Today, there are approximately 9,000 identified strains of cannabis. They come in an almost infinite number of shapes, sizes, colors, flavors, and effects. Some strains are very tall; others are short. Moreover, some are very thick, while others are very thin. Furthermore, some are sweet, while others are sour. Some are low in THC (the psychoactive constituent in cannabis), some are high. Some are great for relaxation, and some are great for energy, some are great for pain relief, etc. There is an endless combination of characteristics to create these various cannabis strains. Today, the most common way people identify a strain of cannabis is by its effects on them. For example, some strains are great for anxiety, while others are good for pain relief.
What are the Effects?
There are two ways to experience cannabis: a psychoactive effect or an anti-psychoactive effect. A psychoactive effect is also known as a “high effect.” Some strains are better at producing a “head high,” which causes you to feel happy, relaxed, and carefree. Other strains are better at causing a body high, where your body feels heavy, sluggish, and languid. Moreover, some strains are great for stress relief, mental clarity, and creativity.
The anti-psychoactive effect is also known as a “no-high” effect. It produces a different type of feeling altogether. An anti-psychoactive effect will cause you to be alert, focused, and energized. Before performing difficult tasks like driving a car, operating machinery, or taking a test, it is a great effect.
Effects are caused by the interaction of different cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis. The “high” or euphoric effect is caused by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Most people know THC is the cannabinoid responsible for getting you high.
Let us focus on recreational use for now. When someone smokes or consumes another form of cannabis-derived from a strain designed for recreational use, that person gets “high.” This effect is caused by THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the chemical responsible for giving cannabis it’s “high” feeling. When enough of this chemical enters the user’s bloodstream, it binds to certain receptors in the brain, altering the way the user perceives reality and interacts with his environment. It creates the “stoned” feeling that is associated with using cannabis.
Strain Specific Effects Each strain has unique characteristics. These characteristics are referred to as “strain-specific effects.” The most obvious strain-specific effect is the high each strain produces.
What Makes Strain Effects Unique?
Its effect on a person defines a weed strain. In other words, what makes a particular strain of cannabis “unique” is how it affects the user. The characteristics that make up a unique marijuana strain are:
- The effects the plant has on the user.
- Whether or not the plant was bred for its medicinal attributes.
- How the plant was cultivated.
- How the plant was processed.
- Whether or not the strain has had any chemo-therapeutic agents (usually used to treat cancer) added to it.
- What part of the world does the plant come from.
Whether or not the strain has been “tripped out,” meaning some very potent cannabis was used to create it and then purposely reduced in potency so the plant would remain highly effective but not be too strong to handle.
Several elements make up a unique profile of a cannabis strain:
Cannabis plants contain many cannabinoids, compounds that interact with the body’s endogenous cannabinoid system to produce a variety of effects. The cannabinoid profile of the strain, or the concentration of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, is an important feature. For example, strains with high THC content and little or no CBD can be more intoxicating, while strains with a 2: 1 ratio of CBD to THC are more relaxed, less intense, and intoxicating. It is possible to generate such a high price.
Terpenes are cannabis plant molecules that help support cannabinoids and other cannabis molecules that produce flavor and aroma and have effects on both the body and mind. Cannabis plants produce over 200 terpenes, and individual strains have different terpene profiles and concentrations. Thus, strains can have different tastes, aromas, and effects.
Cultivating environmental variables, such as soil nutrients, can affect the profile of both terpenes and cannabinoids, so the same cannabis grown in different environments can be in different strains.