Patient Guides

Stretch Your Stash – 20 Ways to Save Money and Conserve Cannabis

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In many areas, cannabis is expensive! Fortunately, there are ways to stretch your stash and save money on cannabis. These 20 tips will help you conserve your marijuana supply. They can help you use your stash more efficiently decreasing the amount of money you have to spend, and ultimately saving your money on weed.
In NJ, our patients pay an average of $500 an ounce. For most patients, those costs are obscene. Sadly, many cannabis patients are also very ill, and affording their monthly allotment can be impossible.
Here are 20 tips, tricks, and techniques patients can use to stretch their cannabis supply and save money on their monthly medical marijuana expenses.

Utilize CBD

If you aren’t already using hemp-based CBD, consider adding it to your healthcare routine. CBD can reduce the amount of THC needed to produce the same therapeutic effects.
There’s no need to use your monthly medical allotment on CBD strains. Hemp-based CBD can be purchased for less from many stores nowadays (my local pharmacy sells several brands). It can also be ordered online, but remember, purchasing a high-quality CBD product is absolutely essential. Sadly, because hemp is unregulated there’s a ton of crap on the market. Many products are contaminated and often don’t even contain the CBD amounts claimed on the label.
Like THC, how you consume CBD can change the effects. You can experiment with various methods of consumption to see what works best for you. CBD oil is popular but vaping CBD flower can be very effective too.

Use Edibles

Edibles are MUCH stronger and last much longer than vaping or smoking cannabis. This is because of the way the body metabolizes and processes orally consumed cannabinoids. Eating 10 milligrams of THC is a MUCH different experience than vaping or smoking 10 milligrams of THC.

Patients must USE CAUTION when consuming edibles for the first time. Even experienced smokers and vapers should approach their first edible doses conservatively. Start with a low dose (2.5 mgs-5 mgs) and increase that dose slowly. Edibles are very easy to make at home from dried flower.

Remember that edible take a lot longer to work compared to smoking. Smoking and vaping are felt almost instantaneously but an edible can take 30 mins to 2 hours to start working. Be sure to wait the full two hours before adding another dose, because it’s very easy to experience anxiety from too much orally consumed THC.

Keep in mind, that edibles can cause different therapeutic effects compared to smoking or vaping. Ultimately, edibles don’t work for everyone. Some people simply can’t process or metabolize orally consumed cannabinoids. It really depends on your individual metabolism.

Can you be immune to edibles? Why don't edibles work for me?

Decarb Properly

If you are making edibles or tinctures from dried flower, proper decarboxylation is essential. It’s easy to over decarboxylate which destroys the THC or under-decarboxylate which wastes THC.
There’s no ideal method to decarboxylate perfectly in the oven, but a device like the Ardent Nova can decarb perfectly every single time. Patients rave about how much this device helps to stretch their stash because perfect decarboylation makes their edibles much more potent.
https://youtu.be/CiUKsvogKt4

Decarb before Vaping

Lots of patients realize they need to decarb before making edibles, but many don’t realize you can also decarb before vaping or smoking dried flower. This helps boost the amounts of THC or CBD.

When you smoke or vape dried cannabis flower, the heat from the vape or flame decarboxylates, converting the THCA to THC (and CBDA to CBD). However, these sudden bursts of high levels of heat are NOT the most efficient method of decarbing.

Perfectly decarboxylating the flower before vaping or smoking, results in a more potent inhalation experience. The molecules are already fully converted. The heat will simply make them airborne and ready to inhale. Many patients report decarbing prior to smoking or vaping, helps them conserve flower.

ardent decarboxylator - perfect decarb every time

Use Topicals

Topically applied cannabinoids can be very helpful in addressing localized pain and spasms. Patients often report exceptional relief using both CBD topicals and THC topicals. Relieving pain with topicals can help reduce the need for internal methods of ingestion like smoking or edibles.
https://vimeo.com/502187403

Vaporize Instead of Smoking

Many patients report they conserve flower when they switch from smoking to vaping. When smoking, the high heat of the flame can cause many of the cannabinoids to be destroyed by combustion. At the same time, many of the cannabinoids can be lost in the smoke that escapes from the burning flower.

When using a high-quality vaporizer, like this one, the temperature of the heat is much lower. This means combustion is avoided. Most vaporizers do not produce excess smoke, so cannabinoids are not lost to the air. Many patients report that dry herb vaporization is much more efficient and economical than smoking.

Use Concentrates

Depending on your location, concentrates may be more economical than flower. Of course, this all depends on where you live. Concentrates offer a much higher number of cannabinoids per hit, which means you may not need to consume as much product. Some patients also report the effects of concentrates last longer compared to flower.
You’ll need to evaluate the prices in your area as prices and availability vary greatly from region to region.

Catch Your Kief

Kief is the fine powder found on the outside of dried cannabis flower. If you’ve ever looked at a dried bud and thought it looks frosty, that’s because of the kief sitting on top of the plant material. Kief is comprised of trichomes, or resin glands, which are exceptionally high in cannabinoids. This means kief is extremely potent.
When you use a four-part grinder, some of the kief falls through the screen and accumulates in the bottom layer of the grinder. You can then scrape the kief out, and use it in a variety of ways.
You can use a pollen presser to make kief pucks which can be smoked or vaporized like other concentrates. You can use the kief to make edibles like kief cookies, kief tea, or kief cocoa. You can also smoke the kief directly or you can mix it back into your flower to increase the dosage.

Monitor Your Intake – Use a Dosing Control Method

It is very easy to consume too much cannabis. It can be helpful for patients to plan out their consumption in advance.

I’ve worked with many cannabis patients to that place their weekly edibles, flower, or concentrates in premeasured containers, or pill organizers like this one from amazon, or this one.

Organizing and planning your dose gives you greater control over your consumption. Cannabis journals like this one can also be helpful to plan, track, and account for your cannabis intake.

Use AVB “Already Vaped Bud”

If you’re using a vaporizer to consume dried flower, you should be saving your vape poo. Vape poo is the leftover plant material remaining in the vaporizer after you’ve completely vaporized it. It’s also called AVB, “already vaped bud” or ABV, “already been vaped”.
This leftover plant material actually still has a significant number of cannabinoids. You can use it to make AVB edibles. Some patients save vape poo to smoke, while others eat it or pack it into capsules.
However you choose to use it, you should know there’s no need to decarb vape poo as it’s already been fully decarboxylated by the vaporizer. Also remember, that AVB is not as strong as pre-vaped cannabis because you’ve already consumed a bulk of the cannabinoids from the vaporizer.
https://youtu.be/rWs_9kYQOqE

Switch Your Strain

Stretching your stash could be as easy as switching your strain. Many patients report that they become tolerant of a specific strain when using it constantly. Most patients benefit from keeping a rotation of several strains/cultivars in their medical plan.

If you’ve been using the same strain consistently and you find it’s no longer working well, you might just need to switch to a new strain to experience improved results. Don’t worry, many patients report their beloved strains seem to work better after a brief hiatus, especially when they add a rotation with other cultivars.

Rehydrate Your Flower

Often, dispensary flower is hideously overdried (this is especially true here in NJ). Sadly, this overdried cannabis often sits in porous plastic containers and becomes even drier as time passes.
Rehydration is a must. Cannabis that’s too dry burns much more quickly wasting precious cannabinoids. As soon as my cannabis comes home, it moves into glass storage with a Boveda hydration pack.
Boveda has been dutifully rehydrating dried herb for decades. There are many other rehydration packs on the market as well but you do want to be careful about the method of rehydration you choose. Rehydrate too much and you can destroy your entire stash with mold (and potentially your health, because unintentionally consuming mold can be very dangerous).
I encourage patients to avoid rehydration stones or home rehydration methods like using bread or fruit peels. If you choose a home method, be sure to only rehydrate a VERY SMALL amount at a time, and consume it as quickly as possible. Mold grows obscenely fast. A few hours too much is way too much.
Boveda offer 2-way moisture control, so using it prevents over rehydration and instead keeps the flower at the perfect hydration percentage (I’m a 62%er)

Use Glass Instead of Paper

I always encourage patients to switch from smoking flower to vaping flower. In theory, many clinicians believe avoiding smoke is beneficial for your health. However, there are many patients who refuse to or are unable to switch. If you’re insistent on smoking, consider at least ditching paper blunts and joints, and making a switch to glass.
When smoking with paper, the joint stays lit the entire time. Even when the medical marijuana patient is not actively inhaling, the cannabis is still slowly burning away and is being wasted.
Glass on the other hand does not burn. A small glass piece like this glass blunt can be helpful for controlling the high temperatures which burn cannabis more quickly.

Improve you’re rolling technique

Smoking cannabis burns the flower at a much faster rate than vaping. Additionally, many of the medical components are destroyed by the high heat and even more escape through the smoke coming off the constantly lit joint or blunt.
If you can’t abandon your paper, at least improve your rolling technique, or consider investing in a cone filler.
A tighter toll can help control some of that excess burn. Airflow is important in a joint, but too much airflow can result in a fast burn and a greater number of lost cannabinoids. All that burnt lost cannabis adds up.

Shop the Sales

Shopping cannabis sales can be challenging. First, not all regions have dispensaries that offer sales, but many do. Secondly, many patients require specific strains/cultivars, so waiting for a sale on your required cultivars can be very challenging.

If you’re fortunate enough to be in an area that offers sales, keep an eye on the marketing emails and social media accounts from your local dispensaries. Also be aware that many dispensaries offer a discount for first-time customers, so consider buying in bulk if you’re offered a first-timer discount.

Finally, ask the dispensary about discounts. Some dispensaries offer a variety of discounts. I’ve seen dispensaries offering discounts for front-line workers, veterans, disabled patients, and low-income patients. Ask and you might be surprised at what they offer.

Buy Trim & Shake

Cannabis “shake” generally refers to the excess pieces of cannabis that fall off during the growing or trimming process. These pieces are often too small or disfigured to be packaged as premium cannabis flower/bud but still have high levels of medicinal value and so they are often ground up and sold as ‘shake”. Depending on the quality of the shake, it can be used for smoking and vaping and is also ideal for cooking and extraction. The quality of the shake varies a great deal from brand to brand.

Cannabis “trim” generally refers to extra cannabis leaves that have trichomes and thus still have medicinal value. Most trim is suitable for extraction and cooking but may not be ideal for smoking or vaping. Too many leaves and not enough ground flower can have a grassy unpleasant taste and a harsher inhalation experience. Like shake, the quality of trim varies from brand to brand or dispensary to dispensary.

Additionally, some brands/dispensaries mix their shake and trim together and sell it as a single product. You’ll need to evaluate the shake/trim products available to you.

Shake and trim are always priced significantly less than their flower counterparts, which is what makes these products appealing to many patients.

Use Non-Cannabis Boosters

The endocannabinoid system can be affected by many non-cannabis herbs and supplements. For example, Kava kava directly impacts the endocannabinoid system, as does black pepper, which contains high levels of beta-caryophyllene (a common terpene in cannabis that some clinicians consider a “dietary cannabinoid”). Some patients mix herbal blends with their cannabis, for example, lavender which is high in the terpene linalool is helpful for some patients for pain and anxiety.

Many patients swear that eating mango increases the effectiveness of their cannabis. The enhancement by mango is attributed to the high quantities of myrcene in mango which is another terpene found in many cannabis strains. Whether or not mangos or other foods and herbs will boost the effectiveness for you, depends on your own personal body chemistry and metabolism.

Some patients choose to add and experiment with terpene extracts. I encourage patients to use caution when adding terpenes. In nature, we see nanoscopic levels of terpenes, while terpene extracts contain extremely high amounts that one would never be exposed to in nature. If you choose to experiment with terpene extracts, use excessive caution and only buy organically naturally derived versions.

DIY Air Freshener

Add Sunflower Lecithin to Edibles

If you’re making edibles at home, adding organic sunflower lecithin like this one may boost the effectiveness of your edibles.

This is because lecithin may enhance the absorption of orally consumed cannabinoids. This is based on individual body chemistry and preference. Many patients add lecithin to their edibles as a standing rule, while others don’t seem to notice a difference. Some others prefer cannabis edibles without lecithin.

If you choose to use lecithin, only use sunflower lecithin and be sure that it’s organic.

Grow Your Own

I’m always jealous of everyone who has this option because home grow is not allowed in NJ. But growing your own cannabis flower is the number one way to save money on cannabis. However, it’s only an option for the few lucky ones who live in regions that allow patients to grow their own cannabis at home.
Patients can then use their homegrown cannabis to smoke, vape, or make concentrates, topicals, and edibles. This can save an enormous amount of money and also have the opportunity to grow the specific strains a patient needs. Best of all, homegrown cannabis allows the grower to maintain exceptional quality control.

Take a Tolerance Break

If all else fails, take a tolerance break. It’s very easy to overconsume cannabis on a regular basis. This regular excess consumption slowly increases your dosage requirements to achieve the same therapeutic effects. Taking a tolerance break for a few days or weeks can dramatically decrease your cannabinoid requirements.
Patients are often at a loss on how to use less medical marijuana, a tolerance break is a certain way to lower your consumption. However, patients should always consult their doctors or healthcare providers before altering their medical care plan. In some health conditions, tolerance breaks should be approached cautiously to avoid disease or symptom exacerbations.

Conclusion

It’s easy to spend too much money on cannabis because it’s so abhorrently expensive. Fortunately, there are economical and effective ways to consume. Changing how or what you consume could positively impact your wallet. By using these 15 tips, you can stretch your stash and make your medical marijuana last longer which will ultimately save you money.

In this article you’ll learn:
How to make marijuana last longer
How Cannabis Patients Can Save Money
How to save money as a pothead
How to use less MMJ

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Stretch Your Stash - 20 Ways to Save Money and Conserve Cannabis Source: Marijuana Mommy

Here’s What Full-Spectrum Cannabis Is And Why It’s So Important.

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Whole Plant Medicine vs Isolate

Not all cannabis is equal.

Once you begin to explore cannabis as a medicine, you frequently hear the terms like, “whole-plant medicine” or “full-spectrum cannabis”. What is whole plant medicine? What does full-spectrum cannabis mean? And why is it important?

The terms “whole-plant” and “full-spectrum” are synonyms and are thus used interchangeably. Full-spectrum compounds differ greatly from isolate. To understand the difference between the two, you need to understand the basic chemistry of the cannabis plant.

What is whole plant medicine?

Whole-plant medicine, or full-spectrum cannabis, refers to utilizing all the compounds withing the cannabis flower for therapeutic purposes. Whole plant medicine can refer both to cannabis cultivars that are high in THC, or hemp-based strains that are high in CBD and contain hardly any THC.

If you were to break down the flowers and leaves of cannabis, you’d find hundreds of different molecular compounds. You’d find cannabinoids, terpenes, and polyphenols. There are over 100 minor cannabinoids, and over 400 terpenes in cannabis & hemp.

All of these compounds contribute to the therapeutic effects of cannabis. More so, these compounds tend to work together to affect the individual in different ways, this is commonly called the “entourage effect”.

The compounds in cannabis exist in different ratios depending on the specific cultivar. The interactions between these various compounds makes the experience of each cultivar very different.

We see whole-plant medicine being used when patients smoke or vape cannabis flower, or when flower is used to prepare edibles or extract concentrates.

 

What is Isolate?

Isolate refers to isolated cannabinoids. Isolates are almost entirely composed on ONE single compound.  The purity is usually 98% – 99% depending on the project.

The most common and well researched compounds in cannabis are CBD and THC. CBD isolate is widely available. THC isolate is commonly used in regions that offer legal cannabis products.

Isolates are often found in edibles, cartridges, tinctures, and topicals.

Patients should carefully read labels to determine if a product has been prepared with isolates or full-spectrum cannabis.

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Therapeutic Differences in Full-Spectrum vs Isolate

Are there differences between using full-spectrum or isolates?

Most health care providers with cannabinoid experience, recommend full-spectrum cannabis. The American Cannabis Nurses Association states in their position statement, “The American Cannabis Nurses Association calls on the Nation’s governing bodies to acknowledge the importance of cannabis as a whole.”

There are many more cannabinoids than just THC and CBD, and all of these cannabinoids are therapeutically active. Additionally, terpenes contribute significantly to the therapeutic effects experienced by cannabis users.  As the American Cannabis Nurses Association further explains in their position statement, “science has only just begun to understand the “entourage effect” which can be described as the synergy of these components when used in the natural form rather
than isolated as individual components.”

Although whole-plant medicine shows the most significant health effects, isolates still have an important role in the industry. Isolates are especially beneficial in research because it allows for dialed-in accuracy. When using whole-plant medicine, the variation in other cannabinoids, terpenes, and polyphenols are variables that are difficult to control.

Some patients choose to utilize exclusively CBD isolates because they may decrease the risk of a false positive on a drug test.

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Using Isolates to Boost Potency

Isolates can be used to boost the potency of compounds that made from whole-plant medicine. For example, I personally add CBD isolate to the whole-plant cannabis oil I make at home in order to boost the CBD content. I do this because the oil already contains a variety of minor cannabinoids and terpenes that were extracted from the whole-plant flower.

CBG, or cannabigerol, is growing in popularity. You can use CBD isolate to boost the CBG content if you already use full-spectrum cannabis oil or full-spectrum CBD oil.

 

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Conclusion

When possible, use full-spectrum, whole plant medicine. You’re likely to find a great deal of benefits from the minor cannabinoids and terpenes in the plant. If you’re simply looking to boost you CBD or CBG intake, adding isolates to your full-spectrum cannabis use, might be beneficial.