The cannabis market boasts of thousands of cannabis strains, yet breeders keep developing new varieties. The numerous options present a challenge, particularly to cannabis newbies, on the most suitable strains. Besides each cannabis strain being unique, cannabis compounds also deliver unique experiences among individuals. So, while friends and “budtenders” may make recommendations, a one-size-fits-all approach does not apply when choosing cannabis strains.
If you want to experience a long-lasting effect and high sensation, the black gas mask effects are what you need. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a beginners’ weed buyers’ guide on how to identify the best weed strain.
Types of Cannabis Strains
Weed strains are cannabis varieties containing genotypes of the cannabis species. Cannabis plants fall into two main species, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, classified by their physical appearance and cannabinoid content. A third lesser-known species, Cannabis ruderalis, is sought after by cannabis banks for its auto flowering properties.
Sativa plants are taller than indicas and feature thin, light-green leaves, while the latter is short with dense, dark green leaves. Cannabis experts also held the notion that Sativa plants are THC-dominant while indicas are CBD-dominant.
Therefore, cannabis strains are varieties by selecting Sativa and indica strains’ unique traits or mixing traits from both species. The end goal is to make a cannabis variety with a custom flavor profile, potency, and psychological effect. Cannabis breeding to generate new strains may explain the notion that weed today is more potent than it was a century ago.
Some people erroneously refer to cannabis species Sativa and indica as cannabis strains. However, while cannabis strains feature Sativa and indica genotypes (a section of DNA containing organism trait information), cannabis strains and species are different, as explained above. So, while classifying cannabis strains as Sativa and indica are acceptable, the more accurate classification is as follows:
- THC-high: CBD-low strains
- CBD-high: THC-low strains
- Hybrid Strains
Now that you have clarity on what cannabis strains are, find out how to choose the best strain below.
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1. Consider The Chemotype/Cannabinoid Content
A plant’s chemotype refers to its distinct chemical composition, setting it apart from other plants with similar physical characteristics. For instance, while different cannabis strain plants look alike, their chemical compositions vary.
Cannabis plants contain various compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids, but cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds. The cannabis plant has over 100 cannabinoids, but tetrahydrocannabinol-9 (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the dominant, most-studied compounds.
THC is an active compound with psychedelic and psychological effects; hence it is responsible for the “high” effect synonymous with cannabis plants. THC is refreshing and gives more of a mental high that improves focus and sensitivity. However, the cannabinoid works in a dose-dependent manner and may trigger anxiety and paranoia at high doses.
On the other hand, CBD only features psychological effects as it influences brain functions like mood and signal processing, but it does not have psychedelic effects. The cannabinoid delivers relaxation effects in the brain and the muscles and may cause sedation. Different cannabis strains are typically either THC-high or CBD-high, producing associated effects. However, hybrid strains contain a 1:1 THC: CBD ratio and usually deliver a balanced impact.
However, note that chemotype and potency are two distinct factors. For instance: a THC-high strain with 10% THC and another THC-strain with 20% THC deliver varying effects. So third-party lab reports are the most accurate way to establish product potency. Since THC is dose-dependent, so THC-high: CBD-low strains and low-strength THC strains (below 15%) are best for beginners.
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2. Terpene Profile
Besides chemotype, a cannabis strain’s flavor and aroma also matter as cannabis consumption is a sensory experience. Therefore, consider choosing strains with terpene profiles that appeal to your senses. Terpenes are essential aromatic oils produced in the trichomes on the cannabis flower and are responsible for the bud’s inherent smell and taste. Cannabis plants developed terpenes as an adaptation strategy to ward off pests and attract pollination agents.
While factors like climatic conditions, soil profile, and cultivation practices influence terpene essence, plant genes significantly influence terpene profiles. Consequently, terpene profiles are among the genotypic considerations for breeders when modifying cannabis strains.
Hundreds of weed terpene profiles exist featuring aromas and flavors ranging from fruity notes, floral, cheesy, decadent confectionery, dessert, and classic sour diesel flavor. Terpenes enrich your cannabis experience, so select a strain with a profile that you find appealing. You can also refer to independent lab tests for terpene profile results.
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3. Consider Your Intended Use
People consume cannabis for many practical reasons, including insomnia, mood lift, euphoria, socializing, boosting creativity, tackling mundane activities, ancillary treatments, etc. The THC and CBD content in different cannabis strains help deliver desirable effects. Therefore, define your purpose before settling on a weed strain.
The sheer number of cannabis strains available makes it virtually impossible to master all of them. However, learning how to predict a strain’s effectiveness based on its composition and psychological effects is good enough. So, go forth and use the tips above to experiment and refine your cannabis strain palate.