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beginner guide cannabis

Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis: What Determines Potency in Cannabis?

Potency in cannabis, by many, if not most who use it, is often associated with the strain being smoked, the breed of the plant or the source of procurement. What you need to know however, is that these factors are not enough to determine how potent a cannabis plant may or may not be.

The question remains, if it isn’t strain or breed that determines potency than what exactly is it? What exactly, contributes to the potency in the cannabis we smoke?

Determining Factors

We’re going to elaborate on what exactly determines the potential potency of cannabis. To make things simple, there are numerous chemical constituents working in tandem to produce the effects we feel when we smoke cannabis. Cannabinoids and terpenes are two such bio-chemicals that are most responsible for stated effects.


The two prime existing cannabinoids in cannabis include THC and CBD.


THC is what is responsible for the cannabis high so to speak. It is also known to help with pain and symptomatic relief and is also the constituent responsible for the hunger one feels post smoking. THC is preferred by individuals who smoke recreationally and are looking for an enhanced high. It is also sought out by those taking cannabis for medical reasons such as pain relief. This strain is not suited to the management of anxiety.


CBD is not associated with intoxication. It is linked with pain relief. It is used more frequently by those who need marijuana for medical purposes and is not chasing any other of the herbs for more psychoactive effects.

Strains lower in THC but higher in CBD. CBD is also well suited to anxiety management.


Though there is a long drawn scientific definition for these, simply put, terpenes are what produce fragrance in plants and other organic matter. In the cannabis plant, these terpenes are secreted by the very parts of the plant that secrete THC and CBD.

Terpenes also add to the high. Cannabis has numerous terpenes and the high might vary depending on which terpenes are present. Some terpenes produce relaxing effects whereas others might be mood lifting and so on. Terpenes are also responsible for the effect produced when someone undergoes aroma therapy!

Modes of Consumption & Other Factors

Though the constituent makeup of the cannabis plant is the primary determining factor by way of potency, how you take your herb also has a part to play!


For those smoking or consuming cannabis regularly, the effects of the herb might be far milder than for someone trying it out for the second or third time for instance. Your tolerance to the herb and how frequently you use it plays a big part in determining potency.

Consumption Method

How you take your herb also has a part to play. Where smoking a joint or bong might give you an intense 45 minute to an hour followed by an hour or so of an afterglow effect, ingesting marijuana produces an effect which lasts much longer.


Yes this is a thing. You could have an extremely potent strain sitting out in the open for a few weeks. The trouble here is that with exposure to air, over a period of time, the herb will likely lose its potency though ever so slowly. Keep your herbs airtight and you should be good!

What Do I Go For?

This one is hard to answer over a blog, mainly because it really depends on why you’re taking the herb up to begin with. Is it recreational? Is it to treat symptoms of an ailment? Is it to combat anxiety or sleep deprivation?

The strain you should go for really depends on your needs and what you wish to gain by smoking or consuming cannabis. If you’ve already got your herb and just need a bong to smoke out of, you might want to swing by our page and check out our collection of cheap dab rigs, bowls and other paraphernalia for sale online!

Until then, stay safe and smoke smart!

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