5 Ways to Decipher Different Strains of Marijuana

With weed now legally available all over Canada, adult users have a huge variety of choices when it comes to cannabis strains. From relaxing strains that help with pain to stimulating strains that boost your mood, there’s a massive selection available and users may have a hard time differentiating between them. However, when it comes to picking the best strain for you, there are a few ways to decipher different strains of marijuana.

While all marijuana strains come from the same species of plant, they can differ significantly in their appearance, their aroma, and the kind of effects they give. Knowing how to differentiate between them can help you make the right buying choices. Here are five ways to decipher different strains of marijuana.

1. Indica, Sativa or Hybrid?

No matter whether you buy your marijuana from a store or online, strains are usually divided into three broad categories. Indica, sativa, and hybrid strains come from different types of plants, and users find they get different effects from each of these types of strains.

Indica strains are known for delivering a strong, relaxing body high. If you need something to help you relax and unwind at the end of the day, you’re best off choosing an indica strain. They’re also generally the best strains for tackling symptoms such as chronic pain, migraines, and stress.

Sativa strains will give you a much more stimulating high. While you’ll still get some soothing physical effects, the high is usually much more head-focused. Users usually report feeling happy, creative, motivated, and mentally focused. Sativa strains are also particularly useful for helping with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Hybrid strains are made by crossbreeding indica strains with sativa strains. You can find these in many different ratios. They can lean towards indica effects, sativa effects or give an even balance of both. As such, these strains are usually very versatile, giving you a great body and head high as well as providing a range of medical benefits.

THC and CBD Levels

2. THC and CBD Levels

Another way to decipher different strains of marijuana is by the content of cannabinoids each strain contains. Cannabis can contain all kinds of cannabinoids, such as CBN, CBG, and CBC. However, the two most important to look for are THC and CBD.

THC is the sole psychoactive cannabinoid found in cannabis plants. If you want to get high, you’ll want a strain with high THC levels. Usually, strains range from around 15-25% THC, although they can go even higher or lower. A strain higher in THC will usually give you a much more potent high.

CBD is non-psychoactive but has become incredibly popular due to its medical benefits. CBD can help reduce pain, anxiety, stress, seizures, and a lot more without making you high. When combined with THC, high-CBD strains usually offer a milder and more manageable high. Some strains are now bred for high CBD levels and these are particularly popular amongst medical users.

3. Taste and Smell

No matter whether you buy an indica, sativa or hybrid strain, they can still differ greatly in their taste and smell. Different cannabis strains each have different levels of terpenes. Their terpene profile can determine the strain’s aroma, taste, and even some of its effects.

Many strains have more of a fruity or citrus smell. Many users prefer these kinds of strains to get a sweeter taste when they smoke or vape them. Other cannabis strains are more earthy and dank. Some strains even have hints of cheese, coffee or chocolate.

Some strains are easily recognizable by their pungent aroma or delicious taste. With so many strains to choose from, some users even make their decision based on how much they enjoy the flavor.

Marijuana Taste and Smell

4. Appearance

Another one of the differentiating factors in each marijuana strain is their appearance. Although marijuana buds may look the same to some users, a closer look can actually reveal quite a lot about each strain.

For instance, the appearance of the trichomes can tell you how much THC a strain contains. These are the small, crystal-like bulbs you can see on the end of its hairs. Cannabis strains can also have many different colors- some hairs are orange, purple or yellow. Sometimes the color can be a dead giveaway- think Purple Haze.

The appearance of a strain can also tell you about its quality. AAAAA grade strains are usually resinous and full of color, whereas lower quality strains might look more washed out and dry.

5. The Effects

Many users also find that each strain has its own unique effects and benefits. For instance, some indica strains are known to make users feel highly sedated whereas others can make users feel mildly relaxed but still alert. Some sativa strains can make you feel more social while others may make you feel more introspective. Hybrid strains can also differ significantly, especially due to the different ratios of indica to sativa.

Medical benefits can also differ. While all strains of cannabis usually offer the same general benefits, some are better than others for certain symptoms. For instance, users usually find indica strains much more useful for things like insomnia and severe pain.

It can be hard to know how a strain will make you feel before you try it, and some users may even experience different effects. Some users simply figure out their favorites via trial and error. However, when you browse strains online, you can see product descriptions and user reviews to help guide your choice.

Marijuana Effects


Marijuana comes in many different strains, and more unique strains are bred all the time. However, while all kinds of strains can be enjoyable and beneficial, there are many ways to decipher different strains. 

Some strains are known for their powerful effects whereas others are known for their unique smell or appearance. Not only will these properties help you decipher different strains of marijuana, but they’ll also help you make the best buying choice for you. You can check out a range of different marijuana strains available to buy online at BudExpressNow.ca.


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