Whether you’re new to the world of cannabis or you’ve been a part of it for years, you will undoubtedly have noticed how many different options of weed there are out there. From the different types to the unique strains, to the ‘dankness’ of it all, it can be extremely difficult knowing which one to pick.
In my younger years, being a broke-ass university student, I took whatever I could find, quality or not. More often than not, it resulted in disappointment or the ‘wrong’ kind of high. As I grew older and became more shrewd about what I put into my body, I started caring about the quality and type of weed I used. This lead to hours of research in trying to figure out this new world I had entered into.
There are over a hundred different strains and types of weed, each with a different THC, CBD and CDN make-ups. Thus choosing which strain of weed best suits you and your lifestyle becomes important. Do not fear – I have done the research and collated it here for you.
There are various reasons why each of us uses weed, from healing benefits to pain relief, to mood stabilizers and to just get high. There are three main compounds, called Cannabinoids, in weed that cause these effects.
THC (Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol) is a psychoactive compound that brings on euphoric highs. It alters one’s sense of time and space, mood and, to some extent, their behaviour. In extremely high doses, it can have a paranoia effect on the mind, so caution is advised when using particularly strong weeds.
In addition to its psychoactive effects, it is used for its pain relief, PTSD relief, anti-depressive effects, and insomnia. It also stimulates the appetite, causing what is called “munchies”.
CBD (Cannabidiol) is apparent in all strains of weed at very low levels. This is the compound best known for its health benefits. It provides relief from chronic, muscle pain, convulsions, and inflammation. It has also been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth in combination with THC.
CDN (Cannabinol) is weed’s lesser-known compound that has some psychoactive properties, but not nearly as much as THC. It is the compound responsible for the slow and groggy feeling.
There are three main types of weed: indicas, sativas and hybrids. Each type of weed has a different effect on the mind and/or body. Choosing the correct type for your desired experience is important otherwise you may end up with a very undesired high.
Each of the different types of weed has a different cannabinoid profile. You can find a comprehensive list of strains with their % compound make-ups and effects here. Leafly has one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve ever encountered.
Indica strains grow in cold climates at higher mountain elevations like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India.
Indicas are generally used for their calming effects on the body. They reduce pain, slow the body and are great as a ‘before bed’ buzz. When most people think of stoners, this is the type of weed you would associate with that.
Indicas are great for sufferers of insomnia. It also helps with pain relief and inflammation due to their sedative effects. It is great for people who are looking for a way to relax. As this type of weed produces a body high, it is not recommended for public use as incites a dreamy, slow state that is more suited to chilling on your couch than to spring clean your house.
Indicas are great for sufferers of insomnia. It also helps with pain relief and inflammation due to their sedative effects.
Being more balanced in its THC, CBD, and CBN properties, with CBD and CBN existing in higher ratios than in sativas, Indicas are known for its health benefits.
Conversely to indicas, sativas are used for a what is called a “head high”. Sativas are high in THC, the compound known for eliciting that high feeling. It increases cerebral energy and focus. Sativas are used for its mood lifting properties, as well as its invigorating feeling.
Because sativas do not slow the body, they are perfect for those morning “wake and bake” sessions. They inspire creativity and open the mind to new ideas and experiences. It is best used for social situations, manifesting stimulating conversations and increasing creative energies.
Because of its cerebral highs, this type of weed is commonly used to treat depression, ADHD, and other mood disorders. It is also a good ‘pick me up’ for when you’re exhausted and need a boost to get through the day.
Sativa strains are usually grown in hot, dry equatorial climates, such as Mexico and South Africa.
As the name suggests, hybrids are a combination of both indicas and sativas. They are specially designed to provide the user with the best of both worlds. They were designed by crossbreeding strains in controlled environments. Because of collating the best effects of both strains, it is extremely popular. The weed you can commonly find is usually a hybrid of some sort.
Depending on the strain, it may be “sativa dominant” or “indica dominant”. This just means that the effect of the high will sway more toward the dominant strain.
Warning: simply mixing sativas and indicas will not yield the same results and hybrids. Hybrids are designed with certain experiences in mind. Merely mixing types of weed may have adverse reactions.
Dankness refers to the strength and purity of the weed you are smoking. Also, called, potency or quality, the dankness of weed become important when considering how you want to use it, and how much money you have to spend.
You get three common quality levels of weed:
- Reggie Weed
Reggie weed is the type of weed we all try to avoid at all costs. It is the lowest quality of weed that you can find, most likely grown in your brother’s friend’s back yard. They are full of stems and seeds – parts that are not recommended for smoking. Not to mention they will wreak havoc on your lungs.
You can identify this weed by its brown colour and dry, crumbly nature.
Its THC content ranges from 15-18%, much lower than any other grade of weed. While it does give you a high, it is very minimal. The high sets in very quickly and gives you major munchies. It is not known for its medical benefits at all.
It also has that ‘skunk-like’ smell that people tend to associate with weed. It clings to your skin. If you are trying to keep your smoking on the down-low, this is not the weed for you.
Mid-grade weed has noticeably fewer stems and seeds than Reggie. It more vibrant and doesn’t crumble apart like Reggie does.
WithTHC levels around 17%-24%, this weed will get you high but it’s not nearly as potent as it can get. Used more for its health benefits, this mid-grade weed is the most common kind out there. It is also the most affordable for the high it brings, making it a popular choice around the world.
Mid-grade has a milder smell, intermingling perfume-like scents with the skunky undertones.
Dank weed was created by the medical field and is now also used for recreational purposes. It has been created with higher cannabinoid ratios, making it more potent and easier to smoke.
It is a stickier, dense weed that looks like it’s covered in white dust and little hairs. The colours of the hairs will depend on the strain.
The taste and aroma of this weed will depend on the strain, but you can expect fruitier, lemony notes in both aspects.
This weed typically has THC ratios of up to 60%. This makes it super effective for medical use and gives a mega high when used for recreation.
Why is all this important?
The body is an important tool, some would even say, a temple. Thus you need to be careful what you put into it. Just like you wouldn’t harm your body by eating only fast foods and donuts all the time, you don’t want to harm your mind and soul by forcing it to endure sub-grade weed.
Remember that, like exercising, regular weed use is a lifestyle choice, and should be treated with respect and reverence. Something comprising of such a big part of your life, needs to be paid proper attention to.
So before you blaze up next time, think about what you’re smoking and where it comes from. With some practice and experimentation, you can gain the skills required to tailormake your weed experiences.
Live your life on the high side!
Evarínya is a dancer, a dreamer, a cynic and a lover of glitter.
She began writing at a young age, creating her own private imaginary worlds to disappear into.
While her pursuit of her engineering degree side tracked her for a while, she has returned to the
world she loves in hopes of sharing her experiences and stories.
She believes in the empowerment of women through non-conventional methods and seeks to
uncover the world of cannabis through experimentation and the scientific method.
In her spare time, she reads avidly, sews and paints. She tutors part-time and blogs weekly. You can
find out more about her by reading her personal blog, Mist in the Mountains.