Cannabis 101

PICKING STRAINS FOR THE FIRST TIME

Cannabis can be a powerful tool to help patients cope with symptoms from certain conditions. But, walking into a dispensary for the first time can feel a bit overwhelming. As a newcomer, it’s easy to feel anxious with this newfound purchasing power. Don’t worry! Here are some tips for beginners looking to pick the right strain.

A good dispensing agent will help guide you to discover strains based on the symptoms you’re seeking to reduce. Ask questions to learn about how certain cannabinoid and terpene profiles can provide a synergistic sense of relief for your condition. If you can, smell the aromas of the strains you’re considering. The more you fine-tune your senses, the more you can trust your intuition when looking for the best strain.

 
 
 

I.

Know What to Look for in a Strain

Sativa strains provide a cerebral, uplifting high, while indica strains typically result in a more sedating, calming high. Today, most premium cannabis is the product of generations of crossbreeding strains, so consider more than just sativa or indica. Understanding the basic properties of cannabinoids, terpenes, and consumption methods will empower you to self-medicate more effectively.

 
 
 

II.

Kicking off with CBD

CBD is a non-intoxicating chemical compound that naturally occurs in cannabis, amongst many other plants in the botanical world. Strains high in CBD will provide a relaxing, clear-minded body high — beneficial for those looking to reduce inflammation and pain. CBD can be a powerful tool for people struggling with inflammation, muscle spasms and chronic pain.

CBD naturally counteracts the psychoactive component of THC, mitigating the intoxicating effect. Sometimes it can be hard to find cannabis flower that is significantly low in THC, but there are strains with a 1:1 CBD/THC content. A balanced ratio of the two compounds is a great place to start — you’ll experience a mild high with a lot of therapeutic relief. The most commonly found high CBD strains are Sour Tsunami, Pennywise, ACDC and Harlequin.

 
 
 

III.

Getting Lifted with THC

THC is a powerful cannabinoid, but too much of it can result in paranoia, anxiety, and dizziness. Consuming cannabis should be a positive experience. Once you know how your body and mind can handle a lower THC content, ease into exploring higher THC strains.

Sativa strains typically have a higher THC content, resulting in an energizing, mental high. Some of the most popular strains with high concentrations of THC are Blue Dream, Plushberry, Maui Wowie and Grandaddy Purple.

 
 
 

THE TAKE AWAY

Everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system which defines how your body interacts with cannabis. When you start out, try to maintain a similar consumption method and dosage to accurately track how the strain impacts you. Keep a cannabis journal for recording the effects of the different strains you experiment with. If you approach it mindfully and educate yourself, discovering what strains work for you will be an exciting and enlightening journey. Last, but not least, always ensure that you are getting clean, responsibly-grown cannabis. Only purchase cannabis that has been tested in a certified lab for quality, purity and potency.