In our journey into the cannabis world, we face a critical question: “How do I choose the right cannabis strain?” For beginners, this question can feel daunting. But, not to worry! In this blog post, we’ll explore the art of selecting the right cannabis strain. From distinguishing Indica and Sativa strains to understanding terpenes and cannabinoid profiles, we’ll provide the knowledge needed for informed choices. 

What is a Cannabis Strain?

A cannabis strain, also known as a cultivar, refers to a specific variety of the cannabis plant, distinguished by its unique characteristics and properties. You can think of it as the “fingerprint” of a particular cannabis plant. Strains occur naturally, but they can also be developed by breeders to enhance specific features of the plant, such as yield, aroma, potency, and the balance of cannabinoids, which we’ll get into later.

Understanding Cannabis Strains

In a previous blog, we talked about what culivars are and why they matter. As a reminder, a cultivar, also known as a ‘strain’, is like the fingerprint of a particular cannabis plant. It refers to the unique combination of genetics, which results in distinct characteristics, including the plant’s appearance, aroma, taste, and effects when consumed.

Strain Types

Cannabis strains generally fall into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Each has its own personality, so to speak, and choosing the right one is essential to tailoring your cannabis experience to your preferences. Think of indica as your go-to to slow down, sativa as your creativity enhancer, and hybrid as a mixture between the two. It’s important to note that almost all modern cannabis strains are hybrids, but the terms “sativa” and “indica” are still used to describe strains that mirror the effects of landrace strains that are 100% sativa or indica.

  • Indica: Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects, often described as providing a “body high.” These strains typically have a higher CBD content, which contributes to their soothing qualities, but this isn’t always the case. Indica strains are commonly used in the evening or before bed as they’re thought to help reduce stress, relieve pain, and promote deeper sleep. They can be a popular choice for those looking to unwind after a long day or manage physical discomfort.


  • Sativa: Sativa strains are recognized for their uplifting and energizing effects, with many consumers describing the experience as a “head high.” These strains typically have a higher THC content, which contributes to their stimulating qualities. Sativa strains are commonly used in the daytime, given their potential to enhance creativity, increase focus, and boost mood. They can be go-to strains for those seeking to elevate their energy levels, spark artistic inspiration, or combat fatigue.


  • Hybrid: Hybrid strains are bred for a combination of sativa and indica strains to offer a balanced mix of effects. These strains aim to capture the best aspects of their parent strains, such as an energy boost from a sativa and the pain-relieving effects of an indica. They are particularly popular for their versatility, providing tailored experiences that can range from mild and balanced to more dominant in uplifting or sedative effects, making them suitable for a wide range of needs and preferences.


Finding the Right Cannabis Strains: Identifying Your Consumption Goals & Needs

As a beginner, before you embark on your cannabis journey, it’s crucial to ask yourself: What are your goals and needs? Understanding your reasons for using cannabis will play a significant role in selecting the perfect strain.

Are you seeking relaxation after a long day, relief from chronic pain, a burst of creativity, or an energy boost for a busy afternoon? These are just a few of the goals people have when using cannabis, and the good news is that there’s likely a strain out there that aligns with what you’re looking for!

It’s like being in a relationship: its success and overall health greatly depends on your ability to understand your needs.

Key Factors to Consider

Now that you’ve clarified your goals, let’s delve into the key factors to consider when choosing a cannabis strain. Two primary elements come into play: THC and CBD content.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. If you’re looking for that euphoric high, strains with higher THC levels might be your go-to. However, be mindful of overdoing it, especially if you’re new to cannabis. Start low and go slow.

On the other hand, CBD (cannabidiol) is non-psychoactive and renowned for its therapeutic properties. It can provide relief from anxiety, pain, and inflammation without the “high” associated with THC. Strains with a balanced THC/CBD ratio are excellent choices for beginners looking for a milder experience.

Cannabis terpenes concept with Marijuana bud lemons grapefruit leafs and pine cones

Terpenes are also vital. These are aromatic compounds responsible for the unique scents and flavors of each strain. Think of them as the agents that give cannabis its distinct personality and therapeutic benefits.

Furthermore, it’s worth exploring the broader cannabinoid profile. Beyond THC and CBD, there are other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and THC-A, each with its own potential benefits. Understanding the synergy between these compounds can help you make a more informed choice.

  • CBN (cannabinol): CBN is known for its sedative effects and is often associated with strains that induce relaxation and sleep. It’s a result of THC degradation, so aged or improperly stored cannabis can have higher CBN levels.

various weed and marijuana consumption methods left to right

Lastly, think about your preferred method of consumption. Different strains may work better with specific methods, such as smoking, vaping, or consuming edibles. Keep this in mind when making your selection.

Finding Your Perfect Cannabis Strain Right Here at Zenbarn Farms – Waterbury’s Premier Dispensary

Here at Zenbarn Farms, our full commitment is to assist you in navigating your cannabis journey with confidence. From our carefully curated selection of beginner-friendly strains to our dedicated and knowledgeable staff, we’re here to guide you toward finding your perfect strain.

While it’s inevitable that finding your favorite strains will be a process of experimentation, with each visit to Zenbarn Farms, you’ll come closer to uncovering the strain that resonates with you. 

So, take your time, enjoy the exploration, and rest assured that your new favorite strain is just around the corner from being found. Be sure to check out our online dispensary menu & Happy Discovering!

Be sure to stay in touch! Whether it’s by reaching out in a DM via Instagram or sending us a tweet over on Twitter/X, we want to hear from you!

*Always consult a physician before making any changes to your health or fitness regimen.*