The use of cannabis is on the rise in various parts of the world, and it is slowly making its way into our everyday lives in discreet and straightforward ways.
The plant has become an essential area of research in the field of medicine, and the encouraging findings so far indicate a positive future.
From facing criticism, as a Schedule I drug to becoming a critical ingredient in the field of medicine, the journey of cannabis is inspiring.
Today, several products aimed to please users of varying age groups come from the cannabis plant.
Considering the CBD laws and regulations today, there is scope for better legal setting around the plant and improved availability of quality products in authorized stores.
As the industry booms, we need to keep in touch with the trend to know how the plant can independently benefit each of us.
My first tour of a medical marijuana dispensary near me was quite an overwhelming experience. For a novice user like me, the enriching aromas, vibrant colors, and most of all, the extent of options available was pretty confusing. Each jar contained different names such as Purple kush, OG Kush, Berrywhite, Harlequin, and the aromas were just as unique and enticing as their names.
From my experience, I understood that the first step to enjoying a fruitful cannabis shopping experience is to determine the strain of choice.
And as options expand, we all converge at the same question– How to choose the right strain? After thorough research, I understood there is no one correct answer to this question, nor is there one right way to determine the solution.
Cannabis initiates a unique experience in every individual, and it is different for each user. Hence right strain is the result of accessing several factors that are determined independently based on the user’s taste and requirements.
So how did I arrive at the right strain? Well, a walkthrough of the following factors helped me find mine, and hopefully, it gets you closer to yours.
What is the deal with cannabis strain?
At first glance, every bottle in a weed shop looks pretty much the same, except for a few with a splash of unique colors. But each of these samples is different strains of cannabis that have varying chemical composition and properties.
So, let us cater to the first question about this plant, what does a cannabis strain even mean? The plant falls into one of three categories – Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid.
- Indica refers to varieties that originate from the Hindu Kush mountains of India. The plants contain authentic cannabinoids native to this region and tend to have a strong relaxing effect on the body. Indica strains are CBD dominant and contain less THC. Thus their result is majorly on the body, giving the user a body high or a couch lock effect.
- Next, we have Sativa, which prominently has energy-boosting properties. These strains are THC dominant, and their effect is on the mind; thus, they give a cerebral high.
- Hybrids are the latest rage on the cannabis market, as it brings the best of both worlds to benefit the users. These strains contain THC and CBD in varied proportions.
On the chemical level, there is no identifier to differentiate a bud as Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid. But each strain is either a Pure Indica, Pure Sativa, or a Hybrid, and this base category determines the dominating properties of the strain.
The ultimate guide to adding the right strains to your cart:
Now that we understand what the various strains of cannabis mean, we can move on to exploring what contributes to determining the right strain for you.
Let us begin at the elemental chemical composition of the plant. All the magic that happens within the cannabis plant is due to the presence of cannabinoids and terpenes.
They are responsible for the look, feel, and benefits of any strain you decide to consume.
Cannabinoids are the active compounds that play a vital role in determining how your body responds during the presence of the plant extracts.
Their chemical make-up initiates various interactions with the endocannabinoid system to regulate and control different functions in the body.
While the cannabis plant constitutes over 140 different types of cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the two primary cannabinoids that bind in the body to initiate benefits.
- THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary cannabinoid of the cannabis plant that causes psychoactive effects in users. It can induce euphoria and other mental effects that indirectly help in aiding pain relief. THC binds at the receptor sites in the body and causes alterations in person concentration, pleasure, consciousness, and also influences the overall sensory perception. THC high strains have high sedative effects and result in an intense cerebral high in users.
- CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has several health benefits to the users. The compound is of vital interest in the area of marijuana application in medical science. It works by interacting with the ECS receptors in the body and helps heal physical and mental pain. The cannabinoid does not cause drowsy effects or fatigue and can help curb anxiety and other mental ailments effectively.
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are another set of chemicals in the cannabis plant that are responsible for the aroma and taste. Terpenes also contribute to some therapeutic benefits as some of these can help elevate the efficiency of existing cannabinoids to achieve powerful benefits. In every ounce of weed you choose, you indirectly decide on picking the cannabinoids and terpenes present in them in a certain ratio. Keep these points in mind as we go through the various steps to narrow down the right strain for you.
1. Why do you want to use cannabis?
While all the vibrant flavours might seem enticing, not all cannabis strains have the same effects. The ratio of cannabinoids, terpenes, and their native descent has a lot to do with the kind of impact possible from a strain. The first point to access before you narrow down a strain is to understand if you are looking for recreational or medical marijuana as it also determines where to buy weed to get the strain of your choice.
In the case of recreational, you have a large scope to experiment with strains that are high in THC or some which have a balance of both cannabinoids.
There is also a wide range of CBD dominant strains that can help you achieve soothing and relaxing effects.
While the options are just as extensive for medical marijuana, the dosage levels and strain descent is very critical to ensure you do not experience any side effects from usage.
The general categorization of your strain influences the benefits possible. For example, if your strain descends from Sativa, then you can expect excellent energizing benefits that can help you boost your mood. Sativa strains are most appropriate for use to counter fatigue, headaches, migraines, chronic pain, depression, and glaucoma. There are lots of benefits of medicinal cannabis, which is why CBD oils are popular too and seen as a miracle cure.
These are most appropriate for daytime use as it keeps your energy levels high. Indica strains have an intense calming and relaxing properties that can help ease physical, and mental pain, anxiety, stress, insomnia, muscle tension, nausea, loss of appetite.
The high CBD concentration causes strong relaxing effects, and hence it is best consumed in the night-time. Hybrids such as OG Kush, Blue Dream, GSC have varying ratios of CBD to THC, and they offer a mixture of effects from the two categories.
Hybrids are the most preferred choices to enjoy a proper balance of cannabinoids and benefits.
2. How much can you handle? – Cannabis strain potency and strength
The strength and potency of cannabis are the next criteria to evaluate. When you discuss the strength of marijuana strains, the terms are quite confusing.
In general, power tends to indicate the concentration of an active compound in a product. Given marijuana has multiple active compounds, determining what strength means in the context of cannabis is essential. In the case of cannabis, stronger or potent strains simply mean that they contain higher concentrations of THC.
This terminology is appropriate here as a user can only experience the effects of THC that causes the high, whereas CBD is a rather discreet cannabinoid of the plant.
Your experience with marijuana is an important criterion to decide whether you can choose a strain or not. For novice users, it is a safe choice to go for strains that have low THC levels and optimum CBD levels to counter the effects.
These strains not only ensure you enjoy a comfortable high but help you cherish the experience of marijuana without freaking out much because of the psychedelic effects. Strains such as Harlequin, Cannatonic, Pennywise are marijuana for sale with low concentrations of THC. Hence these varieties are comfortable for starters.
As you get used to the strain, your tolerance for the levels of cannabinoids also tends to go up.
In that case, you can either increase your dosage or explore a new strain that contains higher THC levels to offer you similar or better benefits. Bruce Banner, Original Glue, Green Gelato, Island Sweet Skunk have impeccable psychedelic effects on users and can cause an intense high.
This property makes it most appropriate for experienced users.
3.The THC-CBD ratio:
Cannabis potency needs to convert to a numerical value for you to start shopping.
THC: CBD ratio is a critical aspect that helps determine the effects of these strains. CBD, apart from not inducing psychoactive effects of its own, also helps alleviate the intensity of the effect of THC on the body.
Similarly, a touch of CBD in THC high strains helps give an easing body high that compliments the therapeutic effects of CBD in users.
Hence striking a balance between the two elements can help identify the best strains for your use, especially if you are looking to treat a medical condition.
The rule of thumb about THC: CBD ratio is, Higher the CBD, lower the psychoactive effects. The typical ratios of THC to CBD in commercially available strains can start from 1:0 of completely CBD and no THC. These strains will give no high and have only therapeutic benefits. The ratios in between, such as 1:25, 1:18,1:8,1:4,1:2, provide remarkable health benefits as they contain higher CBD concentration. The THC presence is also well managed by the cannabinoid that makes it a pleasurable experience for the users.
As we move towards 1:1,2:1, or 0:1 ratios, the THC starts to dominate the outcome, and users will go through a psychedelic phase while under the dose.
If you know the category of your strain, you can use these points to access the THC to CBD ratios. Sativa derivatives tend to contain a dominant presence of THC over CBD, whereas Indica shows vice versa concentration levels.
Hybrids are the perfect choice to find customized ratios of THC: CBD. Explore the THC: CBD ratio when you buy weed online to find the ideal strains that will match your requirements better.
4. What flavours would you like with your buds?
The enchanting aroma that compliments the buds you pick has a lot to do with your experience with marijuana.
Modern cannabis genetics have evolved to accommodate simple indicators that determine what category a strain belongs to.
The distinct aroma from every variety you choose determines the effects of the plant. Terpenes are the chemicals or oils responsible for the smell of every individual strain.
Like cannabinoids, terpenes of different strains also reveal a lot about the benefits of the variety.
Users looking for strains with energizing effects can choose varieties that exhibit lemon and pine aroma. These contain Limonene and Pinene terpenes that accelerate the impact of Sativa dominant strains to create energy-boosting and euphoric effects in the body. Strains such as Lemon Cookies, Joker, Reserva Privada show such benefits.
For relaxing and calming properties, strains delivering earthy and musky aromas are the best choice.
They contain Myrcene terpene and have sedative properties. Hybrid strains choices when you buy marijuana online exhibit an extensive profile of vibrant aromas and flavours that also carry their benefits to create an enriching experience and initiate fantastic health benefits.
5. Are you an online or offline shopper?
And finally, you need to figure out how approachable your strain is. Where you buy your cannabis also influences your choice of strains.
In the case of local marijuana dispensaries, you can obtain high quality, legalized strains regulated by the government.
But the selection of strains may not be as comprehensive as you would get from your research.
If you wish to procure from a local dispensary, it is best to research some backup strains with similar properties to ensure you purchase the right varieties.
Marijuana is no exception to living the 21st-century lifestyle with a robust online presence.
Like dispensaries located in various areas, cannabis is also available at online marketplaces.
These markets have even begun to accommodate marijuana delivery that promises to encourage more users to stop shying away from trying the plant.
Online markets open up a lot of strain options and can hence be a great alternative to your local dispensaries. You can also look for trusted brands online that abide by ethical practices.
In this case, you can choose from a broader range.
The must-try varieties of the year.
With all the information you have about choosing the right strains, it is time for you to take your cannabis knowledge for a stroll. While you are at it, you can also take some time to cherish some of the best strains of 2020 that will give you a fresh and exciting experience with cannabis.
You can go for the classics that exhibit bold and graceful flavours such as ACDC, Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, which are dominantly hybrid varieties that create comfortable buzz and initiate great health benefits.
Some of the new arrivals of 2020 also promise enthralling new flavours and experience.
For example, Peanut Butter Breath, a nutty smelling variety, is a THC dominant strain, which causes intense cerebral high.
The strain has origins in OGKB, and many variants of the same are available on the market now.
The Gelonade strain is yet another hybrid between Gelato#41 and the Lemon tree that is among the top-shelf varieties in many parts of the USA.
The syrupy lemon flavours mixed with the cookies and berry flavours of Gelato make it a delicious strain to add to your cart.
Wedding flowers, Strawberry cane, The NEW, Black Cherry Punch, are some exciting newcomers of the year you can enjoy too.