These days, most cannabis is specially cultivated to contain high amounts of THC but only minimal amounts of CBD to ensure that it’s super-potent. The good news is, there are strains grown specially for beginners who want more mild effects – although they might be a bit harder to come by.
Back in the 1960s, when smoking cannabis became open for the first time in decades, it was all about free love and peace. In those days, the cannabis use was conducive with a hippy lifestyle that included things like vegetarianism, anti-war protests, and leftist politics. In 2019, however, cannabis is all about extra high THC levels and powerful, potent buds which some would say is a “sign of the times.”
These buds are cultivated in a way that reduces the CBD levels and increases the THC. THC (or tetrahyrdocannabinol) is the compound in cannabis that makes you feel “stoned”, although it does have some medical benefits of its own. It’s also the compound that people often pay big money for. But what about beginners – or perhaps veteran cannabis users – who desire the medicinal and relaxing effects but don’t want to be too high to function?
In the Coffeeshops of Amsterdam, as well as most dispensaries in North America, “beginner strains” feature at the bottom of the menu more and more these days. These strains contain either an equal ratio of THC to CBD or high CBD and almost zero THC. CBD is non-psychoactive which calms mind and body, but doesn’t leave you feeling confused or disoriented. Some beginners who sample stronger cannabis strains for the first time can experience anxiety and paranoia, making the experience wildly unpleasant; that’s where CBD-dominant strains come into their own.
Let’s take a closer look at five of the best cannabis strains for beginners on the market today. Some of them also available in the form of CBD flowers.
Harlequin is a delicious strain in both taste and aroma. A Sativa-dominant strain, Harlequin comes from old school landrace varieties such as Colombian Gold, Thai and Swiss Sativa landraces, and a Nepali Indica variety. Due to having high CBD levels, the effects of the THC are mitigated, resulting in a pleasant, mellow, well-rounded experience.
Sour Tsunami is another great cannabis strain that’s perfect for beginners. This strain is a 60/40 Sativa-dominant plant and is a cross between Sour Diesel, NYC Diesel, and Ferrari. With THC levels of around 10 percent and CBD at about 12 percent, this is a well-balanced strain that delivers a mild cerebral high and a comfortable sensation.
Cannatonic is another high-CBD strain, which is a 50/50 hybrid of Sativa and Indica varieties. This makes it a very balanced and pleasurable flower which has somewhat of a cult following among cannabis aficionados. With THC levels of just 6 percent, Cannatonic contains CBD anywhere from 6-17 percent. If you want ultimate relaxation and a feeling of creativity, Cannatonic is the perfect choice.
Dancehall is a favorite among reggae enthusiasts and is a delicious 60/40 Sativa-dominant hybrid. A mix of various potent Mexican and Afghani genetics, Dancehall is an uplifting strain with reasonably low THC and CBD levels. It’s really one of the best strains for beginners. The mature flowers on this plant have tempting shades of green, blue, purple, and red, with many white frosty buds to boot.
ACDC is an old school cannabis strain that is different from the others. With a very low THC level, this strain offers high levels of THC:CBD at a ration of 1:6. ACDC is a cross between Ruderalis and Cannatonic and is a 50/50 Sativa-Indica hybrid. A Cannabis Cup winner on more than one occasion, this strain is much-loved by CBD enthusiasts and those new to the world of cannabis.
There you have it. If you happen to be a beginner, green, novice, or whatever you choose to refer to your consumption habits as, keep your eyes peeled for one of the above strains.
Always keep in mind that strains turn out differently when they’re grown in different regions depending on several factors. Blue Dream – a popular strain these days as a case in point – is considered a Sativa strain by some and an Indica strain by others. Having purchased this strain personally during a visit to the holy city of Amsterdam, I was amazed to receive two totally different looking buds. The buds came from different shops, both carrying the name Blue Dream.
The best advice is to consult with budtender – whether in a Coffeeshop or licensed Dispensary to see what the freshest and best buds are at the time of your visit. Also, always trust your nose and gut feeling, as if the buds are good, they will usually look and smell good. Finally, always ensure you enjoy your cannabis in a safe environment, not when driving and with good friends who you know have your back.