Choosing Your Strain
Finding a strain that works well for you can be challenging and even frustrating at times, but here are some tips and tricks to look for.
Sativa, Hybrid, or Indica?
Contrary to popular belief, this is not the best way to find your strain. Why? Because 95% of all strains are some sort of hybrid– pure indicas and sativas are harder to come by. Although these terms can give a good general idea of how a strain may perform, it is absolutely not all-encompassing. Certain high-THC indicas may make a user energized, while a myrcene-rich sativa can make one feel sleepy. Research into cannabinoids and terpenes has shown that the ratios of those compounds matter much more than sativa, hybrid, or indica.
This is a good place to start. The two most important cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive part of the plant and has many medicinal benefits including appetite stimulation, pain relief, euphoria, anti-medic, and much more. CBD is the non-psychoactive component of cannabis and has medical benefits including anti-anxiety, pain relief, and anti-inflammatory. Consider THC-dominant, CBD-dominant, or balanced one-to-one strains.
THC-dominant strains offer power pain relief with euphoria. When consuming THC for the first time, it is always important to start low. Some users may experience negative side effects, such as increased heart rate, if THC is over-consumed. THC-dominant strains are often the choice of patients suffering from nausea, cachexia, insomnia, pain, depression, anxiety, and more. If consuming THC makes you feel anxiety, consider using some CBD to combat this.
CBD-dominant strains contain a small amount of THC and high CBD. These strains tend to be relaxing and mellow and offer no psychoactivity. Patient suffering from anxiety, pain, and inflammatory disorders tend to choose high CBD products.
One-to-One products contain balanced levels of THC and CBD. These offer little to mild euphoria and may be a good choice for someone first trying THC products. One-to-one products work especially well due to the entourage effect, a synergistic mechanism in which cannabinoids produce a more powerful effect.
Terpenes are the aromatic compounds produced by plants and fruits. These contribute to the smell, flavor, and effect of cannabis. Terpenes are the major player in determining if a strain feels sleepy, uplifted, or somewhere in between. Here are some of the most common terpenes and their medical benefits.
Dosing & Forms
When using cannabis products, especially for the first time, it is important to start low and go slow. Although there is no lethal dose of cannabis, overconsumption may occur, leading to drowsiness and side effects.
There are many approved methods of consumption and each has effects that last different amounts of time. For the fastest onset and the shortest duration, inhalation may be best. If hours you are looking for longer effects, consider a capsule, which takes 1-2 hours to take effect, and lasts for 4-8 hours. Take time to familiarize yourself with the different consumption methods to determine which ones will suit you best.
While trying different strains, make sure you keep notes on how each one affected you. Were you uplifted? Did you experience pain relief? Relaxation? Sedation? Use this information in the future to select strains that give you the most relief.