By Rebecca Victoria Olmos | Correspondent

I know of a cannabis customer that walks into the dispensary, doesn’t look at the menu, and tells the budtender, “Give me two really good 8ths.” He takes whatever the budtender provides and never complains.

That is certainly one way to do it. But for those that what to become a little more involved with the process, here are a few things to consider when choosing your next strain. 

What’s the budget?

Knowing how much you’d like to spend can save you trouble at the end of the transaction. Be prepared that taxes in the state of California can be anywhere up to 38%.

I only mention this because it will be your first step in narrowing down your choices. You can find excellent quality buds within any budget. And don’t worry, price doesn’t always equate to the quality of the flower or the effects you’ll get.


Indica, sativa, or hybrid are the classic categories of flowers. Sativa is known for its more uplifting effects, indica for its sedating feelings, and hybrids fall anywhere in between those two. THC percentages have also traditionally been the defining factor in users knowing how potent a strain will be.

However, a strain’s terpene profile and cannabinoid content tends to better gauge how it will affect an individual. Flower high in limonene can provide energizing feelings, and myrcene dominate strains may feel more relaxing.


They say “the nose knows,” meaning if you like the smell, you’ll most likely enjoy the effects. But, in the recreational cannabis market, all buds are prepackaged. In the covid era, even if a dispensary offers sample jars, you can’t smell the flower most of the time. Refer back to previous information about terpenes. Budtenders should be also able to help you find this information.

Brand Values

What values are important to you? Women-owned? Equity brand? Environmentally friendly? Community outreach? Cannabis companies stand for much more than just weed these days. Spend your dollar wisely.

It’s all part of the cannabis journey.

If you’re new on your strain journey, keep a journal with strain names, brands, terpenes, cannabinoids and how they made you feel. If you can tell a budtender what you didn’t like, they can help steer you towards a strain you might enjoy better.

And if all of it still overwhelms you, ask your budtender what they’re smoking or what other customers have been enjoying. An open mind and curiosity are essential to finding a perfect strain for you.