It is quite overwhelming to visit a cannabis dispensary for the first time. Most cannabis enthusiasts have not seen fifteen different options for weed in one place before. There is a little sensory overload happening and more often than not they are stumped as to what to try, or even look at, first. I typically start with describing the main differences in the cannabis plant itself. Sativa, indica and hybrid are what we have. The classifications of indica and sativa have been around since the 18th century. The farther away a cannabis plant naturally grows from the equator the more indica it will be, the closer it grows the more sativa it will be. Indica strains tend to be smaller with thicker leaves and can produce a lethargic, mellow high. Sativas, or stativas as so many people call them, have skinny leaves, will offer you a cerebral head high, and will test higher in THC. Hybrids occur when mother nature, or amazing growers, blend an indica and sativa together. The hybrid classification was adopted later on when genetics from different regions around the globe were being mixed together. Damn, it sounds like I went to weed college.

When it comes to what strain of weed will compliment an activity best I would not recommend trying to create a mood, weed does not work like that. Initially, consider how it smells, terpenes will hold a great deal of influence in your decision. In my opinion smoking sativa will not make you have energy, nor will smoking indica make you fall asleep. It is just two different states of mind. If you want to enhance an activity and have a nice buzz without too much intensity, try a hybrid. The purpose of the hybrid is that it takes the best qualities from different plants and combines them together. The nice head high from one plant combined with a mellowed body effect from another can create a very pleasant and lasting buzz. Indica strains are known for having a longer effect while sativa strains have a more cerebral effect, combining these traits together is more pleasant than being taken off too far in one direction or another. Too much of one can be uncomfortable, mixing effects and flavors is where it is at. Look at the wine world, all they do is blend.

Hybrid cannabis strains offer the effect most people are looking for, a little peace and awareness at once. You get what you want with a hybrid, you mold the buzz to your attitude. So why is hybrid such a negative label for people? I would love to know. Perhaps there is a notion that a pure sativa strain or a pure indica strain is more artisanal? There are no pure strains these days unless you are a strain hunter, RIP Franco. Hybrids are what I recommend, hybrids are nuanced and fun, hybrids are where it is at!

By the time I name a strain to get three more will have got a shoutout on Leafly or High Times, and they will be the hot new strains everyone wants. There are so many out there these days that I am hard pressed to name specific strains to get. It is the classics that stand the test of time. Strains like 707 Headband, DJ Short’s FLO or Blue Dream are fantastic examples of hybrids. Girl Scout Cookies was another great strain but due to legal issues we may never see that one again, everyone who had the strain had to rename it. By the way please do not tell the Girl Scouts lawyer I mentioned it. Additionally, every state is evolving separately from one another due to states laws, so what is available in Washington will not always be available in Colorado, or Nevada, or Massachusetts, or Oregon, or…

As more research is conducted, as more states lean towards legalization, a better understanding of cannabis strains and their effects will evolve. Until then, you can sift through the thousands of user-submitted reviews all over the web to help you narrow down your next purchase. Or if you want, you can always email me.

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Chris grew up in Dover, Delaware with his sights set on the wild west. Inspired by 80’s and 90’s- era ski movies Chris found his way to Gunnison, Colorado in 1999 to attend Western State College, now Western State University, and to ski Crested Butte. In this little mountain town in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo mountains Chris also found a lovely little plant called cannabis. Chris still lives in Colorado, having moved to Steamboat Springs after graduating to follow his love of skiing, mountain biking, and all things outdoors. Currently working as a budtender with 7 years experience in the cannabis industry Chris has a passion for cannabis, a desire to write, and a love for Colorado.