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Choosing a Strain

Hand using tongs to place cannabis buds on a scale for weighing.

When it comes to cannabis, each strain is unique and can affect different people in different ways. If you’re just starting out with cannabis use, there’s a few things you’ll want to consider when deciding what to grow. We recommend buying small amounts of a strain you’re interested in before committing to growing it.

If you’ve been prescribed marijuana by a medical professional, they should be able to assist you with the selection process as well.

Desired Effects

Everybody is different and so is their tolerance to the effects of cannabis. Along with this, the strain and chemotype levels will also play a part in what kind of effects people have.

When you’re buying cannabis, one of the first things you’re usually asked is “Are you looking for a Sativa or Indica?”. Let’s take a quick look at the common effects between the two.

Sativa Indica

Head high

Body High

 Alertness

Relaxation

 Uplifting

Appetite Stimulation

 Increased Energy

Pain relief
Creativity Sleep Aid

You will also see Hybrid strains that have bred Sativa and Indica together to get the best of both worlds. Deciding ahead of time what kind of effects you are looking for will help you when choosing a strain. If you really don’t know what to choose, talk to your bud tender or doctor for more details!

Potency

Potency plays a huge role in the overall effects and previously we mentioned Chemotypes can shape effects too, so let’s define what is a chemotype to start.

This is basically the ratio of THC and CBD in any given strain. THC is the main compound that gives you the ‘high’ where CBD is commonly used for medicinal/relaxation purposes. You’ll find both THC dominant and CBD dominant options available.

THC dominant strains tend to be used for things like pain, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, nausea and anxiety.

CBD dominant strains are commonly used for seizures, inflammation, pain, nausea, migraine, depression and anxiety.

You’ll notice some overlap there, which is why it’s important to speak to somebody knowledgable about the strains when you’re first getting started to help find the best option for you.

One quick thing to note. CBD can’t do its thing without being activated, which requires THC to be present, so you won’t find any CBD Only strains. If you’re after the CBD benefits, just make sure THC is at least 4% or lower.

Flavor and Smell

The unique smells and flavors in cannabis are created from the organic hydrocarbons called Terpenes. Every strain has a different makeup, which results in odors like pine or grapefruit and flavours ranging from citrus to chocolate strawberry.

Evidence has also shown that the Terpenes also have a pharmacological effect on the body. Known to provide calming and mood-elevating effects, terpenes are being researched heavily but we’ve only scratched the surface on their medicinal effects.

Conclusion

There’s a whole range of things that determine the effects of cannabis on the body. As legalization grows, we can expect a lot more research and a lot more products in the future that have very specific uses.

Regardless of what you’re investigating for now, if you’re just starting out you want to start slow until you know how different strains affect you at different doses. If you’re unsure, there’s plenty of knowledgable people available to help you at dispensaries and shops around the world. Feel free to reach out to us if you have additional questions.

Photo by Add Weed on Unsplash