Cannabis 101: Why THC % Isn’t the Only Number to Know

When you’re just starting to investigate the world of medical cannabis, you may feel like you’re being hit with a lot of information at once. Between strains, delivery methods, and percentages of THC and other cannabinoids, the simple question of how to buy marijuana quickly becomes, well, not so simple. 

It’s natural, then, to focus on a single factor. And for many of us, it’s the percentage of THC that catches our attention. While this is an important number, it’s by no means the only one. At Seed, we strongly believe that an educated consumer is a healthy consumer, and that’s what we want to help you be! With that in mind, here’s a quick guide to help you determine the most important attributes for any given cannabis.

How to Buy Marijuana: THC Percentages

You’ve probably heard of THC before. It’s the most common cannabinoid—what some like to call the major “active ingredient” in cannabis—and it’s the one responsible for marijuana’s psychoactive “high.” It follows, then, that a higher percentage of THC equals the greater psychoactive effect. This is true, but it’s far from the only factor to consider.

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CBD Percentages

CBD is the second-most-common cannabinoid. It’s psychoactive, too, but in a very different way the THC. Though some people don’t notice any effect at all, CBD can provide a mild, energizing cerebral buzz. In fact, it helps mitigate THC’s psychoactivity, among other synergistic effects.

This is a big clue as to how to understand any given cannabis product. In general, the higher percentage of CBD, the less of a psychoactive “high” it will impart. What’s more, because CBD and THC work together in other ways, cannabis products with a more balanced ratio of the two cannabinoids will tend to impart more powerful medical benefits. 

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Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course. If you’re interested in cannabis for sleep support, for instance, you may find that the full-body relaxation imparted by high-THC cannabis is more effective than one containing more CBD. But as we’ll explore in a moment, there’s no “one-size-fits-all” way to use cannabis!

THC and CBD aren’t the only cannabinoids, though. Over the next few months, we’ll be talking about others like CBN and CBG, as well as diving into terpenes. Together, all these components come together to create a unique cannabis experience.

Sativas and Indicas

Here’s another factor to consider. Broadly speaking, cannabis is classified into one of two categories—sativa and indica—or a hybrid, or blend of the two. And while some researchers argue these labels have limited use, we find that they’re helpful in guiding us towards better-educated cannabis usage. Here’s how they work.

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Generally speaking, sativa strains (or sativa-dominant hybrid strains) have an energizing, uplifting effect. Many of us find them well-suited to daytime use, where they provide gentle cerebral stimulation and relief of symptoms like anxiety, chronic pain, and fatigue without inducing sleepiness or fogginess.

By comparison, indica strains (or indica-dominant hybrid strains) tend to impart a heavier, body-centered relaxing effect. While they can make us feel sleepy or drowsy, they’re just the thing for addressing symptoms such as sore or aching muscles, insomnia, nausea, and loss of appetite.

How to Buy Marijuana: A Personal Choice

As we hinted earlier, there’s one more important factor to consider when choosing a cannabis product. While information such as THC and CBD percentages and sativa or indica tendencies can help guide us, at the end of the day, everyone reacts to cannabis a little bit differently. 

For some, narrowing in on a product that addresses your specific symptoms and goals can involve a little trial and error. If you accept that the process may involve a bit of experimentation, you’ll set yourself up for greater success in the long run. Remember: Our team is on hand and more than happy to answer any questions that arise. We’re here for you, and we’re excited to begin this journey with you!

To get started, find your nearest Tulsa dispensary.

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