I asked an expert to help me shop for the right buzz
Baking bread, cleaning out closets, next-level Netflix bingeing: as social distancing stretches on and on, we’re running out of productive and not so productive ways to entertain ourselves. We’re also reporting increased anxiety levels and looking for ways to cope. Alcohol sales have spiked, which is opening up a whole other source of anxiety: Are we drinking too much in isolation? I ask myself that…every day. But since alcohol isn’t the only legal game in town, I’m thinking of switching up my buzz and giving cannabis a try. I mean, of course I’ve tried it; I smoked enough pot in high school and beyond before deciding it mostly just made me feel paranoid. But I’m intrigued by the new-gen of slick cannabis offerings: the myriad ways to consume, the detailed descriptions that accompany each product. It feels much more focused and sophisticated—curated, if you will—than the gamble of the baggie of weed from your neighbour’s friend’s roommate.
“I think people are curious about cannabis, and now that they’re stuck at home with their families, I’ve noticed that people are reaching out who probably haven’t asked about it in years,” says Amy Weinstein, senior sales manager at Canadian cannabis company 48 North. “There are a lot of good options right now for people, especially since Canada just opened up the Cannabis 2.0 offering. I think vape pens and edibles are a great place to start. If you’re looking for an instant high, vape pens are the best way to go. If you don’t mind waiting an hour or two, edibles are a great option: It can last longer and you don’t need to consume as much. For people starting out, a nice balanced strain could be a really good place to start, then working in more THC as you get more comfortable. ”
So where to begin? I asked Weinstein to act as my personal cannabis sommelier and recommend a cannabis product for four desired moods. She even included terpene tasting notes! Terpenes are the aromatic oils that give different cannabis strains their distinctive smells and, some say, influence the effects. Here are four ways to customize your buzz.
DESIRED MOOD: CALM
For relaxing and easing tension
Grandaddy Purple Pre-Rolls, $16,
“Look for something with linalool in it, which is the terpene also found in lavender,” says Weinstein. “You want something in what’s classified as the indica category.”
DESIRED MOOD: GIGGLY
For watching a funny movie or hanging with friends online
Foray salted caramel chocolate, $7 (10 g),
“Edibles are great for movies and hanging with friends! I love Foray’s chocolates,” says Weinstein. “Remember to always start low and go slow when trying something new.”
DESIRED MOOD: INTROSPECTIVE
For contemplating the world and philosophizing
Strain Hunters’ Franco’s Lemon Cheese Pre-Rolls, $27 (3-pack),
“I would probably go with sativa, heavier in the pine. Lemon flavours give you that head buzz that can make you creative and focused,” says Weinstein.
DESIRED MOOD: HAPPY
To replace that glass of wine (or three)
48 North Super Citrus haze vape cartridge, $65,
“For me, the glass of wine or the smoke at night is about changing your perspective on the day,” says Weinstein. “I think any cannabis will do, to be honest. The nice thing about cannabis is that when you’re stuck in a headspace, a little bit of a smoke and all of a sudden you can see things from a very different perspective. If you had a rough day and you just want to get out of your head, I think that most strains of cannabis will allow you to do that.”