Understanding Strains and Products When Shopping Weed Online

The world of cannabis has blossomed into an intricate tapestry of options, each strand denoting a unique compound, experience, and even culture. In the cyber aisles of online dispensaries, the selection can be overwhelming, and understanding what you’re buy weed online is essential. 

Narrowing down your weed shopping experience involves demystifying the jargon surrounding strains and products. A well-informed purchase can mean the difference between a relaxing evening and a restless night. This guide aims to decipher the language and offers practical advice on making your online weed shopping experience both enjoyable and informed.

The Basics of Strains

The term ‘strain’ often refers to whether a weed is an indica, sativa, or hybrid. This classification once stood for distinct physical features, growth patterns, and effects. Indicas were associated with calm, sedative body highs, while sativas promised energizing, cerebral experiences. Hybrids were a mix of the two, aiming for a fine balance.

However, as commercial breeding and scientific understanding have evolved, the indica-sativa debate has become more about lineage than present-day effects. The compounds responsible for the high, THC and CBD, are what truly define the experience. Understanding the profile of these compounds in your chosen strain is more important than its generic classification.


The cannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and is what makes users feel ‘high.’ On the other hand, cannabidiol (CBD) is non-psychoactive and is often sought for its potential medicinal properties, such as reducing anxiety or alleviating pain.

When choosing a strain, consider the THC to CBD ratio. High THC strains are more likely to produce a strong, euphoric high and may be less appropriate for new users or those looking for a milder experience. High CBD strains, however, are associated with more subtle effects and may not even produce a ‘high’ in the traditional sense.


Beyond THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids. They give cannabis its distinctive smell and have purported synergistic effects with THC and CBD. For example, the terpene myrcene is said to enhance the sedative, ‘couch-locking’ properties of some strains.

An effective way to gauge the probable effects of a strain is to consider the terpene profile alongside its cannabinoid content. Look for keywords like ‘uplifting’ or ‘relaxing’ in strain descriptions, which hint at the role terpenes might play in your experience.

Product Varieties to Consider

When shopping for weed online, you’re not just choosing between strains, but also between a variety of products. Each method of consumption offers its own set of pros and cons, from discreteness to potency to health concerns.


Flower, or ‘bud,’ remains the most traditional and popular form of cannabis. It’s versatile, allowing you to smoke it, vaporize it, or use it to make edibles or extracts. Bud potency varies greatly and can be more easily controlled when smoking or vaping. This method is perfect for those who enjoy the ritual and sensory experience of cannabis.


Concentrates are potent extracts derived from the cannabis plant. These typically contain higher levels of THC than flower and can be smoked, vaped, or dabbed. This method is for experienced users looking for a quick, powerful effect. It’s essential to know the correct dosage to avoid overconsumption.


Cannabis-infused edibles are a tasty option that doesn’t involve inhalation. Their effects are delayed but can last much longer. Dosing is crucial with edibles; start small and be patient, as it can take up to two hours for the effects to kick in.


Cannabis-infused lotions, balms, and oils are applied directly to the skin and don’t produce a psychoactive high. Instead, they may offer localized pain relief and anti-inflammatory effects, making them appealing to users with specific medicinal needs.

Tinctures and Sublinguals

These liquid cannabis extracts can be taken sublingually (under the tongue) for faster onset of effects. They are discreet and can provide a more predictable dosing experience, making them a good option for new users.

Making an Educated Purchase

Shopping for weed online should be as informed a decision as any other health or wellness purchase. Here are a few tips for ensuring you’re making the most of your cyber-shopping experience:

Research the Dispensary

Not all online dispensaries are created equal. Look for establishments with a good reputation, clear product information, and positive customer reviews. A reputable dispensary will also provide detailed, accurate information about each product they offer.

Read Product Descriptions

To mitigate the risks of overpaying for a strain or product that doesn’t meet your expectations, read the product descriptions thoroughly. Look for detailed information about effects, flavors, and possible medical benefits.

Consult User Reviews

User reviews are a goldmine of practical information. They can provide insight into the true experience and effects of a given strain or product, often with a level of candor that official product descriptions might lack.

Understand State Laws and Regulations

When purchasing online, ensure you’re in compliance with your local laws and that the dispensary is operating legally within its jurisdiction. This includes being of legal age and understanding any restrictions on quantities or products.


The online world of marijuana shopping is an exciting venture into a growing array of options. Educate yourself on the language of strains and products, and consider the nuances beyond indica and sativa. Whether you’re looking to relax, socialize, manage pain, or boost creativity, there’s a perfect weed product for you. With some exploration and a little guidance, you’ll be able to enhance your online shopping experience and, in turn, your cannabis experience. Happy shopping!