Daily cannabis use differs from person to person. Unwind with a perfectly packed bowl after a long day’s work? Maybe you reach for a yummy edible or the methodically placed bedside vape pen as the day winds closed? Perhaps you’re more of the start the day off elevated, wake-and-bake, cannabis for breakfast type?
With the massive wave that is post-prohibition recreational and medical cannabis legalization we’re learning that the reasons people are choosing cannabis vary as widely as the way in which they prefer to consume (or in many cases, medicate). What’s also becoming increasingly apparent is that the time of day seems to play an equally important role in one’s personal cannabis journey.
Daily Cannabis Use: What to Consider
Regardless of the reasoning for your interest in cannabis, things like cannabinoids, terpene profile, and the entourage effect matter when deciding what time of day to reach for your newly legalized cannabis.
Indica, Sativa, Hybrid
Gone are the days of being asked “indica, sativa, or hybrid” when you enter a cannabis dispensary. Common budtender questions now include, “how do you want to feel?”, “why are you using cannabis?”, and, you guessed it, ”are you looking for a daytime or nighttime experience?”. Plus because of years of hybridization, many claim that there’s simply no true indica or sativa left on the market, illicit or regulated.
Today’s scientific and professional cannabis communities point to things like cannabinoid content and terpene profile as equally or more influential than the strain on the effect a consumer can expect to feel. To put it simply, while there is a general rule of thumb for choosing between Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa, or a combination of the two, a hybrid, it’s naive to think of it as a universal compass for today’s modern cannabis consumer.
Throughout a cannabis plant’s life it’ll produce hundreds of chemical compounds secreted by its flowers called Cannabinoids. The most popular of these cannabinoids has been phyto-cannabinoid, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and the ever popular, non-psycho active sister cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol), each boasting an array of healing and beneficial effects.
The magic of cannabinoids is that once ingested they work by imitating compounds that our bodies naturally produce, called endocannabinoids, which are part of a fascinating biological modulatory system called the Endocannabinoid System (ECs). Popular cannabinoids can target specific systems like those that regulate neurological, gastro-Intestinal, and mood and pain symptoms and the effects can vary depending upon the person and reason for using. Many opt for cannabinoids like CBD for daytime use, while saving THC heavy cannabis for the evening.
The organic compounds that provide the aroma and flavor of your cannabis are called terpenes. These common terpene profiles are said to be incredibly important when considering which strain to get and when, and what the terpene effects might be.
One of the most common terpenes found in most cannabis strains is myrcene. Also found in lemongrass and hops, myrcene levels across indicas, hybrids, and sativas are relatively similar. Benefits of myrcene include antibiotic, pain relief, and supporting the body in absorption of cannabinoid THC. Strains high in myrcene include Og Kush, Grape Ape, and Granddaddy Purple and can help in relaxing you when anxious or trying to fall asleep.
Another popular terpene is limonene. Found in the plant’s resin glands and known for its fruity, citrus aroma, limonene is also thought to have many medicinal effects. Multiple studies site limonene as having both an anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties. Strains high in limonene include Wedding Cake, Strawberry Banana, and Do-Si-Dos and because they’re all said to provide an elevated mood, anxiety relief, and acid-reflux relief, they can often be used at any time of day.
Also known to produce relaxing effects, strains rich in linalool are also said to produce anti-anxiety results. This terpene is the most responsible for the smell associated with cannabis with its spicy and floral notes. Linalool is also found in lavender, cinnamon, coriander, and mint and similar to those aromatic herbs, linalool has strong sedative and relaxation properties. Some well-known linalool strains are Amnesia Haze, LA Confidential, and OG Shark.
Many who need a boost of concentration in the morning reach for strains rich in pinene. Along with dill, and pine needles, pinene can help counter the short-term memory loss effects commonly associated with THC. Also understood to be antiviral and antimicrobial, pinene comes in two distinct forms: Alpha and Beta-pinene. Strains known to be heavy in pinene include Blue Dream, Jack Herer, and Cannatonic are thought to be excellent daytime cannabis strains.
Daily Cannabis Use and the Entourage Effect
When we consume cannabis our bodies ingest hundreds of the previously discussed plants’ compounds. The way in which these compounds relate to and interact with each other is called the entourage effect. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD, and other cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and CBC work synergistically with terpenes to inform a consumer’s psychological and physiological effect. When deciding which strain to use for daily cannabis use, it’s important to remember this vital, yet under-researched phenomenon.