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Cannabis 101: Choosing the best cannabis for You

The owners of Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc. take the mystery out of shopping for cannabis with a few simple steps.

Whether you’re a seasoned shopper or its your first visit to a recreational cannabis store, navigating through the vast array of products to find what’s right for you can sometimes feel a little intimidating.

Leanne McPhie and Paul Thomspon, co-founders of Little Leaf Cannabis Co. Inc., explain how they help to make shopping for cannabis much easier for their customers.

Step 1: Start With A Goal?

Since there are so many different types of cannabis available with each one having different characteristics, Leanne and Paul suggest that you decide what your goal, or desired outcome is before selecting a product.

“What are you trying to achieve?” asks Leanne. “Are you interested in adopting cannabis into a wellness plan or are you looking to cannabis for recreational purposes? In other words, the cannabis you choose for a party on a Saturday night is going to be quite different from the type you choose for walking your dog on a Wednesday afternoon.”

Step 2: Selecting the Category

Once you have figured out what type of experience you are looking for, the next step is to look at the ten different categories that cannabis products are available in:

  • dried flower,
  • pre-rolls,
  • edibles,
  • beverages,
  • oils,
  • vapes,
  • topicals,
  • capsules,
  • suppositories
  • and concentrates.

“The cannabinoid content, potency and overall effects of cannabis can vary greatly between the categories and individual products, particularly with oils, topicals, and capsules for the wellness side of cannabis,” explains Paul.

Step 3: Which Method Do You Prefer?

Every product within each category fits into one of four methods of using cannabis:


Edibles, beverages, oils, and capsules are all ingested and typically processed through the digestive system and it that takes time for the onset of the effects. However, some ingestible cannabis products can have a quicker onset when nano-emulsification technology is used. This Canadian-invented technology ties the THC cannabinoid to water instead of oil for quicker absorption by the body. 


Dried flower, pre-rolls, vaping, and concentrates are inhaled with varying methods used such as bongs, dab rigs, pipes, one-hitters, vapourizers, and others.


Topicals are used transdermally, which means that they are applied to the surface of the skin and do not enter the blood stream.


For those with difficulties inhaling and ingesting, suppositories are available. They provide the highest absorption rate of all methods.

“Each method will have a different timeframe for the onset (when you will feel the effects), to the peak (when the effects are at its highest), and duration (how long you will feel the effects). All of these are important aspects to consider when consuming cannabis,” says Paul.

Step 4: Which Products and How Potent?

This is the most difficult question to answer as each of us process cannabis differently; in other words, what works for me, may not necessarily work for you. This is when customers must rely on the knowledge and expertise of the employee to properly educate customers on the limitless combinations of plant types, cannabinoid content, and terpenes.

Plant types refer to Sativa dominant strains which induce uplifting focused feelings, Indica dominant strains that are more sedative, and Hybrids that can incorporate a combination of Sativa and Indica feelings.

Cannabinoid content refers to the individual or combination of THC, CBD, CBN, CBG, Delta8, and others. Understanding which cannabinoids and what percentages are necessary to achieve the desired outcome may require adjustments as you gain more experience.

Terpenes are the flavour and aromas of cannabis. The naturally derived terpenes add to the overall effects of cannabis expressed in a similar fashion to that of aroma therapy.

The Entourage Effect

When all of the elements contained within cannabis come together synergistically with your own body’s chemistry, it creates what is known as an ‘entourage effect’.

“When the effects of the terpenes, the percentage of the cannabinoids, and the unique characteristics of the plant type - indica, sativa, or hybrid – come together, you experience the full entourage effect,” says Paul. “Focusing on only one aspect, like THC for example, is limiting the overall effects one could experience.”

While all of this information is good to learn, Leanne says that you don’t have to worry about not knowing which products to try. “A good store will have staff that will go through these steps with you, explain all of these different attributes, and help you find the right product that meet your individual needs,” she says.

The helpful team of Cannsultants at Little Leaf are experienced in helping their customers navigate their large selection of products.

Little Leaf is located at 804 Ontario Street in Stratford. You can also find them online.