(Without Trying A Million Products)
Whether you consume cannabis regularly or have just started, it can be daunting to find the right product in the legal market. Our own cannabis boutique has hundreds of items on our menu!
To get you started, and help you in finding the cannabis product that’s right for you, let’s take a look at 4 basic elements that (should) affect your cannabis choice:
- Method of Consumption
- Terpenes and Potency
- Time of consumption
- Brand and Price
Method of Consumption:
From most discrete to most odorous, the method of cannabis consumption will determine its duration, potency and effects.
Topicals, beverages, edibles, mix-ins and oils
Topical cannabis does not get you high. This is because the cannabinoids don’t enter your bloodstream. Instead, the effects are processed through the endocannabinoid system (ECS) on your skin.
Beverages and edibles tend to have additive effects. On the legal Canadian Cannabis market, each package can contain a maximum of 10mg of THC. There is no maximum CBD quantity. Nano-emulsion is typically used in order to ensure a rapid release of the effects of cannabis – some boasting an onset as quick as 15 minutes.
Distillate, either in powder or liquid form, is a concentrated product that is mixed-in to foods or beverages. These products have a distinct flavour to avoid accidental ingestion. Do not mix with alcohol. Health Canada says not to, and this is one of those things they got absolutely right.
Inhaled cannabis tends to have a shorter duration than ingested cannabis.
Certain cannabis products, usually concentrates like caviar or badder, require specific accessories or knowledge. For example, a dry flower vaporizer is not usually recommended for hash, and vice versa.
Most cannabis consumers choose to consume dried flower through combustion (burning a joint, lighting a bowl, ripping from a bong or pulling from a dab rig). These methods of consumption yield many of the same smoke byproducts as cigarettes.
Inhalation through vaporization diminishes the resulting byproducts. This process yields a vapour where the flavour of the terpenes can be highlighted and contains activated THC and CBD. It’s recommended that people not exceed 399˚F on their vaporizer since that’s the temperature that certain irritants, like chlorophyll, start to vaporize at. The dried cannabis flower does not turn to ash. Instead, the plant material turns yellowish-brown as the cannabinoids have been boiled out.
Why this matters: There are still trace amounts of activated cannabinoids in the already vaped bud, or AVB. This yellowed product can be used to make homemade edibles. Otherwise, make sure you discard it safely away from children and pets.
Terpenes and Potency
A major component of the “high” from cannabis is drawn from the entourage effect, or how all the cannabinoids interplay within a single product. If THC enters your endocannabinoid system without entourage effects, it may be harder to ‘feel’ inebriated. It’s one of the reasons why we specify if an oil vaporizer adds terpenes back through botanical or plant-derived sources (Botanical), or from cannabis sources (Full Spectrum).
The easiest way to find the cannabis products you’re likely to enjoy is to find and track the terpenes you enjoy.
To get you started, think of:
- The foods you like to eat
- The smells that appeal to you
- The beverages you regularly consume.
Brand and Price:
Value of a product is directly related to whether it satisfies your needs or not. Many value-based brands are now on the market, such as Grasslands, Daily Special, The Batch, Pure Sunfarms, Namasté and Caliber.
Higher-end pricing is usually reflective of premium craft growers and small-batch organic producers, such as Stigma Grow, Good Buds, Tantalus and Citizen Stash.
Why this matters: Non-organic LPs may irradiate cannabis in order to prevent mould and pests. This process is perfectly safe for human consumption. It is a tried, effective preservation method that speeds up the curing process. The main downside, however, is the loss of trichomes during the irradiation process. On the other hand, many craft growers forego irradiation. They rely instead on long and careful process of product drying and curing. This yields a product with more intact trichomes.
Time of consumption
Tied in with terpenes and potency would be the time of day when you consume cannabis.
Traditional knowledge holds that Indicas are for “In-da-couch” sessions. They are perceived to be best used for evenings.
On the other hand, Sativas are reputed to add a bit of spring to your step. They’re tend to be associated with daytime use.
What’s in a name?
These distinctions are great for a rule of thumb, but should not be the only thing you look at. Cultivars with “Haze” or “Dream” in their name can be very friendly to couches, despite the majority of these being products sativas.
So why the distinction?
To be fair, the sativa/indica/hybrid/ruderalis distinction is most useful for botanists who will be able to adjust expected yields and the size they might reach. Most experts agree that modern cannabis cultivars are, in point of fact, all hybrids in some way.
That being said, if you’ll be doing any activity that requires you to be alert and aware (drive, operate heavy machinery, et cetera), then the product you consume cannot, by law, have any quantity of THC that enters the bloodstream.For more information, check out our Education pages
The last point to make is that Newton’s first law of motion holds for stoners: “Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.” If you’re likely to be up and about, whether you’re consuming an indica or a sativa will have less of an effect on your experience than how you’re consuming it, who you consume cannabis with, what you’re doing and how comfortable you feel.