Did you know that cannabinoids are biphasic? This means the same product produces different effects depending on your dose. Too much THC may worsen pain, but the right amount will deliver you from distress. Too much CBD may leave you feeling lethargic and sleepy, while smaller hits provide more energizing returns. Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different. What works for you may not work for someone else. Once you factor in your tolerance, mood, appetite, and sleep habits, alongside other aspects of your personal chemistry, you’ll notice how different circumstances determine how you feel while consuming.
The truth is, it’s easy to dose too heavily, which can easily induce anxiety. Most of us have experienced this type of discomfort at one time or another. Just one puff of a joint can translate to 10mgs of THC, or more. That’s enough to send most people to outer space. And, we all have stories of that brownie that got us a bit too high. When it comes to consuming cannabis, finding your sweet spot isn’t always a simple process, especially with the countless forms and origins of cannabis on the market today. Luckily, there are tools available to help achieve greater results and maximize every cannabis experience.
The Releaf app encourages users to look beyond strain names and pay attention to the wide array of cannabinoids, terpenes, and ingestion methods that cannabis has to offer, while allowing you to dig deep and identify feelings that come up when trying particular cultivars. You can manage your inventory, track live sessions, and learn what works best for you for certain situations.
According to Releaf co-creator Branden Hall, there’s a lot still to be learned about the cannabis plant. “Unfortunately, we’re at the tail end of prohibition. Plants have not necessarily been bred to medical standards. They’ve been bred for what gets people the highest. There is a total lack of formal studies of pure-bred cannabis genetics––even two of the same strains from different growers can have different amounts of cannabinoids,” says Hall. The Releaf app helps push this knowledge and the cannabis conversation forward.
Strain Tracker is a handy journal dedicated to tracking personal experiences with cannabis. Broken down into easy-to-answer sections, with plenty of room for brainstorming or doodling, this tool encourages profound discoveries while keeping the tracking process easy and fun. According to Strain Tracker creator and Green Flower Media CEO Max Simon, the learning experience extends way beyond the book. “We want people to know that this Strain Tracker comes with a 100 percent free online course to help you become a Master Strain Tracker. It’s really cool to have step-by-step guidance on how to use the Strain Tracker, what to track, and to learn some advanced Strain Tracking secrets,” says Simon. With this type of support, you can learn about your unique relationship with cannabis plant medicine.
Pro tip: Add the harvest date and batch number, whenever available, to your notes. Once you’ve found a particular grower and strain you like, it’s interesting to appreciate the subtleties between grows.
The MyDx analyzer kit tests the chemical composition of cannabis while enabling users to keep track of their experiences with an app-based journal. Chairman and CEO of MyDx Daniel Yazbeck is on a mission to change what we know about cannabis. “Our vision for this first application is to empower individual consumers to test the broader chemical profile of their cannabis samples and correlate it to how it makes them feel, so they can more consistently find a strain that works for them. We believe our technology is disruptive, and consumers will benefit from greater accessibility to testing,” says Yazbeck.
Simply test a sample of your sweetest cheeba using the MyDx kit and, in five minutes, receive a summary of cannabinoids and terpenes that predicts how the sample will make you feel, as well as what symptoms it may alleviate. The experience is further personalized using the MyDx tracking journal app.
While these insightful tools can help make you aware of patterns, there may be some limitations. Many tools on the market today still subscribe to the overly simplistic model of sativa vs. indica. Others fail to embrace the dynamic interconnection between cannabis and a person’s unique chemistry and endocannabinoid system. Reading books and researching cannabis further can help strengthen your relationship with the plant. Picking up a copy of the comprehensive text Cannabis: Evolution and Ethnobotany, by professors Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin, is a great way to begin.
Note that strain names are not absolute indicators of how a plant will make you feel. The same strains can present different effects depending on how they were grown. Oftentimes, strains are mislabeled and named incorrectly. Geneticists like Phylos Bioscience and Front Range Biosciences are applying modern agricultural practices to address this. Even lab analytics aren’t always perfect measures of THC potency and cannabinoid content. So, it’s best to study the nuance of cannabis by learning to appreciate and evaluate its qualities using sight, smell, touch, taste, and hearing. Portion your edibles mindfully. Take it slow and microdose. Journal and experiment. Above all, find trustworthy sources by creating meaningful relationships with your budtenders, growers, concentrate, and edible makers.