- Choosing the right strain of marijuana all depends on exactly what you want to get out of it. While some medical marijuana patients might choose edible products, recreational users might choose something to smoke. Knowing the reason you want to use it helps you choose the right product for you.
- In general, if you are using marijuana to treat pain or induce sleep, it is best to choose indica dominant strains. On the other hand, if you want to induce an energetic effect for social events or creative work, sativa is more effective.
- Strains containing higher THC levels are not generally recommended for those who suffer from anxiety, as high doses can cause social paranoia. However, CBD is a cannabinoid well known for treating psychological and emotional conditions because it is a natural mood enhancer.
- Finally, if you are in doubt about which strain or product to use, the best person to ask is the budtender in your local dispensary.
Your marijuana experience is extremely personalized, and a lot of it rests in choosing the right strain. Thanks to marijuana legalization, we have the choice about what kind of weed we want to smoke. Once upon a time, we would just smoke what we were given without even really knowing what weed was all about. But in modern times, we have been given the opportunity to really choose our marijuana experiences. For example, those who use marijuana for medical reasons are likely to choose a different strain to those who are using it recreationally. That is the beauty of marijuana in the new age.
With all of that said, it can be downright confusing to enter a dispensary these days. There are so many strains to choose from, not to mention the variety of different products. Between indica, sativa, hybrids, extracts and edibles, it can be almost overwhelming choosing which strain or product is the most appropriate for you. That’s why I’ve put together this handy guide about choosing a strain and a product that is going to be conducive to what it is you actually want to achieve by using marijuana. Have patience with yourself, because it doesn’t necessarily happen overnight. And most of all, have fun exploring the world of marijuana and its plethora of products to choose from!
LET’S DIVE DEEPER
Choosing between medical and recreational marijuana
This is an inevitable question: are you using marijuana for medical or recreational purposes? Some people wonder what the difference is. At the end of the day using weed can be recreational for everybody. But if you’re using weed to do specific work, such as dealing with pain management, it helps to know your strains. When asking this question, the big topic in question is whether you’ll be using high CBD or high THC products. Some medical patients want to avoid the psychoactive effect of marijuana, and for that reason they choose strains that are higher in CBD.
Another thing that medical marijuana users need to consider is the method of ingestion that they are choosing. It might not be the healthiest choice to be smoking marijuana if you’re most interested in health. The body is much better able to receive cannabinoids when they are ingested through edibles or even tinctures. So there is even more to consider than simply which strain you will be using – especially if you are using marijuana for medical reasons. Before deciding what strain is the best, it is important to decide whether you lean more towards medical use or recreational use. This helps you to make clearer decisions about how to induce the best kind of experience for exactly what you are looking for.
Strains for energy and partying
For those who are looking to have fun with weed, it is best to lean towards sativa dominant strains. Sativa strains usually contain higher levels of THC, the psychoactive compound inside of marijuana. And for those who don’t know, this chemical is extremely conducive to having fun. Sativa dominant strains can give a very psychedelic effect, bringing on the giggles and giving a lot of energy to move around and even dance. These strains are also appropriate for those who want to use marijuana to increase their energy levels and their creative thinking.
The most popular sativa dominant strain is probably Sour Diesel, which is an American favorite. Its flavor profile is a lot like that of diesel, and is one of the higher THC strains available in dispensaries. Skunk is another sativa dominant hybrid that party goers love to use. It is the offspring of Afghan Kush, Acapulco Gold and Colombian Gold, hailing two sativa parents.
Be careful of using strains with high levels of THC if you are prone to anxiety or social paranoia. Strains that have over 15% THC are well known for being too strong for some, causing feelings of anxiety rather than fun. Be careful with dosages, too!
Strains for sleep and pain management
On the other hand, if you want to induce deep relaxation – enough to induce sleep – indica is the way to go. Many of those who suffer from chronic pain also choose indica strains for their muscle relaxant qualities. In fact, indica strains can be so powerfully relaxing that they put someone into a deep sleep. The qualities of indica strains are appropriate for those who suffer form insomnia.
In terms of pain management, both CBD and THC are effective cannabinoids. THC is well known to have an anti-inflammatory effect, targeting areas that might be causing pain. At the same time, CBD has a powerfully relaxing effect, giving the body a chance to get rid of some tension. For these reasons both CBD and THC are also great sleep inducers. Finding an indica strain that has an equal balance between CBD and THC would be ideal for those who are looking to manage insomnia, sleep apnea or chronic pain.
Another thing to consider when choosing a strain for these ailments is the cannabinoid CBN. In fact, this compound occurs after the degeneration of cannabis. That means you can encourage the production of CBN in your weed by leaving it outside in the sun to dry for a couple of days before using it.
White Widow is one of the most popular medical marijuana strains available. Although I wouldn’t personally recommend it for sleep, it is a great strain to deal with pain. It is energetic and uplifting, while at the same time relieving many of the symptoms of chronic pain. For those looking for a good night’s sleep, I would recommend Bubba Kush, White Rhino or Granddaddy Purple. They are intense highs that will put you straight to sleep.
Strains for dealing with anxiety
There is a big controversy in the world of marijuana as to whether or not it relieves or causes anxiety. The truth is that it has the power to do both. If you use it correctly, then it can be an extremely relaxing experience. However, a misunderstanding of strains and doses can actually cause an anxious experience. For those who want to use marijuana to treat anxiety, it is important to follow some simple guidelines so as not to exacerbate the condition.
The active compound in marijuana that we have come to know and love is THC. While it is the reason most people use weed, it is also one of the reasons that people experience social paranoia. In high doses, THC can actually cause anxiety, especially in the absence of its counterpart, CBD. While THC is psychoactive, CBD actually has an anti-psychotic effect. This means that CBD can actually counteract the effects of THC. For what it’s worth, CBD is also a natural mood enhancer because it encourages the body’s natural production of endocannabinoids, such as anandamide.
So the writing is on the wall. If you are prone to anxiety, it is important to choose a CBD only strain or a strain that has an equal balance of both cannabinoids. If you are going to be using a high THC strain, be very careful with dosage. High doses of THC can result in a completely undesired effect in those who suffer from anxiety or depression. And at the end of the day, CBD has been scientifically proven to have a much more beneficial result in those who suffer from anxiety.
I recommend Cannatonic as a perfect strain for those with anxiety. It has a lower THC content (only around 6%) and can contain as much as 16% CBD, depending on where you get it from. At the very least it contains equal parts of THC and CBD, giving way for a more balanced experience that can be handled by all. Charlotte’s Web is another strain that has an extremely high CBD content and virtually no THC content at all. It contains as little as 0.3% THC. In fact, this strain was developed specifically to treat symptoms of epilepsy such as muscle spasms and seizures, but it is also extremely effective at treating depression and anxiety.
Ask your budtender
The person who knows the most about the weed in your local dispensary is, of course, the budtender. Don’t be shy to tell them about your condition and ask about which strains might be best suitable for you. They have the complete low down about most of the strains, including their THC and CBD content. They are a library of information when it comes to strains, their effects and the dosage. They can also give you some advice on other products available, such as edibles.
Use your budtender as one of the best sources of information. They can be of the greatest assistance when choosing a strain. So next time you step into a dispensary, give yourself some time to chat with the budtender before choosing which strain is best for you!