Essential Strains

What is Good *BALANCED* Weed? Find Harmony with Bubble Gum + Harlequin.

Episode 156

Show Notes

Find Your Balance With Weed

If you close your eyes and reminisce about some of the best experiences you’ve had with weed, a balanced strain is probably to thank for a majority of those happy memories. These are the kind of strains that elevate your mood without making you feel too energized or too relaxed. We asked our listeners and cannabis experts to weigh in on what makes balanced weed strains so special, and of course we recommend two essential strains for you to try yourself. We hope you enjoy part 3 of our “What is Good Weed for Women?” series!Thank you to our guest Kelly Green, Emily Marsh, Kellie Schieber, Amy and Haley!

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Podcast Guests



Ellen Scanlon (00:00):

This podcast discusses cannabis, and is intended for audiences 21 and over.

Kelly Green (00:06):

Good weed can help you connect with your partner. Good weed can make your Sunday sexy. Good weed can make dinner that was marginal, taste a hell of a lot better. Good weed is weed that makes you feel great.

Ellen Scanlon (00:29):

Welcome to How To Do The Pot, a podcast demystifying cannabis for women. I’m Ellen Scanlon. You just heard from Kelly Kaiser, a California based interior designer, turned luxury cannabis accessories designer, and founder of KellyGreen.

Ellen Scanlon (00:49):

Welcome to our series, What is Good Weed? In these episodes, we’ll dig into what is good weed for how you want to feel, and which strains will help you feel that way, whether it’s more relaxed, more balanced, or more energized. Like our name says, we are a how-to show, and the most important question to ask yourself before we start this series is, “How do I want to feel after I consume?” And we’re going to teach you how to get there. I’ll also recommend cannabis strains for specific activities, because if you’re going to an experimental art exhibit, you may want to feel differently than if you’re going to an afternoon tea with your grandma. You’ll learn about two essential strains in each episode, and I’ll share the most important things to know about each strain before you try it. I believe that a big part of what makes good weed is when it perfectly matches your needs. I hope these tips, some from cannabis experts, some from our listeners, help you feel more confident when you’re ready to try for yourself.

Ellen Scanlon (02:06):

In our last What is Good Weed? episode, we covered relaxing strains and today, we’re focusing on balanced strains. So, what are balanced strains? Typically, balanced strains in dispensaries will be referred to as hybrids, which is really what all weed is now. If you’re interested in learning why I feel this way, you can check out episode 77, which is called Indica Sativa Hybrid.

Ellen Scanlon (02:35):

When I talk to women about their best weed experiences, it generally involves balanced strains. They offer a positive and uplifted feel, without making you feel overly energized, or too relaxed. They’re a great middle ground that can just help you improve your current mood, without altering it too much. We reached out to How To Do The Pot’s Instagram community, and asked why you love balanced weed strains. We got some really great answers. Thank you. Here are a few.

Speaker 3 (03:10):

I love using balanced strains, because that’s exactly how they make me feel. I’m not melting into the couch or super sleepy, or my mind isn’t going a million miles a minute. The balanced drains just put me in a really nice head space. I feel really relaxed, but ready to do something. So, I love even taking my dog for a walk and listening to a podcast, or not listening to anything, and just enjoying the weather, running errands, just kind of doing little self-care things, I guess, and just really enjoying the day to myself. It just kind of elevates my pleasant daily experiences, which is what I really love about balanced strains.

Speaker 4 (03:44):

I really enjoy microdosing a balanced 1:1 product, but on days when I take a little bit more than a microdose, I find that I get a lot of creativity, so I really like to do some drawing and painting, listen to music, that sort of thing. When I take the more microdoses, it’s definitely more like I’m functional. I have major anxiety issues, so having a little bit of that is a lifesaver.

Speaker 5 (04:14):

Consuming balanced strains with cannabis really makes my world go around. We own a janitorial company, so everything ranging from before work, before eating a little bit of food, getting in the garden, listening to music, cooking, it truly just elevates my experience in life, and gives me a balanced, happy energy.

Speaker 6 (04:34):

I love doing yoga, or cooking, or watching something with my partner. I feel like I can kind of lift my depression or mood without edging into anxiety when I use balanced strains, and I can kind of slow time to be more present, without getting full body tired, so I love that.

Ellen Scanlon (05:02):

Now, let’s get to my balanced strain recommendations. I’ll give you three hints to try to guess the name of the first essential strain. It’s a favorite of baseball players, but not of dentists. It’s hard and also soft, and it may live in your stomach for seven years, if you swallow it. Maybe. It’s Bubblegum. In our essential strain series, we called Bubblegum America’s next favorite strain, and that’s because Bubblegum is likely to make you feel happy, and couldn’t we all use a little more happiness? It produces a moderate high with energizing effects for your mind, as well as a mild body high. When you consume Bubblegum, you’ll probably notice yourself feeling more present than usual. The strain helps to lift your mood, and also keeps you grounded. So, you’re unlikely to spiral into the future, and worry about all its unknowns.

Ellen Scanlon (06:12):

Let’s get to know this strain. What is Bubblegum’s history? There are a lot of theories about how Bubblegum came to be, but I think my favorite origin story of this strain’s name comes from a review found on Leafly. It’s so good, I’m going to read it for you. Okay. Quote, “Bubblegum was named not for its flavor, but because the breeder used to stick nugs under the bar, like chewing gum to tip his bartender.” Is the story an urban legend? I don’t know, but it’s a great image. We do know that the strain originated in Indiana, has some roots in New England, and then found its way to the Netherlands. The Bubblegum we consume today has won multiple awards, and is definitely a cult favorite.

Ellen Scanlon (07:02):

So, what does Bubblegum taste and smell like? Not to disappoint the Leafly review I just read, but this strain does smell like bubblegum. It has a sweet and strong floral scent, and it tastes like candy, with a hint of berries.

Ellen Scanlon (07:17):

Why do women love Bubblegum? Because Bubblegum lets you settle into your body, without sacrificing a boost of energy. It really lets you sink into yourself, while still having a little pep in your step. Think about when you were a kid, and you could buy a gumball for maybe 25 cents. You’d watch it spin round in the gumball machine, and when it finally comes down to you, you’re given this burst of flavor. You skip down the street, blowing bubbles, enjoying this new sensation, listening to the birds chirp, and smacking your gum, feeling totally relaxed. This is how the Bubblegum strain helps you feel, but with a 21 and over kind of kick.

Ellen Scanlon (08:01):

When is the right time to consume Bubblegum? Imagine if you blew your gumball into a huge bubble that was so big, you could just climb right into it, and float around in this hazy pink sphere. You’re safe, but you’re still aware of the outside world. It’s almost like everything has been softened, maybe muted, but at the same time, you have a slightly new perspective on the outside world. Because Bubblegum can offer these kinds of sensations, it’s a great strain for microdosing, or taking just a little bit, but maybe on a more regular basis. It’s a great strain to bring your palette and paint brushes, or maybe that old modeling clay that you’ve been holding onto. Bubblegum is a great addition to a day spent creating and relaxing. It’ll loosen your inhibitions, without making you forget the details.

Ellen Scanlon (09:01):

This probably isn’t a big surprise. We are big podcast fans, so much so that we started How To Do The Pot’s Podcast Club, where every so often, we share our new podcast finds that we think you’ll like too. If you want to put a podcast on our radar, please reach out to, or you can DM us @dothepot.

Ellen Scanlon (09:26):

Two women go to Tokyo to uncover stories of sex, relationships, and queerness, and wind up getting happy ending massages? That’s the kind of Bourdain style experiential storytelling you can expect from Private Parts Unknown, a podcast about love and sexuality around the world. Hosts Courtney Kocak and Sofiya Alexandra have traveled to Helsinki, Mexico City, Tokyo, and beyond, to explore different modes of intimacy, and increase their cultural understanding. Tune in for funny sex positive conversations, destigmatizing everything from abortion, to Ashley Madison, polyamory, to PMDD, sex work, to Shibari, and more. New episodes of Private Parts Unknown drop every Friday on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.

Ellen Scanlon (10:32):

The name of the next strain stems from the theater and comic books. She’s a favorite DC Comic villain, and she is in love with The Joker. It is Harlequin. In our essential strain series, we call Harlequin the number one 2:1 strain. Harlequin most consistently has a ratio of 2:1, with more CBD. Sometimes you’ll find it as a 1:1, so with an even mix of THC and CBD. Please don’t forget that cannabis is a plant and when it’s grown in different climates and under different conditions, the outcome will be different. So, make sure to check the label when you buy the strain, so you can see exactly how much CBD and THC is in it.

Ellen Scanlon (11:21):

Harlequin is often described as closest to the weed from the 1970s, because of its mild and pleasantly intoxicating effects, and who wouldn’t want to be transported back to the ’70s, if only for a little burst? Harlequin will likely calm stress, and give you some feelings of euphoria. It’s not too strong, and offers just the right amount of relaxation.

Ellen Scanlon (11:52):

What is Harlequin’s history? Harlequin was first spread as a cross between an Indica strain from Nepal, and two [inaudible 00:12:01] strains, one from Thailand, and another from Switzerland. The strain was originally cultivated to make hash or concentrates, but rather than a strain that was high in THC, the breeder ended up creating a strain that became famous for its elevated CBD content.

Ellen Scanlon (12:19):

What does Harlequin taste and smell like? When you first smell this strain, you’ll most likely get strong wood and soil scents with a little sweet, creamy vanilla that is almost chalky. Harlequin tastes spicy with an earthy musk, and a sweet mango flavor. My tip for any strain is always to smell it, if you can. The saying is that your nose, knows, and if it smells good to you, it will probably connect well with your body.

Ellen Scanlon (12:50):

Why do women love Harlequin? Harlequin is high in CBD and low in THC, which often provides the magic formula for relief from chronic pain, without a strong high. I and many others recommend Harlequin as a starter strain for those new to consuming cannabis. It’s likely to make you feel relaxed and warm in your body, and will help you feel present and at ease. It kind of does it all, because Harlequin will help you feel focused and uplifted, and its high levels of CBD make it one of the most effective strains for treating pain and anxiety. You know when you’re a little sick or completely exhausted, and you pull out your favorite pair of pajamas straight from the dryer, and slip them on? That’s what Harlequin feels like.

Ellen Scanlon (13:41):

When is the right time to consume Harlequin? Harlequin is one of the best weed strains for chronic pain relief, or for something calm, like taking a walk, or meditating. If you wake up with a bad migraine or back pain and need a little help, but you have to deal with responsibilities that require you to be focused and functional, Harlequin is a really great resource. Its ability to help you focus can also help if you’re looking for a reflective workout, but find yourself in a loud gym or a packed class. This strain helps to mute the background noise, and allows you to focus inward, and if you struggle with anxiety when consuming cannabis, this strain is unlikely to bring on anxiety or paranoia, and can be a really great resource for calming stress and anxiety.

Ellen Scanlon (14:44):

Now that we’ve covered all the basics, what is the difference between Harlequin and Bubblegum? Bubblegum has a lot more THC than Harlequin. This means that Bubblegum is likely to make you feel more energized and intoxicated than Harlequin. Harlequin’s high CBD, low THC ratio means that you’re probably only going to feel a little bit high, if you feel it at all. In practice, maybe this means that Bubblegum is kind of more of a weekend strain, and Harlequin could be your everyday go-to. And while this is typically how people respond to these strains, you have to remember cannabis is a plant.

Ellen Scanlon (15:23):

Plants grown in different places will be different, just like with a fruit. A strawberry grown in Illinois and a strawberry grown in New Jersey are not exactly the same. It’s really important to remember that weed is just a plant, and where and how it’s grown can affect it, and the same goes for you. Cannabis affects everyone differently. I really recommend starting slow, until you know how you’re going to feel. You didn’t give up on love forever after a middle school heartbreak, right? So, try a little pay attention to how you feel, and have fun.

Ellen Scanlon (15:59):

I want to finish up this episode by bringing it back to the focus of this series. Thanks to Lani Dellelo who answered our call on Instagram asking, what is good weed?

Lani Dellelo (16:11):

Good weed for me is sun-grown and carefully cured by small production farms that use regenerative, sustainable farming practices, and where their concern lies in purity and quality, not quantity so much. And I feel that all the positive effects derived from consuming what I call conscious cannabis, are enhanced by just knowing I’m supporting really good authentic people that truly care for the earth, and respect this miraculous medicinal plant.

Ellen Scanlon (16:44):

What are your experiences like with balanced strains? Do you prefer them, and which one is your favorite? Tell us at, or DM us @dothepot.

Ellen Scanlon (16:55):

Stay tuned for the next episode in our What is Good Weed? Series, where we’ll talk about the secret history of some really old cannabis strains. Thank you to Emily Marsh, Kelly Scheiber, Amy, and Hailey, who generously sent us voice memos telling us why they love balanced strains. And in case you want to dive into our original, short, and fun Essential Strains episodes, I’ll link to it in the show notes.

Ellen Scanlon (17:23):

For lots more information and past episodes, visit, and that’s also where you can sign up for our newsletter. For sneak peeks behind the scenes, please follow us on socials @dothepot, and if you like How To Do The Pot, please rate and review us on Apple Podcasts. It really helps more people find the show. Thanks to our writer, Malia Grasska, and our producers, Madi Fair, and Nick Patri. I’m Ellen Scanlon, and thanks for listening to How To Do The Pot.



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