Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain

Are you curious about cannabis but unsure where to start? With legalization in New Jersey, many people are exploring the world of cannabis for the first time. 

At Enlighten Dispensary in Marlton, NJ, we want our customers to be informed when making cannabis-related decisions. That’s why we’ve compiled this ultimate guide to choosing a cannabis strain that’s right for you.

What is a Cannabis Strain?

First things first, let’s start with the basics. Cannabis strains are cultivated varieties of the cannabis plant that have been developed over many generations. Just like there are different types of roses or apples, there are various types of cannabis. Each strain has its own unique attributes that make it more or less desirable, depending on the shopper.

We recommend you familiarize yourself with the differences between strains so you can choose the one that’s right for you from our menu.

The Big Three: Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid

Before diving into specific factors affecting your choice, you’ll want to align with one of three camps: Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid. These three categories are how cannabis is often divided and sold. Understanding this is the easiest way to make a rough decision without knowing everything about the more complex stuff.

Indica

Known for its relaxing and sedative effects, Indica strains are great for pain relief and winding down at the end of the day. They originated in India and have short, broad leaves. Some popular strains include Skywalker from Good Green and Cherry Cheesecake from Kynd.

Sativa

If Indicas are the couch-lockers, Sativas are the opposite. They are energizing and uplifting, making them great for creativity and daytime use. Sativa plants originated in warmer climates and have tall, narrow leaves. Durban 95 from the Botanist is a good example.

Hybrid

As you may have guessed, hybrid strains blend Sativa and Indica genetics. Hybrids exhibit characteristics from both parent strains while moderating the more extreme effects, offering a balance for many consumers. Popular hybrids include Biscotti, Sunset Octane, and Moon Boots.

It’s worth noting that most strains today are hybrids rather than 100% Sativa or Indica. Labels will often show the percentage ratio, such as 70% Sativa and 30% Indica. That should give you an indication of the expected effects based on which one is dominant.

6 Factors That Can Affect Your Decision

Even if you choose among the three categories, there are still countless strains within each that can make it hard to decide. Luckily, there are more ways to narrow down your search.

Cannabinoid Content

First up, let’s talk about cannabinoids. While there are over 100 different cannabinoids, THC and CBD are the most well-known and researched. THC is the cannabinoid responsible for the psychoactive “high” associated with cannabis. CBD is non-psychoactive and is more commonly used for its potential medicinal benefits. [1]

Different strains will have varying levels of THC and CBD. The higher the concentration (expressed in a percentage,) the more potent the effects will be.

Desired Effects

Once you’ve considered the cannabinoid content, think about the desired effects you hope to achieve.

Are you looking to relax on the couch with a funny movie after a long day? A high-THC Indica strain might be perfect. Need something to give you a little energy boost while you tackle some housework? A low-THC, high-CBD Sativa could do the trick.

Some strains are better suited for specific purposes, so choose one that aligns with your goals.

Delivery Method

When most people think of consuming cannabis, smoking is probably the first thing that comes to mind. And while smoking is definitely the most common method, it’s not the only option! Cannabis can also be consumed in the form of concentrates, edibles, tinctures, topicals, and more. Different delivery methods can affect how quickly you feel the effects and how long they last. 

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Smoking/vaping: Fast-acting, effects can be felt within minutes and typically last 1-3 hours
  • Edibles: Slower onset; effects can take 30 minutes to 2 hours to kick in and can last 4 to 8 hours or longer
  • Tinctures: Fast-acting when taken sublingually (under the tongue), effects can be felt within 15-45 minutes and last 2-4 hours
  • Topicals: Localized effects on the area applied. Typically helps for pain relief and skin issues

Keep in mind that not every strain will be available in every delivery method at your local dispensary. If you have your heart set on a particular strain, be sure to ask the staff what forms it comes in before making your purchase.

Terpene Profile

Terpenes are the aromatic compounds found in cannabis that give each strain its unique scent and flavor. But did you know that terpenes can also impact the effects of a strain? Different terpenes have different properties, so it’s worth considering the terpene profile of a strain when making your decision. [2]

For example, strains high in myrcene may be more sedating with an earthy, musky aroma. And strains high in limonene may be more uplifting, with hints of citrus in the taste and smell.

Price

Of course, for many cannabis consumers, price is going to be a significant factor in deciding which strains to buy. Cannabis is a consumable product just like anything else – and once you consume it, you’ll need to restock.

Remember that higher prices don’t always mean better quality, and lower prices don’t always mean lower quality. Check our Specials section often to catch your favorite strain on sale.

Personal Preference

At the end of the day, the strain that’s right for you is the one that you enjoy the most. Try a few different options to see what works best with your unique body chemistry and personal tastes.

Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is a little different [3]. Plus, things like flavor and aroma are entirely subjective. Some people even choose their favorite strains based on the visual appeal of the buds. After all, who can resist those deep purple hues and sparkling trichomes?

Protip: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help

Our last and most important tip is to ask for help. Seriously, there’s no need to feel awkward or embarrassed about not being a cannabis expert. Dispensary staff are there to help and educate customers. They can offer recommendations based on your desired effects, preferences, and budget. Don’t be afraid to tell them what you’ve learned and ask for their expertise.

In Closing

We hope this guide helped in your quest to choose a cannabis strain. The world of cannabis can be overwhelming, but with a bit of knowledge and guidance, you can find the perfect strain for your needs.

At Enlighten Dispensary, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Stop by today and let us help you find your perfect strain in our inventory

Sources: 

[1] https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/cannabidiol-cbd-what-we-know-and-what-we-dont-2018082414476

[2] https://www.healthline.com/health/cannabis-terpenes

[3]https://discovercbd.com/blogs/cbd-news/cannabinoids-and-your-body

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