Reducing Side-Effects - Why different strains affect us as they do?

Bob Chien
Bob Chien July 15, 2019

Like any plant, cannabis is chockful of many biological components. All varieties of plants have their discrete biochemistry, which is why a carrot tastes like a carrot, and never like an apple.

People have had some interesting, and sometimes quite logical, ideas about plants that no longer make sense because of our increasing knowledge. For example, tomatoes, because they are a member of the deadly nightshade family of plants, used to be torn up and burned because people thought they were poisonous, like all the other nightshades they knew at the time.

It’s a good thing we got over that because there is nothing better for a snack than a thick slice of tomato in a sandwich, covered in Miracle Whip, and heavily dosed with ground pepper. And don't try to tell any Italians that they shouldn't use tomatoes for cooking —the world needs pizzas and pasta!

Some Strains makes me Feel Bad

Absolutely true! There is any number of reasons that this might take place, and they all stem from biochemistry. Sometimes it is the amount of certain naturally occurring chemicals within the plant; sometimes, it is your biochemistry that makes a strain unsuitable for you; sometimes, it is a combination of both of these things.

The other nastier possibility is the presence of contaminants. This often happens with "ditch weed," as it's called in the trade, where proper growing conditions are not well-maintained. This can allow mold to grow that could affect those with heightened sensitivities.

Grown outdoors, it might have been treated with pesticides or other chemicals, and then not correctly cleaned before harvesting. It also may have been “doped” with other drugs, such as PCP (Phencyclidine or Angel Dust), which is always a bad idea.

Protect Yourself

The best advice is to purchase from well-known, reputable distributors. Commercial providers have a reputation to maintain, so they provide a quality product. Compared to "Mike" or "Cathy" on the street corner who will change locations when they get bad feedback, commercial providers have money invested in dispensaries, storefronts, distribution channels, provider contracts, greenhouses, farms, laboratory ratings, and so much more. They can't pull up stakes and run away, so they have to be good at their jobs!

Some Basic, Easy Chemistry

THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol [tet-rah-hy-dro-can-ah-bin-ol], is well-known as the component that "gets you high." Many people, therefore, look for a product with a significant THC component. What fewer people know is that THC is directly responsible for both the paranoia-effect and the cumulative memory loss over time.

In a misguided effort to get “higher” highs, breeders developed strains that lost their CBD, or cannabidiol [can-ah-bid-I-all] component. They knew that CBD moderated the effect of THC, so they bred it out. What they didn't realize was that CBD is neuroprotective, and antipsychotics, along with another component that works together with it for the same purpose. That one is called cannabichromene [can-na-bi-chrome-een] or CBC.

Eliminating any of the 140 different cannabinoids [can-ab-in-oids] or terpenes [tir-peens] can completely unbalance its intended effect and make you feel worse rather than better. Some DNAs are quite sensitive to different ratios of the components. You have to be selective and find the right match.


How do I know Which Strain is Right for Me?

You could settle on a good distributor whom you trust, and then try every strain they can acquire, until you find something that does the job for you. The problem is that there are over 2,000 recorded strains (at present). That could take years and thousands of dollars to test and work your way through.

“These findings are important because they suggest why some people have a very positive experience with marijuana when others have a very negative experience," Christopher Norris, one of the researchers, said in a statement about the research.

We have a better idea! The fine folks at Marigen want to shorten your journey to finding precisely the right product for you. All it takes is a DNA test and a short questionnaire.

Utilizing data science, we examine one of the largest, most comprehensive marijuana strain databases in the world to find your match. By aligning your genetic markers and your objectives, we can identify the ideal strains to achieve your goals, with the best effect and the fewest unwanted side-effects.

Order one of our testing kits today, and have your results in just a few short weeks. Stop guessing and let Science work for you!

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