Massachusetts Consumer Education Materials

Marijuana Strains & Cannabinoids

Marijuana comes in hundreds of different strains that are constantly changing but are typically classified into four groups: Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, and Cannabidiol (“CBD”). Each group is made up of a variety of strains, all with different cannabinoid profiles, terpenes, and flavonoids.

Sativa V Indica

Sativas are reported to increase energy and focus, generally recommended for daytime use while Indicas are reported to promote relaxation and promote sleep for evening use.


Hybrid strains are produced when cultivators cross-breed different indica and sativa strains to increase the desired traits and breed out the undesired to meet specific needs.


CBD strains are uniquely bread to produce higher percentages of CBD with less psychoactive effects. For more information on LOCAL’s specific product offerings, cannabis education, and more visit

Methods of Administration & Dosing

There are three primary ways to consume marijuana and each has its own unique use case and benefits. Different products will vary in potency, cannabinoid profile, and effects. Consumers should experiment to find the ideal dose for their desired effects and are encouraged to keep a log of consumption methods, strain information, and effects. A consumer’s tolerance will vary based on a variety of factors including weight, body chemistry, and metabolism. Low and slow is how all new cannabis users should approach dosing. All marijuana products will be lab tested and clearly labeled to ensure consistent dosing and packaging.


  • Smoking or vaping a medical marijuana product
  • Products include: dried flower, pre-rolls, vaporizers, concentrates
  • Lungs rapidly absorb cannabinoids and transport them quickly into the bloodstream
  • Onset: Typically within 15 minutes
  • Duration: Typically 2-3 hours


  • Ingesting a product in the mouth; sublinguals, under the tongue, are considered separately below
  • Products include: pills, gel caps, edibles
  • Cannabinoids transform during digestion leading to delayed but stronger and longer-lasting effects. This makes it especially important to be cautious with dosage to avoid overconsumption.
  • Onset: Typically 30-90 minutes
  • Duration: Typically 3-6 hours after initial dose


  • Placing a product under the tongue
  • Products include: Tinctures or other products that may dissolve under the tongue
  • Cannabinoids are infused into a carrier, such as oil, glycerin, or food-grade alcohol. When taken as a drop under the tongue, the effect is nearly as quick as inhalation.
  • Onset: Typically 10-40 minutes (sublingually – not with a beverage)
  • Duration: Typically 2-4 hours (sublingually – not with a beverage)


  • Placing a product on the skin
  • Products include: patches, creams, sprays
  • Cannabinoids are infused into a carrier compound that is absorbed through the skin. Topicals typically do not have psychoactive (mind) effects (although transdermal patches containing THC may); instead physical effects are concentrated on the area administered.
  • Onset: Typically rapid, 2-3 minutes
  • Duration: Varies by product formulation. May be 1-2 hours or over 6 hours.

Tolerance, Dependence, & Withdrawal

Although different drugs have different physical effects, the symptoms of addiction are similar. If you recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, consider talking to someone about your drug use. Some examples of signs and symptoms of substance abuse are:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at school, work, or home because of drug use;
  • Using drugs under dangerous conditions or taking risks while high;
  • An increase in drug tolerance;
  • Taking drugs to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms, which may include nausea, sweating, shakiness, and extreme anxiety;
  • Causing problems in relationships;
  • Abandoning enjoyed activities;
  • Continue using drugs, despite knowledge of potential and actual harms; or
  • Losing control over drug use.

Physical dependence to marijuana has not been substantiated by extensive research, but frequent or heavy use of marijuana can lead to increased tolerance resulting in the need for higher doses and different strains. For additional information on tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal, visit: is a non-profit dedicated to improving mental and emotional health and provides resources to recognize abuse and addiction. Help Guide provides a guide to common signs and symptoms of drug abuse and addiction. For more information about substance abuse and addiction, visit:

The Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline can be reached at 800-327-5050. Resources are also available on the Massachusetts Use Helpline website:

The Law

  • Marijuana has not been analyzed or approved by the FDA, there is limited information on side effects, there may be health risks associated with using Marijuana, and it should be kept away from children;
  • Consumers should speak with a healthcare provider before using marijuana, especially if they are using medications.
  • Consumers have reported a variety of side effects associated with the use of marijuana including dry mouth, dizziness, paranoia, anxiety, slowed reactions times, and impaired motor skills. Side effects can vary for different consumers.
  • It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana (M.G.L. c.90, s.24).
  • Marijuana consumption is not permitted in public, and furthermore, consumption is not permitted in or around LOCAL’s’s facilities.
  • Consumers may possess on their person up to one ounce of marijuana flower, 500mg of THC in edibles, or five grams of marijuana concentrate. That carry limit is also the purchase per day limit per customer.
  • At home, consumers may possess up to 10 ounces of marijuana flower (or its equivalent) that should be kept away from children and locked to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Individuals can only share or gift up to 1 ounce of marijuana flower (or its equivalent) with adults ages 21 and over, without any form of compensation.
  • Like alcohol, consumers may not have an open container of adult-use marijuana/marijuana products in the passenger area of their car.
  • An “open container” includes a package with its seal broken or a package from which the contents have been partially removed. The “passenger area” does not include a trunk or a locked glove compartment.
  • Consumers are not allowed to cross state lines with marijuana or marijuana products.