Marijuana, AKA cannabis has been unjustly stigmatized for far too long, from the days of “Reefer Madness” to the laughable D.A.R.E. program we all knew was over-the-top even as kids. Now that so many states have voted to legalize weed for recreational use, the stigma has been lifted, and there are tons of folks eager to try it for the first time. Whether you’re a cannabis newbie or a seasoned stoner who’s curious about the latest innovations and consumption options, Balboa Avenue Cooperative of San Diego,  CA is here to answer all your questions.

Why Use Marijuana?

People from all walks of life like to get high for all sorts of reasons. Some want to relax after a long day at work, some want to enhance their creativity, and others just want to hang out with their buds and get giggly (see what we did there?) Marijuana also boasts tons of therapeutic benefits, from aiding sleep to alleviating pain. Weed can even help you cut back on unhealthy, addictive substances like alcohol, opiates, and tobacco. Everyone has their own incentive to indulge, so why not try it out and see what it does for you?

Marijuana for Medicinal Use

Humans have used marijuana as medicine for millennia, but the nasty stigma attached to marijuana for so many decades resulted in a lack of scientific research into the full breadth of its health benefits. Still, what we do know from recent research is impressive. Marijuana is known to have a positive effect on:

  • Chronic pain
  • Migraines
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Muscle spasms
  • Low appetite
  • Arthritis
  • PTSD

Even CBD, a derivative of marijuana, has been known to improve focus, relieve stress and anxiety, and even cure seizures. We’re guessing there are plenty of other health benefits that researchers have yet to unlock, and hopefully, government policy toward marijuana will soon change to allow scientists unfettered freedom to research this amazing drug.

Marijuana for Recreational Use

For as long as humans have been using marijuana for medicinal purposes, they’ve also been using it to get delightfully blazed. Even today, many people choose it as a less dangerous, chiller alternative to alcohol in social settings, or just as a way to relax after the 9-to-5 grind. Artistic types love it for inspirational purposes, and fans of music and film find that it can enhance the listening/viewing experience. In fact, marijuana can enhance almost anything (cue Jon Stewart: “You ever see the back of a $20 bill…on weed???”). Using marijuana can enhance your everyday routine, including these daily activities:

  • Exercising
  • Eating
  • Gettin’ it on with that someone special
  • Playing video games
  • Cleaning and other boring chores
  • Sleeping
  • Dealing with unpleasant friends, family, and neighbors

Marijuana Forms

There are a bajillion strains of marijuana with a variety of tastes, potencies and durations, but all marijuana comes in four basic forms: Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, and CBD.


Known as an “upper” variety of marijuana, Sativa stimulates the mind and senses while increasing energy and improving focus. Sativa can boost your mood, motivate you to exercise, and help you socialize.


On the other end of the spectrum, Indica allows you to relax. It reduces anxiety and offers medicinal effects like relief from pain and nausea.  Indica also stimulates the appetite. Overall, it’s definitely the “stay home and chill” variety.


Hybrid varieties take the best that Sativa and Indica have to offer, giving you a pleasant balance of euphoria and relaxation. Some strains are more Sativa- or Indica-dominant, but in general hybrids are an excellent everyday variety to try for the first time.


Cannabidiol (commonly known as CBD) is the non-psychoactive form of marijuana that doesn’t get you high but offers plenty of potent benefits like relief from pain, inflammation, stress, and anxiety.

How to Consume Marijuana

Long gone are the days when consuming marijuana was limited to joints, pipes and bongs. You can still smoke it of course, which is the most reliable way to control your dosage, but you also might want to check out some other consumption methods like:


Flower, AKA, “bud” remains the most common way to consume and smoke marijuana via joints, blunts, pipes, bongs, etc. You’ll be happy to know it may also be the most reliable way to control your dosage.

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Convenient and discreet, vaporizers heat marijuana oil and release a vapor that you inhale, giving your lungs a break from the less-than-healthy contaminants found in weed smoke. Vaporizer effects are immediate and last about one to three hours.

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Highly potent and reliant on specialized equipment, marijuana concentrates are best for seasoned users looking to level up. Concentrates come in various forms, including wax, shatter, budder, crumble, and resin, delivering an immediate strong high that lasts around two to three hours.

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Baked goods, candy, gum and beverages infused with THC take longer to take effect because the active ingredients have to go through your stomach to reach your bloodstream, so it’s a good idea to start with small doses. But overall, edibles are a tasty, discreet way to consume without inhaling smoke or vapor.

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Packed with CBD and offering relief from pain and inflammation, topicals come in creams, lotions, balms, and bath products in a range of potency. However, topicals are for external use only and don’t have any psychoactive effects.

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How High off Marijuana Do You Want to Get?

If it’s been a while since you last imbibed, you might be surprised at how strong modern strains of marijuana can be. And while you can’t actually overdose on weed, it is definitely possible to feel like you’ve overdone it. Here are some tips to ensure your first (or first in a while) experience with marijuana goes smoothly:

Smoke or vape first

Smoking and vaping offer immediate results so you’ll know right away if you should take another hit.

Try the lowest-dose edible

The golden rule of edibles is “you can always eat more, but you can never eat less,” so try a low dose, give it a few hours to evaluate the potency, and adjust your dosage accordingly going forward.

Know your limits and stick to them

The only thing those D.A.R.E. programs had right was the power of peer pressure. Once you know the marijuana dosage you’re comfortable with, don’t let anyone pressure you to smoke or eat more than you want.

Never use a bong over 2 feet tall

Just don’t—trust us.

How to Sober Up From Weed?

Even when following marijuana use best-practices, the occasional overindulgence can happen to the best of us. If you feel like you ate too much or smoked one bowl too many, don’t panic—the feeling of ultra-intoxication will pass. Here’s what else you can do in the meantime:

Hydrate and eat

Drinking water, juice, or any non-alcoholic beverage often helps people feel better, along with eating some light snacks.

Chew or sniff black peppercorns

We’re not sure about this science on this one, but it’s a popular home remedy to combat anxiety and paranoia.

Go for a walk

Exercise will get your blood pumping and the fresh air will feel invigorating.

Lie down and rest

If you’re too dizzy or woozy to walk, find a quiet place to lie down, rest, and breathe deeply.

Take a shower or bath

Hot water and steam are soothing for all sorts of ailments, helping you relax while you wait out the high.

Now that you know the basics of modern marijuana consumption, Balboa Avenue Cooperative would love to help you select the best product for your needs. Stop by or check out our full menu on Weedmaps!

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