More people are using cannabis than ever before, which means there’s a lot of first-time consumers who are interested in checking it out. When it comes to cannabis, however, not all strains are created equal. A first-timer who smokes a strain that’s high in THC may swear cannabis off forever. Paranoia and anxiety are common in strains high in THC, even sometimes for veteran cannabis consumers. The last thing you want is for your first experience to be a negative one. If you’re new to the weed scene, knowing the best strains for the beginning cannabis consumer is key. Not only have we found the best strains for those starting out, but also some essentials to making your first experience the best it can be.

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Why Strains Low in THC are Best for Beginners

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive compound in cannabis. Basically, THC is what’s responsible for making you high. It’s also what’s responsible for making people paranoid, which is a very real (and unfortunate) side effect that sometimes happens. While it's generally assumed that sativa strains are what illicit paranoia, an indica can do the same thing. It’s not the type of cannabis that’s responsible for paranoia, it’s how much THC is present in a particular strain. The best strains for beginners are those that have a low THC content. Marijuana has come a long way and is much stronger than it was even a decade ago.

Some high-grade strains can contain THC levels well over 30 percent. God Father OG, which won the 2016 Cannabis Cup for Best Indica, has a THC potency of 34.04 percent for example. On average, THC levels are now around 20-25 percent. Even these levels can be too much for first-timers. If you’re new to cannabis its best to start low and go slow. Begin with strains that are low in THC and start with smaller doses. It’s best to ease in than to be overwhelmed. Everyone reacts to cannabis differently. What works for one beginner, might not work for the next. The following strains, however, provide a starting point for those who want to experience pot without the paranoia.

Maui Wowie

Maui Wowie is used to treat anxiety and paranoiaCannabis doesn’t get much more classic than this old-school strain. Maui Wowie was developed in the 60s, way before weed became the powerhouse it is today. Despite being a strong sativa hybrid, Maui Wowie isn’t high in THC. When it was first bred (in the 1960s), THC content was right around 8 percent. And while it’s gotten stronger over the years, the average THC content of this infamous strain is only around 13 percent.

The low THC level and iconic status of Maui Wowie make it an excellent strain for the beginning cannabis consumer. Because it’s a sativa, the effects of Maui Wowie are typically uplifting and energetic. It’s also known to enhance creativity. Maui Wowie is medically used to treat anxiety and help patients overcome depression, offering a noticeable sense of euphoria. It’s a great strain to start with and can truly open your mind to how amazing using cannabis can really be.

Jack Herer

Jack Herer is a classic strain that’s well-revered in the world of weed. Jack Herer has a lower thc contentThis sativa-dominant hybrid was developed in the late-1980s and has proven itself through time. Jack Herer has won nine Cannabis Cup awards, making it one of the most popular strains of all time. It also contains relatively low levels of THC. Average THC content of Jack Herer is 17 percent, making it an excellent strain for someone interested in trying cannabis for the first time. It’s known to produce a super mellow high while offering a euphoric, creative buzz. It’s also another popular strain used to treat anxiety, stress, and depression. There’s a reason Jack Herer has won so many awards. You’d be doing yourself a favor by choosing this popular strain to pop your cannabis cherry. It’s one of the perfect strains for beginning cannabis consumers looking for a welcomed introduction to weed.

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Harlequin is a sativa-dominant strain high in CBD. Harlequin is a sativa dominant CBD strainFor those who are new to cannabis and don’t want to experience strong cerebral effects, Harlequin is a beginner’s go-to. The standard ratio of CBD to THC in Harlequin is 5:2. And like the other strains on this list, it has won several Cannabis Cup awards. While consuming Harlequin won’t make you high per say, it does offer a noticeably uplifting effect. Harlequin is perfect when you need to relax and is medicinally noted for its effectiveness at relieving pain.

Harlequin is a strain that can be used both day and night, without interrupting a person’s regular routine. Some users even report an increased sense of focus, however nothing that can be considered a “high.” For the beginning cannabis consumer interested in trying cannabis without the cerebral effects, Harlequin is a must.

Final Thoughts for the Beginning Cannabis Consumer

Knowing what strains are best for the beginning cannabis consumer is important, but not the only thing for newbies to keep in mind. The delivery method of cannabis consumption is also something to consider before you take the plunge. While smoking cannabis has traditionally been a beginner’s go-to, you don’t need to necessarily smoke weed to enjoy its benefits. Vaping cannabis can be a welcomed alternative. Not only is it easier on the lungs but can also really bring out the flavor profile of whatever strain you’re smoking. Edibles are another option, however eating cannabis offers a much slower delivery method than smoking or vaping it. Edibles are a friendly alternative to smoking for newbiesThe effects of edibles are also known to be more intense and last longer than other methods of consumption. If you’re going to try edibles when consuming cannabis for the first time, keep in mind the first golden rule for beginners. Start low and go slow. Give yourself at least an hour or two after eating a small dose to see how it affects you. If you’re new to cannabis, welcome. We’re glad you’re here. Finding the best strains for the beginning cannabis consumer is paramount to having an experience that will keep you coming back. These are great strains to get you started on what could quite possibly turn into a lifelong love-affair.