The legalization of cannabis has opened a lot of doors for people who may have been curious about pot, but never wanted to break any laws. It’s easier than ever to walk into a dispensary, pick out the type of weed you want to smoke, and be on your way.
If you’re new to the world of cannabis, your first visit to a dispensary might be overwhelming. There is not just “one type of pot.” Budtenders can offer you all types of funny names for different types of highs. How do you know where to start? What if you want to experiment with cannabis, but you don’t want to get high?
This guide will help you answer all of those questions. There are many types of cannabis plants. Once you understand the different categories of cannabis strains and plants, you will be able to make a more informed decision at the dispensary.
Cannabis: Hemp vs. Marijuana
Cannabis is a genus of plants in the family Cannabaceae. It’s an umbrella term - underneath this umbrella is hemp and marijuana. These are both cannabis plants, but they have very different reputations. Hemp is a revered plant. Its fibers are used in rope and clothing. Hemp seeds are considered a superfood. You can even buy hemp milk at health food stores. Marijuana, on the other hand, was demonized and criminalized for decades. (Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level.) It’s used primarily for ingesting and getting high.
What’s the difference? One chemical compound called THC.
THC is one of over 100 active ingredients in the cannabis plant. It’s the only one that is intoxicating. When THC hits your brain, either through smoking, vaping, or ingesting marijuana, you will start to feel “stoned.”
Some cannabis plants have more THC content than others. If