Whether it is your first time experimenting with cannabis, or you are just curious what else is out there, you likely have many questions about the type of cannabis that you should try.
First, it is important to review the different types. The two main strains are sativa and Indica. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are two different species of the same cannabis plant and they produce different highs. Sativa gives the more cognitively uplifting, head high, where you have more energy for physical activities, social gatherings, and creative tasks. Indica is more of a relaxing, body high that sedates and is used to relax before bed or when overwhelmed with stress and insomnia.
Well, there are many reasons why, and many more reasons why you would pick a certain type. Each strain and its terpene profile (more on this later) impacts the results achieved. For users, there might be a need to sleep better, to manage pain after a car accident, to get more energy so that work can be done, or to manage anxiety or stress. Cannabis can help treat a variety of medical conditions, from depression to colitis, to Alzheimer’s disease. Problems with memory can be reduced with cannabis strains. Issues involving overeating can be hampered. Gallstones or heartburn can be treated too. There is a strain for nearly every issue, so whether you want to relax, get energy, thwart social anxiety, or treat severe conditions, there is a strain out there for you.
How to Consume Cannabis
You have a handful of options when you go about consuming cannabis:
First, is inhalation methods which includes the traditional smoking, best captured by the quintessential image of someone rolling the cannabis in smoking paper and light it on one end, smoking the opposite end. But inhalation also includes vaporization. When cannabis is inhaled, the gases get into the lungs and are then moved into the bloodstream. You can use a hand pipe to smoke, trapping the smoke that is produced by burning your cannabis inside the pipe which is then inhaled. Water pipes are similar to hand pipes but they use water to cool the smoke, allegedly to filter out some of the more harmful constituents in the smoke. Rolling papers are the traditional way to make joints, rolling the cannabis and smoking it, but this of course has the higher medical risks of the nicotine consumption.
Vaporizers are a newer way to consume cannabis, which heats the cannabis to temperatures just high enough to get out the CBD, THC, and cannabinoids without releasing the toxins from combustion. There is a wide array of types and models available to fit each user.
2. Oral Consumption
If you prefer, you can take tinctures or ingestible oils as well. Tinctures are anything topically applied while ingestible oils are orally consumed. Both are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. The most common include fat-soluble liquids, solvents, oils, or capsules with oils in them.
You can also choose to eat or drink your cannabis in the form of edibles. Eating or drinking your cannabis will provide different effects because of how it gets into your body. Edibles—any food item with cannabis, have longer onsets and they typically result in more powerful, psychoactive, full body impacts. Drinks and foods infused can be made different ways, but the most common is to make a butter or olive oil with the cannabis inside, and then add that to traditional recipes which call for butter or oil.
What to Expect
The type of high you get and the feelings you achieve therein are based not just on the method of consumption, but on the strain and the terpenes.
Terpenes are the oils that leave behind powerful aromas in different strains. They exist in many plants, not just cannabis, but juniper flowers, birch trees, cloves, and pine needles. One such terpene β-caryophyllene, or Caryophyllene for short, can help reduce pain because it triggers the brain to activate more of the CB2 receptors which reduce inflammation, pain, and tangentially alleviate the risk of long term damage from chronic inflammation.
Mycrene is the most sedative you will find among terpenes, which is why it relaxes, sedates, and enhancing psychoactivity. It is the terpene that produces the classic sitting-immobile-on-the-couch-staring-into-space high. It also works as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory agent. If you want Myrcene, the most popular strains include:
• Sativa—Green Crack
• Indica—Granddaddy Purple; Northern Lights
• Hybrid—Blue Dream; Alien OG
Linalool is also sedative and calming, perfect for those who need help with stress, insomnia, anxiety, pain, depression, or convulsions.
Limonene can be used to alleviate stress and elevate mood. It is an anti-seizer strain, which has historically been used to kill microbial bacterial, dissolve gallstones, even treat acid reflux. So if you suffer from these, consuming a cannabis strain with limonene can relieve pain. If you want Limonene, the most popular strains include:
• Sativa—Super Lemon Haze; Sour Diesel
• Indica—Bubba Kush
• Hybrid—OG Kush; Trainwreck
Alpha and Beta Pinene will give you a feeling of more energy, and if you have inflammation or asthma it can help with that. If you consume cannabis strains with this, you will also notice better memory. If you want Pinene, the most popular strains include:
• Sativa—Jack Herer
• Hybrid—Dutch Treat; Blue Dream; OG Kush
Humulene is used to suppress appetite, when needed, so you might feel fuller after consuming it. It is also used heavily to treat pain, bacteria, and inflammation so if you are in pain, it can help alleviate it.
Beta-Caryophyllene can help treat insomnia, manage pain, reduce muscle spasms, and is used for serious conditions like colitis or Alzheimer’s. If you have colitis, it can reduce your symptoms, and if you use it for insomnia it can help you sleep. If you want Caryophyllene, the most popular strains include:
• Sativa—Lemon G; Candyland
• Indica—Death Star; Sour Bubble
• Hybrid—White Widow; Blueberry Cheesecake; Moon Cookies; GG4
So, whether you want something to help you sleep, help you relax, give you energy, or treat illnesses, there are strains and consumption methods available to you.