Education

CONSUMER USE AND INFORMATION GUIDE FOR
ADULT-USE CANNABIS

Limitations on the right to possess and use cannabis pursuant to CT Public Act No. 21-1

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Consumer Responsibilities

POSSESSION

  • Adults 21 and older are allowed to possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis flower or an equivalent amount of cannabis concentrates and five ounces of cannabis plant material in a locked container at such person’s residence or a locked glove box or trunk of such person’s motor vehicle.

  •  Young adults (those ages 18 to 20) face civil penalties for cannabis possession. The use of cannabis in public remains subject to penalty.

STORAGE

  • Safely storing cannabis lowers the chance of children and pets accessing cannabis.
  • Keep a list of cannabis products in your home. You may need to give the list to the Poison Control Center or medical professional.
  • Store cannabis products in their original containers. Keep them in a secure and locked location. Cannabis should be out of sight of children and pets.
  • Use a safe or lockbox with a combination lock or keypad to keep cannabis secure and safe from children.
  • Call the CT Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 or your child’s doctor right away if you think your child may have ingested cannabis.
  • Visit ct.gov/cannabis for more information on safe cannabis use for adults.

LIMITATIONS

  • When visiting the Cannabis Retailer, you may purchase up to ½ ounce of raw flower or the equivalent per transaction.

  • No cannabis shall be applied, ingested, or consumed inside a Cannabis Retailer.

  • No food or beverages shall be consumed by customers at the retail facility.

PROPER DISPOSAL OF CANNABIS

  • Remove cannabis from its packaging.
  • Crush or chop up the cannabis.
  • Put the crushed cannabis in an empty container.
  • Mix something unappealing with the crushed cannabis.
  • Cover the container and seal it with tape.
  • Throw the sealed container away in the trash.
  • Call the Connecticut Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222
    if you think someone may have accidentally ingested cannabis.

Cannabis Health and Safety

Safe techniques for proper use of cannabis and paraphernalia

Responsible use of cannabis is of the utmost concern for us at The Harvest Corner. Additional educational materials regarding the safe, responsible and ethical usage of cannabis are provided at the facility.

CONSUMER PRECAUTIONS

  1. Treat your cannabis the same way you treat your medications. The cannabis may have different effects on others so do not share your cannabis with family members, friends or children.
  2. Don’t overuse your cannabis. Follow discretion and listen to the advice you received at the retailer facility. Remember that “less is more” when using cannabis.
  3. Keep cannabis away from children and pets. Edibles may look appealing to children and animals so make sure to avoid any accidental ingestion by keeping your cannabis in a safe and secure location.
  4. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery under the influence of cannabis. If you are using the non-psychoactive form of cannabis (CBD-rich products), try it first at home before you drive or operate heavy machinery to make sure that you do not have noticeable impairment.
  5.  Its recommended that you do not use alcohol at the same time that you consume cannabis products. The combination of cannabis with alcohol may lead to dizziness, increased risk of injury, poor judgment, and excessive impairment.

DOSING GUIDELINES

  1. First decide how you want to take your cannabis. Options include ingestion and inhalation, each of which has its own advantages.

  2. Decide if you want THC-rich cannabis, CBD rich cannabis or a combination of the two types of cannabinoids. If you are not sure you can ask your Cannabis Retailer store staff. When cannabis contains both, the products are labeled with a ratio of THC to CBD indicating either, “High THC, Low CBD,” “Moderate THC, Moderate CBD,” or “Low THC, High CBD.”

  3. Start with a low dose especially if you are new or inexperienced with using cannabis. After taking a small amount, wait about one hour for the effects. Take another small dose if you did not get the desired effect. This is called “titrating up” the dose and this method will help you find the dose that will work for you without any risk of taking too much.

  4. Take note of any side effects so that you can discuss these with the Retailer staff. You may be able to alleviate side effects by adjusting the dose, ratio or method of use.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

Be sure to discuss all of your medications with your healthcare provider before using cannabis.

DRUG INTERACTIONS

There is no “one size fits all” with cannabis! You may need to try different products to find what is effective for you. Most consumers who are unfamiliar with cannabis often start with products that have higher amounts of CBD (high CBD: THC ratios, for example between 25:1 or 15:1) and depending on results, may then try products that contain increased amounts of THC (for example products between 8:1 or 1:1).

Alternative Methods

Forms of Consumption or Inhalation by Which One Can Use Cannabis

From vaping, oils, smoking to topicals – when it comes to consuming cannabis, there’s a variety of ways to go about it. Variables such as the onset time, effect, intensity, and duration will vary with each consumption method. However, the right one for you will be a matter of personal preference.

INHALATION

When cannabis is inhaled, the gases enter the lungs before absorbing into the bloodstream. There are currently two prevalent types of inhalation methods: smoking and vaporization.

Different Ways of Smoking Cannabis

This ancient custom is the method most commonly associated with cannabis and there are many ways for consumers to smoke. Advances in vaporization technology however, have offered smokers an alternative method of inhalation.

Hand Pipes – These are probably the most common smoking device in circulation today and generally favored for their convenience: they are small, portable, and simple to use. Hand pipes operate by trapping the smoke produced from burning cannabis, which is then inhaled by the user.

Water Pipes – Water pipes come in slightly different variations, including but not limited to bongs and bubblers. Some prefer these pipes because of the addition of water which cools the smoke

Rolling Papers – Generally, these are used to smoke joints or blunts, Joints are cannabis rolled in a paper, the composition of which varies across an assortment of plants including but not limited to hemp, bamboo, and rice. Blunts are cannabis rolled in cigar paper made from the tobacco plant and may contain nicotine. Blunt consumers often prefer the flavor and combined effects of the nicotine and cannabis.

VAPORIZATION

Vaporization involves heating cannabis flower or cannabinoid-rich concentrates to a specific temperature, causing the cannabinoids to evaporate into a vapor, all without the combustion. Unlike edibles, vaporized cannabis does not have the same effect, as it does not pass through the liver.

The effects of vaporization are similar to smoking and can be felt immediately, about 2 – 5 minutes after inhalation.

A vaporizer device steadily heats the cannabis to a temperature that is high enough to extract THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids, but the temperatures are too low for the potentially harmful toxins that are released during combustion. 

ORAL

Oral delivery includes all techniques that are administered through the mouth, including tinctures, ingestible oils, and infused food/drinks. We most often assume that oral delivery denotes ingestion through the digestive tract before entering the bloodstream, however this is not always the case. Tinctures are administered through the mouth and they are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream unlike edibles or drinks.

TINCTURES

Tinctures are a liquid cannabis extract used by consumers looking for dosage control and fast-acting effects without the health risks associated with smoking. Most commonly, alcohol is used as the solvent but other fat-soluble liquids can be used as well, such as vinegar or glycerol. Generally, drops of the tincture are placed under the tongue, where it’s absorbed into the body versus swallowed and digested. When ingested, tinctures are immediately absorbed in the stomach but require time to process through the liver, reducing dosage control.  

Tinctures have a rapid onset relative to edibles. With drops placed under the tongue, effects can be felt within 15 minutes or so. With the help of our mucosa lining and tongue, tinctures are able to be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

EDIBLES

Eating or drinking cannabis provides significantly different effects from delivery methods that immediately enter the bloodstream, such as smoking or vaping. Edibles can be defined as any food that contains cannabis. These products have longer onsets and tend to cause powerful full-body, psychoactive effects.

Onset time is directly related to the digestive process and when cannabinoids in edibles are ingested, they get absorbed through the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract. In the process, Tetrahydrocannabinol (or THC) first travels through the liver and then gets converted into 11-hydroxy-THC – a powerful psychoactive compound.

The effects of ingesting edibles can last much longer than other consumption methods. The combination of delayed onset time and potency can create a significantly more powerful high, but the effects aren’t immediate. Effects can last approximately 4 -10 hours or longer.

INHALATION

  • Onset in minutes 
  • Peak effect in 30 minutes
  • Lasts 1-4 hours depending on dose
  • Easier to dose since effects are felt immediately
  • Vaporization is highly recommended over smoking
  • New or inexperienced consumers may take one puff, wait 10-15 minutes, repeat dose if needed

EDIBLES

  • Onset in 30-90 minute
  • Peak effect in 2-3 hours
  • Lasts 4-10 hours
  • Difficult to dose – start with small amount and titrate up as needed
  • THC is changed to a stronger compoundwhen eaten; be aware that a small amount can be potent
  • New or inexperienced consumers may take a small amount (5mg or less) of edible product, wait 2 hours for effects, and repeat only if no effects felt

Important Definitions

Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are a group of naturally-occurring,biologically active chemicals found in cannabis.Some possess psychoactive properties, andmany of them bind to or interact with the humanendogenous cannabinoid system. Commoncannabinoids include:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which existsin the plant in a non-psychoactive form called tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCa). THCa isconverted to its psychoactive form delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (D9THC) throughexposure to heat (e.g., smoking or vaporizingcannabis)
  • Cannabidiol (CBD), which exists in the plantas cannabidiolic acid (CBDa); both forms aregenerally considered to be non-psychoactive
  • Cannabinol (CBN), is produced from the degradation of THC

Cannabinoids

Historically, typical cannabis flowers had a high THC to CBD ratio, however it has increased substantially from around 14:1 to over 80:1,
limiting the potential for other cannabinoids (e.g., CBD) to moderate the adverse side effects of  THC. This is primarily due to cannabis beingbred over the past few decades to have higher THC content and stronger psychoactive effects. Cannabis products can also be manufactured tohave different ratios of cannabinoids with thegoal of imparting specific effects on a user.

Terpenes

Terpenes are chemicals that occur naturally in many different types of plants, including
cannabis, and are responsible for different aromas. Terpenes, either derived from cannabis, other plants, or synthetically created, are often added to cannabis products to impart characterizing flavors and aromas. Research about the safety of inhaling terpenes is minimal. Some common terpenes include:

  • Limonene, which imparts a citrus aroma
  • Pinene, which is responsible for the typical “pine” smell

Cannabis Names

Names used to distinguish different types of cannabis generally do not effectively guide
consumers. Strain names, such as Grape Ape or Tangerine Dream, can serve to identify certain flavor characteristics. But some names, like Girl Scout Cookies or Gelato, imply flavor characteristics that are not present.

Inhalable Products

Cannabis Flower

Often called “buds,”cannabis flowers traditionally are the part of the cannabis plant that is smoked after it has been harvested, dried, and trimmed. Historically, cannabis
flowers had much lower THC content, likely around 4%. In today’s market, cannabis flowers generally range between 15%-25% THC in the United States but can exceed 30% THC.

Cannabis Subspecies

Although purported effects are generalizations, the following terms are widely used to describe different types of cannabis:

  • Indica: typically marketed for sleep and
    sedation
  • Sativa: typically marketed for energy and uplifting effects
  • Hybrid: typically marketed for mixed effects Inhalable Products
  • Hemp: legally defined as cannabis with less than 0.3% THC and typically high in CBD, however hemp-derived concentrates can still have significant amounts of THC.

Concentrates

Cannabis concentrates are usually much more potent than cannabis flowers themselves; their THC content can range from 40% to over 90%. They can be purchased in their raw form or in pre-filled vaporizer cartridges. Cannabis concentrates are produced through an extraction process using a solvent, or mechanical means, to concentrate plant-derived cannabinoids. The resulting extracts can be used “as is” or further processed (e.g., through distillation) to produce various types of concentrates, usually with elevated THC content.

Budder/butter or wax is named for its consistency and can range from dark brown to bright yellow/blonde in color.

Shatter is brittle and glass-like in texture and appearance but becomes malleable in warmer temperatures. It ranges from dark amber to golden/beige in color.

Distillates are generally produced when a concentrate goes through a distillation process. They are usually clear or slightly opaque, range from very light yellow to dark amber/brown in color, and have a honey or oil-like consistency. commonly used products

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) can be used to make a concentrate that is usually a dark green or tar-colored viscous oil that is lower in THC than concentrates made using other methods, but still contains a variety of active compounds. These “crude” ethanol extractions go by several different names (most commonly Rick Simpson Oil or RSO), are usually sold in syringes and intended for oral consumption but can be purified using methods like distillation to create products for inhalation. Ethanol can also be used to purify other types of concentrates by dissolving plant waxes through a process known as “dewaxing” or, when done at low temperatures, “winterizing,” in order to increase the percent THC. The appearance of the final purified products can vary.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) can be used to extract active compounds from plant material, or to purify other types of concentrates. The appearance of the final product can vary.

Various mechanical or physical methods have long been used to make cannabis concentrates typically containing 40%-60% THC (but can be outside of that range as well). One of the most traditional methods is a dry sifting method using screens that separate the cannabinoid-containing resin glands from cannabis plant material. The loose glands are called Kief and can be pressed to make Hash. There are wet sieving methods that use cold/ice water to produce Bubble Hash or Crumble.

Rosin is made by pressing cannabis plant material between two heated plates. The oil that is expelled from the cannabis under the high pressure is collected and consumed.

Live Resin can be made using many different extraction methods but refers to the use of cannabis plant material that was immediately frozen after being harvested. These concentrates capture a “from the grow room” olfactory/flavor experience.

 

Orally-Consumed Cannabis Products

Inhalable – Methods of Use

When cannabis is consumed by inhalation the effects are usually immediate, peak within one hour, and then gradually wear off. A variety of approaches or devices are employed for inhaling cannabis smoke or vapor. Cannabis flowers are traditionally ground up and rolled into a joint using papers. When cannabis flowers are ground up and wrapped in a tobacco leaf or emptied cigar shell, it is called a blunt. Joints and blunts may also contain added cannabis concentrates or use flavored wrappers, especially when sold pre-rolled and ready for use.

Pipes, which are usually made of blown glass, can be used by placing cannabis and/or cannabis concentrates into a chamber called a “bowl” and ignited so the user can inhale the smoke. Bongs and Bubblers are types of waterpipes that have chambers filled with liquid that cools the cannabis smoke as it passes through while the user inhales.

Vaporizers heat concentrates, such as distillates or wax, and/or cannabis flower to a temperature that turns the cannabinoid-containing oil/resin into a vapor that is inhaled by the user. Vaporizers can be portable memory stick like devices or pen like devices, sometimes called wax pens, or can be larger table-top vaporizers.

Dabbing refers to a method of vaporizing or combusting cannabis concentrates. Generally, a “dab” of cannabis concentrate is applied to a glass, metal, or ceramic “nail” that has been heated with a torch. A “dab rig” houses the “nail” and the user inhales the resulting smoke/vapor. Dabbing results in a rapid, intense high and can cause adverse side effects in novice users.

Other Cannabis Products

Edible Cannabis Products

When conventional foods are infused with cannabis they are referred to as edible cannabis products or edibles. Candies and baked goods are the most well-known types of edibles, however cannabis-infused drinks (“cannapops”), sauces, cheeses, salad dressings, and even pre-made frozen foods are sold legally in some places (while prohibited in others). The effects of an edible cannabis product can be felt within 30-90 minutes post-consumption, but usually take more than an hour to kick in. For this reason, it is very important that users wait 2 or more hours after their initial dose before consuming any more cannabis. Novice users should start with half of the suggested dose to avoid symptoms of over-intoxication.

Tinctures

Tinctures are cannabis-infused solutions, derived either directly from the cannabis plant or from a cannabis concentrate. They are typically made using ethanol, glycerin, or vegetable oils. Tinctures are usually consumed by mouth but can also be applied to the skin. Their effects can be felt immediately or after 1-2 hours, and generally last longer than inhaled products.

Tinctures

Cannabis-infused topical products can include creams, lotions, ointments, or balms that are applied directly to the skin. These are intended to provide relief at a targeted area of the body.

Transdermal Patches and Suppositories

Transdermal patches are applied to the skin and intended to deliver cannabinoids into the circulatory system. Suppositories are administered rectally or vaginally. These forms are less common than the other products listed but can be effective routes of administration for certain people.

Signs and Symptoms of Substance Abuse

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of substance abuse and addiction is similar. If you recognize yourself in the following signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction, talk to someone about your drug use.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home (e.g., flunking classes, skipping work, neglecting your children).
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high, such as driving while on drugs, using dirty needles, or having unprotected sex.
  • Experiencing legal trouble, such as arrests for disorderly conduct, driving under the influence, or stealing to support a drug habit.
  • Problems in your relationships, such as fights with your partner or family members, an unhappy boss, or the loss of friends.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Drug Addiction

  • You’ve built up a drug tolerance. You need to use more of the drug to experiencing the same effects you used to attain with smaller amounts.

  • You use to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms. If you go too long without drugs, you experience symptoms such as nausea, restlessness, insomnia, depression, sweating, shaking, and anxiety.

    • Loss of control over your drug use. You often do drugs or use more than you planned, even though you told yourself you wouldn’t. You may want to stop using, but you feel powerless.

    • Your life revolves around drug use. You spend a lot of time using and thinking about drugs, figuring out how to get them, or recovering from the drug’s effects.

    • You’ve abandoned activities you used to enjoy, such as hobbies, sports, and socializing, because of your drug use.

    • You continue to use drugs, despite knowing it’s hurting you. It’s causing major problems in your life- blackouts, financial issues, infections, mood swings, depression, paranoia- but you use anyway.

Opportunities to Participate in Substance Abuse Programs

Please speak with one of our Cannabis Retailer staff members if you are struggling with cannabis or other substance abuse. Our trained staff will be able to speak with you in a private and confidential manner to provide you with information on how to participate in a substance abuse program through our partners at Community Health Resources, Inc. CHR’s mission is to help adults, children and families find Real Hope for the challenges of Real Life through an array of community- based mental health and substance use programs. You can contact CHR at (860) 885-6054 or visit their website at www.chrhealth.org for more information and access to their services.

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