With a never-ending stream of new strains coming out every day, it can be overwhelming and even intimidating when trying to find exactly what you need. Luckily, there are some quick ways you can weed out the options.
First step will be deciding how much THC you want to begin with. The higher the THC, the stronger its effects. THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the major psychoactive component and one of the 113 cannabinoids recognized in cannabis.
Those looking for greater relief from symptoms or simply more psychoactive results will do well with higher percentages of THC. On the other hand, those who are looking to stay more alert or are more sensitive to the plant’s effects will benefit from the lower percentages on the spectrum. If you’re newer to cannabis, remember the golden rule: start low and go slow!
Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid
Anyone who’s visited a dispensary has heard it before, “indica or sativa?” It’s the age-old question, but how does one decide?
Typically, indicas offer consumers a body-high and may be sedating to the point of “couch lock.” They are associated with sleep, stress relief and deep relaxation. Because they offer a stronger effect on the body, many people report greater results with pain, inflammation, and other physical ailments.
Alternatively, sativas tend to be more uplifting and energizing, and offer a more cerebral head-high compared to their counterpart. Many prefer sativa strains for creativity, productivity, socializing and thinking. They tend to keep people more alert, though those who are sensitive should be mindful. Some may experience anxiety or paranoia if the strain has a higher THC content.
Hybrids offer the best of both worlds! They are the result of crossing indica and sativa strains to produce a more balanced high. Hybrids are a little harder to categorize because their effects vary depending on what strains were crossed to produce them. They will lean one way or the other depending on the parent strain.
While we can debate whether or not everything at this point is technically a hybrid after decades of crossing strains, deciding between the three is still a useful guideline to follow. Perhaps, the simplest way to make a quick decision in a pinch! One of the best and most accurate ways to determine how you’ll feel is by looking at the terpenes.
Terpenes and flavonoids are the aromatic compounds found in flowers, herbs, fruit, and you guessed it… cannabis. They are responsible for what you smell and what you taste as you’re consuming. Each individual plant will have its own unique combination of terpenes which will contribute to its scents and flavors—from pungent and earthy to sweet and floral. According to emerging science, terpenes not only affect your senses, they also affect how the strains will take effect.
While there are hundreds of recognized terpenes, there are some that are more prevalent than others. Luckily, they are also common in plants and fruits we all know so they are a little easier to memorize.
Found in: mangos, hops, lemongrass and thyme
Flavors: earthy, fruity, herbal
May help with: sedation, insomnia, muscle relaxation, and inflammation
Many report deep relaxation and sleepiness.
Found in: pepper, cloves, basil and oregano
Flavors: pepper, woody, spice
May help with: inflammation, nerve pain, pain, and muscle spasms
Found in: Citrus rinds, juniper and peppermint
May help with: anxiety, depression, stress relief, appetite reduction, and anti-fungal
Many report an uplifting and creative effect.
Found in: lavender, laurel, birch, and rosewood
Flavors: floral, citrus, spice
May help with: sedation, combatting anxiety and depression, pain relief, and convulsions.
Many report calming effects.
Found in: lilacs, tea tree, nutmeg, and apples
Flavor: Herbal, woody, pine
May help with: relaxation, anxiety, depression, antibacterial, antifungal, and antioxidant.
Many report a relaxing yet uplifting effect.
Found in: pine needles.
Flavors: Sharp, sweet, and pine flavors.
May help with: memory retention, alertness, and relief from asthma and inflammation.
Many report a more awake high.
For more in-depth information on terpenes, check out this article from Leafly.
Everyone is Different
At the end of the day, everyone is unique in their own body chemistry, experience and tolerance. What works for some may not work for others. What wakes some up, may make others sleepy. It’s important to keep in mind that while many people experience similar effects by following these guidelines, there is a chance that your body may react differently.
Ready to Find the Right Strain for You?
Check out our online menus! The search function will allow you to search for specific terpenes and the filters will help narrow the options to indica, sativa, or hybrid. Find your perfect match today!