Weed Coast: The Perfect Strain

The puff that changed my life forever.

August 15, 2018

By Sujinder Juneja / Photo: Brian Beckwith, Unsplash

I want to share a story with you, a love letter of sorts, about a journey that revealed my hands down, number one, forever and ever, favourite cannabis strain of all time. But first, I need to tell you a little secret:

I don’t like getting high.

To be sure, I absolutely love cannabis and most everything about it. I am honoured to be part of this incredibly exciting legal industry that’s sprouting before us as I type. I love the gorgeous and unmistakably unique aromas that rush from a freshly-cracked, soft and sticky dried bud. I’m giddy and optimistic that the near-limitless healing powers from this ancient cultivar are within a few short years of widespread acceptance. And I adore that the time-tested ritual of smoking, passing and sharing a hand-rolled joint still has the power to bring friends and communities closer together. And yes, you’ll often find me in the middle of that very same circle, puff, puff, passing (to my left).

But again, the truth is, I really don’t like getting high.

Let me explain. After years of wide-eyed experimentation, hundreds of hours of online and literary research, attending dozens of educational seminars, and visiting tens of cannabis retailers, I am now able to predict what strains will work for me based on my academic understanding of the incredible chemicals that bloom naturally within its flowers.

When I first started regularly purchasing cannabis, it was through a guy who knew a guy, close to where I lived, known to me only as “the farmer”. When I needed some weed, I’d drop him a text with a dollar amount, and he’d reply “all set” when my order was ready for pick up. I’d drive to his place and park outside his front yard, often littered with rusted car parts and broken garden tools. The pot was waiting discreetly underneath an overturned bucket on pile towards the right-hand side of the yard. I’d tilt the bucket, grab my purchase, swap it with the cash, and make a beeline to my car. I’d investigate my latest acquisition only after I returned safely home, never knowing what it was called, what kind of plant it came from, or who grew it. Simply, if I smoked it and got a buzz, it was fine by me.

I’d drop him a text with a dollar amount, and he’d reply “all set” when my order was ready for pick up.

That all changed when a good friend of mine, desperate for relief from anxiety and insomnia, decided to give cannabis a shot after many unsuccessful pharmaceutical fixes. She was able to obtain a prescription to a single dispensary through her doctor, and since I worked quite close to the assigned shop, I was able to get a ‘caregiver’ card to purchase medicine on her behalf. Generously, she’d allow me to sample each new selection, and I kept a record of the strain names, species types, cannabinoid content and so on. Eventually, through trial and error, we began to anticipate which strains would gift her with the feelings of rest and relaxation she feared would never again return. We also both realized that we did not enjoy the unbalanced, intoxicated, jittery mind effects (aka “the high”) that often accompany strains that are either too potent in THC, or consumed in too large a quantity.

But one day, I picked us up a gram of Cannatonic, and our lives changed forever.

This appropriately-named indica-dominant hybrid is the ultimate cure for whatever ails you. It posts a balanced cannabinoid content of just 10% THC and 6% CBD. The relatively low level of THC is what drives a gentle, but extremely pleasant uplift, without the aggressive rush that comes in higher concentrations. At the same time, CBD takes centre stage when present in quantities greater than 4%. It’s responsible for a calm, clear-headed, stress-free experience that can be truly magical. Cannatonic’s bright green, dense, and softly-mossy buds offer rich, earthy aromas that explode in an aromatic petrichorgasm of sweetly decomposing wood. A delicate kiss of charred bell pepper reveals itself on the palate as the mind and body effects cradle you like the biggest, warmest hug from a dear friend. It’s relaxing, yet upbeat, leaving you all smiles and giggles, but alert and focused. You can enjoy a poolside conversation as much as you might a solo snooze under a shady tree. And the best part about it? Its low levels of THC and high amounts of CBD don’t get me high. They just make me happy.

Exploration, experimentation and education got me to this place. Cannatonic may not be the love of your life, but you’ll only know by trying one strain at a time, starting in small doses, then seeing what works best for you. That’s where you’ll find your own happiness.

The breakdown: The mighty Cannatonic, an indica-dominant hybrid ($11/gram). Available at The Village Bloomery (Inner Courtyard, 206 – 1540 W 2nd Ave.)

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