While medical marijuana has been legal for over a decade here in Arizona, recreational adult-use cannabis has only been around for six months. For a lot of people, that means this summer is the ideal time to experiment.
So how high do you want to get? Well, here’s a list of strains and products available to both the public and medical marijuana patients, listed on a spectrum: from those that won’t get you high at all, to those that will make you ask “Dude, where’s my car.”
Here is our “How High?” spectrum, from 0 to 5. For our purposes, 0 will be products that don’t get you high at all, and 5 will be completely stoned.
Products available exclusively to medical patients are not listed. The maximum allowable dosage of any marijuana-derived products (like extracts, topicals, edibles, etc.) is 100mg of THC per package and 10mg per dose. There are no such limits on medical products.
*Please note, while specifically stated at Level 3, if you do choose to use marijuana and marijuana-derived products of any kind, please do so responsibly. Under Prop. 207, marijuana that is smoked or vaporized must be consumed on private property. While edible use is allowed outside, public intoxication laws still apply.
Level 0: CBD-focused
Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of marijuana’s active compounds. Unlike its brother, THC, it isn’t psychoactive, so it doesn’t produce a high. It does, however, help with anxiety and insomnia.
Strains: Charlotte’s Web, Lifter, Sour Space Candy, Bubba Kush (many of these strains contain either a negligible amount of or around of 1% THC)
Other products: CBD-only edibles and tinctures like those available from CBD Wellness, a Tucson-based brand that specializes in CBD-centric products.
Level 1: CBD-heavy
By themselves, THC and CBD produce interesting effects. Together (and in concert with other compounds found in the plant) they produce what’s called the “entourage effect.” However, when CBD is more prominent, usually around a ratio of 4:1, the psychoactive effects of THC are mitigated. As such, most of the following strains/products are CBD-heavy.
Strains: Harlequin, Cannatonic, Harle-Tsu
Other Products: Wana, the Colorado-based edible brand, produces 10:1 and 5:1 ratio CBD to THC gummies. Kiva, a confectionary brand of edibles, makes chocolates and mints at the 10:1 and 5:1 CBD/THC ratio.
Level 2: CBD/THC balanced
While CBD can mitigate the psychoactive effects of THC when the former is more prevalent, when the later takes over, so does the high. The strains and products are balanced at a nearly 1:1 ratio, so users may feel a euphoric and significant feeling in this range.
Strains: Argyle, Dance Hall, Sweet and Sour Widow
Products: Along with the above listed brands, which also produce edibles in the 1:1 ratio, you can find Defi fruit chewables, winner of the Phoenix New Times’ 2018 Best MMJ Edible.
Level 3: THC-heavy
At this level, there may be some CBD present in the strains or products, but the focus here is on THC. That means products that tend to get anyone stoned, along with producing needed pain relief and other medical benefits.
Warning: If you are using recreationally for the first time or the first time in a while, use of strains/products at this level can be jarring. None of these products should leave the user totally incapacitated but staying home or utilizing a designated driver or rideshare to go out is advised after use of strains or products at this level and going forward.
Strains: Wedding Cake, Royal Flush, Lemonhead OG
Products: Although edibles and tinctures will produce a high, some products that are 3:1 to 5:1 THC/CBD can be more manageable for first time users. Drinks, like Haze & Main’s Happy Hour line of infused energy drinks, are in this vein.
Level 4: THC-focused
These strains of marijuana are potent, possessing some of the highest THC content available (while still in plant form). The edibles mentioned are capable of producing a heady experience in even a regular marijuana user.
Strains: Chemdog, Godfather OG, Malverde
Products: Any 10mg THC per dose, 100mg THC per package edible will get you to around this level.
Level 5: Extracts, distillates and resins
You might wonder what could be more potent than the most potent marijuana flower. Well, with the help of multiple techniques and processes, producers of the products below have been able to create commodities known as extracts and distillates — products that come in the form of oil, waxes, goopy or resin-like form and can contain nearly three-times the THC content as the most potent flower.
While some of these products are available to vape in cartridge form, others require the use of a special water-pipe, known as a rig, and necessitate a butane lighter in order to heat the distillate, extract or resin up enough in order to combust.
Products: There are a ton of brands of extracts out there, but one of the best is local. Earth Extracts, based here in Tucson, offers a premium distillate vape line, along with their own lines of shatter (an extract that resembles stained-glass and is smoked in small, breakable pieces) and badder (an extract that is buttery in texture and that can be smoked itself or sprinkled on top of flower) along with other extracts.