High Femme: Pick a Strain, Any Strain

Calling all Homoganjas! Let’s talk about anything and everything Marijuana related, from legalization to pop culture to how to make your own bong using a box of Diva cups and a broken lamp.

Whether you’re a newbie who doesn’t know a blunt from a joint, or you’re planning your gay dream wedding to Mary Jane, this column is for you. Puff, Puff, Pass.

Header by Rory Midhani

High Femme_Rory Midhani_640px

You guys, let’s talk about strains. Strong strains, weak strains, strains that climb on rocks. For the novice smoker, the strain of their weed is not something that is normally taken into consideration. They are more concerned with what’s available, what’s cheap, and what they can get a lot of. This leads to copious amounts of “schwag,” a low-grade cheap form of marijuana. Schwag is basically the marijuana equivalent of Charles Shaw wine, aka “Two Buck Chuck.” Not that there’s anything wrong with Chuck. In college, I drank PLENTY of Chuck (I even mixed it with vodka once. It did not turn out well.) It’s cheap and it gets the job done.

(via yelp.com)

(via yelp.com)

But eventually, you get tired of drinking something that tastes like malt vinegar left in an old shoe. So you start spending some money. You sample different flavors and vintages. You even figure out what wines go best with a filet mignon or a seafood entrée. You develop standards. This is a good thing, as no self respecting adult should subject themselves to Chuck or any other similar beverages (with the exception of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill. I might be a connoisseur, but I’m not a monster.)

The same theory applies to marijuana. You want to get high, but what kind of high are you after? Are you looking for an uplifting, energizing high to help you complete your novel/Orange is the New Black fan fiction? Or do you want a heavier, more soporific high to glue your ass to the couch while you mainline Bomb Girls on Netflix? Or are you looking for something in between? This brings us to the two main strains of cannabis available today: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.

Cannabis Sativa:

Sativa is a form of cannabis that creates a more stimulating, head-based high. It is considered a more energetic, invigorating strain that appeals to artists and highly functioning potheads alike. This is due to a higher content of THC (aka tetrahydrocannabinol) the main psychoactive chemical in marijuana. Now buckle your seatbelts, because it’s about to get scientific! According to Live Science:

“THC relieves pain, but it doesn’t bind to the same receptors in the brain as opioids such as heroine, morphine and other drugs derived from the poppy plant. THC stimulates cells in the brain to release dopamine, creating euphoria.”

look how happy this cat is, you too could be this happy (via ....com)

(via 1ms.net)

You may recognize dopamine as the “happy” chemical, or the primary material from which they make A-Camp. Because of this, sativa is a strain often recommended for depression and fatigue.

You Should Smoke Sativa if:

– You want to be high but you still have shit to do.

– You are completing the great gay American novel.

– You are going to any sort of concert or festival.

– You are about to play any sort of dance-based video game.

– You found some old glow sticks in your freezer.

– You are about to do some serious data entry.

Cannabis Indica:

Indica is a heavier, more sedative strain of cannabis. This strain creates more of a body high, and is recommended for people with insomnia, anxiety, and chronic pain. Indica is what you smoke when you want to spend the day parked on the couch watching Netflix and intermittently napping (aka best day ever). This is due to less THC and more CBD (cannabidiol) a chemical with substantially less psychoactive effects than THC. Oh, and here’s a fun fact about CBD: it could possibly stop cancer cells from growing! Maybe the government should fund some of this research and testing…HAHA, just kidding they can’t do anything.

You Should Smoke Indica if:

– You want to be high and you have NOTHING to do.

– You just got the complete Daria DVD box set.

– You’re stressed out about the government shut-down.

– You are playing an RPG.

– You’re going to sleep.

– You didn’t go to A-Camp (cheer up, there’s always next year!)

Cannabis Hybrids:

Cannabis hybrids exist because God loves you and wants you to be happy. Hybrids are great for a combination head and body high, and depending on your preference you can enjoy a Sativa-based blend, an Indica-based blend, or an even 50/50 split. Hybrids are quickly becoming a popular choice for both recreational stoners and medical marijuana users. Consider hybrids the Reese’s of the cannabis industry. Two great tastes that taste great together.

(via catbeaversandducks.tumblr.com)

(via catbeaversandducks.tumblr.com)

You Should Smoke Hybrids if:

– You enjoy smoking marijuana.

– You enjoy making good life choices.

What do y’all like to smoke? Any strains you are partial to? Share in the comments! I’m currently in a Girl Scout Cookies phase and loving it.

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Chelsea Steiner was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, where she works as a screenwriter/blogger/sex educator. She's the writer/director of Thank You Come Again, a queer sex positive web series based on her experiences working the Pleasure Chest, which you can follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. She’s obsessed with dachshunds, Buffy, 90's dance parties, and roller derby. She loves the word "Jewess" and wishes more people used it to describe her. Follow her ramblings on Twitter and her cute puppy pics on Instagram.

Chelsea has written 46 articles for us.


  1. I like my sativa based purple, sour diesel, & blue cheese. On the other hand who can’t say no to some girl scout cookies.

    Speaking of the government and cannabis here is a scary fun fact: Cannabis and it’s chemical properties are actually patented, and by whom you may ask? The feds. Some how in this country we allowed plants and it’s chemicals to be patented.

    P.S. <3

  2. As someone who only smokes to fall asleep at night, this is highly relevant to my sleep-interests! Indica, here I come.

    THANK YOU, CHELSEA, for this valuable public service.

    • OMG YES indicas are my jaaaam. If you can find it, I recommend Chiesel (hybrid of sour diesel & cheese), it’s my favorite strain of all time.

  3. I highly recommend Blue Dream. Not too sure if it’s an indica or sativa strain but it is definitely one of the best strains I’ve had. “Cheese” is another favorite. Currently enjoying some “Sage & Sour”. Pretty much any Sour/Diesel strains are great. According to High Times Magazine, Kush strains (indica) are the #1 strains in the country in terms of popularity and demand.

  4. Sativa girl right here! I’m a very functional stoner and I’m a big proponent of smoking and *doing stuff* (except for when I’m not, because, ya know, I have all of Strangers with Candy on DVD) so sativa is really conducive to my lifestyle. It makes me feel more “buzzed” than stoned, like I had a glass or two of red wine.

    Things I love to do after smoking sativa:
    Dress shopping
    Nature walks
    Grocery store runs (MAKE YOUR LIST BEFOREHAND OR YOU WILL COME HOME WITH 15 POT PIES, I speak from personal experience)
    Try making a new curry
    Read a book
    Write song parodies
    Watch porn
    Dance in front of my mirror to get an idea of what I look like when I’m drunk
    Sing through an entire musical soundtrack while cleaning my house
    Send creative snapchat narratives to my best friends
    Listen to Gregorian Chant and stare out the window with my dog

    The possibilities are endless. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER! (I almost said cloyster to tie it back to the Gregorian Chant thing… and no, I’m not even high right now)

    • I know what you mean about the pies!! Back in college I went to Denny’s for a slice of pie, and left with two pie, for only a little more than just one slice. My roommates looked at me like ze must have celebrated another good grade again.

    • Hahaha. This is awesome!
      I will never forgot the first time I got up and did “stuff” when I was high (it took me a couple months of smoking for some reason?)-it was a bike ride to the grocery store, because you know, I had no gas and I wanted food to munch on. Desperate times. It was like an ah-ha moment! I can be high and do things? And they’re better? NO WAY. Now I prefer to smoke only when I am doing things. It makes for a wonderful experience.

      I love to cook elaborate meals. Or to go the cinema. Nature walks are a favorite as well.

  5. “the world is my cloyster” is what I will now be saying anytime I don’t want to leave my house. And I just recently did a Sativa-fueled live tweet of Les Miserables and I regret nothing.

  6. I will. not. touch. sativa. I have way too much anxiety on a normal day, so I don’t need to be ‘stimulated’ in any psychotropic sort of way.

    This can be a pain considering I can’t just smoke when everyone else is, and I’m not going to be that jerk like “Uh, is this indica?” when someone kindly offers to share.

    • If they’re cool people, they shouldn’t judge. I hate when seasoned stoners are rude to newbies, or when they pressure people to take bigger hits/smoke more/smoke what they don’t want to smoke. You Do You should be an integral part of pot culture. Most chill people get this, but sometimes you’ll run into one of the exceptions.

  7. I love this post! I don’t have all that much experience but I definitely prefer Sativa. My Indica experiences were a bit too intense for my taste. I can’t claim to have tried a lot of strains yet but so far NYC Diesel is my favourite. I just love how my brain works when I smoke it.

  8. As someone living with anxiety, I have a question. Every time I’ve smoked I have had a panic attack. It’s not as bad if I smoke alone but I was wandering if there is a strain that could fix that problem? I would love all the help I could get.

    • I have bad anxiety too, and although everyone is different, I’ve found that generally speaking Indica strains are. Sativa-heavy strains make my heart race and more often give me panic attacks. When in doubt, ask for “Kush”. There are a lot of different kinds of Kush, but that will get you a strain more indica-heavy.

    • High CBD, low THC strains might be your best bet? But THC is the psychoactive component of marijuana, so it wouldn’t get you “high.”

    • Maybe try smoking less? Like one or 2 hits and put it down for a while to see how you react. I know when I first started smoking, I was less attuned to the differences between strains, or indica vs. sativa, than I was to how much I took in and/or what other substances I mixed it with (i.e. alcohol primarily).

    • Well not really a strain, but for many having vitamin C, or real orange juice is suppose to help ease the paranoia and anxiety. For some it works well for others, no disenable effect.

    • i think everybody reacts differently to marijuana and it’s possible it just doesn’t jive with your system and might not be the best way to control anxiety? but you could definitely try everybody else’s suggestions as well!

    • Hang in there. I think the number one best thing to do is to learn how to control your thoughts.

      Even if you change your strain, or do something like drink vitamin c, it’s not going to do anything to stop the thoughts you may have that provoke anxiety.

      So do some introspective work on yourself and figure out where you think your anxiety stems from. Then, when you get high, you can be aware of those thoughts and aim to fix them.
      After that Mary J can actually be pretty therapeutic.

      Believe me, I’ve had bad highs before… ones that left me getting really panicked. One other thing that helps me, is just simply going easy. Maybe only take two hits, wait and see how you feel, then more if you think you could use more.

      • I think you could be right. I think my knowledge of how my anxiety works kicks in when I feel my heart racing, and then I just freak my self out. It’s like a horrible downward spiral after that. I’m just going to take everyone’s suggestions of trying an indica heavy strain, taking it easy, drinking orange juice, and trying not to fall down that slippery slope. If it doesn’t work, then I’ll know it’s just me and how my body works. Thank you, I’ll definitely do some self work before I try again. You guys are all amazing. I honestly wasn’t expecting this much feed back. Knowing all this information has helped a lot and given me the courage to try again.

    • I didn’t smoke on the reg for a year due to random UA’s, but when I occasionally did, and when I started back up again after I was done with my program, I noticed I would get panic attacks after smoking. I didn’t let it stop me though, I kept on toking, my best advice would be just to smoke tough and your mind will adapt – you can’t really take a couple of hits of bud and expect your mind to register it properly until it’s been trained to distribute the medicinal qualities it possesses until you give it time to adjust.

  9. I prefer Sativa almost exclusively, I don’t like the “couch-lock” feeling I get with Indica, and generally am more prone to paranoia with Indicas or hybrids. I find Sativas give me more of a happy/buzzy/relax and let go of your day kind of high with a gentle comedown to usher in sleepy times an hour or two later. Jack Herrer is my current fave.

  10. Hey, another fun weed/gov’t fact!
    The only federal medicinal plant garden that grows and researches marijuana is literally like 100 yards from where I sit right now typing this on my couch in Oxford, MS! Yep, there’s a shit ton of federally grown weed a football field away from me right now. The only federally grown weed in the country might I add. But, there’s a really big fence and a guard tower and I heard they’ll shoot you cuz something about trespassing on gov’t property and all. But still, kinda neat

  11. I have really mixed feelings about this column in general, and I want to share them. I don’t want to be the ‘fun police’ but there are several problems with the fact that Autostraddle now has a regular column devoted to getting high.

    Firstly, it’s advocating what is actually illegal behaviour in many parts of the world (such as Australia, where I’m from).
    Secondly, it carries no health warnings/reminders. Marijuana has been linked to the emergence of psychiatric disorders later in life, and is a lot stronger today than it used to be. People with a family history of mental illness should limit/abstain from marijuana use.
    Thirdly, the column carries no warnings such as “do not attempt to drive under the influence of marijuana”: a surprising number of people think it’s okay to get behind the wheel when their driving skills are impaired, and it’s socially irresponsible for AS not to include a reminder/warning. You can argue that “but people know better than to do that!” but in reality, they often don’t. Driving whilst impaired is incredibly selfish to other people on the road.
    Finally, some Autostraddle readers are underage – it’s really not ethical nor appropriate to be promoting drug use to minors.

    Just because something is natural, doesn’t mean it isn’t harmful.
    Sure, it’s a ‘soft drug’ just like cigs and alcohol, but can you imagine an Autostraddle column dedicated to promoting the smoking of cigarettes?

    I personally smoke pot occasionally, but I do so with full awareness of possible health risks. I also don’t actively encourage others to do the same. I understand that queer women are statistically more likely to engage in marijuana use, but 1. is that necessarily a good thing and 2. should AS be encouraging/glorifying it?

    • Weird but i kind of agree with you. I think a small paragraph at the end of the column addressing Flic’s points would be great.

    • Hi Flic,

      As a reader, I just wanted to address some of your concerns regarding this column. Obviously I’m coming from a biased POV, because I really enjoy this column & I think it’s actually doing a good job demystifying marijuana (for example, my girlfriend doesn’t partake & doesn’t really ‘get’ stoner culture, so I feel like this column goes a long way). There is so much misinformation and fear out there regarding marijuana when other socially acceptable drugs can be more damaging and harmful to people. That being said, no where in Chelsea’s columns have I read her advocating those who haven’t smoked marijuana to try it. It is my understanding that it’s meant for people who already enjoy weed to have a space to talk about it on Autostraddle.

      Addressing your first point: homosexuality is illegal in many parts of the world as well, as is marijuana use. So is alcohol in a lot of Islamic countries. So are a lot of things legal in the United States. Does that mean Autostraddle shouldn’t write about those things? Does that mean that people in those countries don’t do outlawed things? In Malawi, marijuana is illegal but there are still farmers who sell weed to tourists in order to feed their families (not to mention the fact that it just grows like a weed). In a lot of Caribbean nations, marijuana is illegal but go to Jamaica and you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t trying to sell you weed.

      Also I’d like to remind you that alcohol is a drug. There are no health warnings/reminders regarding driving under the influence or alcohol on any of the “liquor in the __” or whiskey tasting posts. Does there need to be a “people with a family history of alcohol addiction should not drink” disclaimer on those articles? That seems pretty patronizing to me. And as someone who does have a family history of mental illness and enjoys marijuana, marijuana use exacerbating mental illness is not necessarily the case for everyone. I feel like every person is different. Like I mentioned before, my girlfriend doesn’t partake of weed, primarily because it exacerbates her vertigo. Do I force her to smoke? No, because she is an adult and can make her own decisions about her body. Like the majority of readers here.

      For those underage readers, are the “liquor in the __” posts promoting alcohol to them? Teenage drinking can be more prevalent than teenage marijuana use in some communities. I think it’s more important to educate & inform people about these substances, so that that they can make informed decisions about their bodies. I’m sorry, but I can’t help but be reminded of abstinence only education with your rhetoric, which leads to more harm than good. Additionally Chelsea wrote in her last column about getting her doctor’s recommendation and quote “He tells me to stay out of trouble: only smoke indoors, no smoking while driving, and no drinking or mixing other drugs with marijuana. He repeats these three rules several times; I get the feeling he says this a lot.”

      I just want to say that many of the points you make can also be said about alcohol in the queer community. Despite the fact that unfortunately drinking is pretty much part of queer culture, as in most cities the only queer spaces are bars. Plus, alcohol can be more damaging to your body than using marijuana.

      Admittedly I am biased. I love weed, it’s incredibly therapeutic for my carpal tunnel & tendonitis as I don’t have to down 1000mg of ibuprofen a day and harm my liver & kidneys, and helps with my insomnia, so I don’t have to rely on the hallucinatory ambient. I know it doesn’t help everyone. But this column isn’t saying everyone should smoke weed. It’s providing a space for people who already enjoy weed to talk about amongst other queer people. And I just want to point out that marijuana can be really popular in communities of color, as well as certain queer communities, so I can actually see this column working to be an inclusive space for other readers of color. I mean, I feel welcomed, even though the writer is light-skinned.

      You don’t have to agree with me, and you don’t have to smoke weed. Just like anyone else who reads this column.

      • Okay I’m at uni and don’t have time to write a full reply but I just have this to say:
        – there is strong evidence that weed is linked to psychiatric illness LATER in life: whilst I don’t doubt that many people, such as yourself (and myself) find it therapeutic, it definitely carries a risk.
        – the language in the column is “you should”. Nowhere does it say the column is targeted solely at people who already use marijuana. Ergo, the implication is that the column is promoting marijuana use to everyone.
        – my intention was not to promote an ‘abstinence only’ approach: you have misread my words if that was your conclusion. I am advocating for some kind of warning/reminder to be included in the article rather than “weed is great! You should try it! You can get high! No possible risks!”
        – alcohol and smoking are undeniably both damaging to the body. However, the body is also (except in extreme and long-term cases) usually able to reverse the effects of alcohol and smoking: the liver in particular is very good at rebounding and regaining normal function (I know this from studying medicine – I would provide a source if I had access to a journal right now but I don’t) although brain damage may linger. Marijuana, however, has less immediate harm on the body. It’s the later-in-life effects people should be worried about. Its most adverse effects are specifically on the brain, which is NOT known for its ability to rebound after exposure to detrimental substances. Weed can act as a ‘gene trigger’, too, which doctors and scientists are only finding out now, as people who used marijuana in the 1960s in particular are now reaching old age and showing signs of psychosis correlated with their marijuana use.
        – as a queer POC myself, I understand that this column could be an inclusive space, but honestly, every article on this site should be anyway (and for the most part I have found this to be true).
        – once again, I’m not saying the column should be discontinued but rather that a disclaimer/warning/reminder should be included (and why not in the liquor ones too? That’s actually probably a good idea!). As someone who studied medicine, I’m all too aware of the effects of certain substances on the body, and it makes me cringe to see these substances being touted as a fantastic solution to anxiety/pain/boredom etc. Sure, they may be, but they also carry risks which readers should be made aware of.
        – I’m currently studying law so maybe that’s why I’m biased towards the whole *include a disclaimer* thing but really, it wouldn’t take much effort to include one and would definitely do much more good than harm. I don’t really understand why someone would be opposed to that, unless they wanted to remain wilfully ignorant of health risks.

        • I don’t have the qualification to answer any other point, but I do disagree that the tone of this column is ‘Hey queer people, why don’t you all come over here (presumably on a sofa with Windows Media Player visualizations going on)and get high? It’s cool!’

          I know that this vibe could be felt in the old header, but I think the tone of the current header, and the lack of ‘Marijuana 101’ (Like: ‘here is weed. It is a plant. This is what it looks like, here’s where you could get it, and this is how you roll a joint properly’) makes it pretty clear that this column is for people who *know their way around* or at least are at ‘Marijuana 201’ level.

          ‘Homoganjas’ is clearly a defined subset of ‘homos’, and ‘what is your favourite strain?’ is a pretty arcane question to be asking if you’re promoting weed to newbies. (The people in the comment section certainly don’t seem to be newbies)

          I think the author does a pretty good job of not making the tone ‘Hey I like this thing BUT IT MIGHT GIVE ME BRAIN DAMAGE and a lot of people also like this thing but WE COULD ALL END UP DEAD IF WE DRIVE LIKE THIS’ but not ‘Hey kids, want to try this?’ either.

  12. I like blue dream.

    Also Great white shark, blackberry kush, and Golden Goat…

    Hybrids are the shit!

  13. “You may recognize dopamine as the “happy” chemical, or the primary material from which they make A-Camp.”


  14. I think this might be a good place to mention the local seattle-based startup Leafly.com , which aims to connect its users with strain and dispensary info. I always look up the strain before I go and purchase to make sure it’s what I’m looking for because half the “budtenders” behind the counter are too high to tell me the difference between the three different Kush strains they have.

    The best shit I’ve ever smoked has come from Alien Genetics seeds- Alien OG, Tahoe Alien, Fruity Pebbles, etc. I have an indica preference, specifically the purps and kush. If you can find it in a dispensary near you, UW is one of the dankest indicas I’ve come across and somewhat of an underground legend out here. Blue Dream is a common hybrid strain that I can always rely on as well as Chemdawg/C4. When I do smoke sativas, Sour D and Super Silver Haze are my go-to’s for gettin shit done!

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