Marijuana Light: How to Stay Lifted Without Losing Reality

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It's perfectly appropriate to want to get high. (It is legal, after all, and nothing legal can be all bad.) It's also acceptable—nay, responsible—to want to get only a little bit high.

Like the easy, bubbly buzz of a single mimosa (or two) rather than 20 on a Sunday afternoon, cannabis' benefits are best felt when you can still feel them—when you can still feel anything at all, rather than struggling in a dab-haze to rediscover reality and if you still have a place in it. You want to alter reality just so, to feel warmer colors and hear fuller sounds, rather than blow it apart.


Finding that happy place—the tickle in your brain-pan gently pulling your mouth into a grin—can be tricky. Microdosing is all the rage in Silicon Valley, sure, but that's not getting high. Gobbling super-strength edibles and the race to pack as much THC in single hit is the cannabis equivalent of a fraternity hazing ritual. But rejoice! We, too, appreciate a mellower high, and we have a few favorite methods of getting there.

First! Keep in mind that generally, "one dose" of cannabis has roughly 10 milligrams of THC. But! The actual effect on the body and brain hinges on factors including personal tolerance, method of ingestion (Edible? Flower? Smoke? Vape?), and what (if any) terpenes and other cannabinoids or present.

Mellow marijuana flower

For us, part of cannabis' magic is the social aspect. You share a joint, you pass the pipe, your senses and sensibilities mix and mingle. Splitting an edible or passing a vape pen around just isn't the same. The best flowers for an easygoing, mellow high are some of the industry's best known.

Whenever Blue Dream is on the menu, it's almost certainly your best option. If you can find it, look for luxe options like Berryessa Blue Dream from Graham's Brand ($55/eighth at Haze, 1761 Smith Ave., San Jose, haze420.com; or you can bother Graham on Instagram to see if there's an SF drop). But generally speaking, you'll want something with around 12 to 15 percent THC at maximum, or a flower with decent levels of CBD—because guess what! You'll still get high. Harley Sue (4.9 percent THC, 8.0 percent CBD; $35/eighth) is a good option and, since it's grown outdoors, it'll likely have a fuller terpene profile; find it at Green Cross (4218 Mission St, thegreencross.org). If CBD strains just don't do it for you, try blending a CBD strain with your favorite fire strains. You'll get the taste and some of the effects. Just, more mellow.

If you're in a rush or can't be bothered with the ritual of rolling a joint, try the Lion Fire pre-rolls (6.9 percent THC, 8.1 percent CBD; $15 at Sparc, 1256 Mission St., sparcsf.org).

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