You’ve felt it before, maybe perusing a sprawling menu, The Gap jean section, or hunting for a nice red. The paradox of choice states that rather than make a decision easier, an abundance of options leads to feelings of anxiety, loneliness, and depression. No one needs that, especially when shopping for something that’s supposed to be fun, like cannabis.
The selection of marijuana flowers available online and in stores is often long and diverse. Picking the wrong one has potential consequence: too strong and it can lead to unwanted side effects or you might get lazy when you wanted to be social. Happily you don’t have to make the choice alone. With a few tricks and tips, and a helpful budtender, it’s easy to filter down the results and find exactly what you want.
“The nice thing about so many options is that there is something for everyone,” says Brittany Smith, a budtender at Queen of Bud, a Calgary cannabis store. “When newer users come into the store asking for a recommendation the first thing I ask is what kind of experience do they want to have.”
A major determining factor is the type of cannabis: sativa, indica, or hybrids. Generally, sativa is energizing and stimulating, indica—aka in-the-couch—is mellow and relaxing, and hybrids are a mix of the two with various traits.
Next, consider the flavours and smells you like. This is terpene territory. “They’re the essential oils of cannabis,” explains Smith. The compounds play a roll in what the bud looks, smells and tastes like, and also how it will make you feel. Cannabis with similar terpene profiles usually produce similar “highs.”
For instance, budtender Dusty Hadley prefers cannabis with strong citrus flavour. “The smell reminds me of hanging out with my grandfather,” says the employee at Medicince Wheel Natural Healing, a cannabis store south of Peterborough, Ontario. Knowing that helps him weed out new strains to try.
How it’s grown, where it’s grown, and price are other considerations. The one thing not to focus on is THC concentration, says Hadley.
“A lot of people come in and feel drawn to THC numbers,” he says. “But for a lot of new users too much THC can trigger anxiety.”
Instead consider these five strains depending on what you’re up to at the cottage.
Watching the sunset
Cannabis variety: Sweet Tooth
High description: Like the name suggests, it’s an indica with a sweet, citrusy flavour that produces uplifting feelings.
Cannabis variety: Super Lemon Haze
High description: Pull out the sketchpad because this sativa gets the creative juices and euphoric feelings flowing.
Barbecuing with neighbours
Cannabis variety: Girl Guide Cookie
High description: Part of the Cookie Family of hybrids, the buzz tends to encourage chatty and engaging behaviour.
Arriving at the cottage
Cannabis variety: Pink Kush
High description: The full body high of this indica-dominant hybrid is relaxing and happy, perfect for winding down.
Cannabis variety: Blue Dream
High description: The hybrid balances full body relaxation and brain stimulation, delivering clam euphoria.