Finding that Elusive Strain

I remember the first time I was surprised by the effects of my cannabis. I was fairly new to cannabis, but I’d come to expect a certain dreamy euphoria from my favorite strain, Sour Diesel. But this bag of Sour Diesel had a completely different effect! It left me feeling anxious and uncomfortable.

Most cannabis enthusiasts have had similar experiences. It’s inevitable when you consider basic genetics. When two parents have multiple children, they’re not all exactly alike (unless they’re identical twins). They have genetic variations: one with brown eyes, another with blue. It’s the same for plants. When a Sour Diesel flower is fertilized by Sour Diesel pollen, it doesn’t create a bunch of identical seeds, even though the parents are the same strain. Each seed contains a different combination of the Sour Diesel genetics.

That’s where Creative Cannabis Consulting’s strain selection classes come in. Although anyone can look up the best strain for a medical condition or their recreational tastes on a growing number of Internet sites (my favorite is leafly.com), there’s no guarantee that the cannabis you get from your local dispensary will have the same characteristics as those described online. Because genetics.

So how can you find cannabis that has the effects you want?

Do your research and follow your nose!

Each cannabis plant has a wide range of organic compounds that can interact with human chemistry. At most dispensaries, each strain is tested to find the percentages of the two most common compounds: THC and CBD. The interaction of these compounds at different ratios has a lot to do with the psychoactive effects of cannabis (as well as its effect on a number of medical conditions). If you’re lucky, you can find a dispensary that tests the percentage of other cannabinoids as well. Creative Cannabis Consulting’s strain selection classes describe the effects of the “big six” primary cannabinoids.

Cannabis plants may also contain as many as 100 different terpenes. Terpenes play a big role in creating the overall effect of your cannabis. For example, myrcene, when present in quantities of more than 0.5%, can cause drowsiness. Some scientists attribute the sleepiness of many Indica strains to a high percentage of myrcene.

Terpene content is very much affected by cultivation method, curing process, and age of the plant. Although the Internet might be able to give you an idea of which terpenes could be present in a particular strain, any specific information you find is more of an educated guess than a tried-and-true result. And unfortunately, most dispensaries do not test for terpene content.

The best way to find out which terpenes are present in your cannabis is to train your nose. Creative Cannabis Consulting’s strain selection classes not only describe the effects of the six most prevalent terpenes in cannabis: you are also given a chance to learn what each terpene smells like.

The best way to take charge of your health (or your high) is to educate yourself about the components of cannabis and how they affect your body. This is especially true if you are sensitive to some types of cannabis or want to treat a medical condition. On the other hand, if you are happy with a wide variety of strains and don’t mind an occasional surprise, there’s no harm in sticking with the strain information you can find on the Internet. It gives a good general idea of what to expect from a given strain.

Creative Cannabis Consulting’s Recreational Strain Selection class is 2 hours long and costs $60/person (minimum 5 students). The Advanced Strain Selection class (which adds information about medical conditions and administration methods) is 3 hours long and costs $80/person (minimum 5 students). A Private Strain Selection consultation ($120)  focuses on your individual needs and includes a visit to a dispensary of your choice.

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