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Never before in the history of history have we had the variety of cannabis strains available to pick and choose from like the present. From edibles to dabs, CBD to THC and everything in-between, our marijuana options are vast and plentiful. For us lucky ones, the days of buying whatever your local drug dealer was schlepping around are over (thankfully) but now we’re left scratching our heads over what to pick when skunk shopping.

After all- how is one supposed to choose the “best” cannabis considering all the choices? Although it might seem like a daunting task at first, I will argue that it actually boils down to one simple method: smell.

Can’t you smell that smell?

That’s right, I said it. Much like when I know it’s time to do my laundry, one whiff of any strain and I pretty much know right away whether or not I need to do a load. The many rich and pungent terpenes that are responsible for that signature stink you get with the sourest of diesels and the Willie-est of Nelsons actually have a huge effect on personal preference.

For me, Strawberry Diesel and Golden Goat are the absolute tops. The combination of fruity citrus aromas and truck-idling skunky diesel tells me that not only will I enjoy the smell of my living room after a few tokes, but also that I’m going to be extremely relaxed. Follow your nose and you can’t go wrong.

Pungency over potency

Even though the ol’ sniffer has sometimes led me astray when it comes to a strain’s potency, I can honestly say that I’ve never been dissatisfied with a strain that has a pungent, hit-you-in-the-face aroma. It’s kind of like baking cookies; some people like chocolate chip, others prefer gingerbread. Either way, as soon as the smell of those cookies starts to permeate your kitchen you know whether or not you’re going to enjoy stuffing about 50 of them in your face.

Some strains have very little pungency yet produce quite a bit of potency, and vice versa. Your best bet is to start with the nose and keep exploring from there. If the last bud you bought smelled like a bouquet of oranges but didn’t get you very high, try the opposite side of the nasal spectrum next time. It’s all about finding that delicate balance and branching out from there.

How to find the strain that’s right for YOU

Typically, the flowers that smell the best to you will produce effects that you will enjoy. If you salivate every time you drive your car past a road-killed skunk, perhaps a heady diesel or Lemon Skunk is in your future. On the flipside, if you love your bowls with a little taste of fruit in them, reach for the Grape Ape or Grapefruit next time you visit your favorite budtender.

Finding the “perfect cannabis” is all about experimentation, but the best way to get a jump on playing the field starts with your nostrils. Be like Toucan Sam and follow your nose so that maybe, just maybe, you’ll find your own magical bowl of Froot Loops one day.

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