OVER THE PAST DECADE, we’ve heard all about how much stronger cannabis strains are today than they were in the 70s and 80s. And while we have seen growers produce strains in the 20-30% ranges, the fact remains that on average THC in most plants will range from 12-18%.
I witness many people selecting strains based on THC levels alone. For some, especially those with long time experience, high thresholds to pain or those who just want a heavier cerebral high, this can be the right approach. But we always educate and advocate for balance of cannabinoids and terpene profiles for medicinal purposes, as we understand how they work symbiotically to achieve maximum effectiveness. We’ve seen strains of 16% or lower be more effective and longer lasting than strains in the 20-30+% range.
“As a 30-year cannabis smoker who never developed a high tolerance, low THC options (especially when the c-cannabinoids are balanced) have been the best answer for me. As a teenager of the 70’s, I smoked a lot of heavy sativa strains and always felt “stoned, couch locked or experienced extreme paranoia or just feeling not in control”. Over the past five years, I’ve learned that strains low in THC work best for my body and my mind. I can get the energy I need or just the right amount of relaxation to help me ease into sleep without the negative paranoia side effect”. -Robbin
Here are 10 reasons to consider a low THC strain:
- For those who are just coming back to using Cannabis as medicine, or for those who are just beginning to experiment, low THC strains are a nice option, especially for anyone nervous about “being high”. When you find the right amount of “high”, it’s a good place to be.
- Take the edge off pain and anxiety, while keeping a relatively clear head during the day.
- Lower THC allows for medicating during the day for greater pain relief without being overly sedated, especially when using indica strains, which generally bring more relief to the body.
- Sativa lovers can enjoy the energy and euphoria without increased risk of paranoia or losing clarity of focus by being too spacey.
- Those with high anxiety levels find lower THC, combined with 10-20mg of CBD daily as a supplement provides very effective and fast relief.
- If you are battling depression, many sativa strains can provide the right amount of uplifting euphoria you seek. Delivering it in low doses of THC throughout the day can help stabilize your mood while maintaining a functional and productive pace.
- Cannabinoids work symbiotically, putting the right ratios of THC and c-cannabinoids into your system will yield the best results over the long term.
- If you don’t enjoy the head high that comes from THC, and CBD isn’t delivering enough relief, a low THC strain may be the answer.
- Combining low THC with high CBD strains, you can create ratios that work best for your unique circumstances (I strongly encourage blending strains, but that’s another topic).
- As THC can often be responsible for appetite increase, or “the munchies”, lower THC may produce less of an appetite stimulator, while still inducing the relief you seek.
- Low THC strains are ideal for sex or intimacy. That’s because THC not only releases dopamine in the brain — causing the “high” — it replicates the effects of a naturally occurring neurochemical called anandamide. Too much THC can have you contemplating the universe or knock you out. Having just the right amount can enhance your mood, quiet your mind and heighten your tactile senses for greater pleasure.
- For those who enjoy the ritual of smoking, you can take more inhales without becoming completely annihilated.
No matter what you choose, always start with a small inhale (or sip) and wait 10 minutes to assess how the strain makes you feel. If it is too intense, you’ll be back to normal within an hour. If it isn’t enough, simply take another puff or two. Once you’ve dialed in the dose that’s right for you, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Robbin Lynn has spent the past decade specializing in helping people understand and navigate all the latest methods for realizing the maximum benefits cannabis has to offer. She is a Certified Cannabis Specialist (CCS) and completes annual coursework in clinical cannabinoid medicine from the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. Robbin’s main expertise of the cannabis plant is from a biochemical point of view: what compounds are present and how they interact with the human endocannabinoid system. She is expert in CBD and highly skilled in cannabinoid therapies and products, their safe use and proper dosing and she is passionate about sharing that knowledge. Through helping more than 5,000 people (most over the age of 50), she imparts cannabis knowledge in simple to understand terms to facilitate safe use for maximizing desired results. An educator at heart, Robbin challenges herself to learn something new every single day. She is a member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, International Association for Cannabis as Medicine, American Cannabis Nurses Association, Association of Cannabis Professionals, Americans for Safe Access, NORML and Oceanside Advocates for Safe Access. Prior to 2008, Robbin spent her career as a marketing executive building start-up technology businesses in San Diego county. In her spare time, she enjoys spending quality time with her husband, flying with her son and curling up with her cat Joe to reading her favorite science fiction stories or the latest cannabinoid research.
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