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How Should You Mix Different Cannabis Strains Together?

We all have our favourite cannabis strains, but who said you have to limit yourself to one? You have countless indicas, sativas, and hybrids to choose from, and the possible combinations are near-endless. The best strain combos, however, are made in consideration of their genetics, cannabinoid profiles, and the way their terpenes blend.

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There are thousands of unique cannabis strains available. Some are developed for stimulation, others for soothing our minds. Some are bred for potency, and some purely based on taste. Most smokers have their own favourite strain that hits that sweet spot for them.

You can switch things up by smoking a different strain than usual, but what about smoking both at the same time? By mixing different strains of cannabis flower and extracts, you can enjoy highs that you can’t find through any single strain.

WHY MIX DIFFERENT CANNABIS STRAINS?

Each strain features its own phytochemical makeup; a unique blend of terpenes, cannabinoids, flavonoids, and other constituents.

These molecules play both major and subtle roles in determining the nature of the psychoactive—or even non-psychoactive—experience. Breeders design new strains by selecting the unique genetics of individual varieties and breeding them together.

However, cannabis smokers can also blend the properties of each cultivar by simply consuming them together. For growers, that experience can also be an opportunity to see what a hybrid between two strains could be like.

ARE TWO EFFECTS BETTER THAN ONE?

Thousands of available cannabis strains means there are thousands of different combinations to experiment with. Combining two powerhouse strains, for instance, could heighten your mental activity before work. In the same way, blending two stoney varieties might help you melt into your bed at night.

You can also blend seemingly opposite highs into one experience. Adding a subtle strain to a potentially overwhelming variety can help take the edge off. Vice versa, a light Northern Light mixed with a potent Triple G could keep you from sleeping past noon.

TAME YOUR HIGH

There comes a time when every cannabis smoker overdoes it. Smoking too much high-THC cannabis can lead to an uncomfortable time, but adding in high-CBD extract or flower can tame the high [1] and bring it down a notch.

Essentially, by stimulating endocannabinoid production, CBD prevents THC from binding to CB1 receptors in the brain. As a result, the psychoactivity of THC is partially mitigated. By this, we mean the effects are smoothed out and cooled down, not completely reversed or eliminated.

IS THE HIGH FROM TWO CANNABIS STRAINS BETTER?

Considering how much we’ve been talking about it, we’re sure you’re wondering whether your high would actually be better if combining strains. Well, that entirely depends on the results you’re looking for, and how dedicated you are to achieving them. The process takes some experimentation, and trial and error is key, but the payoff can be great.

Perhaps more than hitting an ideal cannabinoid balance, finding your preferred high will be about picking a good terpene blend. Terpenes are aromatic molecules that underpin the signature scents of the cannabis plant. Science has identified over 40,000 of these chemicals in nature, where they are responsible for the alluring scents of trees, flowers, and fruits.

The cannabis plant contains over 200 terpenes. Aside from providing tantalising flavours and smells, these molecules display a range of effects in humans. They even synergise with cannabinoids to modulate the high—a phenomenon known as the entourage effect [2] .

Some terpenes create more of a stoning effect, whereas others are more stimulating and cerebral. You can mix cannabis strains based on their terpene content to create unique cocktails and modulate your high.

HOW TO COMBINE DIFFERENT CANNABIS STRAINS

Throwing together two cannabis strains without much thought could work, despite it being a shot in the dark. To achieve more of a tailored effect, you should have a think about the cannabinoid and terpene profiles of each cultivar. Ideally, both strains will bring something to the mix that the other doesn’t.

CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids provide the main effect that underpins each high. High levels of THC, for instance, will elevate the experience and make it increasingly psychoactive. The effects of THC generally include euphoria, happiness, increased mood, and hunger—although it can also cause feelings of nervousness and paranoia.

CBD, however, doesn’t produce a high. Instead, it supports a clear-headed experience that eases tension and brings peace of mind.

That’s most of what people know, but there are over 100 other cannabinoids in the plant. We don’t really understand most of them yet, but researchers have begun taking a much closer look at CBG, CBN, THCV, CBC, and many others. They usually occur in tiny amounts compared to the big two, but some breeders are working to change that.

If you get your hands on some high-CBG or high-CBC genetics, try introducing the strain alongside your current favourite to see how it changes the overall effects. If smokers want more CBN, they can leave their buds to cure for longer and allow the THC to break down.

TERPENES

There are two reasons to focus on terpenes when mixing strains: taste and effect. Strains with varied terpene profiles contribute to a more diverse flavour spectrum. Terpenes also modulate the high, so take this into consideration when blending cultivars.

Linalool and limonene both offer tastes of tangy and zesty citrus, and the pair will significantly enhance the fruitiness of any mix. Pinene and humulene—both earthy and deep—augment each other and deliver refreshing tones of forest walks. Caryophyllene and myrcene are another excellent pair; both terpenes are spicy and peppery—perfect for savoury edible dishes.

INDICA AND SATIVA

Conventional wisdom states that indica plants offer a more stoning and physical high, whereas sativa plants provide an energising head high.

However, advances in cannabis science have shown that things are more nuanced than this. In fact, researchers [3] suggest we stop categorising cannabis into cultivars (cultivated varieties) and instead categorise them according to their chemovars (chemical varieties).

This move makes sense, as the chemical composition of the same strain can vary widely due to environmental factors and phenotypical variation. This new system would help to identify the qualities of specific specimens.

However, indica and sativa strains do differ morphologically. Indica strains are bushy and produce thick-fingered leaves. Sativa strains, in contrast, are tall, lanky, and produce thin-fingered leaves.

Despite the shifting science, evidence does suggest [3] that indica and sativa cultivars possess higher concentrations of certain terpenes in some cases. You can successfully balance out the stoning or stimulating effects of each by playing around with strain combinations.

RECOMMENDED STRAIN COMBINATIONS

During years of breeding and developing one of Europe’s leading seed banks, we’ve conducted our fair share of experimentation. Check out our favourite strain matches below, and hear us out on why you should give them a try.

ROYAL DOMINA AND MEDICAL MASS

Royal Domina brings psychoactive potency to the party, while Medical Mass tames the powerful high with a CBD content of 10%. A heavily indica-dominant strain, the former packs a THC content of 20% and high levels of myrcene, pinene, and caryophyllene. In turn, she delivers a powerful body high and a raging appetite. That high won’t get too out of control, though, as the clear-headed effect of Medical Mass allows users to remain functional and creative, even when incredibly stoned.

Terpene profile: Myrcene, Pinene and Caryophyllene

THC: 20%

Type: Sativa 40% Indica 60%

CBD: 10%

Terpene profile: Myrcene, Pinene and Caryophyllene

THC: 20%

Type: Sativa 40% Indica 60%

CBD: 10%

SOUR DIESEL AND OG KUSH

These two strains pack bucket-loads of flavour and intense amounts of THC. Although they belong on opposing ends of the indica and sativa spectrum, their combined effects create a high that occupies the sweet spot in the middle. Sour Diesel features 70% sativa genetics, along with high levels of limonene and THC, a combo that usually leads to an energetic and buzzing high. However, indica-dominant and myrcene-heavy OG Kush will pull the effects into the middle of the spectrum and create a well-rounded stone.

Terpene profile: Limonene

THC: 19%

Terpene profile: Myrcene

Type: Sativa 25% Indica 75%

Terpene profile: Limonene

THC: 19%

Terpene profile: Myrcene

Type: Sativa 25% Indica 75%

ROYAL CHEESE AND BLUE MYSTIC

Royal Cheese and Blue Mystic synergise to serve up a banquet of delightful terpenes. Royal Cheese brings forth intense flavours and aromas of cheese and earthiness. Blue Mystic, matching the energy, delivers a contrasting yet complementary barrage of sweetness, fruits, and sugar. These two indicas will gear you up for some major relaxation, so get some pillows and blankets ready for the ride.

Aroma: Cheese and earthiness

THC: 17%

Aroma: Sweetness, fruits, and sugar

Type: Sativa 20% Indica 80%%

Aroma: Cheese and earthiness

THC: 17%

Aroma: Sweetness, fruits, and sugar

Type: Sativa 20% Indica 80%

WEDDING GELATO AND CHOCOLATE HAZE

The gorgeous purple flowers of Wedding Gelato serve up a striking THC content of 25% to complement the indica-dominant genetic profile. In other words, this strain will melt you into the couch and bathe you in sensations of euphoria. At the same time, though, Chocolate Haze will help to bring a clear-headed and lucid experience into the equation. She balances out an otherwise heavy body high, enabling users to function and pursue creative projects without taking away from the general euphoria.

THC: 25%

Effect: Calming and Euphoric

Aroma: Chocolate, Sweet and Earthy

Effect: Heavy and Euphoric

THC: 25%

Effect: Calming and Euphoric

Aroma: Chocolate, Sweet and Earthy

Effect: Heavy and Euphoric

LEMON SHINING SILVER HAZE AND SHOGUN

Lemon Shining Silver Haze descends from Haze and Skunk genetics, and she packs high levels of THC to boost her stimulating sativa high. Shogun, not to be outdone, completes the pairing beautifully. She brings cerebral energy to another level with a massive THC content of 25%, and her head high sends the cogs of the mind into overdrive. This is one of those strains that may actually inspire you to get up and engage in some physical activity!

Profile: 21% THC and high amount of Limonene

Type: Sativa 75% Indica 25%

THC: 25%

Type: Sativa 70% Indica 30%

Profile: 21% THC and high amount of Limonene

Type: Sativa 75% Indica 25%

THC: 25%

Type: Sativa 70% Indica 30%

SHOULD YOU TRY COMBINING CANNABIS STRAINS?

Absolutely! What do you have to lose? No doubt, it’ll take a period of trial and error to land on your perfect mix. But, if you find the right pairing, the journey will be well worth the reward. Let us know which strain combo is your favourite!

Mixing cannabis strains is usually a good time, but knowing the science behind how terpenes and cannabinoids interact can help you pick the perfect combos!

What Really Happens When You Mix Alcohol and Weed?

When it comes to drugs, alcohol and weed are among the most commonly used substances. But what really happens when they team up?

Occasionally mixing alcohol and weed — also known as crossfading — likely won’t lead to major health problems. But there are a lot of variables to consider, including which one you use first and how you consume them.

If you aren’t careful, the duo can lead to a case of the spins or a green out, two reactions that can turn a fun night out into a nauseated night in.

It’s also important to remember that people can have very different reactions to the same mix of alcohol and weed. If you’re out in a group, one person’s reaction might be very different than yours.

Read on to learn more about the potential reactions and what to do if you have a bad one.

Drinking before using weed can intensify weed’s effects. This is because alcohol increases the absorption of weed’s main psychoactive ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

This generally results in a stronger high. While this might be nice for some folks, it can cause others to green out. This refers to a range of unpleasant physical symptoms that can result from a strong high.

Symptoms of a green out include:

  • sweating
  • dizziness
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Alcohol before weed: Proceed with caution

Drinking alcohol before using weed can ramp up the effects of THC. If you’re a seasoned pro, this might not be a huge deal. But if you’re sensitive to weed or don’t have much experience using it, it’s best to avoid mixing the two. If you do, move slowly and be sure to listen to your body.

Breaking down the research

Turns out, you might not need much alcohol to change the way your body absorbs THC.

In a 2015 study, 19 participants drank either a placebo or small amount of alcohol. Ten minutes later, they used a vaporizer to inhale either a low or a high dose of THC.

The researchers found significantly higher peak THC levels among participants who had alcohol versus those who had a placebo. This was true for both low and high doses of THC.

However, this study was pretty small, making it hard to draw any firm conclusions. Plus, a similar (but equally small) 2010 study found that alcohol consumption didn’t have much of an effect on THC concentrations.

While there’s some research around the effects of drinking alcohol before using weed, there isn’t much about the opposite approach. The studies that do exist are old and mostly inconclusive.

For example, a 1992 study had 15 participants smoke a placebo, a high dose of THC, or a low dose of THC on three occasions. On each occasion, they’d rank a different dose of alcohol, including a placebo, as a low dose or a high dose.

Weed appeared to slow down the rise of blood alcohol levels after consuming a high dose of alcohol. But a 1993 letter to the editor questioned this result.

If using weed does indeed slow the absorption of alcohol, it might also delay feelings of drunkenness. This might seem like a good thing, but it makes it harder to know how impaired you really are.

For example, you might feel like you’re good to drive, but your blood alcohol level may be well over the legal limit.

Weed before alcohol: Assume you’ve had an extra drink or two

Using weed before drinking alcohol may minimize the effects of alcohol. This means you might be tipsier than you feel, increasing your risk for becoming overly intoxicated.

If you use weed before drinking, pay extra attention to how much you’ve had to drink. To err on the side of caution, assume you’ve had a bit more to drink than you actually have, or aim to drink less than you usually would without using weed.

It’s hard to say. There’s isn’t a ton of high-quality research on the topic. Still, there’s some evidence to suggest that regularly combining alcohol and weed may have some concerning effects over time.

Higher risk of dependence

A 2017 review of existing studies notes that people who use alcohol and weed together tend to consume more of both. This can increase your risk for developing a dependence on alcohol, weed, or both.

Decreased cognitive function

A study from 2011 evaluated performance on cognitive tasks among 21 heavy weed users who had consumed alcohol.

Those who consumed just alcohol had worse cognitive functioning than those who only consumed THC. Those who combined the two had reduced cognitive performance than those who only consumed alcohol.

Over the long term, combining alcohol and weed may be associated with decreased cognitive function and changes in brain structures, such as the hippocampus.

Impaired driving

A number of recent studies also focus on how combining weed and alcohol affects your driving.

In a 2013 study , 80 people participated in six testing sessions. In each session, participants consumed a different combination of placebo, low, and moderate doses of THC and alcohol. Then they completed a driving simulation.

The researchers reported that combining THC and alcohol consistently impaired driving performance, with worse performance during nighttime simulations.

Adding alcohol to a low dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 21 percent. Adding alcohol to a high dose of THC impaired driving simulator scores by 17 percent.

The big takeaway? Don’t drive after using marijuana or drinking alcohol. Period.

When mixing weed and alcohol, there are a lot of other variables to consider in addition to which one you use first.

  • your tolerance to either substance
  • the type and strength of the alcohol
  • whether you smoke, vape, or take edibles
  • the time interval between taking each substance
  • whether you also use other substances, including tobacco or caffeine
  • whether you take medication

The safest bet is to avoid using weed and alcohol together. But if you do decide to mix the two, start slow and keep track of how much you’re consuming of each. Keep a running tab in your phone, if you have to.

Remember, consuming weed and alcohol together can make you feel either more or less intoxicated than you would if you were using just one or the other.

If you take medication, talk to your doctor before using weed, alcohol, or both. They may weaken the effectiveness of your medication or increase your risk for certain side effects.

If you’ve mixed weed and alcohol and are having a bad reaction, it’s probably because alcohol seems to make the high from using weed stronger. The resulting unpleasantness is casually known as a green out. This can happen any time you’ve consumed to much weed — with or without alcohol.

Signs of a green out can include:

  • shivering
  • chills
  • sweating
  • rapid heart rate
  • lightheadedness
  • stomach problems
  • nausea and vomiting
  • paranoia
  • anxiety

How to handle a green out

Whether you’re trying to keep still in a spinning room or breaking out in a clammy sweat, these tips can help you make it through:

  • Stay calm. When it comes to bad reactions, patience is key. Your feelings will go away in time. If possible, find something, such as music, to focus on other than your discomfort.
  • Sit or lie down. If you feel dizzy, find a quiet place to rest until you feel better. If possible, ask a friend to help you get home.
  • Eat or drink to boost your blood sugar. A bit of food or a sugary drink can help relieve dizziness. Try something hearty, like soup broth. If you don’t have any on hand, juice will do.
  • Stay hydrated. Both alcohol and weed can leave you feeling dehydrated. That can lead to dry mouth, headaches, and dizziness. Drink water to put your body back on track.
  • Squeeze a lemon. Lemons contain a chemical compound that may decrease the effects of THC in the brain. Adding lemon juice or zest to some water might help when you’re feeling too high.
  • Smell crushed peppercorns. Similarly, peppercorns contain a compound that some say helps when you’re greening out. To take advantage, crush or grind a handful of peppercorns, then take a long inhale. Just don’t get too close. You don’t want to actually get the pepper in your nose.
  • Talk to someone. If you can, get a trusted friend to keep you company. They can help you stay calm and pass the time.

Alcohol and weed might sound like a mellow combo, but they can interact in surprising ways.