Weed, but with CBD
May 18, 2021 10:16 AM   Subscribe

Have you smoked/vaped any of the newer high-CBD pot strains? How do you feel after you smoke it, relative to smoking high-THC weed?

I'm also interested in what seem like the two different types of high-CBD cannabis: the type without appreciable THC, and the type with THC but an equal or higher amount of CBD.
posted by OmieWise to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Buddy! I have been experimenting with high CBD weed (and mixing a high CBD weed into my other weeds just a little bit). Here is what we have discovered (obviously, YMMV):

Low THC (like, negligible) means we feel nothing. It needs to have at least some (5-10%) THC to feel "high".

High CBD... actually makes us perceptibly more "high" but less intensely. It is hard to describe one's feelings, but the best way we've been able to explain it is that its like when we used to smoke back in the 90s.

I used to imagine that my feeling/perception of being high had changed because I was older, more experienced smoker, whatever. But now I think its because these new strains I've been smoking in the past 5-10 years are getting maxed for THC (pushing 25% in some cases!) and lack all those other nice terpenes that "round out" the high feeling.

We are now buying a 10% CBD flower just to mix in with almost everything we smoke. Usually about 20% of the CBD, up to 30 depending how strong the other stuff is.

TL;DR - I highly (heh heh) recommend getting the kind with THC and an equal amount of CBD.
posted by dazedandconfused at 11:08 AM on May 18, 2021 [9 favorites]

Best answer: If 1:1 counts for high CBD, I absolutely feel a difference. In terms of the high, I get more of a feeling of "all is right with the world" than I do with high THC strands. I also find the 1:1 results in far less of a "burnt" feeling afterward or brain fog.
posted by coffeecat at 11:41 AM on May 18, 2021 [7 favorites]

Best answer: This all comports with my experience: for any strain that has both compounds in abundance, I get a more gentle, mellow, relaxed high. THC only gets me higher faster, and a faster more euphoric (but potentially more edgy and anxious) effect. Straight up CBD in any form with no THC might as well be sugar. No effect I can discern.

The science behind all of this is getting better by the day, but as a grower and now breeder for a while, I’m never quite sure the chemistry proclaimed by dispensaries is all there is to know. Your best bet is (IMHO) to identify strains from specific growers (likely using clone lines for absolute consistency) that produce the effects you want and stick with it. Or grow the strain yourself.

The latter gives you much more control over effects, and here is why I think so. I’ve been growing for a while, multiple strains and clone lines. The effects of plants that are genetically identical can vary *dramatically* based on two factors you cannot control or measure directly for with commercial product: when you harvest, and how (and how long) you cure. I’m talking the same bud that will lock you to your couch when freshly harvested that becomes a heady euphoric high energy smoke three months of curing later. Or a little less dramatically, I often harvest in stages. Early and late harvests from the same exact plant can have remarkably different flavors and effects. Unsurprisingly plants change smells and appearance as they ripen. There are a dozen major indicators of ripeness and no two serious growers agree on them all. Smoking some fresh off the plant is the best guide.

Some of that will be variations in levels of THC (all sorts) and CBD, that might show up in an assay. But I suspect there’s more factors at work. Not the least of which is individual biochemistry.
posted by spitbull at 3:04 PM on May 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Also just to mention you’ll save a bloody damn fortune. And be absolutely sure of the purity of your product.

And my friends would mostly agree you can grow *better* than you can buy (with exceptions of course) if you put your mind to it and invest in doing it right.
posted by spitbull at 3:13 PM on May 18, 2021

By the way the reason growers argue over ripeness indicators — color of trichomes, color of pistils, color of leaves, firmness of flowers, smell or stickiness or amount of resin, etc. — is precisely because they are targeting different effects or they’re testing the most reliable way (which means getting past the chlorophyll nastiness of a freshly picked and overnight-dried flower or two) for what they like. Sticking with a grower whose product gives you consistent effects is key. Varies widely by state market and region.

Proper handling of the product at every single stage of the chain is also a factor in psychotropic effects. If you’re buying commercial, buy from dispensaries that care.

It’s an agricultural product, not a mass-produced standardized pharmaceutical (yet). More like wine than aspirin.
posted by spitbull at 3:55 PM on May 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sorry to pepper the thread but this is my thing: modern grow ops and the dispensaries that they supply consider time to be money. Flowers are harvested as soon as they are ready on average across a plant (which varies tremendously from top to bottom no matter how you compensate with pruning and lighting because hormones control it, which some modern grow ops mess around with, which yikes). They do not want to cure their product for months in a hot market where time and space and labor and electricity costs are money left on the table. Notice how most of what you get from dispensaries is green colored? And some people — increasing numbers — like that and think that is what weed is supposed to be (if they don’t consume extracts that bear only distant hints of their biomass origins). And I like greener stuff too, sometimes.

But curing is its own art and science. And if you have months to work with a very slow cure can dramatically alter the effects of any strain I’ve worked with, as well as its flavor and smell. Just like tobacco, time does interesting things. But it is labor intensive and hard to be precise about curing. You can sometimes still further cure dispensary product that is very fresh and moist. But if it’s ever been fully dried, or vacuum packed, curing is pretty much over, and aging sets in.

Learning to cure properly has been a revelation to me, despite 43 years of loving the stuff and many years of being a connoisseur of sorts. It’s similar to wine, which was also once a bit too much of a passion (thanks weed!). Time does things to it and some of them are amazing and some are terrible, but the commercial industry growing by leaps and bounds mostly doesn’t have time for that artisanal level of craft.

Instead they go for mass scale predictability: cloned strains in climate controlled greenhouses (with huge carbon footprints by the way). Everything is controlled, from CO2 and temp and humidity and of course light levels to precise moisture levels in the medium. Nutrients are scientifically metered and modulated. Science is everything. Yield and turnover are the goals. Consistency is the aim. Makes sense for a consumer product that is regulated like a drug or alcohol.

I don’t want that product, personally. But that’s just me.
posted by spitbull at 4:15 PM on May 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Uh, I consume extracts that bear only distant hints of their biomass origins, so take this with a grain of salt I guess.

But for me the easiest difference to put into words is that CBD changes how easy it is to be a certain amount of high. On THC alone, being high is A Challenge for me — like, it takes work to stay present and positive and to keep myself having a good experience. On 1:1, I can get equally high, and have many of the same subjective effects, but somehow it's less of a fascinating challenge and more of a thing I can keep up with without trying.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:50 PM on May 18, 2021

I make and consume extracts too and they have their uses. For sure. One is very specifically for precise dosage control and figuring out what works for you as far as cannabinoids go.

But legalization is transforming weed from an agricultural to a chemically extracted product, and that’s to me like only having hard seltzer as a choice to drink. I like wine too much to just filter out the alcohol and be done with it.

However i predict we will learn that the discourse of the modern dispensary label is barely scientific. More than two cannabinoids are relevant to the effects of the stuff. And the usual dispensary bullshit about indica/sativa “dominant” strains is a naive view of the cultivars. I’ve grown Sativa-dominant strains that put you to sleep, and Indicas they will help you stay awake all night and finish your novel. The pseudoscience of the current moment is thick. Along with a ridiculous tsunami of bullshit medical claims.

It’s beautiful as a plant. And working with the plant holds deep mysteries that are not scientifically resolved yet to my satisfaction, and I follow the science like a dog with a bone. A big fat bone.
posted by spitbull at 1:47 AM on May 19, 2021 [2 favorites]

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