Posted July 17, 2018 by Jana Hepbun

How to Select a Strain

Whether you are new to using cannabis in general or just new to GrowWise and medical cannabis, choosing which strain to use for your specific medical needs can be daunting. A particular variety of cannabis, each cannabis strain is unique and has varying characteristics defined by a multitude of factors. Cannabis growers crossbreed strains to create exclusive varieties that provide optimum medical benefits. Though it may be tempting to select your strain based on the name that stands out, we highly recommend choosing based on what it does, not what it is called.


Step 1: Talk to a pro

Cannabis is not a one size fits all medicine. It may be necessary to try a few strains, allowing you to discover which best suits your particular needs. To get started, we recommend talking to your doctor or visiting one of our Patient Educators. Here, you will be able to discuss everything from the benefits of various types of strains, the possible side effects, how cannabis can affect your daily routine and when you should be consuming your medication.

Important questions to ask include:

  • Will this strain make me drowsy or help me feel more energized?
  • Will this strain make me feel more relaxed or more uplifted?
  • Can I take multiple strains depending on the time of day I need to use them?
  • Will medical cannabis interfere with my other medications?
  • Should I look for a strain higher or lower in THC or CBD?
  • Do I need an indica, sativa, hybrid or high CBD strain (or a combination of multiple types)?
  • Which strains will help with nausea, fatigue, anxiety, pain, etc.? (Be specific in listing your own unique symptoms.)


Step 2: Do your research

We also recommend educating yourself on the different types of cannabis and how they may be helpful to your condition. If your doctor suggests a sativa-oriented strain for your particular symptoms, go online and read more about it. Being as informed as possible about your medical cannabis will give you confidence in your purchase, while providing much-needed insight to how the strain is specifically targeting your symptoms. GrowWise has plenty of online educational content to help you sort through the world of cannabis. And we recommend other websites as well, such as Leafly and Lift to read reviews from other patients and as well as further research. The application Strainprint is another great source for patient generated information – seeing what other patients with similar conditions to yours are using with success may help to guide your initial selection.


Step 3: Choose your strains

Many licensed producers categorize their strains by indica, sativa, hybrid and CBD. Each strain contains different ratios of THC and CBD, as well as prominent terpenes. If you have been pointed toward a particular strain by your healthcare professional, start with that recommendation. If you were given a more general list of strain attributes (like a strain high in CBD), start there. Many patients find experimenting with a few different strains and recording each strain’s effects can help provide clear insight to what is most useful for particular symptoms. Also note that you can mix or combine multiple products to find the strain and dosage combination that works best. For example, some patients find it helpful to use one type of strain during the day and another in the evening. 

If you ever have questions when it comes to selecting a dried flower strain, we are always happy to help guide you toward the perfect product for you. Please contact us at or calling our toll-free patient hotline at 1-844-456-1515.