How to Figure Out Which Cannabis Strain is Right for You

When I was younger, I used to think that cannabis was cannabis. It was either good shit or bad shit. You got lit or you didn’t. There were no choices. It was whatever your dude was able to get that week. That was back in the good old days which are still very much the current realities for a lot of people in the US. Also one of the many reasons I live in Colorado and not in my home state. 

As more states and countries change their legal relationship with cannabis, a lot of you will likely find yourself completely blown away by the choices you’ll have at legal dispensaries (and even through less state controlled avenues, like home growing and legal trades between friends and family). You may even find yourself completely unsure about what to buy for your personal use. 

I know that I felt a little intimidated the first time I went to a recreational dispensary. 

“Do you want an indica or sativa?” 

Dude, I don’t know. I just want to get high and do my work. 

For a long time, that was my general thought process. And then one day, my husband and I were in the car, and I had just smoked something that was likely described as “energetic”, and I was freaking out. We were going way too fast (we were going the speed limit). We were going to crash (we weren’t). We were going to die in that car (we didn’t). 

When it happened a couple of more times I started to put two and two together. These “energetic” sativas usually meant I would be on HIGH ALERT in high stress situations. I’m bad in the car already. I don’t need to turn the anxiety up into overdrive. 

I started to keep a spreadsheet to track my consumption and how I felt from that consumption and I noticed a trend: hybrids and indicas that are described as mellow but uplifting are a better fit for me during the day than anything that says “energetic”. Energetic? More like hectic for me. No thank you. 

To make my life easier when tracking my strains I thought out a lot of options. A notebook made sense to a point. A random file in my note taking app or google drive was also an option. I finally built a simple google form that I could create a shortcut to on my phone and synced the responses to a google sheet. You can make a copy of that form by clicking here

If you want to make your own log on paper or in a document on your computer or other device, here are the criteria you should keep track of: 

  • Strain name
  • Cannabinoid Distribution
  • Amount you consumed
  • Method of consumption
  • The form in which the cannabis came in 
  • The terpene profile if known
  • Scents and/or flavors you noticed
  • How it made you feel 
  • Date and time of consumption 

Tracking your consumption like this doesn’t necessarily have to be something you do forever, but give yourself an opportunity to try a dozen or so strains. You want to try enough strains to get a basic profile of what works for you. That way when you go to a dispensary the next time and they’re out of your preferred strains, you can tell your budtender that you like spicy and earthy flavors with an energetic high; or I like mellow strains with a strong citrus flavor/scent. They should be able to point you in the right direction. 

Photo by Shelby Ireland on Unsplash

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