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The uses and benefits of cannabis are extensive. They range from easing chronic pain, insomnia, and a host of other medical conditions to making mediocre music sound better. 

But while cannabis can heighten the flavors and aromas of food and make a walk in a gentle downpour sublime, it can have its drawbacks depending on the person, the timing, and the use.     

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What is responsible cannabis use?

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) lists five principles of responsible marijuana use: adults only, no driving, set and setting, resist abuse, and respect rights of others. 

“Resist abuse” states that “use of cannabis, to the extent that it impairs health, personal development or achievement, is abuse, to be resisted by responsible cannabis users.”

In a 2015 study, researchers spoke to Baby Boomers in the San Francisco Bay Area “to elucidate how older adult cannabis users managed health, social and legal risks in a context of normalized cannabis use.”

The researchers found that the test subjects “made harm reduction choices based on preferred cannabis derivatives and routes of administration, as well as why, when, where, and with whom to use.”

The study referred to “responsible and controlled use” as “moderation of quantity and frequency of cannabis used, using in appropriate settings, and respect for non-users.”

They also wrote that these methods help contribute to the normalization of marijuana.  

How to practice responsible cannabis use

How someone responds to cannabis can be a highly-individualized experience, but some steps can be taken to avoid negative experiences. 

These include:

  • Not consuming before or while driving or operating heavy machinery
  • Keep cannabis products - especially edibles - out of reach of children and pets, preferably in a locked or sealed container.
  • Not using it in combination with prescription medication that can have potentially dangerous drug interactions
  • Refrain from over-consumption when also consuming alcohol
  • Pay attention to the set and setting. Consume with people and in settings where you will feel comfortable and confident that your experience will be positive

Before beginning a medical cannabis regimen, speak to your physician or a health care practitioner, such as an on-site pharmacist or physician, if your dispensary employs one. And if you are taking prescription medication, consider consulting a pharmacist or other healthcare professional. 

Budtenders are not stand-ins for physicians, but if you’re unclear about the potency or the effects of a particular marijuana product, ask the staff at your local dispensary for some advice. 

In general, when trying a new cannabis product or one that has a higher potency than you’re used to, avoid jumping in head first. “Start low and go slow” until you better understand the effects. 

But what about the cannabis industry? What role can it play in promoting responsible use? 

The Rootwurks Webinar Series: Quality Assurance and Responsible Cannabis Use - How Can Companies Promote a Healthier Consumer Experience?

In the latest Rootwurks webinar, we’ll host a panel of experts who will discuss responsible cannabis use and how the industry can promote healthier cannabis use and products that are as safe and high quality as can be. 

Subjects to be discussed include:

  • Why responsible use matters for medical marijuana patients 
  • THC vs. the complete cannabinoid profile and terpenes 
  • High-THC cannabis products: Is there too much of an emphasis on potency?
  • How high THC/high potency products can be part of responsible cannabis usage 
  • What role do health care professionals can play in responsible use 
  • What role can the industry play in supporting responsible use 
  • How can better education help consumers use cannabis more responsibly
  • How can responsible use be promoted in the retail space
  • What role do quality assurance professionals play in promoting responsible use
  • The role of the industry: is the market demanding high-potency products and the industry is responding, or is it the other way around?  
  • How to promote responsible use as a consumer or as an industry professional  
  • How the emphasis on potency affects quality assurance and product development in cannabis 
  • What role cannabis products can play in promoting greater acceptance among the wider public

If you’d like to hear more, we’d love for you to join us on July 28th at — for this exclusive webinar. Just click on the link below to book a spot and we’ll see you there!

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Ben Hartman, Content Manager

Ben Hartman is a cannabis writing and marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in journalism and digital content creation. Ben was formerly the senior writer and research and analysis lead for The Cannigma.

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