Last week we answered a handful of basic cannabis questions that Leafly frequently hears from new cannabis community members, including queries such as “How will cannabis affect me?” and “How long does it take for an edible to kick in?” This week we continue the exploration by answering a few more of the questions we receive from users who want to know everything about the beautiful cannabis flowers and their therapeutic effects.

There’s seemingly an infinite amount to learn about cannabis, but today we’ll cover some of the fundamentals. If you already consider yourself a cannabis aficionado, you probably know all of the information we’re covering here, but if you’re new to cannabis or rediscovering it for the first time in years, you’re sure to find the answers to these cannabis basics useful. These common questions are a great starting point to build the foundation of your cannabis knowledge as you travel to a cannabis-friendly state or visit a nearby dispensary.

Do I have to smoke cannabis?

No, you don’t! While smoking is still the most common form of consumption, there are lots of smoke-free ways you can use cannabis, all with different applications and effects. Vaporizing cannabis offers similar effects to smoking, but with reduced exposure to harmful carcinogens. Ingesting cannabis as an edible offers full-body effects that last longer than inhaling the vapor or smoke. And topicals allow for localized effects with minimal to no psychoactivity.

What is a cannabis strain?

A strain is a genetic variant of cannabis. Most cannabis strains can be classified as either Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica – two variations of the same basic species of cannabis that have adapted to their natural environments. Today we see the influence of hybrid genetics that combine both indica and sativa varieties.

Sativas are known for their tall stature, longer flowering cycles, sweet flavors, and energizing cerebral effects. Indicas are known for their short stature, shorter flowering cycles, pungent earthy aromas, and relaxing full-bodied effects. Hybrids combine the best of both worlds now that cultivators have selectively bred strains for specific attributes like flavor, potency, and overall plant structure.

Cannabis Ruderalis is another cannabis strain variant that is less common, and is mostly used in breeding projects to shorten the lifecycle and help keep plants a manageable size.

Do I qualify for medical marijuana?

Qualifying conditions for medical marijuana vary from state to state and can often change as new legislation is introduced, so Leafly is here to help you stay up-to-date on specifics for your area. Generally speaking, cannabis is prescribed for patients who suffer from chronic pain, cancer, PTSD, and other debilitating ailments that affect a person’s ability to live a comfortable and productive life.

To find out if you qualify for medical marijuana, use the “Find Nearby” tool to find a doctor in your area who can evaluate your medical needs and prescribe cannabis if you both agree it’s the right treatment for you.

Where can I consume cannabis?

First, make sure you know the cannabis laws in your state. It’s illegal to use cannabis in public – that includes everything from sidewalks and roads, to parks, sporting and music venues, and retail businesses. You can use cannabis on private property only, so it’s best to stay home or at a friend’s place. Also, remember that landlords, businesses, hotels, and other establishments may have their own policies on cannabis use, so be sure to check first before using.

Don’t consume while you’re in the car, whether you’re driving or just along for the ride. When it comes to driving, cannabis consumption is treated like alcohol and is similar to open container laws, so it’s best to keep it locked up and out of reach in the trunk of your car when traveling with it (and make sure you don’t cross state lines with your product!).

How much cannabis can I purchase and posses?

Every state has its own legislation regarding how much cannabis you can purchase and possess. For example, in Colorado, residents that are 21 and older can purchase as much as one ounce of retail marijuana at a time, and non-residents can buy a quarter ounce. However, both residents and non-residents can possess or carry up to one ounce. And in Washington state, residents and non-residents alike can buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis. So again, educate yourself on the laws in your area to help you better enjoy cannabis safely and responsibly.

There you go, 5 quick answers to some of the most frequent cannabis questions we receive here at Leafly. Stay tuned as we’ll be answering more of your questions in upcoming articles and videos. And don’t forget to subscribe to Leafly’s YouTube channel to stay up-to-date on all of the latest cannabis news and information, including details about thousands of strains and cannabis products.


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