With the legalization of weed across a large portion of the US, shopping for and selecting cannabis has gone from car trunks from around the corner, to well-merchandised boutiques. Dispensaries, like Heirloom Collective, boast many choices of unique cannabis products, and for a new user, the robust selection is a bit overwhelming. What do all of these different strains do and mean? How do you pick the right one?
While there is a lot to consider with what type of cannabis to use, most of it comes down to potency. Learning about how potent a strain is, can impact your high and entire experience. Take a look at our 101 strain guide for cannabis newbies to find the best beginner strains.
The Myth Between Indica vs. Sativa
Generally, weed strains are separated into three categories; indica, sativa, and hybrid. This was used for people to easily pinpoint their desired experience. However, as the research into cannabis expands, we are finding that these categorizations aren’t necessarily useful to most users. In fact, on a molecular level, indica and sativa cannabis strains have no differences.
To best understand what weed you’re buying, we recommend learning about the weed strain itself.
How to Choose a Strain
To begin, decide which effects you’re looking to experience while using weed. Do you need help sleeping, want to relax, looking for stress relief, or need energy? Knowing what kind of high you want to experience can direct you towards a particular strain.
To find the right strain, you firstly need to understand the different parts of the plant that create unique weed strains. Let’s break this down.
Terpenes and cannabinoids make up weed. The terpenes are organic molecules that give cannabis its smell and taste. You may hear weed described as loud (strong) and dank (high-quality). These descriptors are about the aromas created by the terpenes. Since consuming cannabis (in all different forms) is all about our senses, the terpenes play an important role in the high you get. They also combine with cannabinoids to create different effects in unique strains.
On the other hand, cannabinoids are the main chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. You’ve likely heard cannabis is separated into THC and CBD. Those are the different chemical compounds (cannabinoids) found in the plant. THC provides a high, while CBD is known for relaxation and pain relief.
The terpenes and cannabinoids work together synergistically to build strains that create the “entourage effect.”
What is the Entourage Effect?
The entourage effect is the mix of compounds in cannabis that work to provide the user with a particular effect. Terpenes and cannabinoids together are designed for a certain type of high for each strain. For newbie users, the best way to get the full entourage effect is to use cannabis products that contain a wide range of cannabinoids and terpenes. Two great products for this are full-spectrum cannabis oils and/or cannabis tinctures.
Now that you understand what goes into a weed strain you can research other types you might want to try.
Pro-tip: You can always chat with your local budtender for more info.
Recommended Strains for Newbies
1. Professor Chaos – a mellow, well-balanced strain, with notes of citrus and an undertone of spicy freshness.
2. Banana Daddy – fruity and well-balanced, with relaxing effects, this strain is on the heavier side but is perfect for winding down at the end of your day.
3. Blueberry Muffin – a very fruity strain with a strong odor, it provides a relaxing and calming effect to the body and mind.
4. Citral Glue – Heirloom Collective’s favorite strain, this provides well-rounded and potent effects.
5. FJT – A.K.A “Fresh Jelly on Toast” is a strain with high CBD at a ratio of 2:1, and around 20% tac. This strain smells fresh and great for individuals with a lower tolerance.
Tips for New Users
One important component to consider when deciding on a strain to try is to look into the adverse effects. Some strains can cause odd side effects or more intense highs that can lead to paranoia. It is important to understand the attributes of each strain and possible side effects. Make sure you are comfortable with all aspects of the high, before partaking. And, as we always say when starting, go low and slow.
If you are looking into using weed for medical reasons, we highly suggest you discuss the goals and needs with your doctor. This will also help you decipher what strain is appropriate for your situation.
Newbies + Low Potency = Best Friends
As we mentioned above, we always recommend new cannabis users to start low and slow. This means opting for low-potency tinctures, oils, and strains. Good hybrid weed strains can have a wide entourage effect and can be overwhelming to newbies during their first experience.