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.

Cannabinoid, opioid, serotonin and dopamine receptors

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 CBGCBNTHCVCBC, 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.

Cannabinoid, opioid, serotonin and dopamine receptors

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.

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.

ROYAL DOMINA

Terpene profile: Myrcene, Pinene and Caryophyllene

THC: 20%

MEDICAL MASS

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.

SOUR DIESEL

Terpene profile: Limonene

THC: 19%

OG KUSH

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.

ROYAL CHEESE

Aroma: Cheese and earthiness

THC: 17%

BLUE MYSTIC

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.

WEDDING GELATO

THC: 25%

Effect: Calming and Euphoric

CHOCOLATE HAZE

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!

LEMON SHINING SILVER HAZE

Profile: 21% THC and high amount of Limonene

Type: Sativa 75% Indica 25%

SHOGUN

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!

External Resources:
  1. Cannabis Pharmacology: The Usual Suspects and a Few Promising Leads - PubMed https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  2. Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  3. Cannabis - from cultivar to chemovar https://bedrocan.com
Disclaimer:
This content is for educational purposes only. The information provided is derived from research gathered from external sources.

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