Sometimes mixing different liquors together results in a delicious cocktail, but other times it’s downright nasty (we’re looking at you, Long Island Iced Tea). Can the same be said for weed? We asked industry experts to clue us in on what happens when you combine different types of cannabis yourself.
Unlike alcohol, which is mixed for flavour reasons, layering cannabis strains gives you the opportunity to have distinctive experiences. Hybrid cannabis strains are becoming more commonly cultivated because they offer unique effects based on the parent plants; but you can also take matters into your own hands and devise a mix of strains, and therefore outcomes, to suit your of-the-moment needs.
To get started, here are some tips for making the most of cannabis mixology:
Consider the Strains and Their Effects
Mixing a strong sativa, like Golden Goat, with an indica-leaning hybrid like Chemdawg will offer relaxation and pain relief, making it a great nighttime pick, says Ellen F., a budtender with Green Dragon Colorado. You could also mix Golden Goat with a high-CBD strain like Harlequin for daytime. “With the CBD strain minimizing potential anxiety associated with the consumption of sativas,” she notes, the effect of the combination could also alleviate disorders such as depression.
Another good pairing: White Widow and Skunk. This combo “will give you a happy and relaxed high with tingly and euphoric feels,” says David, bud expert with Sensi Seeds in Amsterdam. Meanwhile, a blend of Super Skunk and Haze will make you feel “happy and relaxed but with an energizing buzz to stimulate creativity and a more cerebral high,” he says.
Pay Attention to Terpenes
Terpenes, which are naturally occurring compounds found in the cannabis plant, says Jenna Urusky, director of marketing for K.I.N.D. Concentrates. Terpenes are responsible for the flavour and scent of each cannabis strain. There are more than 100 types of terpenes, but there are 10 that are the most commonly found in cannabis, says Ellen. “They create different effects by binding to receptors in the brain and interacting with other compounds, such as cannabinoids, in a synergistic way,” she notes.
Certain terpene combos are better than others. Ellen says linalool and myrcene can be combined for pain relief, while linalool and limonene can alleviate anxiety. You may want to skip mixing certain terpenes together, though, since they could cancel each other out.
Ellen suggests avoiding pairing limonene (which is uplifting) with myrcene and linalool (which are sedative). And when you mix penene with myrcene, you could increase the absorption rate of THC, getting you high faster. That being said, “there has not been enough research to conclusively state that terpenes have any influence on the effect of your high,” says David.
Start Low, Go Slow
Whether you smoke, vape, or chow down edibles, start out with a small dose of each strain if you’re newer to cannabis. For example, begin with a 2.5 milligram serving of an edible and see how you feel. “More experienced users can handle higher levels like 10 or more milligrams, but I don’t recommend that for novices,” says Felix Green, director of product development for Green Thumb Industries. Often, a little pot will lead to great things, especially if you’ve crafted the experience yourself.
Story by Christina Heiser
Graphic by Andrew Cooper
Some names have been changed or withheld to protect identity.
Tokyo Smoke does not condone or recommend the illegal consumption of cannabis.