Do Different Weed Strains Really Give Different Highs?speedgreens
As you browse through the selection of bud at your local dispensary or online, you might start to feel overwhelmed. We’ve all been there. Do you want to try Dutch Treat or Afghan Kush? Is Blueberry better than God’s Green Crack? What’s the difference between all of these funky names and strains anyway?
When it comes to different weed strains, there is a lot more than meets the eye. The chemical makeup of each strain affects the flavour, aroma, and the experience you get once you smoke weed. This means that as a cannabis user, you can customise your experience and enjoy.
Before you start shopping, learn what chemical compounds (and other factors) help you get high in different ways. We’ll start by talking about terpenes.
Terpenes: The Biggest Difference Between Weed Strains
As you shop for different strains, you might see a list of different “terpenes” like pinene, limonene, and Beta-caryophyllene. These terpenes contribute to different high that you will get from your weed and the overall experience of smoking.
Terpenes are chemical compounds made of hydrogen and carbon that appear in plants. They are not unique to cannabis: you can find these same terpenes in herbs, spices, and fruits!
Each terpene offers something different to the strain. Some terpenes offer a citrusy aroma, while others contribute to pain and anxiety relief. If you can find out which terpenes are most prominent in the strain you are buying, you can get a pretty good idea of what type of experience you are going to have when you smoke.
Pay Attention to Cannabinoids
Terpenes aren’t the only part of the cannabis plant that impact your experience. When you browse through different strains and products, check how much THC you will get when you smoke. After all, THC is the chemical that gets you high.
Ingesting too much THC will definitely affect your high. There comes a point in which smokers stop feeling giggly and start to feel paranoid or out of control. The weed you can buy in dispensaries these days is not your grandfather’s weed. Average THC levels have doubled in the past few decades.
No matter what strain you use, smoke with caution. If you are new to getting high, let your first few puffs of bong rips kick in before you smoke more.
Sativa Strains vs. Indica Strains
When you’re shopping for weed strains, don’t let the nuances of terpenes and cannabinoids overwhelm you. The best place to start is picking a sativa, indica, or a hybrid.
These are the umbrellas that hold the different types of highs you’ll experience from different strains. Most people have a preferred type of strain, although others like to plan their day so that they smoke sativa in the morning and indica in the evening.
Sativa strains tend to offer a more “energetic” high. You feel the high in your mind rather than your body. Sativas tend to contain a mix of chemical compounds that unlock your creativity and keep you moving throughout the day. Rather than feeling sedated, you’ll feel motivated and uplifted.
(Want to try out a sativa for yourself? We recommend that you check out our review of Ghost Train Haze, a citrusy strain that will pump the creative juices throughout your body.)
Indica strains are more likely to calm you down and lock you onto the couch. You feel it in your body. The chemical compounds in indicas offer great pain relief and sedative effects that help people with PTSD, insomnia, and chronic pain. While cannabinoid levels vary throughout all strains, indicas generally have higher levels of THC.
(One of our favourite indicas is Violator OG, also known as Violator Kush. Try it out when you want to lose focus or treat the symptoms of PMS or anxiety.)
Hybrids contain a balance of both effects. These strains aren’t always 50/50, so effects and experiences will vary based on the strain, where it comes from, and the users that is enjoying it. Platinum Girl Scout Cookies and Sugar Cookie are some of the more popular hybrids on the market.
How You Consume Cannabis Makes a Difference
You can continue to customise your cannabis experience by choosing a different method of consumption. Smoking is the classic way to enjoy marijuana, but you can also get high from vaping or eating edibles. Tinctures and concentrates offer even more options.
Vaping, for example, has become one of the hottest ways to consume cannabis due to the clean, clear high that users experience. Just a few puffs of weed oil is all you need to go about your day with a smile on your face and a pep in your step.
Learn more about the difference between inhaling and ingesting marijuana on our blog.
How To Know What High To Expect
Terpenes, cannabinoids, and strain classifications offer a clue into what high you can expect. But unless you want to memorize all of the effects of pinene and linalool, you might still find yourself confused at the dispensary.
We recommend doing some research online as you’re shopping. We have a full list of strain reviews on our website that offer insight into the high you get from each strain and when to smoke them. Strain reviews also offer alternatives if your selection is limited.
If you’re looking for a specific type of high, check out cannabis wheels. Cannabiscope has an interactive and informative wheel that allows you to discover different strains based on the aromas, flavours, and effects that you want.
Our Word Isn’t Gospel
There are a lot of grey areas when it comes to sativas, indicas, and hybrids. There is a lot of debate as to whether different strains are all that different in the first place. Not everyone is affected by weed in the same ways. If you tend to notice that you have a preference of one strain or one type of weed, go with your gut! Don’t take the strain differences too seriously and buy the strains that you have had good experiences with in the past.