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Indica vs Sativa and Beyond: The Best Types of Weed for Parents

The right kind of cannabis can restore after a tough week or make playtime even more fun. Here's what parents should look for.

The marijuana industry is growing like, well, a weed. After the 2020 election cycle, it’s now legal to consume cannabis for medical use in 36 states and recreational use in 15 states. A growing customer base means more and more products and types of weed, and the question of the best weed strains now goes well beyond indica vs. sativa.

Another effect (and cause) of the liberalization of laws around marijuana is the liberalization of attitudes around marijuana. The stigma around parents smoking a little weed or popping an edible every once in a while is fading fast, and moms and dads who choose to enjoy pot are now tasked with choosing from the aforementioned plethora of different options.

But what kind of weed makes sense for parents? We asked some experts for their thoughts on the topic for parents in different situations. Keep in mind that these are general suggestions — marijuana is still in many ways an underregulated industry which can make specific advice difficult.

A Cautionary Note For The Cannabis-Curious

There are certain things that everyone, no matter their experience with or tolerance for weed should do every time they imbibe. Take it slow, giving the chemicals time to affect your system, before you take another hit of the vape pen or have another nibble of the edible. That’s doubly true if you’re trying a particular product for the first time or even a new batch of something you’ve had before. And remember that having a good time — and avoiding feeling overwhelmed or paranoid — is the ultimate goal. And for parents: Always have a sober partner around, even if the kids are in bed asleep. It’s the only responsible way.

For Getting Some Sorely Needed Sleep

The cardinal rule for those who want their weed to put them to sleep is indica, known for its relaxing body highs. And if you’re truly desperate for some shuteye, you can try an insomnia-focused edible that combines THC and natural sleep aid melatonin.

For some folks, too much THC can actually reduce the quality of their sleep, according to Winston Peki, editor of Herbonaut, and at least one scientific study. He says they might be better off with a full-spectrum CBD oil, which has the added benefit of being available even in states that haven’t legalized cannabis.

For Playing with a Toddler

To match the energy level of the average toddler, a sativa (or sativa-dominant hybrid) is your best bet — and very small amounts at that. Peki recommends strains like Sour Diesel and White Widow. Stacia Woodcock, PharmD, Dispensary Manager for Curaleaf, says that their customers report that strains higher in limonene (also the major component of the oils in citrus peels) are more energizing and creativity-inspiring. If you’re not sure what those are, well, that’s what budtenders are for.

For a Very Special Date Night

You don’t want to go overboard on date night — the cannabis is the enhancer, not the main attraction. If you’re in for a more relaxing night together, Woodcock suggests a hybrid strain with a 1:1 CBD:THC ration that won’t be too sedating or too energizing. For more active dates, a moderate dose of sativa is probably your best bet. It’ll make dinner taste great, and keeping things casual will ensure you don’t get too wired or too tired before the end of the evening.

And speaking of the end of the evening, Woodcock says that “for some couples, using cannabis together as part of their foreplay activity may increase feelings of connectedness and openness, both of which can contribute to more satisfying sexual experiences.” So you have that to look forward to.

For the End of a Long, Stressful Week

If it’s the kind of week where you want your bedtime to be right after your kid’s, see the first item on this list. But if you want to unwind after some particularly stressful days at the office without hitting the hay, Peki says an Indica-dominant strain or even a full-spectrum CBD oil will do the trick, the latter without any psychoactive effects.

For Getting (Back) Into Cannabis

If your mattress was a twin extra long the last time you tried marijuana, it’s best to ease back into things. Avoid the harshness of smoking flower (which, for the sake of your lungs, you might want to avoid anyways) and opt for a vape, tincture, or edible. Peki recommends going with a product that’s CBD-heavy that will dampen (but not completely hide) the psychoactive effects of the THC. Once you’ve got your sea legs, you can lean into more THC-focused strains.