What Now?

Recreational cannabis has been legal for a little over three months now. A lot of people who have tried cannabis in the past are embracing this new freedom, while others are curious to see what all the fuss is about, says Ray Gracewood, Chief Commercial Officer of Organigram, the parent firm of Edison Cannabis Company.

“We’ve had an awful lot of what we call, “boomerang consumers.” They may have been in the market maybe 10, 20, 30 years ago and have tried the product then. Now that it’s legal, regulated, pre-packaged and can be trusted, people are starting to come back strictly out of curiosity and to get an understanding of what all the news is about,” he said.

Edison is a recreational brand by  Organigram, a licensed medical marijuana producer. The brand, which stands for quality, creativity, innovation and sophistication, offers products in the form of dried cannabis flowers, pre-rolls and cannabis oil. Edison products can be found through provincially regulated retailers in nine provinces in Canada, including the Ontario Cannabis Store.

To ensure customers use cannabis products safely, Gracewood shares the what, when, where and how to consume cannabis recreationally.

What creates the effects associated with cannabis?

Contrary to popular belief, not every type of cannabis product gives off the “high” often associated with cannabis consumption.

This system is involved in body processes involving appetite, mood, memory and pain-sensation, among other things.

That psychoactive effect comes from a cannabinoid called THC. Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that react with receptors in the body’s natural endo-cannabinoid system.

The cannabinoids are contained within trichomes that appear on the cannabis flowers as the plant grows. THC and CBD are two of the most prevalent cannabinoids.

“The amount of milligrams in a cannabis product or the percentage of THC in cannabis flower is indicative of the higher degree of effect that one would get,” Gracewood said.

But CBD isn’t psychoactive. So, on its own, it wouldn’t create that high effect people often associate with cannabis consumption.

“In the medical side of our business, many patients would find pain release, anxiety release, and better sleep from CBD. Whereas THC is more effective for other kinds of medical reason like PTSD for example, but it also has definite recreational appeal as well,” he said.

Edison products have various levels of THC and CBD, including a CBD-rich oil. While, traditionally, CBD-rich products are popular with medical patients, they’ve become popular with recreational consumers as well.

“From a physician’s perspective, it’s an excellent product for several different reasons. It contains trace elements of THC, so a physician or patient won’t have to worry about any element of getting high,” Gracewood explains. “A recreational consumer may choose it for a more relaxed experience.”

“Over the past months, it has been an incredibly popular product even from recreational users, which gives me the sense that over time, people have really embraced cannabis as a product that is more focused on holistic health and be part of an overall health regiment.”

When to consume cannabis?

While many people have found medicinal and health benefits from cannabis, others also see it as a more natural or healthier alternative to alcoholic beverages in social settings.

“When you think of no hangover, no calories, and [cannabis] generally seen as having less of a long-term health impact on somebody’s body, it seems to be a pretty appealing product as an alternative to alcohol for a lot of those social occasions,” Gracewood said.

Edison cannabis products are offered in various forms, so consumers can pick what they like based on the occasion.

For example, a consumer who wants to be discreet, doesn’t like that distinct cannabis smell or doesn’t like to smoke at all, can choose edible cannabis oils like the Edison CBD Oil or Edison Indica Oil. The effects take longer to manifest in the body, but last longer compared to vaporization or combustion.

Edible oils can be consumed on their own or can also be mixed with a carrier like butter or other cooking oils, and put into food products. Effects generally take 60-90 minutes, but time and duration can vary depending on factors like metabolism, body type and diet.

Those who enjoy the experience of smoking or vaporizing cannabis can purchase pre-rolled joints or dried flowers like Edison Casablanca that they can grind themselves. The effect of combustion or vaporization is faster than an oil, felt in a matter of minutes.

If you know someone who’s a cannabis connoisseur, Edison Reserve products might be a great gift. This product line puts a lot of attention into taste profile, aroma, product density and physical appearance.

The Reserve is Edison’s premium, top quality product and is only available in larger pack sizes, Gracewood said.

“Edison Reserve is made of the plant’s top flower, which is physically larger, generally higher in THC levels, and also hand-manicured and craft-cured,” he said.

How to consume cannabis?

Gracewood said those new to cannabis consumption should “start low and go slow.”

“Over time, people’s tolerance levels increases much like any other kind of product. What we found is more cannabis-naive consumers generally start with a lower-THC product to get a sense of how their body and their mind interacts with that. And then over time, the general trajectory is people would start to go to a higher THC product. Once they get comfortable, they’ll start to know the kind of effects they can expect,” he explained.

Organigram provides a titration schedule to their medical clients to help them track the amount of cannabis product they’re consuming on a daily basis, so they can adjust accordingly depending on how their body reacts.

Other consumers may subscribe to “microdosing.” That’s small amounts of regular consumption.

“For example, a consumer might take two drops of cannabis oil every morning as part of their approach to health, and essentially what that does is much like somebody taking low-dose OTC pain reliever on a regular basis to try and manage pain,” Gracewood said.

Two different forms of products can also be used together — two drops of CBD oil in the morning and maybe a pre-roll in the evening, for example.

Why should you learn more about cannabis?

Canada is the very first G7 country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis consumption. This creates an opportunity for Canadian cannabis companies to lead dialogue and dispel misinformation on what a regulated and safe industry looks like. It also means they can be leaders in creating jobs, innovation and economic growth inside and outside the country, says Gracewood.

For consumers, the opportunities for personal exploration are substantial.

“It’s an exciting time. Cannabis has been around for a long time, but never before in modern history have consumers had this much information, choice and the freedom to consume. If you’re someone who’s apt to make it part of your life or apt to give it a try, it’s a new opportunity to form a new understanding and relationship with the plant.”