10 Best Cannabis Strains for Beginners
When beginners start as teenagers, they are at the mercy of peer “intelligence.” Buddies tell them what they should try and what they’ll enjoy.
The fact is those other teens only know what their dealer is telling them. Buying on the black market, they don’t have choices. At best, they are cost-driven, buying what they can afford.
There’s not much hope of changing adolescent thinking. But, as legalization opens new markets to new demographics, more adults will be making the move towards the pleasure and benefits of cannabis.
10 Best Cannabis Strains for Beginners
The best scenario has knowledgeable cannabis users and friends introducing you to cannabis in a social setting where they might answer your “how to” questions. Or, if you’re prepared, you can make a list of questions an experienced budtender will answer.
But, here are some recommendations the “experts” make:
1. Blue Dream: At one time or another, any cannabis smoker has used Blue Dream. It is mild and undistinguished in many ways. Blue Dream is a Sativa-dominant hybrid that offers a mild euphoria and relaxed body.
It can relieve pain and depression but improve focus and creativity. Its moderate THC level (17%-24%) level hits early and hard with a creative rush. It is used regularly by patients who want pain relief and its blueberry taste and aroma.
2. AC/DC: The name is just counter-culture enough to attract cannabis newcomers. With a high CBD and low THC content, AC/DC relaxes cannabis users enough to bring them back for more. There’s no head high here, but it will relax and relieve pain.
The CBD: THC ratio runs 20: 1, so there are no psychoactive results. The skunk and earth tastes and aroma will turn off some beginners. But, the strong impact on the body can leave you calm and happy.
3. Harlequin: This is another strain on just about everyone’s top ten. High in CBD and low in THC, Harlequin offers a smooth relaxation with little or no psychoactive effect. A 75 percent Sativa, it relieves pain without sedation.
With its CBD: THC at 5: 2, Harlequin allows focus and clarity despite its calm. Beginners also like its touch of mango in taste and aroma.
4. Jack Herer: This one should be part of every newcomer’s education. You can introduce cannabis novices to Jack’s history and meaningful role in contemporary cannabis history. This strain has raises the barre on THC content, still mild enough to avoid the most threatening side effects.
Jack Herer offers a real but moderate psychoactive buzz. This may be more in line with what beginners expect — without being too much. There’s no panic or paranoia, but there is an energetic creative rush. Jack Herer is promoted for treatment of neurological and mental disorders like PTSD.
5. Plushberry: Here’s another starter with some but not much THC. Plushberry is an Indica-dominant hybrid for relaxation without sedation. But, some tests show a Sativa dominance.
Flush with the taste of blueberries and blackberries, Plushberry. You may also taste or smell its Black Cherry Soda parentage. It has 15 to 25 percent THC, but its CBD content calms and controls stress and anxiety. It’s a beautiful plant.
6. Cannatonic: The CBD: THC ratio comes in at 2: 1. That makes it a top choice for medical problems and first-time cannabis users. It produces a lemony aroma with full-body melt experience.
You can use it throughout the day without losing focus on your work as Cannatonic treats your chronic pain. But, users may wonder where the joy is in its calming effects.
7. Hindu Kush: This one is more what a beginner might expect. Earthy and musky, it fights anxiety, nausea, pain, and stress.
More potent than the others listed here, Hindu Kush is a pure Indica with a content that may cause coughing and dry throat. The Indica affects mind and body quickly with a heavy sedation preceding munchies and euphoria. It may leave you giggly and couch-locked for up to three hours.
8. Master Kush: This landrace owes its heritage to the same regions as the Hindu Kush. Earthy aroma and totally relaxing, Master Kush is 90 percent Indica with up to 24 percent THC and one percent CBD.
Winner of two Cannabis Cup awards, it has an earthy smell and taste with a touch of lemon citrus. Master Kush is totally relaxing with enough sedation to put insomniacs to sleep.
9. Girl Scout Cookies: GSC produces the effects beginners expect. There are a euphoric response and general body relaxation that come from its high THC (up to 28%) and solid CBD (1%).
Hugely popular, GSC taste and smell earthly sweet. The long-lasting effects relieve anxiety, depression, and stress. It’s a favorite of new users who tend to stick with it.
10. Trainwreck: This potent strain offers a challenge to new cannabis users. It tests at Sativa (80%) and Indica (20%) and 18%-25% THC.
This combination packs a wallop, especially for the inexperienced. You’ll feel creative and euphoric. But, it also relieves PTSD, pain, and stress.
Best Cannabis Strains for Beginners
Naming the “best” of anything makes some assumptions. And, the central assumption here is that beginners want to experience what they perceive as the excitement of cannabis consumption. They’ve heard legends about the psychoactive trip that marijuana has promised but are advised to ease their way into that.
You assume that the average newcomer is surprised by the level of sedation. And, you assume that cannabis novices are not looking for heavy sedation. So, this list has been ordered to serve to those assumptions.
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The best cannabis strains for beginners
In many instances, a bad first experience may be enough for someone to tragically banish cannabis from his or her life forever. Typically the reason for doing so has to do with the anxious, paranoid side effects associated with THC, but what first-timers might not realize is there are a few ways to minimize those unpleasant feelings. For those beginners and low-tolerance consumers, we’ve compiled three basic tips, tricks, and recommendations for finding that perfect first-time experience.
Find a low-THC, high-CBD cannabis strain
Unlike THC, CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid with relaxing properties. CBD can help counteract the anxiety associated with THC, so it’s a perfect starting point for new consumers. You’ll often find strains with equal parts THC and CBD , but some contain almost no THC at all. Here are some of the most commonly found and widely embraced CBD varieties.
CBD-dominant strains are easy to find on Leafly—simply look for the strain flowers composed of circles. Balanced CBD/THC strains are made up of both circles and diamonds.
Delivering a balance of THC and CBD, Harlequin is an even-keel strain with only gently euphoric effects. The CBD acts as training wheels for the THC, allowing you to cruise without fear or anxiety.
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It’s okay that you don’t want to get high. A CBD-dominant strain like Sour Tsunami delivers only trace levels of THC, meaning you won’t feel high like you would if smoking traditional high-THC varieties. Washing away stress, tension, and anxiety doesn’t mean you have to get stoney baloney.
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Pennywise is a balanced strain that delivers an approachable dose of THC wrapped in CBD. With balanced levels of both cannabinoids, you can ease into a euphoric experience slowly and with extra control.
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ACDC is another great cannabis strain for new consumers who are THC-shy. Let CBD be your parachute into deep relaxation as peace and clarity fall lightly on the mind.
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Start slow with THC-dominant cannabis strains
Let’s start with the first and most obvious piece of advice: slowly ease into a THC-dominant cannabis strain, as they’re more likely to cause anxiety and paranoia. Settle yourself into a comfortable place and start with a low dose, maybe even just a single small hit if it’s your first time.
While many strains today tend to stretch toward a THC ceiling of 20-25%, those with less than 15% THC typically provide a less overwhelming experience. Keep in mind you’ll need lab-tested cannabis to know how much THC a flower contains, as amounts can vary between strains and even individual harvests.
What works for one beginner may not be the best for the next, but the below recommendations are meant to be starting points for those looking for a more balanced and mellow experience. These strains tend to deliver a more gentle euphoric experience, but once again, check the testing information specific to the item you’re interested in buying. If it has a THC content that exceeds 20%, chances are that strain may be too potent for your purposes.
To find THC-dominant strains on Leafly, look for strain flowers composed of diamonds. Longer diamonds mean more THC, so try to find strains with shorter diamonds (for less THC).
In the unspoken popularity contest of cannabis, Blue Dream is the undisputed champ. This strain leads you into a mellow experience with the sweet taste of mixed berries, and leaves you smiling contently as tranquil effects wash over the mind and body.
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If you’re looking for a gentle lift of the mood, Jack Herer may be the strain for you. Its warm, invigorating euphoria settles in with ease, and allows you to delight in your own sharpened senses without overstimulation.
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Cinex is a bright and colorful strain that brings sunny-day vibes to every exhale. Few strains make better companions in social circles than Cinex, whose lighthearted qualities bring out laughter and curiosity with ease.
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God’s Gift is best known for bestowing dreamy, meditative effects that allow you to sink deeply into relaxation. With the exhale, you can feel stress and tension melting away. Take plenty of time to let these effects fully settle before breathing in more of God’s Gift; too much THC can derail a pleasant, blissful state of mind.
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Cannabis delivery methods for beginners
Our parting advice to you aspiring cannabis champions: be mindful of the delivery method . The strain is only half of the story; smoking, vaporizing, and ingesting can all affect your overall experience. There’s no right or wrong choice here for beginners, but there are nuances between them that should be considered.
Most people begin cannabis with smoking, which has its benefits and drawbacks. One advantage smoking offers is dose-control–it’s easy to take a small amount, and the acute effects usually subside after 20 to 30 minutes. But if you can recall the burning sensation in your throat the first time you took a hit, you can imagine that smoking may also turn some folks off entirely.
Vaporizing may be the most ideal delivery method for newbies. It’s easy on the throat and lungs, dosing is easy, and the flower’s flavors are usually better preserved. Portable oil-filled vaporizer pens are also a great place to begin since you can take a hit as needed, and there’s no complicated assembly involved.
Edibles are a fantastic way to get around smoking cannabis. However, if you’re new to the game, start slow and dose low; the effects can take up to an hour or two to kick in, and they tend to be a lot more intense and long-lasting than inhaled cannabis. Novice consumers should start with a small dose–maybe just 5mg–and work their way up to the standard 10-20mg doses.
Topicals are cannabis-infused lotions and balms that absorb transdermally for relief of pain, inflammation, and other localized symptoms. Most of them won’t get you high at all, so topicals are highly recommended to patients who want to try medical cannabis without all the cerebral hassle.
Here are three basic tips, tricks, and recommendations for finding that perfect first-time cannabis experience for inexperienced or low-tolerance marijuana consumers.