If you’re new to medical marijuana, you may be a little confused about the best type or strain.
The different types of marijuana are broken down into two major strains:
- Cannabis indica
- Cannabis sativa
These taxonomical classifications were established by scientists in the 18th century and are based on differences in the strains’:
- Resin production
- Flowering time
In the industry, it is widely accepted that the two strains distinctly vary in the types of effects they have on a user.
For example, Indica strains usually induce:
- Sedating effects
- Relaxing effects
- Full-body calming effects
While Sativa strains produce an:
- Uplifting reaction
- Energetic reaction
- Cerebral reaction
However, some scientists don’t agree with these generalizations and believe that the effects are rooted in the user’s preconceived expectations. Most cannabis consumers think of “Indica” as a calmer and “Sativa” as an energizer.
But it turns out whether the strain is Indica or Sativa doesn’t determine the effects. The chemical compounds in each strain determine the effects felt by the consumer.
The origin of the two terms is rooted in botany, not in effects. The effects of different strains of marijuana depend on a variety of factors, but the main difference is the cannabinoids and terpenes in the strain.
What Are Cannabinoids
Cannabis is composed of hundreds of chemical compounds that create a unique harmony of effects primarily led by cannabinoids. The two most common are THC and CBD.
- THC makes you feel hungry and high and relieves symptoms like pain and nausea.
- CBD is a non-intoxicating compound used to alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and many other medical ailments.
Instead of choosing a strain based on whether it is Indica or Sativa, consider making your selection used on the following:
In the world of medical marijuana, these strains are used to treat pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. If THC-dominant strains make you anxious or dislike some of the side effects, try a strain with higher CBD levels.
These contain small amounts of THC and are commonly used by people who are highly sensitive to THC or patients who need clear-headed symptom relief.
Balanced THC/CBD Strains
These contain similar levels of THC and CBD, which cause a mild euphoria alongside symptom relief.
Let’s Talk Terpenes
If you are familiar with aromatherapy, then you are familiar with the effects of Terpenes. Plants and fruit like lavender flowers, oranges, hops, pepper, and cannabis produce these aromatic compounds. However, researchers still aren’t sure how different combinations of terpenes shape the effects of different cannabis strains.
What About Dosing and Potency?
Each individual reacts differently to cannabis. Your tolerance, the dosage, and the consumption will all determine how a strain affects you.
The following questions are excellent guides when you are trying to find the right strain or product:
- How much experience do you have with marijuana? If you have low tolerance, then a low-THC strain in a low dose may be your best option.
- Do you suffer from anxiety or other side effects of THC? If yes, then a strain that is high in CBD would be best for you.
- How long do you want the effects to last? If you need it to last a long time, start with a low dose of edibles. If you need a short-term experience, inhalation methods or tinctures are good bets.
What’s a Hybrid?
A hybrid is exactly what you think it is- it is a strain bred from both Indica- and Sativa-descended plants. Because of the long history of crossbreeding cannabis strains, most strains are hybrids, and you rarely find a pure Indica or pure Sativa strain.
The benefit of a hybrid is that it draws from both Indica and Sativa strains, which means that it can embody the effects of both in one plant. Therefore, looking at a hybrid’s parent strains can give you a better sense of what kind of effects it will produce.
For example, if it has more Indica in its lineage, the effects may be more like those associated with the Indica strain.
How to Shop for Cannabis
To get the right cannabis for your situation, let go of using Indica and Sativa as the way you describe what you want to the budtender.
More critical than strain is:
- Chemical profile (i.e., cannabinoids and terpenes)
Finding the right strain for you will require a bit of trial and error. That’s why we take the time to work with our patients to monitor how certain strains are working for them and can help you know what potency and doses you need.
Let’s take a look at several common FAQs.
Is There a Difference Between Indica and Sativa?
There is no difference in the effects of Indica and Sativa.
What Is Sativa Used For?
When used medicinally, Sativa strains are used to treat depression, anxiety, and pain conditions.
Does Sativa Boost Your Energy?
There is no scientific evidence to this, but there is anecdotal proof.
Does Sativa Give You a Body High?
Sativa may provide a cerebral head and body high, although researchers need more on this topic.
Does Sativa Give You the Munchies?
It depends on your body chemistry.
Will Sativa Give You Insomnia?
What Is Indica Used to Treat?
Medicinally, providers use Indica strains to treat conditions related to insomnia, anxiety, and inflammation.
Does Indica Make You Drowsy?
They tend to relax you, which may make you feel sleepy.
Does Indica Give You a Body High?
Some strains have been known for delivering heavy body highs.
Will Indica Make Me Paranoid?
If you are already prone to anxiety or paranoia, Indica strains may make it worse.
Will Indica Turn My Eyes Red?
That is up for debate.
Contact Us Today
Don’t let another day go by, feeling less than your best. Come see Dr. Zalkin and the team here at Emerald – we’ll help you find the best medical marijuana treatment to restore your energy, relieve your pain, and help you live your best life. Call us today!