Ask Cheri

How Important Are Marijuana Strains When Cooking with Cannabis? 

By Cheri Sicard
August 7, 2019

Dear Cheri, 
How important are marijuana strains when making marijuana butter or cannabis oil?  Does the strain I use really matter when I cook with cannabis?

It can, but in my opinion most people put FAR too much emphasis on strains when it comes to cannabis cooking, especially a lot of beginners who don’t understand enough to properly put strain knowledge to good use.

There are several reasons I feel that strains are the wrong place to put a lot of effort and emphasis.

First of all, there are 1000s of marijuana strains available with subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences. Not all are available everywhere, and remembering them all would be impossible even if you could get them all.

Secondly, lab tests have proven that in this stage of our history, consumers are often not getting what the label says, so who knows if that Strawberry Cough you just bought is actually Strawberry Cough.

To make it even more confusing, the same strain from different growers and crops is going to have significant differences.

The bottom line is, most general consumers can get good results cooking with most any strain of cannabis.

Marijuana Strains: The Effects Are in the Terpenes

That said, if you want to hone in on specific medicinal effects and/or flavor profiles, focus on the strain’s terpenes – the component of the plant that gives it its aroma. This is where a lot of the medicinal magic happens.

For instance, a strain high in limonene will tend to make you feel more energetic than one high in linalool which tends to be sleep-inducing.

If you shop according to dominant terpenes you will always find cannabis to meet your needs, even if the specific individual strain you like is not available.

To help you, I created a Terpene Cheat Sheet, that you can take with you to the dispensary.  It can help you make better choices as the cheat sheet covers 14 of the most common cannabis terpenes, their medicinal effects, what strains that are commonly found in, and even cooking notes for those who want to match flavors in their cannabis with the foods they consume.  Fill out the form below to get your free copy.

3 Marijuana strains and a pot of simmering marijuana butter

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About the author

Cheri Sicard is the author of Mary Jane: The Complete Marijuana Handbook for Women, and The Easy Cannabis Cookbook.  Her online courses at have educated 1000s of students about marijuana, cannabis cooking for home cooks, and making infused topicals.

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