How to Find the Best Marijuana Strain for You
Published on 4/14/21
It can be difficult to choose which strain to smoke next when there is are seemingly limitless amounts of marijuana strains currently available on the market. When trying to find the best weed strains for you, there are a lot of things to consider. Let's take a look at what strains are, how they've continued to grow in variety and what you can do to make sure you find the best cannabis strains for you.
What Are Cannabis Strains?
Cannabis sativa is the overarching plant genus that includes marijuana and hemp, the two most prolifically used cannabis plants. Of those two plants, hemp is low in THC while marijuana is higher in THC. Cannabis is not a singular product from one type of plant. Much like wine, thousands of different types of marijuana boast different flavors, aromas and even effects.
We call the different types of cannabis "strains." Since it's made up of over 400 different chemical compounds like THC and CBD, they all work together to create the entourage effect: the popular "high" associated with weed. Each strain of marijuana has varying levels of these different compounds. While strains are usually categorized into three different categories, Indica, Sativa and Hybrid, these three categories do not show the complexity of each strain justice. When smoking different strains of marijuana, you will be affected in slightly different ways, regardless of their larger classifications.
What Is the Difference Between Indica vs Sativa?
On a more macro level, marijuana is divided into the larger umbrella categories of Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. Indica and Sativa are used to differentiate different strains of marijuana and have varying differences in overall look and effect. Generally speaking, Indica plants are shorter with broader leaves and produce relaxing effects that act as a sedative and help relieve pain. Sativa plants, on the other hand, are taller, skinnier and produce a more stimulating effect that bolsters creativity and increases focus. Indica plants are usually higher in THC levels and Sativa plants are usually higher in CBD levels. Hybrid weed is exactly what it sounds like, a combination of India and Sativa with effects lying somewhere in the middle. However, as marijuana studies progress and our general understanding of cannabis increases, scrutiny continues to build around the Indica/Sativa dichotomy. The most accurate way to categorize a plant is by looking at the various cannabinoid levels within an individual plant (the more we learn about cannabis, the more minute differences become clear).
Where Do Marijuana Strain Names Mean?
You will likely notice that, like their physical attributes, the names for individual strains can often seem random and odd. While they are often eclectic, the names do hold significance and can help you better understand what you're buying. The first names as we know them derived from where the marijuana strains were originally grown (i.e. Afghan Kush). From these original strains, thousands have been grown throughout the US and each grower has their methods for naming certain strains. Many names will help identify flavors and tasting notes (i.e. Key Lime Pie), others are named after regional specific qualities or are even nods to the original growers.
How to Choose the Best Marijuana Strains for You
With so much effecting the flavor and effects of each marijuana strain, it is difficult as a consumer to know exactly what to look for. This is where budtenders and local marijuana businesses come into play. When in doubt, always ask a professional. Your local budtenders should be up-to-date on the most recent marijuana trends and can help you decide what strains are the best for you. Of course, everyone has their list of the best strains of all time, but it's different for everyone. When you do go to your local dispensary, consider asking these questions to guide your search through popular strains to find what's right for you:
One of the first things you should ask yourself is "what effects do I want?" Do you want a calming, relaxed high that will put you to sleep? Do you want an energetic high that will feed your creativity? Knowing what sort of experience you want from your marijuana will help the budtender steer you in the right direction.
What Level of Potency?
Each strain has different potency levels, so some will hit harder than others. Speak to your budtender about to what degree you want to feel the desired effects of a strain. If you're looking for a certain level of high, the budtender should be able to help you decide what type of strain you need and how much of it you might want to use at first.
What Medical Benefits?
While not a relevant question for everyone looking for a new strain, it is an important question for those looking to benefit from some of marijuana's medicinal properties. We suggest speaking to a medical professional about using medical marijuana to treat certain conditions. Marijuana can potentially help treat depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, inflammation, chronic pain, and other various conditions. Knowing what you want to treat is critical when talking to a doctor and/or budtender at a medical dispensary.
Which Flavors and Aromas?
While not as critically important as effects, potency or medical benefits, the flavor and aroma of your marijuana go a long way in creating an enjoyable smoking experience. Once you tell your budtender what effects you're wanting, you can then tell them what type of flavors you prefer. Do you prefer a strain that is tart and bitter, smooth and creamy or dank and rich? Once you get a feel for what you enjoy smoking, it'll be easier to navigate the continually growing list of strains currently on the market.
Join the conversation and help others find the perfect strain. Let us know what your favorite strains are and why! Comment below.