How to Choose the Best Medical Cannabis Strain for Your Condition
Table of Contents
Cannabis is not always a homogeneous substance. There are several varieties of the Cannabis Sativa plant. Depending on where and how it is cultivated, each plant will have a distinct composition of compounds that will have an impact on cannabis consumers/its consumers in different ways. Medical cannabis can also be used in multiple forms that require different dosing methods, such as smoking, vaping, and using it topically.
Selecting a cannabis strain might be difficult. With hundreds of different strains of cannabis on the market, retailers are still figuring out how to organize them into useful categories.
Understanding the chemical components of various cannabis strains is crucial for recognizing their differences. Cannabinoids are natural chemicals found in cannabis. The most well-known cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is what provides cannabis with its psychoactive effects. Some of these effects are believed to be lessened by CBD. Depending on the kind of cannabis preparation being used for medical purposes, these two ingredients’ ratios change.
Cannabis also has a kind of chemical called a terpene, which is in charge of the plant’s flavor, scent, and color. Other plants also contain terpenes. For instance, pinene and linalool are both present in a variety of coniferous plants, such as pines, lavender, and sweet basil.
Terpenes and cannabinoids interact together to produce the effects that individuals associate with particular strains. This explains why two different cannabis strains with the same THC level can exist at the same time. The entourage effect is a name for this interaction.
Sativa and Indica strains are the most common types of medicinal cannabis strains seen in dispensaries. You may also come across hybrid strains, which mix the benefits of both. The greatest medical cannabis products will frequently specify the strains and ingredients that make them up.
Indica is a type of medical cannabis strain that contains larger quantities of CBD than THC. Its plants feature broad, dark green leaves and are bushier and shorter. They have a woody stalk, not a fibrous one, and they grow and develop faster than Sativa plants.
Because they contain high amounts of CBD, Indica strains provide a more ‘relaxed high’. They are most often used for powering down and sleeping. Indicas are a popular strain among people looking for treatment for chronic pain because of their calming and relaxing effects. Indicas are used as an antiemetic by certain people to treat nausea. Most people prefer to use an Indica in the evening or when they need to sleep.
Cannabis with a high Indica content is widely used for:
- Chronic or severe pain
- Insomnia and other sleeping disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscle tension
- Nausea and vomiting
- Parkinson’s disease (muscle spasms and tremors)
- Stiffness in arthritic and rheumatic joints
Cannabis Sativa-derived strains are skinnier and taller than Indica plants, and have lighter green leaves.
They have higher THC levels, which produces a more ‘active or energetic high’. Because of its supposed effects on attention, clarity, and creativity, Sativa is frequently the strain of choice for people who wish to increase their productivity during the day.
Cannabis with a high Sativa content is widely used for:
- Additional creativity
- Better focus when preoccupied
- Boosts energy for an activity or socializing
- Chronic pain and symptoms comparable to it
- Headaches and migraines
- Loss of appetite
- Treatment for nausea (induced by chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS drugs, for example)
- Uplifting mood
Another kind of medical cannabis product is hybrid strains. A hybrid (or ‘cross-bred’) cannabis strain is created when Indica and Sativa strains are combined. They can be balanced strains (1:1 ratio), Sativa-dominant strains, or Indica-dominant strains. They are cultivated by professionals to provide specific effects.
Hybrid strains are popular among therapeutic users, especially those new to cannabis, because of the personalized outcomes they can produce. A hybrid can combine the best qualities of both forms of cannabis. This can be advantageous in situations when medicinal cannabis is given to treat chronic pain, for which both Indica and Sativa strains are appropriate.
How to Pick the Best Product for Your Condition?
Consider the following factors while shopping for the perfect cannabis product for you:
Know What You Want to Achieve
Your selections will be narrowed down based on how you want to feel or what results you want to achieve. Cannabis is a powerful medicine and just as you might take tylenol to relieve a headache or Pepto Bismol for an upset stomach, you need to know what your desired outcome is before taking a medicine.
Check With Your Physician or a Dispensary Staff First
Speak with a doctor or other healthcare expert, if you’re curious about how cannabis could benefit you. They can talk about the benefits and drawbacks for your specific health situation and help you find something that works for you.
You can also visit a dispensary and speak with a qualified staff member if you want insights into locally-available products. They might be able to suggest specific strains or other products that are right for you.
Take Into Account Your Medical History
Cannabis is a natural product, yet it has strong effects. Before consuming cannabis, take into account any pre-existing medical conditions and medications. To learn more about your individual benefits and risks or if you have questions, speak with a doctor or other healthcare expert.
Know Your Tolerance
Some strains are classified as “entry-level,” with mild and manageable effects. For first-time users, strains with greater levels of cannabinoids may be too powerful. Always start with a very little amount of a new strain to get a feel for how it affects you. If all goes well, you can gradually raise the dose.
It’s a good idea to keep a consumption journal to track what you’ve tried (both strains and dosages) so you know what works best for you. You can also take your journal to your doctor or budtender and they may be able to recommend specific strains and products based on your insights into how what you’ve tried has affected you.
Choose a Preferred Manner of Consumption
Each method of cannabis consumption has advantages and disadvantages. If you smoke or vape cannabis, you can get results more quickly, but it might irritate your lungs and airways. Although the effects of gummies, chewables, and other edibles may be more pleasant than those of inhalation, they may also be stronger and take longer to manifest.
Know the Laws
Remember that each state has its own laws governing the permissible amounts of CBD and THC can be in a product. Be informed and always review the laws in your state. When traveling with cannabis, be aware of other states’ regulations to the state or country you are traveling to.
People need clear, reliable information on the effects of various cannabis strains for medical and recreational uses because it is now easier than ever for individuals to access cannabis. Clinicians and patients can make the best choices by understanding the chemical characteristics and physiological and psychological impacts of cannabis plants and the products derived from them.
Cannabis producers crossbreed cannabis plants to develop new strains that have variable quantities of THC, CBD, and many other physiologically active chemicals. Different medicinal and recreational uses may be possible for every plant. To fully comprehend this complex plant and how it affects people, more research must be done.
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