Choice. It’s an aspect of life that adds to its richness but can also leave us feeling confused. This can be especially true concerning cannabis strains; hundreds of them exist, one with a name more enigmatic than the next. And it’s often not obvious from the moniker what the outcome of your session will be. There are strains that make you silly or incredibly aware. Strains that light your fire or slow you right down. These outcomes are due to the cannabinoids released through different methods of cannabis consumption, such as vaporizing or ingestion.
Selecting the right cannabis strain depends on a few personal things, most importantly the occasion and your current state of mind. Being aware of the activity you’re about to partake in is essential; catching a movie and dancing the night away are not experiences cut from the same cloth, after all. And a sense of your present state of mind can help determine how you want to feel as you move into a new moment.
Weigh your current mood against what you would like to achieve with your cannabis experience. Meeting up with friends but feeling slightly socially anxious? Don’t opt for a high-THC sativa, even though that is most commonly suggested for feeling upbeat. This combination could heighten your excitement but also your stress levels. Instead, a hybrid that is 40% sativa and 60% indica could give you the energy boost that you need without increasing your anxiety.
Perhaps you’re hesitant to combine cannabis with any activity because previous experiences have taken you from pipe to pillow? Remember that THC at high doses is a sedative, so mind your intake of strains of this nature.
Also, pay attention to the terpenes found in different cannabis strains, as they will heighten certain feelings such as relaxation or stimulation.
If you’ve found that past cannabis experiences haven’t had much effect, you’re not alone; many people don’t get ‘high’ from their first cannabis experience. Around 40% of us inhale, exhale, and then ask, “Now what?”.
There’s a variety of reasons why the effects of cannabis are sometimes not felt. As a cannabis newcomer, you may not be aware how to properly consume the plant. Experienced users typically inhale deeply from a pipe or vaporizer, while first-timers may take a breath that’s too shallow. Or perhaps you created edibles for the first time but went astray in the process, making the dosage too low to feel any effects.
There might also be a more personal reason for not feeling the effects of cannabis. Everyone has a unique endocannabinoid system, a kind of internal thumbprint that serves to regulate mood, perception, and overall sense of well-being. It’s complex — much like cannabis itself. Your natural cannabinoid system interacts with the cannabinoids released during consumption to produce effects such as euphoria and pain relief.
There is always the potential for feelings of paranoia and anxiety, too. In addition to seeking strains that are said to avoid this (talk to your physician – or when legalization hits, your friendly budtender – about what qualities different strains have), start low and go slow when consuming. If you’re taking an edible, try a small dose of cannabis oil or butter (around 5-10mg). If you’re using a pipe or vaporizer, remember to pace yourself. Wait at least five minutes after inhaling to try more if you aren’t feeling the desired effects.
Each cannabis strain has a unique experience to offer to the individual consumer. Being savvy about what qualities strains possess goes a long way in achieving whatever effect you’re after. Reap the full benefits by setting your intention of how you want to feel: high, chill, or somewhere in between. Combine this intention with what you are currently feeling, and you may just find your sweet spot.
Story by Katarina Kostovic
Photo by Bryan Huynh
The preceding is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to condone the use or consumption of cannabis. For more information, please refer to our disclaimer.