When people talk about cannabis, they sometimes talk as if it’s just one substance, with one set of effects. But marijuana is far more complex than that. This versatile plant can produce hundreds of different chemical compounds and can create a wide range of different effects. So, it’s not that surprising that it can be challenging for someone to find the right cannabis strains and products for their needs.
The story is all too common: You decide to try out cannabis and quickly discover that you have thousands of options for which kind of cannabis to try. You do your best at picking one, and maybe it works, but maybe it doesn’t. Even if you sometimes experience benefits, you have a hard time getting consistently helpful effects.
But one group of scientists is working to change all that with a new app called Cannametrics. This app is designed to give personalized recommendations about what cannabis products will work for you.
Cannabis Affects Everyone Differently
If you consume cannabis on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed that different marijuana strains and products can provide different effects. For example, sativa strains may impart more energetic effects, while indicas may make you feel sleepy. Some strains may relax you, some may be invigorating or make you feel creative, and others may put you in a better mood. The plant’s effects can vary greatly, and this is partly because cannabis has so many different chemical components that create these different effects.
With this in mind, you may think that the secret to finding the right product is just to find the one with the right chemical blend for the effect you’re seeking. And this is definitely part of the process. A HelloMD survey showed that 86% of cannabis consumers have a strong preference for a particular cannabis strain, and these consumers said they observed differences in how different strains affect them.
In fact, the majority of those surveyed (87%) use only one to three cannabis products regularly. So, people tend to figure out that certain cannabis options work best and stick to those moving forward.
Still, finding that perfect strain or product isn’t always easy. In the same study, 27% of cannabis consumers said that it took longer than six months to find a marijuana product that helped. That’s quite a long time to experiment with cannabis without finding something beneficial.
So, why does it take so long to sort through the options? One reason may be that there can be a vast difference between how the same marijuana strain or product affects different people.
When you look for a particular product or strain, chances are you’ll read some information about its effects. If you’re looking for a marijuana strain to relax you, you’d pick the one recommended as imparting relaxation and calm. But what one person may find relaxing, may not make another person feel the same way.
For example, I have a friend with very different cannabis reactions than mine. The marijuana strains that relax me make her feel tired and anxious. And the strains that relax her make me feel anxious and tend to spark painful headaches. If I only listened to her opinions on what strains were relaxing, I’d find myself much worse off (and vice versa). People can respond very differently to the same product, so this can add to the confusion and challenge of finding the right products.
As it turns out, your genetic makeup can play a big role in how different types of cannabis affect you. Scientists have started studying this phenomenon and have even discovered particular genetic markers that correlate to different effects from cannabis.
So, it’s not just about finding the blend of cannabinoids that creates the effect you’re looking for. It’s about finding the blend that creates that effect for you in particular.
To make matters even more complicated, as you age, your unique biochemistry can shift. This means the marijuana strains and products that worked for you at one time may not work later in life. You may find that your tastes and needs change. When this happens, cannabis consumers need to start fresh, reevaluating the best options, and restarting the hunt for the perfect cannabis strain or product.
So far, the best way to hone in on the right cannabis has been to keep a cannabis journal to track and rate your experiences with different products. But this can be time consuming and challenging.
How Cannametrics Can Help You Find the Marijuana That’s Right for You
While finding the right cannabis products can be complicated, the scientists at Cannametrics are trying to make this process easier and faster. Their new app uses artificial intelligence and crowd-sourced data to help cannabis consumers find the products that will work best for them.
“Whether someone’s goals are to help with pain or sleep, connect to a sense of wonder and awe or just have fun with their friends, we are using crowd-sourced quantitative data to answer the biggest questions in cannabis so that people can make evidence-based decisions,” explains Cannametrics CEO Eric Jacobsen.
In some ways, Cannametrics is like the music recommendation website Pandora, which takes feedback on what songs you like and suggests new music to fit your taste. But instead of suggesting songs, Cannametrics suggests different types of cannabis based on what worked well for you in the past.
“It is our view that to be successful, people need access to information to help them make the right choices,” Eric explained. “Otherwise it’s a guessing game.”
So how does this app work?
If you’ve never used it before and want a recommendation, it will use your demographics to pull information about what has worked for people in similar situations. To make these initial recommendations, the app takes into account your:
- Medical conditions
- Cannabis goals
But these recommendations are also just a starting point.
As you try new cannabis strains and products, the app offers a simple way to rate them. In about 15 seconds, you can provide feedback on how well the product is working for you, and describe the effects it gives you, such as:
- The alleviation of symptoms
These reviews give the app information about how you respond to different cannabis products based on its unique blend of cannabinoids and terpenes.
That’s when the machine learning kicks in and starts to refine your recommendations. The more strains and products you review, the more information the app has to suggest better options for you.
“Users will be able to see not only what a product does on average, but get a detailed response prediction of what that specific product will likely do for them as an individual,” explains Eric. “It’s like having a team of Ph.D, scientists in your pocket. We take care of the incredible complexity (with an astounding amount of computing power) and deliver easy-to-understand results that allow people to answer the big question at a glance: What does this product do?”
Finding Your Ideal Cannabis Strain
For new cannabis consumers, Cannametrics could be a game changer, helping them find that ideal strain in a much shorter period of time. And even for long-time consumers, it may offer a way to refine and improve their cannabis regimen or just refresh it after shifts in their biochemistry.
Whatever your needs or history with cannabis are, Cannametrics is a fantastic tool to help home in on new products. In Canada, Cannametrics is linked into the database of all of the legal cannabis products, so just by adding in a few of your own reviews, you can see the legal options that are best suited to you. You may come across options you’ve never even thought about that are perfect for your needs.
If you’d like to join the Cannametrics beta-testing, you can sign up on the website today. Otherwise, the full app will be available later this summer.
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