Having a hard time finding the right cannabis strain for your needs? Perhaps you need to create it yourself. By combining different cannabis strains, you may be able to create the effects you’re looking for. Mixing strains can be a way to create a terpene profile that suits you better than the strains available in your area.
If you’re a cannabis consumer, you’re probably familiar with the plant’s wide variety of different strains. These genetic variations of the cannabis plant each have a different blend of active chemicals and can create different effects. This is one of the reasons cannabis can treat so many different health conditions.
Of course, the wide variety in marijuana strains can also make things challenging if the best varieties for you aren’t available. With so many options, there’s no guarantee that the one cannabis strain that suits you is regularly available nearby. By mixing marijuana strains, you’ll widen your options and fine-tune your medicinal cannabis regimen.
Marijuana Strain Mixing 101
The idea behind mixing strains is simple. You take two or more varieties of cannabis and blend them together. If you smoke or vape cannabis flower, the best way to do this is to grind the two types in your grinder, so they’ll mix together somewhat evenly. Then use the mix as you would your normal ground flower. Roll it into a joint, smoke it in a pipe or put it in your vaporizer.
To try strain-mixing with cannabis oils, you can mix two types together. If you’re filling an oil-vape pen, swirl the mixture together in the pen to create an even distribution of the different extracts.
Expect the Unexpected: Working With the Entourage Effect
Cannabis chemistry isn’t always straightforward. While we know a lot about the cannabinoids and terpenes, the active chemical ingredients found in cannabis, we can’t always predict how they’ll interact. This is because of something called the entourage effect.
The entourage effect refers to the fact that the overall effect of the cannabis you’re using comes from the combination of the chemicals involved and how they all work together. For example, we know that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can create energetic effects, so you might think that any high-THC cannabis would be energizing.
But when THC is combined with enough of the terpene myrcene, it actually becomes quite sedative. There are many such interactions between the compounds in cannabis, so it can be hard to accurately predict what changes you may be making when mixing two marijuana strains together.
This can be good or bad, depending on your perspective. On the one hand, mixing two strains won’t give you a perfect combination of all the effects in each; rather, it will create something new. So, experimentation is key to finding strain blends you like. It may not always be easy to predict what you’ll get before you try something.
On the other hand, this means that you can reinvent cannabis strains you don’t like. In some cases, you may mix two strains that don’t work well for you and end up creating something that does.
Creating the Perfect Marijuana Blend
One of the best ways to use strain mixing is to fine-tune the efficacy of your medicine. Sometimes what you have to work with is good, but not perfect, and you can make it better.
For example, the two best marijuana strains that work well for me are Afgoo and Cabbage Patch. They both give me a wide range of positive effects and help treat my specific medical needs. I’ve tried hundreds of varieties of cannabis, and these two are the best ones I’ve found for me.
Unfortunately, Cabbage Patch is sometimes a little too energetic for what I need and gets me a little jittery. Afgoo on the other hand, might be a little too sedative at times, making me sleepier than I want to be during the day.
When I mix the two cannabis strains in an even blend, I get an effect that’s much better than what either one gives me alone. I have all of the positive effects I was getting from each, but now the energy component is balanced, and I don’t feel sleepy or jittery. If I get a batch of Afgoo that’s particularly sleep-inducing, I can mix in a higher proportion of Cabbage Patch to continue getting this perfect blend.
If you have marijuana strains that are good but not quite perfect, you may want to experiment with them. Look for strains that have the characteristics to complement your current favorites. Is your favorite sativa too much of an upper? Look for a sedative strain to balance it out. Have a strain that works well, but is missing mood elevation? Look for a euphoric strain to give you a little extra boost.
Maybe there’s a cannabis strain that’s worked well for you in the past, but isn’t around anymore. You may mix together its genetic parent strains to create something similar.
Because of the entourage effect, this may not always turn out exactly as you expect, But it often produces really helpful blends.
Repurposing Unhelpful Cannabis Strains
Another use for marijuana strain mixing is repurposing strains that really didn’t work for you. Research shows that most cannabis patients end up finding particular strains that work well for them. Usually a preference develops because one cannabis strain works very well, while other strains may have been ineffective at dealing with symptoms—or they may have actually caused negative side effects.
So, what do you do when you buy a marijuana strain that doesn’t work for you? Throw it away?
There are few things as frustrating as spending a bunch of money on a marijuana strain you think will work, only to find out that you can’t actually use it or return it. The more sensitive you are to the differences in strains, the more likely you are to regularly buy cannabis that doesn’t work for you.
Luckily, mixing cannabis strains can help. Because of the entourage effect, mixing the marijuana strains that didn’t work for you with other strains may alter the effect profile enough that you can consume your new mix. And it may even turn it into something you enjoy.
I use this technique when I accidentally buy cannabis that gives me headaches, which is a common negative effect I experience with the wrong strains. For this trick, I find taking a few diverse marijuana strain options and blending them together works best. I use one or two strains that don’t give me a headache, and mix in the strain that does, usually in smaller amounts.
Because I’m using cannabis strains that aren’t that similar to each other, the entourage effect is often more noticeable, creating a whole new effect profile for the blend. The effect that caused my headache is usually balanced out and no longer occurs.
Now I have a way to use up the cannabis that would otherwise have been wasted. Try it yourself, and see if you can start moving through the old collection of cannabis that didn’t work for you.
Managing Marijuana Tolerance Levels
A third way to use this blending technique is to keep your tolerance levels in check. It’s a known issue with cannabis that consuming the same marijuana strain for too long can cause you to develop a tolerance to it. This means you need to consume more and more of the cannabis to get the same effects.
One way to avoid this is to switch marijuana strains regularly. However, if you don’t have many strains that work well for you, this can be a challenge. Strain mixing is one way to add more options to your rotation.
Say you have two cannabis strains that work well for the same function, and you cycle through using one and then the other. You may also try mixing them together. If the blend is one that works for your needs, you can add that into your cycle.
While your body may be used to each marijuana strain individually, it often reacts to these blends like it’s a new strain. By slightly altering the ratios of the blend, you can keep creating new, slightly different chemical profiles. This means you can use far fewer strains, but keep cycling through new combinations that feel fresh.
Cannabis Strain Combinations to Try
Combining strains is all about fine-tuning cannabis to your own needs. So, the best combinations will be the ones you design yourself. Still, here are a few fun combinations to get your started:
- Sweet Island Skunk with Grape Ape: This flavor profile will be sweet, tropical and fruity. Even blends of these two cannabis strains should create an uplifted hybrid with relaxed, euphoric vibes.
- DJ Short Blueberry with UK Cheese: Tasting like a creamy blueberry cheesecake, this combination usually provides deep muscle relaxation, with a light and airy state of mind.
- OG Kush with Purple Urkle: With earthy notes of grape and citrus, this marijuana blend is a potent combination providing most consumers with heavy indica-dominant effects.
Now it’s time to start experimenting on your own. What are your favorite blends? Let us know in the comments below.
Photo credit: Dank Depot