Cannabis 101

Learn about Cannabis and its products for medical and recreational use

Cannabis Basics

Hemp plants and marijuana plants come from the same plant Cannabaceae family. Cannabis as a family of plants (that includes hemp), has  three main strain types: C. indica, C. sativa, and C. ruderalis, and these can also be blended as hybrid strains to get even more variations on the basic strains.

Hemp is regarded by law as a cannabis plant that contains 0.3 percent or less THC and comes from a specific C. sativa plant which has less than 0.3 percent THC in its extracted components that the 2018 Farm Bill defines as industrial hemp. Hemp can be used for making food, rope, clothes and other products. CBD can be produced from hemp.

Marijuana is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3 percent THC. but be aware that CBD can be extracted from both hemp and marijuana cannabis plants.

The easiest way to think of the difference between hemp and cannabis is remembering that hemp always has less than 0.3% THC with multiple product production options from all its parts – from seed to stem to flower – including CBD extraction. Cannabis is the group of plants from the Cannabaceae family that have more than 0.3% THC and can produce a variety of cannabinoids, including CBD as well as THC extracts. Your old fashioned joint would be considered a cannabis product with more than 0.3% THC whereas your hempseed oil extract is regarded as a hemp product along with hemp rope or hemp protein powder.

CBD, or cannabidiol is one non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that is a cannabinoid. It is the second most prevalent active ingredient in cannabis, but there are many such compounds in cannabis – 60 different cannabinoid molecules – all of which are termed “cannabinoids,” because they interact with body/brain receptors in different ways that can be involved in a variety of functions like appetite, anxiety, depression and pain sensation.

The two main cannabinoids in cannabis are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which causes psychoactive effects, and cannabidiol (CBD) which is not psychoactive but can reduce pain, reduce anxiety, help sleep and create a more relaxed sense of well being.

THC, also called tetrahydrocannabinol, is the compound in cannabis that is psychoactive and gives you the feeling of being high. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or Δ-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (Δ-9-THC) is the best known form of THC, and the illegal form under the 2018 Farm Bill. THC stimulates the release of a neurotransmitter called dopamine in the brain, which is what causes feelings of euphoria. The effects on the body can vary from one person to the next and can result in feelings of happy euphoria or adverse experience affects as well as pleasurable ones.

Delta-9 THC, being the best known form of THC, is considerably more potent than delta-8, reputedly about twice as strong overall, and as a result side effects can be more considerable too with delta-9, such as paranoia, mental fog, impaired motor skills, and increased feelings of anxiety.

Delta-8 and delta-10 are both milder that delta-9 and produce a much easier, less intoxicating experience with many users feeling a great sense of calm and clarity with a definite “high” to the experience – but not enough to impair the ability to form coherent thoughts or focus on activities. Delta-8 brings a feeling of being more relaxed and less burdened by stress thus it has a more sedative affect and is best for a mellow relaxing evening. Delta-10 induces a more active, sativa-like high with an energizing, anxiety-reducing effect enabling you to  feel more productive and creative – effectively the daytime alternative to delta-8. Delta 8 and 10 also work more slowly as they ease a user into a more mellow experience state where as the delta-9 onset is more rapid with stronger and possibly more confronting results.

Because it’s made from hemp, THC-O occupies a different legal status than other cannabis products due to THC-O being made from CBD derived from hemp and not cannabis strains with THC levels above 0.3%. CBD from hemp is put through a  conversion process to produce THC-O; effectively a sort of “synthetic” THC. Delta-O is significantly stronger than not only delta-8 and 10, but also regular delta-9 THC. Some consumers have reported a more spiritual high with strong effects that can even border on the hallucinogenic.

Terpene compounds are specific chemicals that cause many of the strong smells you will find in the plant world such as the scent of a pine tree. Plants can produce terpene compounds to help ward animals that would eat them, keep infectious germs at bay, and discourage other natural predators such as insects. You won’t find caterpillars munching on pine needles. In some plants, they can also attract pollinators and help regulate temperature.

Terpenes are the reason that essential oils have a strong scent, and terpenes odors in essential oils are said to promote various health benefits, such as helping you sleep or boosting your energy level. As an example, lavender oil can help you relax and get better sleep.

The bottom line for cannabis is that terpenes play an important role in the aroma and flavor of a cannabis strain and they can help trigger certain body responses, and they potentially work in synergy with cannabinoids and other cannabis plant compounds to produce the desired benefits of cannabinoid compounds and/or the nature of the psychoactive effects of THC.

As examples of terpenes in cannabis strains, Lemon Kush is high in limonene, a terpene also found in citrus peels that is known for its mood-elevating and antibacterial properties; while Blue Dream is high in myrcene, known for its relaxing and sedative effects. You can find myrcene in hops, lemongrass, mango and thyme, so it’s no surprise to find that lemongrass tea soothes, and beer with an odor of hops will relax you.

The presence of terpenes in cannabis and extracts like CBD results in a more complete therapeutic experience for the user, so you may want to consider a terpene profile offered as an important component in a CBD product you want to use, rather than simply refined CBD that has no terpene component at all. Look for the information on a product that tells you what the added affect and benefit a particular terpene(s) present in a cannabis derived product will give you.

Cannabis and different cannabis extract products, such as CBD and delta-8 THC, are variable considered legal or illegal, depending on the state you are in, your age, the amount you possess and the purpose of use. This state of affairs had arisen based on the level of knowledge, political affiliations and religious biases from state to state and often based on laws voted on by legislatures or direct votes put the people of a state.

Each state in the US tend to independently set their own laws for access, use and sale. Individual states have given little regard to the federal laws controlling cannabis in recent years and the federal government has responded by taking a soft approach, allowing the states to steer their own courses on how to handle cannabis use and distribution within there borders.

There is no uniform approach to legality in the US and different states view different products from cannabis in different ways and the way the law is applied varies also. A few states still consider all cannabis products illegal and other states take the view that medical use under certain conditions is acceptable and while access to CBD as a non-psychoactive extract from cannabis is legal without needing some form of medical permission.

There are a few states such as Colorado where possession of marijuana and recreational use is legal within certain limits and some states also permit the growing of your own cannabis – under certain limits – for medical use, and in some cases recreational use. 

The way the law is applied varies greatly too from state to state and some states have opted to soften the law for possession and use rather than legalize cannabis, such as making the possession of small quantities of cannabis a civil offence rather than a criminal offence, which applies a fine and eliminates jail time. Some states have moved tp remove the illegal status of possession of small quantities all together and have gone as far as proposing to expunge past criminal records for those charged in the past.

Possession above a certain quantity may be deemed an offence but in some states CBD is the most widely legal form of cannabis and has achieved a mainstream acceptance in a whole range of product types for general health benefits and also for more serious health issues, such as the control of pain or seizures when a doctor may prescribe CBD specifically. 

Delta-8 and delta-10 THC extracts escaped the federal 2018 Farm Bill restriction that was applied to make Delta-9 THC an illegal class 1 drug, and with this loophole situation the other forms of THC are technically legal in commercial products, but beware that some states have recognized these THC derivatives as being on par with delta-9 THC and have imposed their own restrictions on the legality, availability and sale. 

State governments in setting their own rules may ask their own  citizens to vote on legality within their state such that states and many state government positive views on legality are based on the controlled distribution and sale of cannabis products as a huge tax revenue boost, similar to taxing alcohol or tobacco products.

Federal law still considers marijuana and delta-9 THC are illegal category 1 substances implying  no proven medical use. The 2018 Farm Bill moved past both houses and gave federal legality to CBD and other cannabis derived products, except delta-9 THC.

The push towards full and universal legalization seems unstoppable and inevitable as a matter of time but for now if you are in the US, or in any other state of country in the world, you need to check the legal status of cannabis and the specific product you are interested in purchasing where you are, in your state for the  rules governing restrictions limited access and use. This is because of the many differences in the law with each state that can vary from product to product, form of use, quantity and shipping. We recommend looking at the site to check for the  finer details for your state and you can also look on out site here to check the law in your state, or if in Canada, your province => Information on the law at

How you choose to take cannabis for treating a health condition is is really up to you: your personal preferences and what your doctor’s advice might advise for the best form of a cannabis extract with an eye to dosage and purity.

Cannabinoids, being the active chemicals in medical marijuana, are similar to chemicals the body makes to regulate appetite, memory, movement and pain.  You can think of them as chemical keys that ‘fit certain locks’ in cell receptors in your brain and body that can tone down or turn up certain functions. If your body is not producing the chemicals that normally do this for you, or enough of them, then cannabinoids can be useful.

Research in the field of medicine and health is still ongoing as cannabis emerges from the shadow paranoia  of a category 1 classification such that medical researchers are prepared to take a close look at what the components of cannabis can do for health, without the risk of stigma in promoting the healing properties of an amazing plant that has been heavily  demonized from the time Richard Nixon started the “war on drugs”.  Research so far has shown that cannabinoids from cannabis can potentially reduce anxiety (popular with veterans dealing with PTSD), reduce inflammations, relieve pain, control nausea and vomiting brought on by chemotherapy, relax tight muscles in people suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS), and stimulate appetite and help improve weight gain for people who have lost weight due to diseases such as cancer, aid and anorexia. Research has further shown a possible potential to help slow the growth of cancerous tumors and it has been found to help control epileptic brain seizures in children using a special drug therapy made from CBD that is now FDA approved (Epidiolex).

Dry Herb: Using a cannabis derived product for a medical condition can involve using the ground herb. You can use it by smoking it (the old fashioned ‘joint’)or vaping it (vaporizing the active components in a special device that does not burn the material but turns the oils into a vapor that can be inhaled without combustion products from burning). You can also eat the herb (ingestion). Most people have heard about baking ‘hash brownies’ as a way of eating cannabis.  The most effective, immediate and healthiest way by inhalation is vaping the herb with the right vaping device for the dried plant, and knowing which strain you might need that best suits why you need to be using cannabis for a health problem, like PTSD.

Oil: You can also use cannabis in the form of an oil and many different oil extracts are now available that offer different properties, such as CBD, CBG, Delta 8 THC, Delta 10 THC, etc. You can get full spectrum forms of extract (contains all the unfiltered components including terpenes) or you can get the refined extract forms that have everything removed, except the targets extract, and are ‘pure’.  Oils can be vaped (like the dry herb plant form) in the right vaporizer device. Probably the most popular method is to put the oil under the tongue as drops (sublingual). Sublingual drops are possibly the most precise method for a medical condition usage as dosing will be very precise if the product you are using is lab verified with the strength and purity it says on the label and the dosage you are using is properly set by your doctor or health professional.  Oils can also be added to foods and drinks, such as smoothies. 

Concentrates: For those dealing with some chronic medical issues, concentrates in the form of waxes, shatter (hardened concentrate that looks like toffee) or thickens oils.  These forms are usually taken with a  special vaporizer such as one for the wax form, which is called dabbing. 

Topicals: Topical treatment of pain and can be effectively treated with creams, lotions, sprays and rubbing oils applied directly onto the skin in the area needing treatment, and there are now many cannabis products for topical use that are popular for treating muscle injuries and sprains in sports, but also branching into beauty therapies and relaxation, such as the use of CBD in bath bombs.

Edibles: An interesting form of treatment can be the use of edibles, either as a gelatin capsule or a gummy style sweet. Gummies have become increasingly popular as an easy way to take CBD and the legal delta THC forms to help treat anxiety, to relax and calm, or to help energize and focus creative work. Gummies are now popular as an easy to take health aid with a purpose for mild conditions, rather than for more chronic conditions that may possibly need other more concentrated forms of cannabis products, with a more immediate effect. The onset of an effect is much slower with ingested forms through the gut.

Finally, if you are using a cannabis product for a health reason, or thinking of doing this, check with your doctor or trusted health advisor about the appropriate form and dosage.  We advise also doing your own research, so you are well informed when you go to talk to your doctor, or professional health advisor, You may need to look carefully for a well informed, cannabis friendly doctor that is well briefed on the treatment benefits and latest study findings for cannabis products in the field medicine and health.

No manufactured medicine or plant based remedy is 100% safe or without some risks. It must also be remembered that everyone is different and what might be affective for some people may not work in the same way for you or others. Some people may have an adverse reaction which might occur with in a small number of cases. We also see this with some foods too. Some people love peanuts and the peanut paste but there is a small number of people that are highly allergic to peanuts and cannot touch any food with peanuts because peanuts will cause their body to go into anaphylactic shock.

To start with, there would be almost no risk  at all from topical CBD products and CBD alone, that is consumed as drops, could be said to be very, very safe, when taken as advised on the the product of as a health professional would advise.

Another problem with some cannabis products that are high in THC may be dependency. Just as with some prescription pharmaceuticals, sugary foods and alcohol, dependency and over-use can be an issue.

It would be very rare indeed for someone to die from cannabis use, even if using too much of it, but too much of the wrong strain or a strain very high in Delta-9 THC might cause paranoia.  Accidents may also be an issue if a person tries to drive or use dangerous machinery after taking too much of a particular form of cannabis – being too relaxed, spaced out or perhaps having an episode of paranoia.

Smoking cannabis heavily or vaping too much cannabis may have symptoms of paranoia caused by the psychedelic effect of too much THC and smoking cannabis heavily will most likely cause coughing and an irritated, dry throat. A dry irritated throat can also be the result of over vaping cannabis too.

In terms of mental disorders, studies have shown that cannabis usage may exacerbate an existing bi-polar conditions but there is no effective established evidence to suggest that cannabis usage causes bi-polar disorders.  Those suffering from acute depression may find regular usage of high THC products may increase paranoia and this could be linked to over-use or using the wrong strain of cannabis, or the wrong THC cannabinoid; whereas correct medically prescribed use of the right product can help depression and mood problems, but a small group of people may find that marijuana may increase their feeling of depression and may exacerbate schizophrenia. If so, these people must stop using it, but on the flip side, it has been found that marijuana can also help schizophrenics, and people with other psychotic disorders. It has been found that marijuana can improve their learning and memory abilities, but again, it comes down the individual’s own body, the personal nature of their personal disorder, the quantity being used, and the type of product being used and whether they are using cannabis for a medical purpose with the help and monitoring of a doctor or other experienced medical professional that understands the risks and benefits of cannabis for a mental disorder.

The bottom line is that cannabis is not very dangerous for most people, even if overused, taken without proper medical advice, or taking to large an amount. It certainly is very hard to claim that cannabis would be life threatening. Remember that certain foods like sugar, high fat food, and even alcohol, are safe for most of the population – IF these substances are consumed occasionally and in moderation. If you are unsure, you should consult a health professional first and educate yourself on the effects and risks of a cannabis product. Use low dosages to start with. If you are determined to self-medicate and work out you own dosage level, don’t be tempted to use too much. Start with the lowest advised dosage and work your way up to a point where you feel you are gaining a comfortable benefit, and remember, that more is not necessarily better.

Cannabis can be divided into different strains of the plant that in general offer different effects when used.  A strains can be seen as a particular variety of the plant type and different strains of the plant can come from different parts of the world.  There are two basic strains you may have heard of which are indica and sativa. There is now also a third strain called cannabis ruderalis that comes from Southern Russia.

Plants from these basic strains can be cross germinated with each other for blended affect options, and from this we get hybrids.  Most cannabis at dispensaries is broken down into the two basic strains and many hybrid varieties which are identified by particular names.  You may also hear terms like “indica leaning” or “indica dominant” when there is more Indica in a particular strain than sativa.

Indica variety cannabis originates from the Hindu Kush mountains of India and in general is said to offer a relaxing effect on the user.

Sativa variety originates from  the East Asia steppes and in general is said to have a more energizing effect.

Hybrid combinations of plants from these strains are bred to create specific effects for users that can be reliably expected (within reason) from a particular hybrid type.

Names for plants and their hybrids can hint at effect reactions like ‘Blue Dream’ of ‘Purple Haze’. 

Keep in mind that everyone is different and people can react differently to the same strain of cannabis.

Side effects can vary from the type of cannabis product being used and the way it is being taken. For example, smoking a joint is different to vaping weed, cannabis oil or wax concentrate, and different again from using and taking CBD in tincture form or applied topically.  The most problematic side effects could be seen as a result of smoking or vaping, but ingesting large amounts of cannabis can also result in a psychotic episode for some people, such as those with a bi-polar condition of schizophrenia. The type or form of cannabis, method of consumption and quantity are key, along with the state of mind of the user and any pre-existing mental or physical conditions that could be aggravated. Again, it comes down to an individual person’s reaction and it can be said that cannabis is not a plant medicine that works universally, in exactly the same way, for everyone. It can be very subjective but worth trying for relieving different health issues. We always advise seeking medical advice first, using cautiously and being aware of dosage.  The old axiom “less is more” may also be worth keeping in mind when treating a condition for relief and control of symptoms.  We also recommend buying reputable products from accredited producers with accompanying lab reports, and if you have approved cannabis dispensaries in your state, these would be a preferred source which should offer good product and good advice.

Some side effects for smoking weed beyond moderate use (and to a lesser extent vaping weed) that may be experienced, could include:

  • headache
  • dry mouth
  • fatigue
  • dry eyes
  • increased appetite (commonly called “the munchies”)
  • coughing
  • dissociation or altered state syndrome
  • an altered sense of time
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • high blood pressure
  • impaired memory (think of binge drinking)

Be aware that people react differently to amount and cannabis in general. Some people will have no problem smoking a joint, but others may find they experience a bad reaction, especially if an unseasoned smoker.

In VERY high doses, weed can cause hallucinations, delusions, or psychosis, but this is rare and dependent on the strain, and not really normal. Some experts believe that people who experience psychosis when using marijuana may already be at risk for psychosis, so the use is simply exacerbating a pre-existing condition.

People suffering from bipolar disorder may find weed might worsen manic states. Frequent use of marijuana might increase depression symptoms and the risk of depression, though it must also be remembered that careful use of prescribed weed can also treat and improve depression problems and PTSD. Hallucinogenic plant medicines can make the user come face to face with internalized and repressed mental conditions, so be aware of this. If you have a mental health condition and are planning to use cannabis to help with the condition, then it is worth considering a discussion with you therapist or doctor first when ‘going it alone’ could be unpredictable and can mean some risk on an unpleasant reaction.

Finally, if you taking any medications, either prescription or over-the-counter drugs, it’s worth checking to see if there are any possible contraindication issues of mixing cannabis with a prescribed drug. Unwanted interactions can occur and this again means it is wise to check with your doctor first. Be aware that weed can amplify the effects of alcohol and other recreational drugs, negatively interact with blood clotting medications, and increase the risk of mania in people who take SSRI antidepressants. We again advise talking with your doctor about the medications and supplements you are on, and whether there would be any known adverse interactions with weed or other cannabis products you are considering.

The answer to this question is dependent on where you are, and in the States, which state you are in. It also depends on the type of product you want. Some products can be seen as now mainstream and easily accessible, such as CBD products. Other products can be more restricted in access and problematic in shipping.

Easy legal access also depends on state to state laws and a country’s federal law based on purpose. You may find it easy to buy cannabis products in some states with a medical use authorization card, but find that there are restrictions if you want to buy a product for recreational usage.

If you live in a state or country which is organized with legalization for medical and recreational use, you will find it quite easy to get products at a  dispensary or government approved shop outlet.

Even easier, you will find many products available online in states that offer online sales to your door, but these businesses will warn you if they cannot ship to your state or area. 

Another easy way to buy cannabis is to buy seeds online and grow your own plants. Many states now allow individuals to legally grow small numbers of plants for personal use. 

The first step to legally buy cannabis is to check the law in your state and country for the type of product you want to buy.  For the US and Canada you can check out our state by state guide:

We also recommend checking for the latest in legal usage and changes in the law that may be coming.

For seeds and cannabis products, check out our shop site for a range of available products:

For dispensaries locations in your state area, we recommend



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Growing Cannabis

Like growing any plant, you have to have good soil, water and sunlight but the ease of growing your own cannabis depends on the strain you select, getting good seeds and avoiding overwatering and too much fertilizer. Some strains grow very easily, but others are tricky and need carefully managed conditions to get harvestable, mature plants.

Other issues to consider are whether you want to grow your plants inside, perhaps in a hydroponic system setup or outside in soil. If you are growing outside you will want to plant in the spring for a late fall harvest, so if you choose seeds for strains that are labeled as easy to grow and you have some experience with growing plants, then you should have reasonable success. 

If you choose to grow your plants indoors, then you will need set up grow-room and consider issues like ventilation, temperature control and lighting.  All of these factors can be managed with the right equipment and space, and you can choose to grow in soil or use a hydroponic system.  You will have to factor in buying some equipment for an indoor grow room and you may find that if you are renting there are estate rules against growing indoor cannabis, along with the issue of venting the smell, that can be very strong with some strains.

If you want to grow cannabis indoors, you will probably need some equipment like grow lights, humidity and temperature monitoring reader, a grow tent, trays, an exhaust fan, etc.  You may not need all of these things and if you are going to tryout growing indoors for the first time, you may want to invest at a low level to see if this is for you. 

You can check out this site for growing equipment for indoors and outdoors, and hydroponics: GROWACE

You can also look at this section of our website for growing advice: Hydroponic Systems

Legality always comes down to the particular state you live in, if you are in the US or Canada. You will need to check the law in your country and state and then you will also have to see if there are restrictions with growing cannabis in the place you live in – if you are renting. The same applies to other parts of the world too, so look up the laws and know your rights before you go and invest time and money on seeds and equipment.

Having said that, many states in the US and provinces in Canada allow a small number of plants to be privately grown for personal use by an individual. Some states also allow growing for medical use only, others for medical and recreational use. Given that it is now fairly easy to buy cannabis products that are ready to use, in many parts of the US and Canada, growing your own is becoming less of a need and more of a dedicated interest for those that want to go all the way from seed to mature plant. 

If you want to check the laws covering your state or province, you can check our section: cannabis laws by state and province

We also suggest checking the website for the very latest on the law in your state area: Norml – State Laws

Cannabis was called weed for a reason, it can grow almost anywhere. Wild cannabis is a hardy plant that spreads equally well in the mountainous, the wind-blasted Tibetan plateau, to the tropics, or in a ditch anywhere if it is sunny and rains occasionally. The thing to bear in mind is that many seeds now come from specialized strains that have been carefully produced from original wild strains hybridized with other strains to get desired properties of different plants or better yields. These modern versions can be a little more difficult to grow, but not all are a challenge for the novice grower. Generally, the auto flowering versions are the easiest to grow.

The easiest strains to grow indoors or the easiest strains to grow outdoors are not hard to find from a seed seller and you will usually find great choices and good advice from a company selling cannabis seeds. Many less experienced growers find that auto-flower seeds are undemanding and uncomplicated to grow. They grow from seed to harvest under 20 hours of daily indoor light.

Some indoor strains that are easy to grow for beginners are:

  • Skunk Automatic: Skunk’s flavor is sweet and citrusy. It isn’t the same as the pungent, herbal flavors of other Skunk strains. It has potent effects, uplifting without overpowering. This quality makes the strain a good option for daytime use. It also has a forgiving, resilient nature. It can recover from most beginner cultivation mistakes. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • White Widow Auto-flower: flowering cycle is reasonable because of its hybrid nature. It takes about seven to nine weeks. Compared to other strains, it’s less finicky as it grows using standard conditions. As a hardy plant, it can survive in normal humidity and environments. Its yields are amazing, making it a good investment. White Widow’s medicinal properties make it desirable. It relieves pain and is effective in managing nausea. It’s perfect if you’re suffering from chronic pain like lower-back aches. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Girl Scout Cookies Extreme: Girl Scout Cookies Extreme compensates since it’s easy to grow. Even as a beginner, you’ll have an easy time growing this as it’s resistant to disease and infection. Girl Scout Cookies is sturdy and stocky, making it a perfect candidate for indoor growing. This strain’s maximum height is 66 inches when grown indoors. It has a unique aroma that you’ll unlikely find in other cannabis strains. Most people say that it smells like chocolate mint. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Northern Lights Automatic: easier to grow because it has a feminized, auto-flowering version. If you’re planning on growing cannabis inside, Northern Lights may be your best option. This plant is smaller compared to most. It’s often under three feet tall, making it perfect for massive indoor growing. Its flowering period is also shorter at 55 days. After the seedlings turn a month old, the flowering starts. This event can happen sooner. It makes you look forward to having a dense harvest at least three times a year. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Silver Haze Feminized: This strain’s yields are huge since most seed makers made it reliable and homogenous. It’s also robust enough even when using training and super-cropping to grow them. It deviates from the Haze family’s common problem: delicate structure. Silver Haze’s versatility makes them a good choice for limited spaces. It means you can have a great yield even when you have a limited number of plants. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

Auto-flower strains also grow easily outdoors too, often staying around (or below) a meter tall. Auto-flower seeds are both fast and easy to grow. Indoors, auto seeds take around 75 days from seed to harvest. Outdoors (with cooler temperatures and reduced daily light hours) auto-flower strains take nearer 100 days from seed to harvest.

Some outdoor strains that are easy to grow for beginners are:

  • White Widow: Ideal for outdoor growing, it is also great for beginners as it can yield productive output even in less favorable conditions. White widow saves effort, as its frosty look works as a protective layer against insects, fungi, extreme sunlight, and harsh winds. The plant has a thick outside layer of resin that builds this natural cover. As for feeding, supply sufficient healthy nitrogen for productive results. It can grow 2m tall outdoors and yield up to 450 to 500g per plant.(Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Durban Poison: A South African, Sativa dominant strain good for outdoor growing. Favored for the elevated effects and creativity boost it can produce, it cab be grown In favorable weather throughout the year. The strain can grow tall outdoors and emits the aroma of spice and sweetness. It can take up to 8-10 weeks to grow, and yields an approximate of 13 ounces per square meter. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Super Silver Haze: A good choice for growing in a hot climate. The strain is Sativa dominant. Once you sow the seeds, you will require little effort and should produce a quality harvest, even during the warmest temperatures. With a yield of 500g per plant, Super Silver Haze is the best for new growers. It has aromatic buds with a spicy and skunky odor, and this strain gives 18% THC content which works as a good body relaxant along with lifting your spirits. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • LSD: LSD is great for beginners with its capacity to fight off pests and fungi. LSD is a good choice due to its natural resistance quality requiring less maintenance and the ability to flower during the hottest days. Grow it in a sheltered area where it can receive ample sunlight. Leave the rest to nature. The strain normally takes 9-10 weeks to flower. It offers a vibrant experience to the user with a feeling of elevation in both body and mind. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Northern Lights: This cannabis is pure indica. It is also very popular and easy to grow. Favored because of its potency effects and sweet scent and flavor, if you are considering growing cannabis plant for medical purposes, then Northern Lights is a good choice. It has low odor and usually flowers after six to seven weeks of growth with a large output to harvest. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)
  • Blue Cheese: The Blue Cheese is an indica-dominant cannabis strain. It is also perfect for novice growers. What makes this strain easy to grow is its resilience to overfeeding and overwatering. You can harvest Blue Cheese strain flowers after six weeks of planting. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

Check out seeds in our shop here: Seeds at

It depends:

Indoor growing allows you to completely control your environment, including temperature, light source, CO2 levels, and humidity, without having to worry about weather conditions; but you will have to deal with monitoring the internal environment for your plants and maintain it at an optimal condition for best results. Indoor typically produces flower with higher THC percentages, but yields are usually smaller and the costs of managing plants indoors are high by comparison, even if you can grow during all seasons in an indoor setup.

Outdoor growing requires far less investment, but the growing cycle will be subject to the seasons, thus shorter, unless you are in a tropical area. Free sunlight, ventilation and free soil is money saved, but growing outside exposes you to natural risks, including insect pests. Cannabis plants like the outdoors, so generally speaking it will be easier to grow cannabis outdoors for an inexperienced novice grower, and yields will be higher in an outdoor environment; but indoors does offer you security and the potential to grow plants in all seasons.

The strong odors produced by growing cannabis are often described as pungent, skunky, floral, fruity, or even maybe smelling like a drain. Created by the plant’s essential oils (terpenes), odors are strongest when the flower is budding, These pungent odors can be detected at a far distance, depending on the strain.

Thankfully, cannabis plants don’t stink throughout the entire growing cycle. In fact, they remain entirely scent-free during the seedling and vegetative phase. During these stages of growth, plants direct all of their energy toward increasing in size to produce future flowers.

Eventually, though, the vegetative phase comes to an end. Depending on the type of plant, a shift in the daylight hours, or an internal genetic mechanism, will initiate the flowering stage. Over the course of the next few weeks, you’ll notice your plants stretch and show the first signs of flowering with small hair-like pistils at the nodes. As these become flowers that grow into full-sized nuggets, they’ll start to stink more and more.

This increasing intensity is caused by another key development, specifically those small crystal-like structures you’ll notice on the surface of cannabis flowers. Known as trichomes, these mushroom-shaped glands churn out a resin that’s rich in cannabinoids and smelly terpenes. This resin, in turn, protects the plant from insects and fluctuating temperatures. Flowers will begin smelling as soon as your plants start producing this resin, and will stay stinky well after you harvest them.

If you are growing indoors you will have to be aware that cannabis plants need to breathe. Therefore, you need to ensure your growing space features a constant flow of fresh air. However, the air that leaves the growing space will take a boatload of terpenes along with it—unless you process it.

The combination of a carbon filter and an extractor fan works by diverting and scrubbing outgoing air to rid it of the odor. Whether you’re growing in an open room or an enclosed growing tent, you should position an extractor fan next to the air vent of your dedicated space and attach a carbon filter to the extractor fan outlet to absorb odor. This device will pull air towards it and form a current that prevents smelly air from leaking out of doors or windows.

Air purifiers work by drawing air through a series of fine filters. As a fan sucks the air through, small particles and pollutants get trapped in the filters and clean air passes through the other side. Air filters create steady airflow and will provide a clean and fresh environment for your plants.

As far as smell goes, air purifiers are not a total solution. You can include them as part of an odour-prevention strategy, along with a carbon filter, as opposed to relying on them as an independent solution.

  • Low Odour Cannabis Strains

Some strains just don’t smell as much as others. Just as cannabis breeders have developed some cultivars to produce sky-high levels of terpenes, the botanical masterminds have also created varieties with subtle smells designed for covert growing. Some of the best low odour genetics include:

A good water-based nutrient solution forms the basis of all hydroponic systems and a good setup can be ideal for growing very potent cannabis buds. Like other growing mediums, hydroponics requires ample light, air, and space. hydroponics may be a bit tricky to set up but a system will facilitate easier nourishing of cannabis plants over time. Nutrient solutions allow for precise dosing and direct feeding of the plants. The roots of the plant absorb the administered nutrients directly from the water and this should make growing an easier and more efficient process. Plus, once you’ve set up the hydro system reservoir and your system is working well, there’s not much maintenance to worry about.

A hydroponic garden may exhibit a growth rate that is between 30% and 50% faster than plants in soil with the combination of balanced nutrients, water, and oxygen in the roots being responsible for this faster rate of growth. Besides the two most obvious benefits of a hydroponic garden with easier nutrient delivery and faster growth rate, there are other advantages for cannabis cultivators to consider:

  • Water conservation in areas where water is scarce
  • Space saving
  • No need for pesticides
  • Year-round growing
  • Greater potency of the buds

 Disadvantages to consider are:

You do have to monitor nutrient levels and environmental factors, so hydroponic cultivation may not be as hands-off as planting out in the garden under ideal climate conditions, at least, not initially.  The other things to consider are that this method of growing requires an upfront investment for equipment, and will be a challenge for the inexperienced to get right at the start, so there is a steeper learning curve.  Hydroponics, being often favored for an indoor growing setup, will also involve other equipment being needed, such as grow lights, a venting fan, possibly a grow tent and filter equipment to remove odor; but you can also have an outdoor hydroponic garden too. You will have to consider that an extended power outage could be a real problem for your plants if you have no backup energy system as hydroponic systems often need a pump to move the nutrient water through the system.

You can check out hydroponic systems at: GROWACE HERE

You can check out advice on growing with a hydroponics system: HERE

Strains that adapt well to a hydroponic grow system are:

Amnesia Haze

Famous for its earthy, citrusy flavors and its ability to energize you in a pinch, Amnesia Haze is the sativa strain you want when it’s time to focus on the task at hand. It produces large amounts of THC, giving you a high that helps you socialize and keep your mood up. It’s also won several Cannabis Cup championships. It works well in deep water culture systems due to its medium size and easy cultivation. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)


If you’re searching for a strain to grow in a short amount of time, Moby might be your go-to. An evolution of the Moby Dick strain, it’s a hybrid between the Haze and White Widow strains. It’s primarily sativa and grows high—sometimes reaching three meters. The initial taste is vanilla, but Moby can reach a powerful 21 percent. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

Purple Haze

The Purple Haze plant is incredibly beautiful, with vibrant purple leaves, and it leaves you feeling completely relaxed. She doesn’t grow taller than one meter and completes a growing cycle within eight weeks. This resilient feminized strain can withstand pH fluctuations like a champion, whether she’s indoors or outdoors. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

Super Skunk Autoflower

One of the most classic strains of cannabis is Skunk. If you’re looking for a couch-lock effect, take a good look at Super Skunk autoflower seeds. It gives the user a pleasant version of the couch-lock, however, given the fact that you remain clear in thought and capable of concentration. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

Gorilla Glue

Another strain that’s famous for its relaxing high is Gorilla Glue, or GG4. Its name comes from the feeling of being stuck to the couch that you experience after ingesting it. With its potent high and calming effects, this strain is excellent to grow if you’re searching for something with an earthy, sour flavor. (Learn more about this strain: HERE)

The entire cannabis plant, aside from the inside of the stems and the roots, does contain certain cannabinoids. Some parts only produce/contain trace amounts of CBD and THC, so it is probably not worth your while to worry about these parts at harvest time. The parts for the plant you do want to focus on are the buds and small leaves surrounding the buds, which grow  on the female plant and will be sparkling with trichomes. The buds and small leaves which surround the buds have a fine layer of hairs and white crystals on the surface. The crystals are the trichomes and contain the greatest concentration of THC and the cannabinoids like CBD. So you need to wait for the plants to flower and produce buds and you should be able to see these sparkling crystals on the maturing buds.  These are the best part to vaporize or smoke.

If you want to learn more about the best vaporizer, check out our information pages:  Here

Check out vaporizers at our shop guide site: Here

This is a big topic but here is some advice in brief and we recommend that you look up good articles on this topic for details steps to get the most out of your crop and get the timing right for harvest.

The most important  indicator for determining if your plant is ready for harvesting is the size of the buds and the appearance of the trichomes. Trichomes are the resinous glands on cannabis buds that contain the plant’s cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. Trichomes should look milky white with only a few amber ones. If trichomes are still looking clear in appearance then you are too early. Trichome clarity is a sign of how much resin is stored in the gland and that resin is what you want and if there is maximum resin you will see the milky appearance. Clear trichomes means there hasn’t been enough resin production. If the majority of trichomes appear amber then you have waited too long and the buds have over-ripened, which will affect the potency, so you want that harvest sweet spot.

Cutting, drying and trimming usually means hanging the heads for around three to seven days, then you can trim excess leaves and stalks.  Be VERY careful handling the heads when cutting and hanging, and later trimming, otherwise you will loosen trichomes which can detach and fall off with rough handling.

The final stage is curing when you need to put your heads into glass jars or bags for around 4 to 8 weeks.  In the first two weeks, open the jars and let some air into the container space every 2 to 3 days. This will help remove moisture and balance the atmosphere inside, especially allowing some fresh oxygen into the container, but remember to keep your relative humidity low in the storage area or you might have a mold problem. This freshening of the contained air inside the containers will assist curing and will preserve fragrance and flavor, but also try to keep the airspace to a minimum in the containers – more bud, less air inside.

Once your buds cured and ready, you will want to store them for later use and this means making sure that they are not exposed to extremes of heat and temperature changes, excessive moisture (a balanced and low RH environment) and UV light. These environmental issues, if not controlled, will degrade your buds, and don’t forget: excessive moisture in the containers may lead to mold.

Good glass storage jars, that do not allow light into the interior, can be used, but try and limit the airspace that is in the jar.  Keep your buds storage containers in a cool, dry storage area and they should remain in great condition for you to use for a long time.

We recommend this article for greater detail on the harvesting process:

Buying seeds is not overly difficult to do online but remember that it is best to buy seeds legally, and this is based on where you are in the world.  It is best to select a local supplier if you can as this eliminates problems with crossing national borders where laws can change and so the whole process is easier and more relaxed. Another advantage from buying locally concerns any issues you may have with an order.  Reputable companies will always help you if there is a legitimate problem, but it is always easier to get help, replacements or refunds from a local business, especially one in you own country and state.  Some Canadian seed companies are most strongly focussed on their local market and some suppliers may not be overly keen to supply US buyers if they have to deal with US federal and state restrictions, and that can make suppling US buyers more problematic.  This is totally understandable if the local market is strong, if seeds are in short supply, and where domestic laws and shipping are easier to deal with than transnational shipping regulations.

Having said that, there are suppliers who are European based and are willing to ship internationally, but buy locally, if you can.

Below we give a few suggestions for well known supply companies and we will show them for the Canadian and US market.


I Love Growing Marijuana (ILGM) in California – Check them out: HERE

Seed Connect in Arizona – Check them out: HERE

Sonoma Seeds in California – Check them out: HERE

(Please note that these companies are set up for easy US deliveries)

Crop King Seeds – Check them out: HERE

Sun West Genetics – Check them out: HERE

Beaver Seeds – Check them out: HERE

Mary Jane’s Garden – Check them out: HERE

MJ Seeds Canada – Check them out: HERE

Rocket Seeds – Check them out: HERE


Weed Seed Shop – Check them out: HERE

Sensi Seeds – Check them out: HERE

Our Shop Seed Guide


Buying growing equipment is relatively easy online and you should also be able to find some items that would be easily sourced at a hardware store or industrial supplies store. Some large garden centers may have hydroponic kits you can experiment with and possible grow lights.

For online purchase of all the right equipment, for beginners or professionals, for outdoors, indoors and hydroponics,  along with expert advice, we recommend:

Grow Ace – Check them out: HERE

Best Cannabis Strains Based on Customer Reviews at Leafly

Best Cannabis Strains Based on Customer Reviews at Leafly

If you are new to cannabis, you might have no idea where to start when it comes to selecting the best cannabis strains. You want to know what to ...

CBD Advice

Vaping Cannabis

The best way to answer this question is that it is safer and healthier than smoking weed, both for both you, and those around you that would be exposed to secondhand smoke.  Vaping is not completely without risk while the form of cannabis may determine risk level along with the type of vape.  Remember that oils can contain additives to thin them, create ‘cloud’ and add flavor.

Smoking means that combustion products are produced in smoke that are known to have serious health risks, be it cigarettes or weed. Vaping means that the cannabis extract oil content is vaporized at the correct heating temperature and not produced through burning. So your intake is the material you want into your lungs, as a vapor, without many other harmful chemicals associated with smoke.  Now this is not to say that vaporized material is 100 percent safe either, but it can be claimed that is a preferably safer alternative to smoking and there are studies out there to support this.

Vaping is now the leading way by choice for users to consume cannabis but there are many forms of cannabis that can be vaped and different types of vaporizers for the purpose. Setting heat levels correctly and buying a verified quality product to vape, without additional harmful materials added, is important. Remember that cannabis oil can have additional components like PEG (propylene glycol) and VG (vegetable glycerin) added to thin the oil and produce cloud, but these additional components are under debate as to there health risk when vaped, though at this time they are viewed as reasonable safe and are not withdrawn as additives.

Vaping concentrate and dry herb requires different types of vaporizer devices and it could be claimed that for these forms of cannabis, vaping is definitely a better way to go for health. Wax or concentrates are not usually cut with any oil thinning agent and dry herb gives you the cannabinoids straight from the flower.

Advantages to vaping can include:

  • Less smell
  • Faster and stronger onset
  • Easy to use
  • Wastes less cannabis material
  • More affordable (if less cannabis is used and this will offset the cost of the vape)
  • No secondhand smoke
  • Consistent doses
  • Cleaner hit
  • Accessible in more places

Some ingredients that may be present in some vaping products that would  not be good for you:

  • Heavy metals ( microscopically small amounts of metal that can shed from heating coils over time)
  • Carcinogenic compounds (additional ingredients used to thin or suspend the active components of cannabis, or to make vapor cloud, may be potentially dangerous as possible cancer-causing compounds when heated – PEG and VG)
  • Ultra-fine particulates: (vaping oils may contain ultra fine particles that can irritate the lungs when inhaled)
  • Additives for flavor: (flavors and terpenoids may cause lung problems, depending on what they are) 

Extreme problem that may be associated with excessive vaping can include the following symptoms:

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Weight Loss
  • Abdominal pain

Vaping is a healthier way to go than smoking cannabis, but knowing what you are vaping, using the right vape and avoiding unnecessary and potentially dangerous additives is always a wise approach.  Vaping offers a cleaner, more immediate and more potent affect with the use of less material.

Vaping in moderation with a quality vape device is advisable. If you experience health issues from vaping you may need to consider another way of taking or using your cannabis.

You can check alternative CBD products that can be taken eaten here: CBD edibles

You can check alternative CBD tincture products here: CBD tincture drops

You can vape most cannabis products in different forms, such as oils, concentrate, wax, shatter, and flower or dry herb.  The key is to have the product produced in a form that is suitable for a vape and vaporizer ready. You also need to have the right vape the for the material form of cannabis you want to vape.

Oils should be vaporizer suitable oils though some cannabis oils can be taken both orally and vaped, such as some CBD oil products.  Check the oil to see if it suitable for a vaporizer.

Concentrates, wax and shatter (hard, toffee like resin) are produced as extracts from cannabis but they need the right vape device for each. These forms of cannabis extract tend to be used more by those who are experienced and prefer them to vaping oils or dry herb, because they are very concentrated. 

Dry herb or dry flower is easy to vape and this is a more healthy alternative to smoking a joint. The dried plant needs to be ground finely first and you can buy grinders specifically for this purpose (see grinders here: grinders at Vaping dry herb is quite easy and there are many vaporizer types for the purpose from large desktop models to small and discreet pen style models. Quality vape devices give you temperature setting options too, which can change the experience based on what you are getting out of the material at a specific temperature.

You can check our shop site for vapes devices and cannabis products suitable for vaping vapes at

Vaping delivers a different experience than smoking a joint, but it’s not easy to quantify the subtleties of that difference other than to say that research has shown that the effects of vaping marijuana is much stronger than smoking it, so it is fair to say that vaping amplifies the effects, both good and possibly bad, depending on the user and strain being used.

That being said, vaping does not involve combustion so it is a better health option to take cannabis by inhaling it rather than smoking a joint, which involves smoke from combustion. It should be noted, there may still be health issues from inhaling vapor, but commonsense dictates that these issues are significantly reduced compared to smoking a joint with combustion products in the smoke.

So the best way to compare the experience between vaping and smoking is that when receiving the same dose of THC, users have reported in a study more significant effects with vaping and higher levels of THC was found in the blood of vape users compared to smoking.

Another advantage here is that vaping means you will use less material to get the same effect to that of smoking it in a joint, so this should mean less cost in replenishing your cannabis over time, though you will still need to invest in a vaporizer.

You can check out some dry herb vaporizer units here: dry herb vapes

Now this is a subjective question and depends on what you want to vape (CBD versus THC, Delta 8, Delta 9, Delta 10, Delta O, etc), what your experience level is with vapes and how much of an intense experience you want or are capable of handling.

CBD users will probably find CBD vape oil is the easiest way to go with lots of inexpensive vape unit options for this purpose (see here). That said, you can get cannabis strains loaded with CBD and hardly any THC, so you can vape the dry flower of these strains too.  Wax and concentrate are also available, but limited and not as popular.

THC in delta-9, delta-8, delta-10 and delta-O can be vaped as an oil or concentrate, but delta-9 is illegal nearly everywhere, where as 8, 10 and O are legal to buy and use in many states. You can get delta 8, 10 and O as oil extracts in disposable cartridge form which simple means you need a battery to screw the cartridge into, and you are set to go (batteries)

If you want to vape traditional cannabis loaded with delta-9 THC then it is probably best to purchase dry herb of grow your own to get around the restrictions in a legal way (check your state laws to see if you can grow some plants for personal use. If you can, you can look for seeds at

Our personal favorite is vaping dry herb, which is pretty chill and easy with the range of excellent vapes for this purpose that you can now buy (check here)

Desktop vaporizers are mainly for dry herb but you can also get sophisticated units for waxes and concentrates.  The main think about desktop units is the added power.  You also get more control with finer temperature settings.  Large desktop units are usually plugged into mains power and can produce a lot of vapor cloud compared to the smaller and more discreet mod or pen units. Some use a balloon bag to collect the vapor produced.  Desktop units are not designed to be easily moved around but you can expect lots of features on these units along with the ability to do very fussy temperature adjustments when producing vape cloud. If you want to make lots of cloud and want to do that with a few friends, then a desktop is a good pick, but expect to pay more for these units.

Portable mods and pens rely on batteries needing recharges and less power, but battery technology is getting better and better in terms of power output and life between charges.  Mods or boxes are bulkier but offer better setting features, bigger battery power and usually make it easy to change a cartridge or load and unload dry herb. If you want a portable for around the house or on a camping trip, then this is probably your pick.

Pens are very discreet but usually limited in battery life and settings.  They also usually hold much less material for vaping. If your main thing is discreet use at a party or out and about, then a pen is ideal.

You will also find hybrid models that offer use with combinations of oils, concentrate and dry herb (not vaping these materials together, but you can use a hybrid device to swap from between each material, and usually you will need to switch a tank or chamber for this purpose). We personally prefer a device for each material, so if you like oil (vape juice) sometimes, then get a pen for that purpose. If you also like dry herb or wax, get a dab pen for wax and a nice mod for dry herb.

Vapes can usually be purchased with ease in most countries, with proof of age. As a vape is not directly connected with cannabis, there should be no problem to make a purchase, even in a state where cannabis is highly restricted. You will find many options for vapes designed for different materials, and different sizes and styles.

You can check out our store suggestions here: Vapes at

Best Vape Pen for 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparison

Best Vape Pen for 2020: Complete Reviews With Comparison

The market has become quite cluttered with numerous models and options, so it’s no wonder it’s become quite hard to decide which vape pen will suit ...

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