A beginners guide to bud.
Learning all about the different types of bud can be overwhelming. Indica, Sativa, Hybrids – what are the differences between cannabis? How can I tell what strain I’m getting? How will it make me feel? Whats the difference between ‘UK Cheese‘ or ‘Zombie‘ Hopefully, through this guide, we will be able to help you figure out the basics when it comes to bud.
Our bodies naturally produce compounds called endocannabinoids – they help to maintain internal stability and health. Cannabinoids are compounds found in cannabis that mimic the compounds found in our endocannabinoid system. The two main cannabinoids that researchers have identified and that you may be most familiar with are: CBD (cannabidiol) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).
CBD has been shown to reduce inflammation, improving pain and swelling. It’s been proven to reduce anxiety and depression in some patients, and what you’re probably most familiar with is reducing nausea and vomiting in cancer patients. We’ve also found it’s an effective solution for migraines. It’s non-psychoactive, so when you consume it you don’t feel the typical euphoric “high” that comes with using cannabis products.
THC is the cannabinoid that produces a psychoactive response, giving users a feeling of euphoria. When you your body processes activated THC (through smoking, or ingesting after decarboxlization) it triggers a release of dopamine and creates the feeling of being high. The same rush is responsible for pain relief, a temporarily increased metabolism (which causes the munchies),easing of migraines, and of course for recreational use.
There are over twenty other cannabinoids that exist in different ratios. The full effect of which hasn’t been properly studied – but they are largely responsible for shaping the difference in experiences between strains and the three main types of cannabis.
So now let’s talk about the 3 main classifications of Cannabis: Indica, Sativa, Hybrid
This family of cannabis is known for its fat leaves, short and squat stature, with a short flowering cycle. Indica can make you feel deeply relaxed, it is generally used to help with insomnia. It may also reduce pain and nausea, and could stimulate your appetite. Indica’s can have some of the highest concentrations of THC of any cannabis plant – sometimes as high as 30%!
Some popular names to help you identify an indica bud quickly are usually some form of: Kush, God, Skunk, Cheese, OG. There are others of course but these are pretty common among growers. Since most indicas have a heavy narcotic and sedative effect a good mnemonic device to remember the effects is this little phrase “In Da Couch”. CBD has been bred out of most strains but many indicas do contain 1-2% of CBD, while high CBD strains are less commonly found.
A family of cannabis known for its tall and sometimes spindly and finger-like leaves. They thrive in hot, dry climates, can grow as tall as 12 feet, and take longer to harvest than other strains. Sativas are used for their “mind highs”, giving users energy, stimulating creativity and productivity.
Sativas typically contain very little CBD. While the THC concentration is usually lower than that of a well bred indica – the cannabinoids craft a different more stimulating high. One that feels like someone has wrapped a warm fuzzy blanket around your brain.
Sativas are often a very energetic high, with very little “burn out” afterwards – if you are looking for something that will give you that extra little spark to clear a creative block – or just give you the energy to clean the house sativas are a popular daytime choice.
Some popular names for this bud are: Haze, Dream, Diesel and Lights.
This classification of cannabis is the result of selective breeding. Trying to get the best properties out of a variety of different strains, be that for the ideal high, better CBD production, better yields – any number of reasons. The look of the leaves can vary as producers take both indica and sativa genes to produce a hybrid product. This means that they may be indica-dominant, sativa-dominant, or balanced in both their looks and effects.
A nice hybrid could start out with an energizing and creative high – but finish off with the sedative effects of a powerful indica. Or you could have a hybrid that has a high like a sativa but a grow cycle like an indica. The differences can be fascinating. Most worthwhile strains these days are some form of hybrid, even if they’re commonly thought to be of ‘pure’ genetics.
Possible negative side effects of cannabis use:
Decreased Blood Pressure
Increased Heart Rate
Since our Beginners Guide To Bud is aimed at people who are just starting to dip their toe into the waters of connoisseur cannabis we have some advice based on what we remember of our own experiences, and our experiences introducing friends and family to the wonderful world of cannabis.
1. Use a small amount to begin with and consume it slowly
There is a romantic culture around “smoking a joint” – but the simple fact is if you aren’t used to high quality cannabis (or cannabis at all) a joint is going to put you on your ass and ruin your day. Picking up a small glass pipe, or a “dugout” is going to be a great way for you to consume precisely the right amount. Light a bowl and have a puff or two. Wait a couple minutes and if you feel like it, have another puff or two. You can always have another puff if you feel like it – but you can’t get it out if you over do it.
If you DO go overboard you might feel cold or nauseated but you’ll be back to normal soon enough. Don’t mix it with alcohol either, even the most seasoned smoker has had a cough turn their stomach on a night on the town.
2. Smoke with people that you trust in a safe space
Paranoia is extremely common when you fist start smoking. Most people will find that the feeling of paranoia lessens over time, but for others it can persist. When you first start smoking it can be easy to be a little too bold and go to the edge of the abyss so it’s important to know that the people around you, have you. After a few months of use the paranoia and anxiety can and should lessen.
Many users find that an indica will calm their anxieties, while a sativa can excite them. Other find the indica effects too intense and prefer the clarity of a sativa. You’ll only be able to know what works for you with careful and deliberate use. Make a note of how certain strains may effect you. We can write a beginners guide to bud – but we can’t tell you exactly what to expect. Each experience is unique.
Cannabis won’t make you ill but it can definitely worsen or exacerbate underlying issues – especially certain mental health issues. If you find the paranoia never really goes away or worsens – please stop using cannabis and check with a mental health professional before trying it again. It can be a miracle for many, but it’s definitely not for everybody – and that’s OK.
3. Stay hydrated
The ‘pasties’ are real. to make sure you have the best time possible make sure you have a tasty beverage at hand. I’ve found that something fairly neutral like a “bubbly” or “La Croix” help your ability to taste the cannabis itself without overpowering it.
4. Relax, and enjoy the sensations that you feel
Some of them will be new. Some will be intense. Some will be relaxing. Some will be tingly. Some will be numbing. Some will be beyond a rational description. All of them are normal. As long as you followed the cardinal advice of “start low, go slow” whatever you’re feeling should be manageable and should have fully worn off after a few hours have passed.
What do you think? Add your own Guide To Bud comments below.