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All over the country, people are turning to cannabis. Whether they’re looking to alleviate pain without resorting to opiates, enhance their experience of their favorite album, relieve stress, or find creative inspiration for an art project, America is waking to an exciting new era of cannabis acceptance, curiosity, and research.


There is a growing wealth of information about cannabis out there, and it can be easy to get overwhelmed. Every day, we see additional news stories about cannabis research, legality, and culture. 

This guide is designed to help absolute beginners get started with cannabis and to make sense of a bold new world.



Currently, 34 states have legalized medical cannabis and 12 states (including Massachusetts) have legalized cannabis for adult recreational use. We can expect more states to legalize medical and recreational cannabis in the coming years, with federal legalization right around the corner.

With the turning tide of legalization, it’s important to handle cannabis with respect, responsibility, and an open mind. Years of propaganda and misinformation have led many of us to believe that cannabis can be harmful. As you experiment with cannabis, try to focus on new cannabis products as you would any other industry: with curiosity, research, and responsible use. 


Here are a few tips for getting started:


Store cannabis out of reach of children and animals

Make sure you store your cannabis in a place that is inaccessible to children and pets. Find a case to store accessories and products with a lock and a smell proof carbon filter.  This will help you avoid unwanted consequences. Cannabis is not meant for those that are underage.

Consult with dispensary employees (Budtenders or Hosts) on different options and products for your needs 

Those that buy and sell cannabis products in the at state licensed dispensaries will be familiar with the various options available to you, and can help make recommendations.  

Additionally, Happy Valley has in-store interactive educational tools to help you decide which products and consumption methods are right for you.

Start slowly, and at low dosages 

Cannabis products vary in potency, so pay attention to total THC percentages in flower and THC mg in edibles. You can always consume more, you can’t consume less. Consuming too much cannabis at a time could result in anxiety, confusion, and other unpleasant sensations. Give your body time to process the effects of cannabis products, especially when consuming edibles.

Choose a comfortable, familiar setting for consumption

When experimenting with cannabis, make sure that you are in a place where you feel comfortable and safe in case you don’t like the effects of the particular cultivar, or take too much. This applies to trying new products as well; even if you’ve become accustomed to cannabis, new products can affect your body differently. 

Finish tasks and obligations before consumption

Until you become accustomed to the effects of cannabis, it’s best to avoid responsibilities when enjoying and experimenting with cannabis products.