery store or pharmacy, Dautrich explained, even if you can’t find the exact brand and product you’re looking for, you can be confident that you can find an alternative that produces the same results. Cannabis consumers do not have that luxury.

Dautrich said that there isn’t a typical Releaf user, and that their users include new cannabis consumers who are looking for some help navigating the world of cannabis, as well as connoisseurs who are using the app to track their consumption and rate different brands and products. He likened the connoisseurs using the app to craft beer fans who use similar apps for beer, to record beers they’ve tried, the taste profiles, aromas, and how they feel.

But what should cannabis users be journaling?

What to track in your cannabis journal

Regardless of what journaling method you decide upon, it is important to take some time and set it up and acquaint yourself before attempting to record your first session or product. There are many different ways to journal your cannabis use — a lot will depend on your goals of treatment but also what information or insight you hope to gain from journaling. From the sections below, pick those that feel most relevant to why you are journaling your cannabis, and make sure to be consistent so that can easily spot trends and useful insights later.

  • Set and setting
    When and where is the particular cannabis session. What is the time? The date? How do you feel as you start? Is there anything unique about the situation or about how you feel?
  • Your goals
    Why are you using cannabis right now? Are you looking to treat specific symptoms or alleviate a particular health condition? Are you looking to relax in the evening or find a product that produces an energetic high during the day? Do you just want to get a good night’s sleep? Identifying and setting your usage goals allows you to gauge which products produce the results you are looking for, and which miss the mark. 
  • Product type, delivery method, and dosage
    How are you taking the cannabis? Are you smoking? (If so, from a pipe or bong or joint?) Vaping? Using a tincture? Taking an edible? Different delivery methods can affect you in different ways, even if they come from the same chemovar or strain. How much are you taking? Be specific! With edibles and tinctures it’s easier to know what dose you took down to the milligram, but if you’re smoking a joint or using a vape pen, write down how many puffs you took.
  • Product details
    Different products can have the same strain name but different cannabinoid and terpene profiles, and different batches of the same product produced by the same company can even have different THC or CBD levels. That’s why recording the brands and products names is so important for making sure you are able to replicate the good sessions and avoid revisiting the disappointing ones. While this often involves writing down the strain name, as long as you’re also noting the brand and product name you should have all the information you need.
  • Cannabinoid and terpene profile
    Recording the THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid content of your cannabis product is crucial. If it’s flower or a vape pen, you’ll want to record the listed percentage of THC, CBD, or other dominant cannabinoids. If it’s a tincture, edible, drinkable, or capsule, you’ll want to record the milligram unit of each cannabinoid that you are taking during your session. But don’t stop there. Terpenes can also have a major impact on the effects, as well as the flavor and aroma of your cannabis. Knowing and recording which terpenes are present in your cannabis is an important tool for figuring out what cannabis products work for you. 
  • How it made you feel
    This is the most important part. How did the session make you feel? Did you achieve your goals? Relieve your symptoms? For how long? Did you like the way it made you feel? Were there any adverse side effects? If it’s helpful, you can rank each of the effects from 1-10 to track how effective the session was for each of your goals. Just make sure you’re consistent with how you record this info — it will make it easier to compare and see what is working best. Ultimately, this is the most crucial factor in determining if a product is right for you and it is at the core of why cannabis journaling is important. 

After a few, dozens, or hundreds of entries into your cannabis journal, you should be able to see the common denominators of what factors contributed to a successful session — be it the dose, cannabinoid profile, terpene profile, delivery method, time of day, or any combination of those or others. Don’t be discouraged if the answers aren’t apparent right off the bat — it could be a process of narrowing a broad range of products down to a few. You may even find that different products work for you in different situations or for treating different symptoms. A cannabis journal can also be very helpful to bring to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss what is and isn’t working in order to find the right treatment regimen.

Different cannabis journals

There are several options out there for journaling your cannabis use, whether it’s as a patient, budding connoisseur, or any other reason. You can go the DIY route and make your own physical journal or Excel sheet with custom formulas, use one of the specially designed online apps, or purchase a beautiful physical cannabis journal.

Releaf

Designed with what the company describes as “the basic principle that there had to be a better way to track and demystify the world of medical cannabis,” Releaf is a free mobile app that allows users to track a wide range of aspects of their cannabis use, including their dosing, level of symptom relief, feelings, and side effects, among others. The app also provides customized trends and insights that are based on the user’s own input. 

On the app’s “sessions” dashboard, users can review all of their sessions in detail. While on the “cannabis on hand” section, users can organize all of the different cannabis products they have at the moment, by name, rating, and date. 

Rating makes it easy to see which product has been the most effective for the user, in that it presents a score which is the average rating the user gave it for each parameter. Users can also provide feedback on products at any time.

Tetragram

Tetragram is a free “smart, digital journal that helps you get the most out of medical cannabis.”

The app allows users to create a digital diary of their cannabis experiences by way of sessions in which the user logs a series of data points including strain, product, intake method, dispensary where it was purchased, symptoms treated, quality of experience, and flavor and appearance. 

Users can rate each individual cannabis product and share their ratings as well as photos and comments with the community of Tetragram users. 

The app can also be used to find similar products to ones that worked well for the user. 

The app is fully customizable for every user’s particular cannabis needs and goals. 

Goldleaf

Anybody who has ever held a beautiful glass pipe in their hand or gazed longingly at a perfect trimmed and cured, frosty nug of cannabis knows that sometimes form can be almost — but not quite — as important as function. 

Goldleaf produces a wide variety of sophisticated, informative, and handy journals for all types of cannabis users. The templated and educational notebooks are suited for everyday users, patients, and growers alike, and come complete with infographics and artwork covering a variety of topics in cannabis. 

Take for instance “the Cannabis Taster,” a “pocket journal for those who appreciate fine cannabis.” It comes with 25 full-spread templated entry pages, as well as purveyor sections for logging favorite dispensaries, growers, and products, as well as flavor and terpene infographics. 

And of course, if none of those strike your fancy, you can find lots of custom-made and beautifully designed cannabis journals on Etsy.

How journaling can make cannabis better

In addition to helping patients optimize their cannabis use, online cannabis journaling platforms can also have a potential benefit to the cannabis industry. The anonymized data is made available to scientists and people within the cannabis industry, to help them design products with the right chemical profiles to treat specific conditions and symptoms. 

According to Smith, “all this aggregated data we’re collecting we can provide to the medical professionals and say listen, this is no longer a ‘he said, she said’ — we have actual data about these strains and products and how effective they are at addressing medical conditions.”

A December 2020 study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research examined data from 670 users, who recorded their cannabis use sessions with the Releaf app. The study looked at how cannabis use changed feelings of agitation/irritability, anxiety, and stress, as well as side effects, producing findings that could be of valuable use to cannabis producers.  

According to the researchers, the data indicated a decrease in symptoms intensity levels in 95.51% of cannabis usage sessions. The data also served to indicate that mid and high THC forms of cannabis “were the primary independent predictor of increased symptom relief.”

Dautrich said the Releaf app isn’t meant to replace the doctor-patient relationship, rather, to improve it by helping both patients and doctors have a more informed and educated relationship with cannabis. 

He added that Releaf is also working with companies in the cannabis industry, to allow them to use customer reports to help them improve formulation decisions for their products, as well as which products to market to which customers.

How doctors view cannabis journaling

Dr. Lewis Jassey is the Medical Director of Pediatric Medicine at Leafwell, a network of online medical cannabis clinics. He told The Cannigma that in his practice he uses a form that patients can fill out to describe their health condition and how it affects their daily life. This information is later used to determine how medical cannabis is helping these issues, in order to gain what he describes as “an objective barometer to determine if treatment is working for a patient.”

Jassey shared a version of the questionnaire used for chronic pain patients, which contains nearly two dozen questions about their history with pain. 

“This is designed to establish that there is a true medical indication for you and your body and it’s not just, ‘oh you’re in pain and I’m approving you [for medical cannabis].’”

For Jassey, this sort of data collection is key not only in helping the patient, but also in showing the efficacy of medical cannabis. 

“We want to be pioneers and in the forefront of helping to demonstrate that medical cannabis can in fact help out with many conditions, but you have to have objectivity in your notes.” 

Journaling and these forms of questionnaires are also a way of making sure that treatment is customized for that particular patient’s needs, Jassey said. 

It’s not appropriate to take a cookie-cutter approach to every patient, Jassey said, adding that “this is not a meat market, or a factory, this is peoples’ lives and this is their day-to-day functionality and this is trying to establish medical cannabis in a more mainstream way and to do that you have to establish the credibility.” 

“So it’s not about churning out the next patient, or how many patients I can see in a day. It’s about having meaningful experiences with them so that they can know what’s on their radar so when we have our next follow up I know what to look for and what their [cannabis] application should be,” he added.


Nurse’s stethoscope and a cannabis leaf on natural hemp fabric background

Leaf411 Spotlight: Natali Murdock, BSN, RN, Cannabis Nurse Educator

Throughout 2021, we will be profiling board members, hotline nurses, administrative team members and industry partners who are integral to the work we do every day.

While these individuals have diverse professional and personal backgrounds, they all share a passion for supporting medically-sound patient education and resources on cannabis.

In these profiles, you will find reassurance and inspiration. You might also see elements of your own cannabis journey in these stories.   

Below, we’re sharing Natali’s story, in her own words, about her evolution from hospital-based nursing to working as a cannabis nurse educator. Natali is a Leaf411 Advisory Board Member and is also a fierce advocate for individuals with disabilities to have access to therapeutic alternatives.

Headshot of Natali Murdock, BSN, RN, Cannabis Nurse Educator

“The different stories I have heard from patients’ family members, specifically parents of children with disabilities have been profound. It has made me believe that cannabis should be a first line treatment and not a last line treatment. Oftentimes parents use cannabis as a last resort and it ends up being the best medicine they have ever used. This has driven my passion to be part of Leaf411 and help educate the public and dispel the misinformation surrounding marijuana use.”

Natali Murdock, BSN, RN, Cannabis Nurse Educator

The Importance of Maintaining a Healthy Balance

I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) while playing college volleyball, becoming the first student-athlete to graduate from my nursing program. Balancing volleyball and nursing school made me aware of the importance of maintaining healthy practices such as exercise, healthy eating and prioritizing mental health. To this day, I rely on these tools in my own life and see how life-changing they can be for my patients, as well.

Hospital Emergency Room doorway with ambulance parked in front

Emergency Department Patient Stories about the Benefits of Cannabis

I have been a registered nurse for 10 years. I originally started my nursing career in a rural hospital on the medical/surgical floor. After a couple of years, I transitioned to the emergency department, where I began hearing from patients who were using cannabis to help manage their health conditions.

When triaging patients there is a section about drug use. If a patient told me that they used marijuana, I would ask what they were using it for. Patients would usually start telling me how it helped with their medical condition. Oftentimes the condition they mentioned would qualify them to become medical marijuana patients. However, large hospitals depend on federal funding. As long as cannabis remains federally illegal, medical professionals are discouraged or outright restricted from recommending medical marijuana.

I then moved to Colorado and worked in various emergency departments throughout the Denver area. I surprisingly found that a lot of patients with various chronic issues did not try or use cannabis medicinally despite being in a legal state. In many cases, this was due to patients’ lack of awareness and education around plant-based medicine. Patients did not know that an alternative was available to them.

I eventually became burnt out from working in emergency nursing. I wanted to help patients in a more natural way as I got to witness the terrible side effects patients had from medication, alcohol, drug abuse and how treating mental health seemed to be failing. 

Stethoscope, pencil, and stack of medical textbooks on desk, representing cannabis nurse education

Transitioning into Cannabis Nursing

After I left hospital nursing, I started working in a Medical Marijuana evaluation office in Boulder, Colorado. I quickly gained knowledge about the endocannabinoid system, different uses for cannabis, dosing and products. I also learned a lot from various physicians, cannabis-trained nurses, conferences and literature.

Working as a cannabis nurse, I felt empowered to finally be able to answer any questions patients had about medical marijuana use, side effects, drug interactions, etc. My new role was a far cry from my old position working in hospitals, where information and resources on medical marijuana were sparse or nonexistent.

I now live in Arizona, where I remain dedicated to providing balanced education and guidance on safe, effective use of cannabis medicine. The different stories I have heard from patients’ family members, specifically parents of children with disabilities have been profound. It has made me believe that cannabis should be a first-line treatment and not the last-line treatment.

Woman holding smartphone out, with screen showing Leaf411.org cannabis nurse hotline homepage.

When You Call Leaf411, You Get Expert Help on Cannabis… For Free!

We appreciate the work that Natali and the rest of our staff do every day to bring medically sound, balanced education and guidance to you—the public—at no cost!

When you call the hotline, you can be confident that your questions and concerns will be taken seriously, and that you will be treated with respect. Our nurses are passionate about helping others on their cannabis journey, no matter where they are at. You can even call if you’ve never tried cannabis before but are curious about whether it might be an option for you or a loved one.

Call our hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) with your questions, or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


Hand putting quarter in piggy bank with cannabis symbol, after saving money on cannabis

Saving Money on Cannabis

Learn how dispensary deals and specials can save you money

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Cannabis is an amazing plant. Depending on the cultivar (strain), it may serve as an effective tool for pain relief, sleep support, or even pre-workout motivation! However, the cost of cannabis adds up. Today we’re sharing our top tips for saving money on cannabis, and it starts with knowing what you need, as well as where to look for discounts and deals on cannabis products.

Three large jars of cannabis at a dispensary. Knowing why you want to use cannabis can help you make the right choice.

Before You Shop: Know Why You Want to Use Cannabis

One of our top tips for saving money on cannabis is to start by identifying why you want to use cannabis, then find the strains or product types that match your goals before you head out to the dispensary. Otherwise, you could end up buying something that sounds good, but doesn’t align with your needs.

For example, if flower is your preferred type of medicine, the Red-Headed Stranger strain might pique your interest based on its name (yes, it is named after Willie Nelson’s 1975 album!). Red-Headed Stranger may become your best friend if you’re looking for a creative, energizing daytime boost. However, if your goal is improved rest, then this strain would not be a good fit.

Cannabis products are also available in different potencies, different ratios including both CBD and THC, and a wide range of product forms including flower (bud), concentrates, tinctures, pills, edibles, topicals and even suppositories that have different onset and offset times.

While you may be tempted to say, “Give me your strongest stuff!” to the budtender, in reality, a smaller dose or different form may be more effective (and less expensive!) for your needs.

Every day, our Leaf nurses help callers sort through all the options available in dispensaries, providing impartial, balanced guidance and education. Call our free hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for help with your questions.

Dispensary budtenders can also help point you in the right direction; however, keep in mind that they are not medical professionals, and in fact are restricted from giving medical advice.

Dispensary sign. Save money by knowing where to find dispensary deals and specials.

Finding Dispensary Deals and Specials

You’ve done your research and narrowed down your product selection. Now, let’s turn to ways to save money on your cannabis.

Cannabis advertising is heavily restricted. You won’t find dispensary sales circulars tucked in your mail. However, cannabis retailers in most legal states can offer specials to consumers—you just need to know where to look for the details!

Visit a dispensary’s website and you’ll likely find recurring specials on a set day of the week, making it easy to plan your shopping around your product preferences. Are you an edibles fan? Many dispensaries offer 10%-20% discounts on edibles on Mondays or Tuesdays. Other days may feature specials on flower, concentrates, topicals or products containing CBD. By timing your shopping trips around these weekly specials, you can save considerable money.

In addition, some dispensaries offer ongoing discounts to Veterans and to customers who are 65 or older. It doesn’t hurt to ask if the dispensary offers these discounts!

Beyond ongoing promotions, dispensaries often hold sales in conjunction with product launches or holidays. Again, the dispensary’s website is the best place to look for these specials.

Why don’t dispensaries share their specials on social media? Most social media platforms have strict rules against online cannabis sales advertising, though cannabis businesses may share informational or educational content.

Finally, use in-person sources of information. When you visit a dispensary, it’s always worth asking your budtender about upcoming sales on your favorite products.

Phone on table surrounded by cannabis buds. Many dispensaries text sales to subscribers.

Dispensary Loyalty Programs, Newsletters and Texts: A Good Source If You Don’t Mind Sharing Your Information

Many dispensaries offer loyalty programs that function a lot like any other retailer’s rewards programs. Loyalty members may receive special discounts and deals, including earning points that can be redeemed on future purchases. For consumers who are comfortable sharing their personal information, these loyalty programs can be a good way to save money on cannabis.

(Note: These dispensary loyalty programs are different than designating a medical marijuana dispensary as your caregiver, which many states require as part of their medical cannabis program.)

When you sign up for a dispensary loyalty program, you’ll likely be asked if you want to receive email newsletters or text messages as well. Most dispensaries also offer newsletter sign-ups on their website, without requiring visitors to join their loyalty programs.

Other Ways to Stretch Your Cannabis Budget When Shopping at Dispensaries

You’ve marked cannabis sales days on your calendar and joined your favorite dispensary’s loyalty program. What other ways can you save money on cannabis?

Actually, that’s a good question to ask the budtenders! They might be able to recommend an alternative that is less expensive yet delivers a similar effect or flavor as a higher-tier product.

Many dispensaries also offer price breaks on larger quantities of flower, concentrates or other products. However, keep in mind that flower and concentrates are perishable. THC and terpenes break down over time, and flower may dry out, even when properly stored in an airtight container and kept away from sunlight and heat. (Hint: The freezer isn’t the best place to store your cannabis, either! Check out this link for tips on how to store flower and edibles.)

Making edibles, with cannabis shake in a small dish next to a mixing bowl with brownie batter.

Another low-cost option is to buy marijuana shake, the small bits and pieces that break off of larger buds as they are handled. Trimmers and dispensaries collect shake and either use it to make prerolls, or package it by weight, selling it at a discount when compared to bud. 

On the upside, shake can be an inexpensive ingredient source for making your own cannabis tinctures or edibles, or rolling your own joints. However, you will want to make sure that you know what you are buying. Shake may sometimes contain stems, leaves or even a few seeds.

Shake is often available in a specific strain. However, dispensaries may also mix all their shake together from various strains, resulting in the cannabis equivalent of kitchen sink cookies (containing everything but the kitchen sink)!

Cannabis seedling growing in a pot at home.

Is It Cheaper to Grow Your Own Cannabis?

Many people find growing their own cannabis to be a rewarding experience. But is it cheaper than buying cannabis at a dispensary?

Leafly took a detailed look at this question a few years ago and concluded that no, it is not cheaper to grow your own cannabis. Their analysis factored in equipment and supplies for an ideal grow set-up, with costs running into the thousands. However, a quick look at the comments on that article show that many people successfully grow their personal supply of flower with lower-cost supplies.

Before you stock up on seeds or clones and other supplies, be sure to check your state and local laws, as well as any HOA regulations that might restrict personal cannabis grows. You’ll find different laws and regulations depending on whether you’re a medical marijuana patient or an adult-use (recreational) consumer. The laws will also spell out how many plants you’re allowed to grow and where you can grow on your property. For example, Colorado requires all plants to be kept in an enclosed, locked area that cannot be openly viewed. That means you cannot grow your cannabis in front of your favorite sunlit picture window, since passersby would be able to see your plants.

Finding the Best Cannabis for Your Needs and Budget

If you’re feeling a bit lost, don’t worry! Our fully-licensed Leaf RNs can help you sort through your options, saving you money and time. Best of all, as a non-profit, we are able to offer our service for free. Call our hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411), or chat us from our home page during hotline hours, Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The Leaf411 cannabis nurse hotline provides free, anonymous education and directional support to the general public about the safe use of legal cannabis. We partner with select business members who meet our rigorous standards to extend our education and outreach efforts.


American flag with hand holding cannabis leaf

Why Cannabis is Different Between Legal States

State laws determine what cannabis products are legally available where you live

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

As we enter 2021, medical marijuana is legal in 38 states plus Washington D.C., and adult-use (recreational) marijuana is legal in 15 states, with several other states, including New York, poised to legalize adult-use in 2021.

If you live somewhere with legal cannabis, you might assume that the products you find locally are the same as you’d find in other legal states, but in fact, that’s not the case at all. The cannabis edible or flower (bud) found in Florida’s medical marijuana market will be different from what’s available in Oklahoma’s medical marijuana market, even if it says that it’s the same strain/cultivar or comes from the same brand.

Why Does Cannabis Vary Across States?

There are two big reasons for why cannabis differs across states:

  • Cannabis remains federally illegal. As a result, cannabis plants and THC products are prohibited from crossing state lines, even between two legal states located right next to one another, since federal law governs interstate commerce. 
  • In legal states, marijuana regulations vary widely with different rules for packaging, dose sizes and even the types of products that are legal. State regulations also determine how you can get your cannabis, either by curbside pick-up, drive-thru, or delivery.

An Example from Two States: Cannabis Regulations in Florida Compared to Oklahoma

Going back to our example of Florida versus Oklahoma, we can take a look at how Wana’s medical marijuana market gummies have different packaging and product design across the two states. Wana’s website features photos and details for all their products by state on their website, making the comparison easy.

Wana Blueberry soft chews sold in Florida, showing the gummies are colorless and the packaging is all white with no images or logos.
Wana Blueberry Soft Chews sold in Florida’s medical cannabis marketplace, which has stringent rules for products and packaging.
Wana Blueberry Sour Gummies sold in Oklahoma, showing the gummies are dark blue and the packaging includes colors, photos and logos.
Wana Blueberry Sour Gummies sold in Oklahoma’s medical cannabis marketplace, with regulations allowing photos and colors on packaging.

As you can see, the Wana products sold in Florida look quite different than those sold in Oklahoma! The Florida Department of Health, Office of Medical Marijuana Use, set strict rules for edibles, including requirements that they are not “of a primary or bright color” and cannot resemble any commercially available candy. Florida also requires white packaging that does not contain any images other than the required THC warning, while Oklahoma—the other image shown above—allows images, logos and other package coloring.

When it comes to potency, Florida has a limit of 10mg of THC per piece, while other states have higher THC limits for edibles. Looking at the two examples above, both contain 10mg THC per piece, though Wana also offers high-dose products in Oklahoma with up to 50 mg THC per piece. Other brands in Oklahoma offer gummies with up to 100 mg THC per piece, ten times the limit in Florida!

That’s one reason it’s always important to check the label for potency and dose size, especially when visiting other states. You may think you’re buying the same product you use at home, only to discover that the potency is different due to regulations in the state you’re visiting.

The same rule applies when recommending cannabis-infused products to a friend in a different state—the edibles in their state’s dispensaries may have different potencies than the ones that are available to you.

Our Leaf nurses understand how cannabis products vary between states and they can guide you on safe use with the variety of products you may have on hand. That’s why the nurses ask you to describe the product packages you have and ask where you are located when you call our free hotline (844-LEAF411), so that they can make suggestions for safe and effective use based on products available in your area. They will also guide you to the many vetted resources of support members we have listed by state.

“Welcome to Colorful Colorado” sign at Colorado state line.

Another Big Difference: Cannabis Plants and THC Cannot Cross State Lines

Earlier, we mentioned how federal law regulates interstate commerce. Since cannabis remains illegal at the federal level, all legal medical and adult-use (recreational) products must be produced with marijuana grown and processed within that state’s borders.

How does that work for brands sold in multiple states? That’s a good question! We have several Leaf411 supporting members, including Wana, incredibles, Altus and Mary’s Medicinals, that offer cannabis-infused products in more than one state.

In most cases, brands like incredibles set up licensing and manufacturing agreements with in-state producers who have in-depth knowledge of the state’s regulatory environment and trusted relationships with state cultivators. The brand shares proprietary recipes, procedures, potency and testing requirements with the manufacturer to ensure the final product is the same quality and consistency that would be found in any other state.

Five different cannabis nugs (flower) representing variation in cannabis plants and strains.

How Cannabis Flower Differs Between States

California’s Humboldt region is legendary for producing the best cannabis in the United States. In part that has to do with the decades of experience California farmers have in carefully cultivating unique, terpene-laden cultivars (more commonly referred to as “strains”), but it also is the result of growing the plant in an optimal environment that includes a mix of rich soil, ideal temperatures, precipitation and sunlight.

Needless to say, Bubba Kush flower grown outdoors in California’s Humboldt region will be different than Bubba Kush cultivated indoors in Massachusetts. One is not necessarily better than the other, though cannabis consumers will likely have opinions on which they prefer.

Even within states or local regions, a cannabis strain may vary in potency and flavor depending on specific cultivation techniques, time of year, and harvesting practices. In that way, cannabis is not so different from the produce you buy at your local organic market.

Also, as long as federal prohibition exists, the cannabis legally available in your state will generally reflect the genetics developed by growers in your area. While the Bubba Kush in your area may share similar genetics as the Bubba Kush in another part of the country, there will also be distinct differences in terpene profiles and effects that you’d easily notice if you sampled both products side-by-side.

Medical marijuana patients sometimes get frustrated in their search for a specific strain to address their health concerns, without realizing that other strains might provide the same or even better benefits. Our cannabis-trained Leaf nurses have specialized knowledge and experience helping patients find the best cannabis strain for their needs. Call our free hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) for help with your cannabis questions and concerns.

Cannabis dispensary store sign saying “Open for in-store or curbside pickup.”

Cannabis Delivery, Curbside Pickup or In-Store: It All Depends on Where You Live

One of the big cannabis stories in 2020 was the rapid expansion of cannabis home delivery, offering a safe shopping alternative for consumers who didn’t want to risk visiting a dispensary. However, depending on where you live and whether you’re a medical marijuana patient or adult-use consumer, your options may remain limited to in-store pick-up. Even in states like Colorado, which technically allows delivery, the delivery licenses are being rolled out slowly, with the final decision left up to individual cities.

Book cover saying “Federal and State Marijuana Laws” which will change if cannabis is federally legalized.

What Will Federal Cannabis Legalization Do?

Many people believe that if federal legalization occurs, cannabis will go the way of CBD hemp—lightly regulated and widely available in stores and online.

However, it’s more likely that legalization will lead to cannabis looking more like the legal alcohol market. States would continue to regulate adult-use and medical marijuana in much the same way as before, albeit without the risk of federal crackdowns.

On the bright side, legalization will drive progress on the cannabis banking front, allowing dispensaries to accept credit card payments, reducing the IRS 280E tax burden on plant-touching cannabis businesses, and opening up banking services like loans and lines of credit that are available in other sectors.

Also, legalization will effectively end the destructive War on Drugs that has incarcerated millions of Americans for low-level, non-violent drug possession convictions. Believe it or not, the number of drug arrests has continued to increase over the past 10 years, even as more states legalize. Marijuana possession makes up the majority of those arrests, with Black, Indigenous and people of color arrested, charged and convicted at higher rates than their white peers.

Four directional signs at crossroads saying “Help, Support, Advice, Guidance” which the Leaf411 hotline provides.

The Cannabis Landscape Is Changing—and We’re Here to Help You Navigate Your Options!

Regardless of where things stand with cannabis reform, our Leaf nurses can help you navigate the legal options available in your area, whether you’re seeking cannabis for pain relief, improved sleep, or simply for relaxation and stress relief. Even in states without legal cannabis, CBD hemp is an option that may help with common health concerns or wellness goals. Talk to one of our cannabis-trained, fully licensed RNs today at no cost at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).


Happy woman on a morning run boosted by the positive effects of cannabis

Using Cannabis to Improve Your Workout Mindset and Recovery

Medically reviewed by Katherine Golden, RN
Written by Denise Gonzalez-Walker

Cannabis as a useful workout tool? That was one of many insights shared on the December 2020 Emerge Winter Conference “Cannabis Health & Wellness: Edibles” panel that Leaf411 Co-Founder and CEO/ED Katherine Golden, RN, participated on. During the session, two of her fellow panelists Scott Jennings, CEO and Founder of Pantry Food Co., and John Houston, CEO of Kushla Life Sciences, shared how a small dose of cannabis provided pre-workout motivation and improved their mindset during exercise.

Their experiences may come as a surprise to people who mistakenly equate cannabis with laziness or lack of motivation. However, Jennings and Houston are far from alone in their experiences using cannabis as part of their workout regimen. Recent research suggests that pre-workout cannabis use may trigger a euphoric feeling similar to a runner’s high, motivating people to get moving.

View from tunnel leading to professional sports field.

Cannabis and CBD Hemp in the Professional Sports World

Full-time athletes contend with daunting physical and mental health issues resulting from their intensive training, high-stakes competitions and hectic travel schedules. They are frequently prescribed painkillers, NSAIDs and sleep medications that may be habit-forming and come with unwanted side effects that can hurt performance.

Athletes try to avoid products that dull their focus or competitive drive. They’re looking for every advantage possible to improve overall performance and wellness. After all, that’s why most high-level athletes rely on not only coaches but also nutritionists, sports psychologists, physical therapists and even meditation experts. An increasing number of these top athletes are adding CBD hemp or cannabis to their performance toolbox as well, when allowed by their sport’s regulating authority.

Close-up of referee whistle on a tabletop, representing sports regulating authorities’ changing stance on cannabis.

The International Olympic Committee’s World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) recently removed CBD from its banned substances list, and the UFC mixed martial arts organization just announced that a positive THC test will no longer be considered a violation of their anti-doping policy. The NFL and MLB also enacted new drug policies that take a much more balanced approach to cannabis.

On the research side, studies like the University of Colorado’s Athlete PEACE (Pain, Exercise, and Cannabis Experience) study provide support for athletes’ use of cannabis to address pain and sleep.

Also, organizations like Athletes for Care are speaking out about the benefits of cannabis as a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals for elite athletes.

Close-up of woman adding post-workout CBD hemp tincture to her drink

Using CBD Hemp or Cannabis for Workouts

Odds are that you’re not an elite athlete; however, the science around cannabis and athletic performance applies no matter where you’re at with your exercise goals.

Remember that cannabis plant compounds, including cannabinoids like THC and CBD, interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system to restore balance—and everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different.

Keeping this in mind, we do have a few universal suggestions that may help if you’re curious about adding cannabis to your workout routine:

  • Check with your medical provider: We always suggest consulting with your primary provider before starting a new wellness regimen. However, we know that not all physicians are up to date on the latest cannabis and CBD hemp research. Our fully-licensed, cannabis-trained hotline RNs are available at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411) to help with your questions and provide links to research you can share with your primary physician. 
  • Be realistic about cannabis’s potential exercise benefits: Cannabis is a tool, not a magic bullet. It works best in conjunction with other proven performance strategies, including a commitment to a regular workout routine, healthy diet, adequate rest and recovery time. 
  • Identify your goals for using cannabis as part of your workout: Are you looking to add marijuana or CBD for a pre-workout lift or as a post-workout recovery tool? This makes all the difference when it comes to product selection. Fast-acting cannabis with a rapid onset and short duration may be better suited for pre-workout, while either CBD hemp or a longer-acting edible with a mix of CBD and THC may be optimal for recovery. Our Leaf nurses are experienced in helping consumers find the best marijuana or CBD for their needs. They can guide you in the right direction, saving you money and time. 
  • Start low and go slow: This is our mantra for all cannabis consumers, whether it’s someone completely new to the plant or an experienced user trying a new product type. By starting with a very small dose and increasing that dose over multiple days, you can find the best amount of THC or CBD for your needs.

Use cannabis safely: Safety goes hand-in-hand with starting low and going slow, so that you can discover precisely how cannabis impacts your workout. For example, some people experience transient dizziness when using cannabis, similar to the sensation when you stand up quickly and feel off balance. This is not something you’d want to discover while running at full speed on a treadmill!

Our Leaf Nurses Can Help With Your Cannabis Wellness Questions

Today’s cannabis and hemp are becoming more sophisticated than ever, with products manufactured for specific needs. If you’ve recently browsed a dispensary’s online menu, you likely know how overwhelming it can be to sort through all the options!

Leaf411 cannabis-trained nurses are knowledgeable about different cannabis and CBD hemp products on the market today, as well as the research supporting plant-based medicine for wellness and relief. They provide balanced information, guidance and education that makes your dispensary visit less intimidating.

Curious to learn more? Our Leaf RNs are ready to help! Call our free, anonymous hotline at 844-LEAF411 (844-532-3411).