If you need advice on which weed you should be smoking, then it looks like some of the best things in life really are free.
WhatsMyPot is web-based application that references a wide database of studies and descriptions to match cannabis users with strains best suited to their needs or preferences.
The site, developed by Ontario couple Mike and Sarah, currently references 602 studies and 59 compounds across 128 topics. Based on quiz results, users are matched with suitable strains from a selection of over 260 types of dried flower.
The best part? The service is free and, believe it or not, without ads.
“Once I sat down and saw the science database I’d built up I went, ‘I can’t charge money for this. It doesn’t feel right,’” said Mike, who developed the site in his spare time and continues to work a day job in cloud software.
For travel concerns and the privacy of his children, Mike says he doesn’t go by his real name on the Internet.
He said that similar databases cost obscene amounts of money, but that wasn’t the way he wanted to go.
“The DMs I get from people thanking me for pointing them in the right direction are worth more to me than whatever currency I could solicit out of this.”
The recommendation process starts with a quiz. You select either a recreational or medical option.
The medical quiz asks you questions about how you want to feel (mellow, energized etc.), your experience level with cannabis and what conditions you are treating.
Based on the results, you’re matched with terpenes that are referenced by medical articles in the database, as well as the type of plant (indica, sativa or hybrid) and THC level.
Next, you choose whether you want to see products available in either B.C. or Ontario provincial cannabis stores and a list of strains is displayed.
The recreational quiz looks similar, but focuses on flavour.
The idea for the site came early last year when the Ontario Cannabis Store really started ramping up. Mike said he and his wife Sarah started getting a lot of questions from friends and family members who were confused by all the options and not sure what to try.
“So I did a lot of thinking about it and looking at what’s out there already, and decided to try to do something a little bit unique,” Mike said.
The basic idea behind WhatsMyPot, he says, is to build a terpene profile matching the effects the user wants and then match that profile to a product on the market.
“The quiz kind of makes this ideal cannabis and then we try to see what’s the closest you can actually purchase in a store,” Mike said.
What’s my terpene?
With THC, CBD and a host of other cannabinoids making headlines, WhatsMyPot’s terpene-focused approach stands out in the crowd.
The importance of terpenes is something that has been dubbed the entourage effect, Mike says, which has been debated in various forms.
“The latest is we’re pretty sure it’s there but we don’t actually understand the mechanism by which it happens. It’s something a lot of us have experienced anecdotally,” he said. “You get some cannabis that’s very high THC but it doesn’t taste like much, it doesn’t smell like much — it’s like you’re there but you have nowhere to go. It’s got no flavour; it’s got no character.”
Mike’s wife Sarah started posting recipes on Instagram in January
Mike says that’s what the terpenes do: They expand the THC or the CBD out and actually make it euphoric, relaxing or other experiences the user is looking for.
The other major differentiator with WhatsMyPot is the large database of studies from medical journals it draws upon to recommend strains.
However, Mike says the majority of his site’s 3,000 monthly users are more interested in what their weed tastes like than what it does.
“That was the surprise that I got,” he said. “I thought most people would be asking ‘How do you take my pain away?’ And it’s not. Most people are asking ‘What tastes like strawberry?’”
As for the future of his site, Mike is currently working on including Alberta and Quebec’s provincial retailers. He said he’s going to add products like pre-rolls, and wants to include more scientific information behind his cannabinoid recommendations, which for now are based solely on experience level.
Despite the site’s attention from users and industry icons alike, Mike says the site will continue to cost nothing.
— Dan Sutton (@DSutton1986) February 3, 2020
Top image via Deposit Photos