Shopping for cannabis based on your conditions is not easy as you would think or want it to be. Why? Cannabis is dependent on your body - your endocannabinoid system. How many receptors do you have? How much can your body absorb? Questions I don’t know the answers too, and you don’t either, but that shouldn’t stop you from using cannabis.
Cannabis, like many pharmaceuticals and even with alcohol, you start small and track how you feel before consuming more. Well, maybe not with alcohol - for some, that poison sneaks up on you, and you can’t track shit on alcohol, Lol, But I digress.
Learning to shop by your conditions starts with some education and then preparing for your visit.
Please remember, I’m not a doctor of any kind. These are things I wish I had known before I started using, but that has helped changed how I shop for and consume cannabis. I think they are great tips for silent users who are timid or unsure around a dispensary.
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get started on shopping for strains by conditions.
Like I said above, shopping by condition means being armed with education and then preparing for your dispensary visit.
List out your conditions
I’m a big pen and paper person, so pull out a piece of paper and write down all the things you are trying to use cannabis to treat.
Some examples could include irritable bowel syndrome, depression, anxiety, cancer, stress, insomnia, or chronic pain, to name a few.
What are your symptoms?
Next, write down on the same sheet what symptoms each of these conditions are causing you.
I will use irritable bowel syndrome as my example. It’s a real struggle for me, and cannabis helps me manage the symptoms quite well.
So the symptoms I experience with IBS are nausea, stomach cramping, diarrhea, constipation, the feeling of needing to go but can’t (and that can happen with #2), no desire to eat, to wanting to eat all the worst things for me. Some would say that is because of the weed, but I assure you it’s not. I have a food addiction that I’m working on breaking - finally.
I don’t eat because I get frustrated with myself on the choices I make and the feeling that rabbit food never makes me “full” like how I’m used to feeling. So in all my smartness - I starve myself. But only for hours lol, I’m hungry! A girls gotta eat, even if it is just rabbit food.
Okay, so now you have what is wrong, and what symptoms do you feel.
Which ones are the worst vs. manageable?
The ones I can’t stand to manage on my own are nausea, my taste issues, and being a picky eater. I dealt with being nauseated for months at a time. It was not fun. IBS was the first condition I used cannabis for. I’ve never experienced nausea so intensely before. It stemmed from the stress and foods I ate. At the time, I didn’t know, so I used cannabis. During that time, I was cleaning up my diet, but I was still not perfect...sneaking in a lot of processed foods and lying to myself about it.
Okay, now we know what condition and the symptoms you are trying to alleviate.
The Leafly Cannabis Guide
I wish I were sending you to an excellent guide that I created, but I’m not. At least not yet! For now, I use the Leafly Cannabis Guide. It’s been the best resource for me personally to find the strains that best help me.
The Leafly Cannabis Guide has strains listed by Sativa, Indica, Hybrid, effects, wellness, by terpenes, and conditions/symptoms and more.
This part will take some time because although the Leafly guide provides hundreds of strains - hundreds are not kept in each dispensary. It’s hard for me to find strains on Leafly at my dispensaries.
So the other way to find what will work for you is a reverse engineer.
Go to your dispensaries websites or Weedmaps and see what strains they have and look them up on the Leafly Cannabis Guide.
Focus on the cannabinoids and terpenes in the strains at your dispensaries. This will help you find other strains that will probably work for you.
Now the last tip I will share will, I believe, outweigh everything I just told you. When you are shopping for a strain, and you are convinced that you found that right one, your dispensary has it, you get there, and you hate the smell. DO NOT BUY IT.
The smell alone can tell you if you will like a strain or not. At least that’s what I believe.
Here’s the thing - you can do all of this, love the smell, get the strain home, and it doesn’t work. It doesn’t provide the same relief that the budtender and all the reviews said you would have. It happens, and it’s frustrating.
But don’t let that stop you. It’s like going to the doctor after 2 to 6 weeks of being forced to take a pill; then, the doctors are okay to try something else. But before that can happen, you have to be weaned off the first prescription. With cannabis - you stop. There is no withdrawal; the worst side effects can be sleepiness, too high, paranoia, or anxiety - which can be combated with CBD.
The Bonus with Cannabis
What I love about cannabis is you can mix strains to achieve or alter the effect of cannabis. On a daily bases, I combine strains of THC, CBD, and CBG to change my high, so I’m not so high, especially during the week. It helps me focus, keeps me calm, my mood elevated, stomach settled, and pain almost non-existent. I consume higher amounts of CBD and CBG with a little THC. I create an entourage effect to enhance the medicinal values, all while managing the high and my tolerance.
I recommend taking the time and researching your strains. Yes, it may suck to do all that work and find out it doesn’t work, but how amazing would it feel if you got it right. Because that happens too. I recommend to focus on what is available around you and use Leafly as a guide of how you could feel and the benefits you could receive. But have an open mind and let your nose guide you.
Let me know in the comments do you spend time researching? Or does everything seem to work for you? Have questions, submit it to Dear MariJane.