How to Keep a Cannabis Strain Journal

How to Keep a Cannabis Strain Journal

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If you use cannabis, you know that some strains affect you very differently than others, either providing better, longer-lasting effects, or causing some paranoia, discomfort, make you feel lethargic or cloudy in the head. Because of this, it is important to keep track of what cannabis products and strains work for you in the way you hoped for and intended.

Cannabis an organic product and, like fresh produce, each farm and season can produce a different grow. Although most strains are classified by either Sativa, Indica or a Hybrid of the two, there are actually thousands of compounds found in the cannabis plant, each contributing to a different effect and medical benefit. If you do not keep a cannabis journal, it can be incredibly difficult to keep it all straight, especially when we have to keep track of various strain names like Blue Dream, Mod Grapes, Sour Diesel, OG Kush and Purple Haze.

Journaling in general about any topic has been shown to positively affect organization, self-confidence, and communication skills. Keeping a Cannabis Journal can be incredibly helpful in monitoring the effects of different strains and cannabis products, as well as other things such as dosing amount and frequency. When you keep track of how often you’re using a specific product, you can also give yourself a clearer picture on whether you need to decrease or increase how much you dose at any given time- or even switch to a different product if needed to get the desired effects.

Where to Start – Selecting a Journal

If you have experience journaling, you may find the idea of a cannabis journal a no-brainer. In fact, maybe you already have a blank journal laying around you have been waiting to find a use for. Other folks might find it easy and intuitive to use notes or a memo app on their computer, phone, or tablet. While this works for individuals who are dedicated to the process, it’s easier to forget about a digital journal at the start, and the physical act of writing dedicates information to the brain more completely. You don’t need to start with a blank page if you are intimidated at the concept or aren’t sure what to write, as sometimes, after consuming cannabis, it can be a bit challenging to find the words to describe how you are feeling in a way that will make sense to you as you review your journal. In this case, there are cannabis journals designed to improve your journaling experience.

Of the different notebooks available for purchase, one of the best cannabis journals we’ve found the is the Goldleaf Medical Patient Experience Journal, which offers exceptional quality and user specific content.

It includes templates that allow for tracking of all the critical details in your usage, whether therapeutic, clinical, or recreational. Using the templates included in this journal removes any room for uncertainty in the description of your experience. As you transfer information about the cannabis product and your experience using it into your journal, you can more clearly understand the patterns in which strains provide the best experience for you.

The Journaling Process

There are a number of different components to a successful Cannabis Journal and information to include when starting a weed journal. For one, you want to keep in mind that the more information you use to compose your journal entries, the more success you will have in recognizing patterns and seeing trends in the successes or downfalls of your cannabis usage.

One thing to consider when you are journaling about your cannabis consumption is the delivery method. Did you smoke out a pipe, joint, bong or blunt, eat an edible, take a dab of CO2 extract, use live resin, or use a vaporizer of some sort? Some of these methods have adverse effects on different users, and everyone has their preference. Maybe you’re a purist, and you’ve been smoking flower out of your trusty pipe for as long as you can remember. In this case, one thing to consider is how smoking affects you before and after you clean your pipe of resin and other residue. It is important to consider the way you consume your cannabis when you are journaling and find which method is the best for you.

When journaling, try to include as much information about your cannabis intake as possible and be specific as well. It makes a lot more sense looking back on your journal if you wrote that you smoked a half-gram joint or ate a 10mg edible than simply noting that you did smoke. You only need the information to make sense to you (unless you are sharing the information with a medical practitioner), so maybe all you need to say is “a bowl out of the blue chilled” or a bong rip from your favorite bong.

Journaling Process

You’ll also want to use your journal to track how frequently you are consuming your cannabis and at what time of day. Whether you smoked before breakfast or at the end of the day can have an impact on the effects you might experience. Also, consider what other things you have eaten or drank that affect your mental state as well. Coffee, tea, water, alcohol, and certain foods may affect your mood or mental state and mix differently with the effects of cannabis. For example, you may find that you experience paranoia from different strains only on days that you drink more than your usual amount of coffee. Similarly, if you are experiencing the effects of dehydration, you may find that any strain or delivery method is leaving you with a headache. Without your journal, these details may slip right past your mental grip and fall through the cracks.

While it’s easy to get lost in the details, don’t forget to note simply how you feel. Were the effects of the experience quite intense, or did you seem to forget that you had just used your vape pen? How quickly did the effects come on – did it seem like you got hit by a truck right after you set down the pipe, or did you get a bit of the creeper effects? Which of these match the preferences you are looking for, and how did they match up to your expectations? Did you end up with cotton-mouth and a headache or feeling lifted and liberated?

Other details to include in your journal include your sleep, exercise, and body aches. Certain strains may amplify the negative effects of lack of sleep or exercise and end up leaving you achy and lethargic. Further, keeping track of these components of your life may overall lead to a healthier lifestyle.

All of this information is good not only for your personal consumption but also for communicating with your budtender. The prompts in the Gold Leaf Journal are tailored to include this information in whatever detail is most valuable to your journaling needs. The more clearly you can communicate the effects, and how they matched your preferences, the more likely the folks at your local dispensary are going to be able to meet you with something that fits your fancy.

Characteristics of Cannabis Products to Consider

When you are journaling, you can either scratch the surface or dive deep when it comes to how much information to include about the characteristics of different strains. You should always track the basics, like the type of product (extract, flower, edible, etc.), the strain, and its classification on the scale of indica and sativa. This information will help to guide you into habitually finding strains that work well for you and help to provide some identity to your cannabis habit.

More in-depth information can provide a clearer picture of the types of products which affect in positive ways. You can look at the THC content of the strain, assuming you are obtaining it from a source that uses a third-party lab to assess the quality of their products. Since cannabis became medically and recreationally legal in areas of the United States, THC levels have risen to levels higher than ever before, sometimes too high for the average user. Maybe you are someone who thrives on incorporating 20-22% THC cannabis into their lives, or perhaps you feel better with the less extreme 14-16% range. You wouldn’t know if you didn’t try different THC levels, and using your journal can help immensely in not mixing up the numbers for different experiences.

Characteristics of Cannabis
CBD coffee and cannabis-focused journaling from GoldLeaf stationary. Photo by Pot Head Coffee on Unsplash

Goldleaf Medical Journal

The Goldleaf Patient Journal Review

Cannabis is a complex plant! For many years, however, the plant was illegal in the US and therefore not well studied and documented. Now, as it becomes legal in more states, we’re seeing more and more money and time is getting invested into research to learn more about its components and effects. It’s an exciting time!

If you are interested in learning more about different terpenes, compounds like CBD and THC, cannabinoids, product extraction methods, or how different strains interact with the hormones in the human body, keeping a journal is a great way to track your research and explore your own ideas.

That’s why we LOVE the Patient Journal by GoldLeaf. Beyond it’s awesome Scientific Symptom Tracking and Medical-Grade Dosing Guidelines, it also comes with Extensive Cannabinoid & Terpene Profile Information and Thoughtful Recommendations.

Other key benefits and features:

  • Lays Flat Design

Their thread-out binding style not only looks elegant, but also lays flat when opened—allowing the user to access all of the page. It’s a really beautiful, thoughtful design.

  • Premium Quality

They source high-quality materials for all of their journals and design them to feel luxurious (which they do!). Their paper stocks are thicker than most, preventing page bleeding and adding to the durability.

  • Sustainable Materials

The sourced paper is all sustainably-made stocks that are FSC certified. They also use non-toxic inks for the printing.

  • Researched Content

All of their included content is developed alongside industry experts on the subject—whether that be medical cannabis, cultivation, or general enjoyment.

Cannabis Journal pages

Pro tip: If you have labels with lab results, paste them into your journal! This way when you find strains you like, you can refer back to the label to see what the labs have in common. Like they’re all high in CBN, they all have high amount of linalool, etc.”. This will allow you to break down profiles of new strains and know what specific cannabinoids and terpenes work for you!

We give the Goldleaf Medical Patient Experience Journal a 5 out of 5 stars and highly recommend it to any cannabis users, experienced or new! Also, at only $24.99, it’s a great price as a gift for a friend who also loves cannabis.

Have you used a cannabis journal? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.



Jenny Stradling

As the CEO and Co-owner of a Digital Design and Marketing Agency, Eminent SEO, I have been researching and creating quality content online for websites and marketing campaigns since 2005. I’m passionate about a wide array of topics and contribute to several publication sites, along with my company blog and personal website. It’s my personal mission to help ensure that educational content is accurate is held to a higher standard and to clean up all the outdated and inaccurate information on the web.


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