Van der Pop

Clock Watcher

ADVICEKieryn Wang
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Dear Vandy,
Are there different strains that go with different times of the day?
Yours,
Clock Watcher


Dear Clock Watcher,

The answer to your question is yes! But, also…not exactly.

Cannabis is truly a personalized experience and there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution when it comes to choosing the perfect strain for your morning, afternoon or evening session.

While this may seem a little discouraging at first, the good news is that finding the “size” that fits you is absolutely possible!

Let me explain.

Traditionally, cannabis strains have been thought of as belonging to three general categories: sativa, indica and hybrid. These groupings are intended to reflect the genetic composition of a particular strain and the unique experience associated with each strain type.

The idea here is that sativa strains yield energizing and euphoric effects — great for daytime use — while indica strains are better suited for evening use to help promote deep relaxation and sleep. Hybrids are bred by combining two strains and produce a variety of effects.

Seems simple enough, right? Well, while grouping cannabis strains according to where they fall on the sativa vs. indica spectrum provides a good starting point, choosing a strain based on this criteria is not always so straightforward.

For starters, the sativa vs. indica distinction is a point of debate within the scientific community. It’s still not clear how the plant genetics affect the potential for a particular strain to yield effects truly reflective of the indica or sativa labels.

What’s more, research shows that high enough contents of the cannabinoid THC will inevitably lead to a sedative effect, regardless of the strain type.

And, finally, there’s the little-known fact that some sativas can behave more like indicas, and vice versa.

Take the strain Chemdawg 4, for example — a strain that is traditionally classified as an indica-dominant strain. You might expect that a few puffs would render you relaxed enough to fall asleep, but the effects of this unique strain can actually look more like a sativa.

Chemdawg 4 can help promote feelings of relaxation, yes, but it can also be incredibly intellectually and creatively stimulating. So, while you might feel full-body relaxation, and some pain relief, you may also find yourself feeling so inspired and focused that you just have to delve deep into that creative project you’re dying to work on.

DelaHaze is another great example of this type of nuanced effect. Marked by rich mango and citrus notes, this sativa-dominant strain delivers uplifting and energizing effects that are then followed by a deep sense of relaxation. So, while your session may start out with a burst of energy, it is likely to be quickly followed by an intense desire to take a power nap.

What all of this tells us is that the cannabis plant is incredibly complex and mysterious and deserves our full attention.

So, what can you do to find the strain that’s right for you in the morning, afternoon and evening?

You can begin by building your relationship with the plant. And no, I don’t mean some tree-hugging type of relationship. I mean a sophisticated, thoughtful and rewarding friends-with-benefits kind of scenario.

Consider each strain as its own beautiful creation primed for your cannabis curiosities. A single cannabis strain is comprised of over 500 different compounds, including a variety of cannabinoids and terpenes (the compounds that contribute to the strains that all work together to produce its unique and nuanced effects). There’s a lot to explore here!

Each cannabis strain has its own personality — take the time to get to know them. We all come equipped with our own endocannabinoid system that will respond to cannabis in its own unique way, so take some time to get to know yourself in the process, as well. Figure out what lifts you up, energizes you, inspires you. Find out exactly what type of cannabis flower brings you joy, deep relaxation and a restful sleep.

To get you started, here are a few practical tips to guide you along the way:

Start low and go slow
You may have heard this one before, but that’s because it’s really important. It can be easy to get carried away with your THC intake, which could lead to unwanted side-effects like anxiety, paranoia, light-headedness, etc. So, it’s crucial to start at a low dose and give yourself time to fully experience the effects. The effects of smoked or vaporized cannabis will typically peak within the first 10 minutes, so be sure to take a break after the first few puffs so that you can be fully aware of how a particular strain is affecting you.

Vaporize!
Vaporizing cannabis heats the dry cannabis product into vapour and allows you to access a fuller cannabinoid and terpene profile than smoking cannabis. In addition to not being so great for your health, burning cannabis also burns off close to 30% of the flavourful terpenes and beneficial cannabinoids. Vaporizing cannabis will also contribute to very different effects than smoking a joint. Because the cannabinoid and terpene profiles are preserved, your body will experience the full effects and flavour profiles of the strain.

 
 

Take your CBD
Regardless of where your curiosities take you, remember that CBD is your best friend when you’re experimenting with strains. CBD is one of the many non-psychoactive cannabinoids and has an unbelievably good safety profile, meaning that it won’t result in any unwanted side effects that you might typically associate with high THC strains. It also has the power to mitigate the effects of THC, so if your dabbling takes you to higher heights than you intended, a bit of CBD will help ground you, decrease the psychoactive effects and mitigate any potential feelings of anxiety that might result from too much THC.

CBD is also great for daytime use because it promotes homeostasis and reduces anxiety without any of the high typically associated with the effects of THC. CBD has also been known to help decrease inflammation and help with with recovery from physical exertion. A perfect choice for helping you stretch after your morning run?

Keep a journal
Keeping a journal is a great way to keep track of your adventures and build your cannabis awareness. Taking the time to reflect on the experience is important for helping you establish a stronger relationship with cannabis. Remember to include the method of consumption (smoking, vaping, dabbing, edibles), the time of day, activity or social context, as well as any positive or negative effects you noted.

Do your homework
Experimenting with strains in the comfort of your home can help build your confidence for taking your session on the go and introducing cannabis into your everyday routine, a girls’ night out, or a dinner at the in-laws (mmmhmmm).


Have a question about cannabis? Ask Vandy!

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