I’ve finally been entrusted to give advice I know for certain I can give — what weed to smoke (or vape, eat, etc.) and when to smoke (or vape, eat, etc.) it.
Think of me as a highly experienced weed sommelier, someone you can consult whenever you’re wondering how to use weed to achieve whatever state of being you desire. Admittedly, I’m still memorizing all my terpenes, the specific chemicals that give strains of weed their specific tastes, smells and feels. But believe me, I’m studying them way harder than I ever did the periodic table. How else would I know that Geraniol isn’t only found in strains like Afghani, Headband and OG Shark, but also in roses and lemongrass, and is an active ingredient in citronella?
Mainstream knowledge of these terpenes is a game-changer. People often complain about weed being unpredictable, a slippery slope of high that changes with the day, the situation or whoever else is around. People prone to paranoia or sketched out by the common modes of weed ingestion often say it’s a drug you can never get a handle on, especially compared to the corporate reliability of pharmaceuticals. Because of that, they doubt its potential to positively aid one’s quest for health, wellness and even productivity. But the data now available on the terpene profiles of specific strains means users have more information than ever about what exactly their weed does. Even if you’re not into weed science, internet forums contain about a million reviews of popular strains, meaning there’s tons of useful information readily available to you about how others have experienced those specific plants.
And if all that isn’t enough, there’s always me — and my ever-growing terpene knowledge.
Here then is what I’ve come up with for what ails you (so far)…
You Want to Alleviate Your Anxiety
A lot of people avoid weed because it makes them anxious, but a whole different sect use it to curb their anxiety.
Harlequin is a perfect strain for those looking to calm down without like, dropping out. Although many sativas make your thought process more rapid, which usually makes people feel even more anxious, Harlequin is extremely well-balanced with a high ratio of CBD and relatively low amount of THC. That means your mood will be slightly boosted and your body will be at ease, but both will still feel clear and functional. Harlequin is also a great strain for those of you who tend to hate yourself once you’re high — people subject to what my co-worker Tracy calls the “weed demons.”
If you prefer not to smoke, Mondo Meds is a new coconut oil powder that brands itself as a “new approach to treating daytime anxiety” without “reducing mental dexterity.” While I’m not into the Mondo posts that show the medicated green powder sprinkled atop a cream-cheese-coated bagel, I get that the point of them is to show how suitable Mondo is for morning use against anxiety.
Mondo also encourages users to put its powder into matcha, along with all the other stuff wellness devotees love to blend into it, like adaptogens, cordyceps, collagen peptides and the myriad other products a stoned afternoon at Erewhon may convince you to buy.
You Want to Get Some Rest
It’s a misconception that all weed will knock you right out. In fact, many strains create a sense of hyperstimulation that could keep you up way longer than desired. But many types of weed will lull you into an almost-instant slumber. If that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for, these are the best heavy indicas for the job:
Tahoe OG: This hard-hitting strain barrels into you with all the power of the Chevrolet SUV with which it shares its name, although its actual namesake is the Lake Tahoe region in which it was first grown.
God’s Gift: Peace. God’s Gift is peace. This strain will slow your thoughts without giving you a weed hangover the next morning.
Bubba Kush: Bubba Kush is a quintessential strain, available all across the country, even in states without medical or adult-use legislation. Kanye rapped about having Bubba Kush that “a sister could get a hit of” in “Get Em High,” but that offer must have been a nightcap, given the lemony power of this mega-downer strain.
You Want to Wake the Fuck Up
Sometimes, THC can wake you up even when caffeine can’t. The strain supreme for this is Green Crack. I mean, the name says it all. Green Crack is the Adderall of weed. It’s an ultimate upper, but like Adderall, it guarantees alertness more than focus. It might inspire you to spend a few hours successfully rearranging your garage or cleaning out your closet, but if you were meant to get energized to do your taxes or update your resume, problems could ensue.
Green Crack is a sativa-dominant hybrid that creates a racing high with a sense of urgency, making it a great strain to smoke or vape before working out. Your speed and accuracy are sure to be extra on-point when fueled with a Green Crack-ed pre-workout. Originally called “Cush,” Green Crack got its name from the legendary Snoop Dogg, who referred to the strain as Green Crack after sampling its electrifying effects.
You Want to Approach Your Creative Work With New Perspective
If anything, all strains of weed offer a perspective shift. However, the ultimate strains for creativity encourage mental activity without making you tweak out. According to stoner lore, Lamb’s Bread was Bob Marley’s preferred strain. Native to Marley’s own Jamaica, Lamb’s Bread is a calm, euphoric sativa favored by many writers and artists I know. I’ve often called it my favorite strain for the way it makes thinking blissful and curious without stress or self-doubt.
You Want to Manage Your Pain
By virtue of putting you to sleep, all of the sleepy indicas mentioned above could easily double as part of this pain-management roster, but for managing specific areas of physical pain all day long, topicals are your best bet. My favorite company is Sagely, which manufactures lotions and sprays packed with hemp-derived CBD, menthol and essential oils that cools skin and muscles and blocks pain receptors.
Headache or migraine coming on? Dab it on your temples. Your knee bugging you? Rub it on your joints. A bad case of computer neck? Keep a bottle at your desk and spread it between your shoulders whenever you need relief. They also sell CBD and turmeric capsules to relieve pain and fight inflammation.
You Want to Be a Better Lover
It’s important to know what you’re working with when it comes to combining toking and poking, as cottonmouth, paranoia and exhaustion are all surefire ways to kill the mood. As far as strains go, hybrids are probably best, especially strains like Atomic Northern Lights, which one magazine called “the Viagra of weed.” You also could go the topical route and spray Foria products on you and/or your partner’s genitals. Foria is usually marketed for women, as many of its products are designed to provide menstrual relief, but its new “Atomic” spray is rich with aphrodisiacs that satisfy all genders, including hemp and coconut oils, kava root, hemp, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, peppermint, vanilla and cacao.
Again, these won’t get your mind high. Just your genitals.
For the vape-friendly, hmbldt’s “dose pens” in their “arouse” and “passion” varieties are specifically engineered to trigger and maximize sexual pleasure. In particular, hmbldt isolates certain terpenes to correspond to both one’s openness to sex (arouse) and one’s ability to sustain intense focus and pleasure (passion).
Who said breaking down terpenes couldn’t be sexy?