For new cannabis users, the whole range of products at a dispensary can be overwhelming. In the US, 11 states have legalized recreational cannabis, while 33 states have approved cannabis for medical use. That might be good news, but for buyers, the first step is to choose between strains. To add to that, there are basics like dried flowers and buds, with other products like concentrates, tinctures, edibles, topicals and oils. If you don’t want to feel confused while looking at a dispensary menu, here are some things to know about cannabis strains.
The three broad categories
Much like other plants, there are several varieties and strains in cannabis. Some cannabis strains are designed and grown to have a specific profile of chemical compounds. There are more than a hundred different compounds found in cannabis, of which THC is the only one that can cause that ‘marijuana high’, while CBD is known to be useful for reducing pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Some cannabis strains do have more of THC and less of CBD, or vice versa.
There are three broad categories in cannabis strains –
- Indica strains have origins in India and are more relaxing and calming. These are ideal for nighttime use, because you can expect to sleep better and reduce stress.
- Sativa strains are more energizing and best suited for daytime use. If you want to focus better, or think clearly on a matter, sativa would be a better choice.
- The third one is called hybrids, which a mix between Indica and Sativa. Some hybrids are Indica-dominant, others are sativa-high.
It’s a common myth that all Indica strains will produce similar effects or sativa strains would be great for that extra energy. In fact, cannabis strains don’t always follow the rule, and even in the same harvest, the effects from different flowers can be different.
How to choose between cannabis strains then?
Well, your best bet is to find a dispensary that’s open to offering information. Many of them have experienced budtenders, who will offer adequate details on available cannabis strains, and they can help you choose one, based on your use and purpose. Some of the popular hybrid cannabis strains are well-documented, and you can expect to get the effects that have been described by the seller or dispensary.
The idea advice with cannabis strains is to go slow. Experience the effects to know if a strain is right for you.