There’s a reason why your medical cannabis card has a nickname of a ‘420 card’; for those not in the know, ‘420’ is a euphemism for smoking marijuana. Although there are several fallacious conspiracy theories as to its etymology – including a hilariously skewed Bob Dylan reference – the term actually originates from San Rafael High School in California. Five students used to meet by the school’s statue of Louis Pasteur after completing their after-school sports to smoke weed. Guess what time they used to meet? Yep, 16:20. The phrase became slang for getting high on marijuana and has since evolved into a national day amongst marijuana enthusiasts. On April 20th (4/20) every year, people all around the world roll up a joint and unite in a shared appreciation of the herb. But does this mean that 16:20 is the best time to smoke medical cannabis?
Short answer: no. Although the late afternoon is a good time to relax, after all of your day’s chores are over, if you’re using medical cannabis to treat a mental or physical affliction, you may need to dose yourself much earlier in the day. As with any medication, the time that you take it is going to depend on your personal reason or need for consuming it. We’re going to look at some of the different times of the day that you can smoke medical cannabis and their relative costs and benefits.
In the morning
Commonly referred to as ‘wake and bake’, smoking medical cannabis as soon as you get up can work wonders for people who suffer from stiff joints and arthritis. During sleep, your joints can ‘lock up’, meaning that you need another type of joint to relax them!
However, if medical marijuana makes you feel overly relaxed and potentially sluggish then you may want to avoid consuming it in the morning or stick to very small quantities.
Perhaps you want to dose first thing, but inhaling a mouthful of smoke is not your idea of a good breakfast? In this case, we recommend looking into alternative ways to consume MMJ, which include edibles, tinctures, juicing and tea.
What could be better than spreading your medicine on a piece of toast and gobbling it down, bite by satisfying bite?
If you’ve decided that you want to smoke medical cannabis as opposed to consuming it in an alternative fashion, then you will probably be aware of the infamous ‘munchies’. Cannabis increases appetite due to the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) present in the herb which mimic the brain’s own cannabinoids (that’s right, we produce them naturally!) that control our desire for food. So even if you’ve just eaten and your brain is telling your body that it’s full, consuming THC via medical cannabis can reverse this reaction, making you artificially hungry.
This can be a great thing for athletes wanting to put on extra bulk but for those who want to maintain or lose weight, it can become a slippery slope.
So if you know that you’re going to want a feast after you’ve consumed MMJ, it’s best to prepare a healthy meal before dosing and then eating it to sate the hunger created by smoking medical cannabis.
Before or after exercise
Now, we have to be careful here. Because smoking medical cannabis can create a feeling of euphoria as well as impaired vision and control, we strongly advise you not to consume a medium or large amount of it before exercise involving heavy weights, flying objects or swimming pools. If there is a possibility of putting yourself or anyone else at risk due to impaired functional control of your body then you should not consume medical marijuana prior to this activity.
However, you may be familiar with a ‘natural high’ or ‘runner’s high’. This is the feeling that people get when they exercise and endorphins are released in their brains, making them feel good. By smoking a small amount of medical marijuana a few hours before going for a run, you can enhance this natural high. This is because THC is stored in fat cells and as you burn these whilst jogging or working out, small amounts of THC will be released into your bloodstream, boosting the natural high created by the endorphins.
Smoking medical cannabis after working out can be a great way to relax your muscles, providing that you’ve completed a proper warm down first. Many people don’t want to inhale smoke after working out, so a great idea is to mix your MMJ into a protein shake or a juice. Make sure that you’re doing it correctly, though; check out Juicing Medical Cannabis: A How-To Guide for all that you need to know on this matter.
If you have a stressful job smoke medical cannabis to relieve your anxiety and nervousness then consuming MMJ after work can be a very beneficial way to combat the mental fatigue caused by a day at work.
If you work an early shift and finish mid-afternoon, your California 420 card can really live up to its name!
Just before bed
This is a very popular time of the day to smoke medical cannabis, mainly because a lot of people suffer from poor sleep patterns and insomnia. Consuming a small quantity of MMJ before your head hits the pillow can create a deeper state of REM sleep, which is essential to the rejuvenating powers of snooze time.