Types of Medical Marijuana: What You Need to Know

cannabis buds and eyedropper to illustrate types of medical marijuana
September 11, 2023 0 Comments

If you’re curious about the types of medical marijuana that exist, you’ve come to the right place! In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover the basics, including:

  • what conditions medical marijuana can usually help with
  • the different types of medical marijuana
  • the distinctions between the strains of marijuana: sativa, indica, and hybrid

What Is Medical Marijuana Used For?

Medical marijuana has proven effective in alleviating various medical conditions, including:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Epilepsy and seizures
  • Glaucoma
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Nausea and vomiting (often associated with chemotherapy)
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Understanding Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana refers to the various strains and products derived from the cannabis plant, each with unique properties and potential benefits. Before delving into the specific types of medical marijuana, let’s start by clarifying what terpenes and cannabinoids are.


Terpenes are a class of organic compounds often found in plants. They’re responsible for their distinct flavors and aromas, as well as various potential therapeutic benefits.


Cannabinoids are a group of chemical compounds, including THC and CBD, that we find in the cannabis plant and interact with your body’s endocannabinoid system.

  • CBD (Cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis. It’s gained popularity for its therapeutic potential to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation without the “high” associated with THC.
  • THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is the psychoactive component of cannabis responsible for the euphoric feeling often associated with marijuana use. It also has medicinal properties, including pain relief and appetite stimulation.

Navigating the Types of Medical Marijuana

Technically, scientists base the classification of cannabis into either sativa and indica using physical characteristics, such as plant height, leaf shape, and flowering time – although only analyzing the chemical composition of the plants really distinguishes them nowadays!

  • cannabis sativa – typically taller with longer, thinner leaves.
  • cannabis indica – shorter with wider, broader leaves.

These are the two main strains that produce various types of medical marijuana:

The terms, as we said, describe different species of the cannabis plant, but as biologists have crossbred the plants over time, the distinction between the two has become less clear.

They now believe the effects of cannabis depend more on the cannabinoids and terpenes than on the physical characteristics. Hence the need to analyze the chemical components.

Sativa Strains

Sativa strains are known for their energizing and uplifting effects. They typically have higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. These strains often produce cerebral and creative effects, making them suitable for daytime use, when you’re not trying to get to sleep.

Sativa strains are therefore popular for

  • combating depression and fatigue or
  • enhancing focus and creativity.

Indica Strains

Indica strains have relaxing and sedative effects. They generally have higher CBD and lower THC content. These strains offer full-body relaxation and pain relief properties.

You would maybe choose indica strains for managing:

  • chronic pain,
  • anxiety,
  • insomnia, or
  • muscle spasms.

Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains are (as the name implies!) a combination of sativa and indica, resulting in a balanced profile of both THC and CBD. The effects can vary depending on the specific hybrid.

Hybrids offer many therapeutic benefits, making them versatile options for various medical conditions.

Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid: Picking Your Perfect Type of Medical Marijuana

Understanding the differences between sativa, indica, and hybrid strains can help you find the right type of medical marijuana for your needs:

  • Sativa strains are more uplifting and energetic, ideal for daytime use.
  • Indica strains provide relaxation and are better suited for nighttime or pain management.
  • Hybrids offer a blend of both effects, catering to a broader range of symptoms.

At Emerald Medical, we can help you work out which medical marijuana is most appropriate to help you with the symptoms or medical condition you have.

With that knowledge in hand, and a Florida Medical Marijuana Card, you then have a choice of how to consume medical marijuana.

Exploring the Diverse World of Medical Marijuana Products

Whichever strain or hybrid your medical marijuana comes from, it’s available in various forms to cater to diverse needs and delivery method preferences.

The following products give you lots of options.

  1. Flowers are the dried, cured, and harvested buds of the cannabis. You most often smoke or vaporize them for rapid onset of effects.
  2. Edibles are cannabis-infused food and beverages with a delayed onset of effects (30 minutes to 2 hours) but longer-lasting and potent results.
  3. Tinctures are liquid extracts of cannabis, often in alcohol or oil bases. You self-administer them under your tongue for rapid absorption into the bloodstream – or you can add them to food or beverages.
  4. Topicals are creams, lotions, balms, and oils infused with cannabis compounds. You can apply them directly to your skin for localized relief from pain, muscle soreness, inflammation, and skin conditions.
  5. Capsules and pills are pre-measured doses of cannabis compounds in pill or capsule form. This method allows for a more precise dose and provides a consistent and convenient way to consume medical marijuana.
  6. Sublingual cannabis-infused sprays are similar to tinctures and also placed under the tongue.
  7. Transdermal cannabinoid-infused patches go on your skin to provide a slow, controlled release of cannabinoids over an extended period (8-12 hours).

Medical Marijuana Access in Florida

Now that you’ve gained a better understanding of the various types of medical marijuana and their potential applications, you are almost ready to go!

According to medical marijuana law in Florida, you have to first arrange an appointment with a certified medical marijuana doctor to be able to qualify and apply for your medical marijuana card.

A qualified doctor assesses your unique condition, suggests appropriate strains, and guides you through the legal prerequisites, guaranteeing a secure and efficient treatment plan.

Your Path Toward Relief with Medical Marijuana

At Emerald Medical, we offer you personalized care for all medically qualifying conditions, and a plan that includes your Florida Medical Marijuana Registration Card.

We’ll explore your goals, help you understand the options offered by different types of medical marijuana, and help you get your card. This means you’ll reach your wellness goals as soon as possible.

Ready to feel your best? Call us today and let’s talk!

Image attribution

Article Name
Types of Medical Marijuana: What You Need to Know
Gain an understanding of types of medical marijuana so you can visit your provider and confidently discuss how to help relieve your symptoms.