When you first start using CBD or cannabis medicinally, there are many things to keep track of. Between experimenting with different strains and brands and fine-tuning your dosages and methods of delivery, it’s easy to become overwhelmed trying to determine what works and what doesn’t. Like most projects you undertake for better health, there’s an element of trial and error.
If you find it hard to stay on top of the details, a cannabis journal can be helpful —especially in the early days and weeks of treatment. Even experienced patients will likely discover some things they were not previously aware of with a few weeks of diligent record-keeping. Here’s how to begin.
Choose Your Medium
Your preferences and lifestyle will decide which method of journaling works best for you. Creative and artistic types may want to invest in a physical journal dedicated solely to the task. There are numerous options when it comes to this, and you can choose from a myriad of colors, designs, and sizes.
With a physical journal, you can keep it super simple or get as elaborate and detailed as you want with tools like colored pens, pencils, or mood stickers. This is your project, so feel free to be yourself and let your personality shine.
For those who like to track things on their PC or tablet, there are plenty of choices when it comes to digital journaling. Most journaling sites have both a free and a paid version, so be sure to check out your options before shelling out for a monthly subscription.
If you are typically on the go, keeping a log on your smartphone might make sense. And believe it or not, there are apps designed specifically for this purpose!
Releaf App is a free tool to help you track your experiences with CBD and cannabis products. Available on Google Play or the App Store, it allows you to record details like mood, side effects, products, dosage amounts, and level of relief. It’s a great way to chart your progress and get an overview of what works best.
Strainprint is another cannabis tracking app that is free for users. It was designed by medical cannabis patients to provide a way to track symptoms and keep a library of favorite products all in one place. Plus, if you need a little incentive, Strainprint gives you loyalty points for each tracked session, which you can redeem for discounts and other incentives, like t-shirts, grinders, and other paraphernalia.
What to Record in Your Cannabis Journal
While the mobile apps provide you with the appropriate prompts, those using a blank physical or online journal will need to set it up to record five key points:
- Date and time
- Amount of cannabis or CBD
- Strain or brand
- Method of delivery—dried flower, vaping, tincture, topical, etc.
- Effects—how did it work?
If you want to get an even broader overview of how cannabinoids are working for you, you can add other details as well, such as:
- Cannabinoid content—percentages of CBD, THC, terpenes, and other cannabinoids
- Location and activity —watching TV, working, playing with the dog, etc.
- Other medications
- Physical symptoms
- Response time
- Quality of sleep
While most people probably won’t record every one of these details, consistency in logging the most important ones is vital. You may even find you want to add other things to your journal, such as details about your appetite, energy level, alcohol consumption, and more. Whatever seems significant to you is worth keeping track of.
After a few weeks of journaling, you should have a good idea of how different strains, brands, amounts, and delivery methods affect you overall. If something is not working, it will be easier to determine what it is, rather than just guessing. It might even be useful to show your journal to your budtender or doctor. This way, adjustments can be made to tailor your experience to your unique needs.