With Washington’s legalization of recreational and medical marijuana, access to legal cannabis is available to more people than it has ever been in the past.
Learning all the strains, other marijuana products, ways to consume marijuana, and more, can be a pretty overwhelming situation. After all, a strain may offer the right experience to one person, but be completely terrible for someone else.
Your entire cannabis experience should personalized to fit you, your needs, and your preferences.
Cutting down the selections to just a couple can end up being the deciding factor between a fun and a negative cannabis experience.
Here are a few helpful tips for picking the right marijuana strain for the experience you’re looking for:
Finding the Right Marijuana Strain for You
01 | Ask Yourself Some Questions
Before you ask a budtender to help you personalize your marijuana experience, you need to ask yourself a few questions. Sort of like questions at a doctor’s office.
Except, however, this set of preliminary questions will make it a million times easier for you to pare your cannabis selections down to just a couple of strains, products, and methods of consumption. You can always add more to your list later, but that’s a good way to create a starting point.
Ask Yourself: How experienced are you REALLY?
I’m not talking about what you fudge a bit and tell your friends that you “smoke ALL the time.”
No, I’m talking about having genuine experiences with cannabis. This is especially important for first-time smokers, and something to think about when you’re picking the strain you’re trying next. Or the edible.
For example, if you’re doing dabs of a high-THC concentrate, it’s probably going to knock you on your ass. Instead, you may to try some lower-THC flower and low-dose or micro-dose edibles.
Ask Yourself: Do you prefer to vape or burn your cannabis?
If you’ve got food allergies, or are opposed to burnt marijuana, vaping may be the best option for you.
If you plan to generally be enjoying your cannabis while you’re out doing stuff and will be around lots of people, then you can probably check out a highly energetic sativa, and there are plenty of those vape pen cartridges available!
Ask Yourself: Do you have body pain? Have you tried infused topicals?
Then again, staying in the warm coziness of your bed, with your vape pen and a relaxing edible, a cannabis-infused lotion or balm, or a tincture sounds pretty amazing.
02 | Learn the Cannabis Types
Hybrid. Indica. Sativa.
Which one is right for you?
Hybrid, indica, and sativa are the most commonly used categories of cannabis, and is generally how budtenders and smokers differentiate between the options.
In a (small) nutshell, sativa is known for its energizing effects, and indica for its sedative effects. For that reason, sativas are usually a daytime strain, and indicas are nighttime strains. Hybrids carry the best of both worlds, though one category tends to be more strongly represented.
For more information on pairing cannabis types with their effects, check out the Booklexia Cannabis and Coffee Pairing Guide.
03 | The Marijuana Strain for Your Experience
When picking a marijuana strain, the single most important factor to consider is the chemical profile. That sounds intimidating, but it’s just the cannabinoid and the terpene contents. You also want to know there were any harmful pesticides and/or contaminants during testing.
The cannabinoids and terpenes each their own unique benefits, and while THC and CBD are the two compounds that get the most attention, there are plenty more compounds.
For example, if you’re looking for a strain that helps increase your focus and also fight inflammation, you’ll want more of the terpene Pinene. Get an energy boost and keep your appetite down, go for THCV .
Your budtender should be able to help you with this, as well as point you in the right direction in finding reliable cannabinoid and terpene resources.
For more information on pairing cannabis types with their effects, check out this guide to Marijuana Strains for Productivity & Focus.
04 | What’s Your Favorite Vendor?
You may know a strain is indica and sativa, and you may have heard all about its great flavors and effects. But, many times, there’s something about a product that is uniquely producer-specific.
For instance, that particular strain you’re looking at could be an unusual phenotype that has totally different effects from the typical list of effects for that strain.
Or, you’ll learn if it was grown indoor or outdoor. You’ll learn what chemicals were used, or if they used beneficial insects to deal with pest control.
Different producers / processors / growers create different versions of the same strain. They also cure, package, and offer it differently. Find some you really like, to start.
05 | Find a Trusted, Local Dispensary
Find a reputable, popular dispensary in your area, and go talk to the budtender(s) about your cannabis-related questions. They’ll be able to give invaluable input and dialogue, so you can find the right strain for you → and it’s better than scouring the Internet for hours.
Most budtenders have tried most, if not all, of the products they’re selling in the store. Their opinions and input can be helpful, especially with all the different variations there are in each strain.
Finally, you want to tell the budtenders what chemical or flavor profiles, types of cannabis, and methods of consumption that you’re looking for. It’s also important to be honest about your tolerance. For instance, Green Crack could be a totally different experience for you than it is for the budtender.
Dispensary budtenders can be invaluable when it comes to learning about your cannabis preferences and consumption methods. Whether it’s marijuana strains, glass pieces, or other accessories and cannabis-related products, budtenders will know how to find what you’re looking for.
Between this guide and the budtenders at your local dispensary, you should have an easier time finding the right marijuana strain to fit the experience you want to have.