Characteristics: Induces a “mind” high — euphoric, energetic, creative, alert, cheerful; best for daytime use
Uses: Treating mental health disorders, chronic pain, nausea, glaucoma/intraocular disorders, HIV/AIDS, headaches migraines
Negatives: Can cause anxiety, particularly in those already suffering from anxiety disorders
Characteristics: Induces a “body” high — relaxed, calm, mellow, sleepy, carefree; best for nighttime use
Uses: Treating acute pain, anxiety, nausea, insomnia, cancer, arthritis, tense muscles, seizure disorders, inflammation
Negatives: Can lead to sleepiness and lack of motivation
Cannabinoids & Strengths
Cannabis contains more than 100 compounds called cannabinoids, though very few will be discussed in dispensaries. Here are the four most commonly referenced.
Tetrahydrocannabinol is the chief intoxicant in cannabis. Large amounts of THC produce a more intense high. The highest THC concentrations in cannabis flower fall in the mid 30s. It is not uncommon to see cannabis sold in dispensaries containing 20-25 percent. However, a higher THC percentage does not necessarily mean the best or strongest cannabis (terpenes play a factor).
Cannabidiol is the second most prevalent cannabinoid, though nonpsychoactive. Cannabis flower containing THC usually contains very low levels of CBD, though some strains are bred for high CBD content as well. When purchasing CBD tinctures, a higher number of milligrams or percentage is desired, though no amount of CBD will produce a “high.”
Cannabigerol is the building block that morphs into THC and CBD, though most cannabis strains contain less than 1 percent of the cannabinoid itself. CBG is still being studied but seems to serves as a nonpsychoactive vasodilator and neuroprotectant with anti-inflammatory properties.
Cannabinol is also is only represented in trace quantities in fresh cannabis flower, with higher levels found in older or degraded cannabis. Studies suggest that it acts as an antibacterial and neuroprotectant and
has anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpenes are the compounds that give cannabis its aroma. They act in tandem with cannabinoids to influence the effects of each strain. Terpenes are also the same compounds found in other flowers, edible herbs and plants. The most prevalent cannabis terpenes are:
Woody and peppery
Pain relief, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety
Woody and earthy
Pain relief, appetite suppressant, anti-inflammatory
Earthy and herbal
Sedative and relaxant
Piney and woody
Cannabis is weighed and sold using the metric system. One gram is usually the smallest amount of cannabis sold. One gram is equal to about three small joints or three to five bowls in a medium-sized pipe.