Highland Pantry’s Mini-Guide to Cannabis For Women Over Fifty
We know cannabis can be confusing—especially for those who may be returning to the plant for the first time in many years or for those who are just starting to explore the wacky world of weed.
We’re here with our first-ever mini-guide to cannabis to help get you up to speed on the plant, its properties, and its potential for wellness and recreation.
Why are we calling it a mini-guide?
There’s A LOT of information out there about this magical plant so our aim is to simplify it for you — and because our first product is called the MINI.
Integrating cannabis is a process (Each of us responds to cannabis differently. It’s important to find the right fit for you).
Start slow, be mindful of your body’s response, and work your way to the perfect dose.
When shopping for cannabis, you will see a label that lists amount of THC / CBD on the container.
If you are new to cannabis, we recommend starting with 3MG (milligrams) THC or less per dose.
Our MINI and MIDI mints are perfect for first time consumers!
Gone are the days when a shady pot brownie from a friend or a dried-out joint found in your older sister’s room were the only ways to “get high.”
Today, the ways we use cannabis are as broad and varied as its users. Here’s a glossary to get you ready before your next trip to the dispensary (aka Pot Shop).
Grass, weed, Mary Jane, marijuana. This is the term for plant matter you smoke.
A pre-packaged cannabis flower cigarette—commonly known as a ‘Joint’
Slang for a cannabis-infused food product. Most common forms are ‘baked’ goods, gummies, chocolate and of course, mints!
A product that has been infused with cannabinoids and is designed to be applied to directly to the body, typically for external use only (think body balm or sunscreen).
A device that vaporizes cannabis oil, vape pens are a discreet and convenient way to consume marijuana & cannabis products and is widely believed to be a healthier alternative to traditional smoking (flower, prerolls).
Also referred to as the ‘Pot Shop’ or ‘Reefer Store” a dispensary is a legal cannabis retailer.
Cannabis is a complex plant that is home to hundreds of chemical compounds. Three of the major compounds we hear about most–and that greatly affect our cannabis experience—are THC, CBD and Terpenes.
Many products on the market work in varying ratios of THC and CBD, so it’s helpful to have a solid understanding of the effects of each when navigating which products will be right for you.
Tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC, is a psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant.
How It Works
THC mimics a naturally occurring neurotransmitter in the brain, called anandamide, or “the bliss molecule”. In other words, it’s the part that makes you happy, or ‘high’.
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is very similar in chemical makeup to THC—but it doesn’t get you high.
How It Works
CBD provides calming effects, or what some call a “body high”, without affecting your cognition. Better yet, it works as a powerful anti-inflammatory agent.
After THC and CBD, terpenes are the second major group of chemical compounds in the cannabis plant.
How They Work
Think of Terpenes as essential oils. Like essential oils that enhance your sense, Terpenes are actually the compounds that most greatly enhance your high. Terpenes are also what give cannabis its flavor and signature smell. These compounds contribute to what is called the “entourage effect”, meaning they work together to help other cannabinoids pass through to your bloodstream more easily and improve their efficacy.
Many of the terpenes found in cannabis exist in a variety of other plants as well, such as lavender, mangoes, pine trees and sage. Our mints are made with cannabis and Peppermint, which both contain the terpenes limonene, beta-pinene and beta-caryophyllene. All of these terpenes help alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort, depression-related anxiety and muscular and nerve pain.
How Cannabis Works:
The Endocannabinoid System
Ever wonder how cannabis actually works?
While humans have been using cannabis for medicinal purposes for millennia, it’s only been in the past handful of decades that we’ve had a scientific understanding of what’s at work when we consume this wacky weed.
Much like the central nervous system, the endocannabinoid system, or ECS, is the matrix of cannabinoid receptors (referred to as CB1 and CB2 receptors) found in the body that allow us to process cannabinoids. This network of receptors maintains our bodies’ natural balance, regulating important functions such as pain sensation and mood and is key to why THC and CBD can be so efficacious.
CB1 and CB2 receptors
As the name suggests, cannabinoid receptors are what process cannabinoids—like THC and CBD—in various cells of the body. CB1 receptors are located in the brain and central nervous system, while CB2 receptors are found mostly in the immune and gastrointestinal system.
When cannabis is responsibly consumed or applied topically, compounds in the plant naturally interact with these receptors and can help alleviate pain, diminish anxiety, and can even help speed the regeneration of cells.
Our CBD-infused products activate the ECS receptors to help decrease inflammation, increase circulation, and help you relax.
How Can Cannabis Help You?
Cannabis, on the other hand, offers a natural solution to what ails you. It also happens to be a hardworking multitasker, meaning you can use it to help with a whole range of concerns, for a more holistic approach to wellbeing. We’ve outlined some of the most common age-related woes along with how cannabis can work as an effective sidekick to tackle them.
A powerful anti-inflammatory agent, cannabis can help relieve broad-spectrum inflammation and pain caused by arthritis, Lupus, Fibromyalgia and more. A number of studies indicate that CBD, in particular, has the potential to be particularly helpful in the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Cannabis is Mother Nature’s pain reliever. Whether you suffer from migraines, arthritis, or chronic body pain, cannabis can offer serious relief without the side effects or addictive properties of its pharmaceutical counterparts.
If you have insomnia or simply want a more satisfying night’s rest, cannabis can serve as a valuable, all natural sleep aid. You can maximize this plant’s potency by pairing it with other natural remedies like chamomile or lavender tea—which boast some of the same key terpenes found in cannabis.
Studies reveal that cannabis can help regulate mood, quelling stress and alleviating anxiety. It’s especially helpful in combating mood swings brought about by the drops in estrogen levels during Menopause.
Cannabis And Menopause
For menopause in particular, soothing symptoms with cannabis certainly isn’t new. Ancient texts etched in stone and dating back to thousands of years before common era mention cannabis in the treatment of women’s health conditions. Recent references have been more explicit, with medical texts from the 1920s citing cannabis as a potent analgesic for menopausal women.
While the shifting attitudes and laws of the last hundred years have curbed the popularity of cannabis as a remedy for menopause symptoms, its benefits have not been forgotten and with new research, we’re uncovering more of its potential. Cannabis can help provide relief from many of the symptoms of menopause and address various levels of severity.
Migraines, joint pain, breast tenderness and menstrual cramping are just a handful of the painful side effects incited by hormonal fluctuations during menopause. All these and more can be effectively managed by the pain-relieving properties of the cannabis plant.
Cannabis can also help regulate mood and stave off feelings of anxiety or depression, brought about during menopause by the body’s drop in endocannabinoid levels. CBD and THC step in for the body’s naturally occurring cannabinoids.
Women can even find relief from one of menopause’s most unpleasant symptoms—hot flashes—as cannabis can help regulate body temperature. Studies suggest that CBD and THC may have a cooling effect and lower body temperature when consumed together. Postmenopausal women can benefit from cannabis for many of the same reasons as menopausal women. Moreover, postmenopausal women may be able to consume a higher dose of THC or cannabis over a longer term and may even be less likely to feel anxious or paranoid after consumption.