You’ve probably noticed today’s cannabis is more potent and flavorful than what you were enjoying even just a few years ago. (If not, can you connect us with your guy? We might have a job for them…)
Because we’re dealing with stronger, cleaner products and a lot more consumption methods, it’s now easier to recognize the difference in effects between strains, between consumption methods, and even between individual cannabinoids and terpenes.
This progress has given us space to experiment with the plant and try out new varieties and new products, and it’s also given us the advantage of finding out exactly what strain and consumption method works for us individually. With a plant this versatile, that’s valuable information.
And there’s only one way to find out that valuable information for yourself—try what you want, and track the effects. The easiest way to do that is with a cannabis consumption journal.
So let’s dig into why it’s helpful to know what types of cannabis products and strains work for you and the best things to keep track of in your weed journal.
Why Keep a Weed Journal?
Keeping a weed journal enhances your cannabis experience and gives you the opportunity to better tailor your buzz to your situation. Here are a few ways it can elevate your consumption:
Keeping a cannabis consumption journal can help you recognize patterns in your mood and behavior. Maybe you feel like weed’s been making you more paranoid than usual lately. Having a log in your weed journal might show you that you’re actually only feeling paranoid when you smoke while also drinking coffee, like in the mornings or before work. Being able to spot these patterns can help you adjust your consumption for a better experience.
By tracking what strains you consume in your weed journal, you can determine which strains work well with your body chemistry and which don’t. You can even get as specific as which terpenes your body prefers and what types of consumption methods you prefer. This can help you avoid spending money on cannabis products you won’t like, and it gives you the opportunity to keep an eye out for sales and promotions on your favorite strains and consumption methods.
Improving your dispensary/doctor visits.
Using a cannabis consumption journal can make it easier to talk to your budtender and your doctor. You can get more specific in your requests for your budtender, and your doctor may be able to offer advice on which strains you should try or recognize patterns in your consumption or behavior that you might not see.
Helping your mental health.
Journaling, in general, is good for your mental health, so you could include journal entries alongside your cannabis consumption. If that’s not your style, the habit of keeping a routine is also helpful for your health. Establishing a routine around when you consume cannabis and when you use your weed journal will encourage you to keep up with it.
What To Include in Your Weed Journal
Your weed journal doesn’t have to be a traditional bound journal. You can keep a log in your phone’s notes, download a strain tracker app, write it on your calendar—whatever works for you. It’s more important to choose a method you’ll actually keep up with, so if physically writing something on paper isn’t a task you’ll remember to do, try another option.
Once you determine your method, consider keeping some or all of these notes each time you consume:
1. Current State of Mind
Write down how you feel now, before you consume. This will help you determine what the effects of the strain actually are. If you’re anxious right now and then paranoid after you smoke, it might not be the strain. It could just be your state of mind at this moment.
2. Intake: Strain, Method, and Amount
These are arguably the most important things to jot down. Write down the strain you consumed, and if you want to go even deeper, include whether it’s Indica or Sativa, what its THC and CBD percentages are (and any other cannabinoids you want to track) and what its top three terpenes are. (You can find that on the product’s certificate of analysis.) You also want to note the method (smoking, vaping, edibles, etc.), and how much you consumed. It’s easy to calculate dosages with tinctures or edibles, but with smoking or vaping, you’ll have to use your best judgment in measuring your intake.
3. Immediate Effects
Take note of how the cannabis you consume makes you feel right after consumption. This will be easy for immediate methods like smoking or vaping, but you’ll have to wait a bit for edibles, tinctures, and topicals to kick in.
4. Effects After 30 Minutes, 1 Hour, Etc.
Once the weed has had a chance to really take effect, write down how you’re feeling. If you want, you can get super specific and note how the effects change every 30 minutes or so. Keeping track of the high and the comedown can help you next time you’re at the dispensary. If you like the peak of a specific strain but need something without as heavy of a comedown, it’ll be easier to explain it to your budtender if you have notes to reference.
5. What You’ve Eaten
Effects can vary depending on how full your stomach is. Your weed journal should have a spot to mark down what you’ve eaten recently, if you’ve consumed caffeine or alcohol today, etc. That Sativa may not have as energizing of effects as you think if you just downed a pot of coffee. Likewise, that Indica might not be as heavy as you think if you just finished a big meal.
6. Anything Else You’ve Consumed
Be sure to write down if you’ve consumed any medicines around the time you consume cannabis. (Of course, ask your doctor first before you mix weed with any medications.) You should also include anything hormone-related, like birth control or steroids, as a change in hormones may have an effect on your consumption.
Make Your Weed Journal a Habit
None of this matters if you don’t keep up with your cannabis consumption journal. You need to be consistent with your notes in order to find patterns, but we know that’s easier said than done.
To make a habit out of using your weed journal, try these tips:
Keep your weed journal next to your stash.
Make it so you have to physically touch your journal in order to get to your weed.
Schedule a time when you journal.
Literally, add it to your calendar and set a reminder.
Reward yourself for using your weed journal.
Set an attainable goal and reward yourself when you achieve it. Maybe if you use your weed journal for five days straight you’re allowed to splurge on that top-shelf flower you’ve been eyeing.
We’re fortunate enough to live in a time when cannabis is readily available and of super high quality. Take advantage of this privilege and keep a cannabis consumption journal so you can experience the full benefits this plant has to offer.
And if you’re not sure where to start, swing by 253 Farmacy. Our budtenders can give you advice on using a weed journal, which strains and consumption methods to start with, and which direction to go once you’ve got some intel from your cannabis consumption journal.