If you’re lucky enough, a doctor may give special recommendations for specific cannabis strains or types of products. However, most cannabis patients have to undergo quite a lot of trial and error before they find the right fit for their health needs. Different variables should be considered before choosing the right medical cannabis strains. Here is a brief guide in searching for the perfect medicinal strain for you.
How to choose the right medical cannabis strains
Strain classification is the first concern describing a type of weed in dispensaries and popular culture. The strains are typically classified into three groups. These are indicas, sativas, and hybrids. Although many doubt the accuracy of these classifications, here are what you need to know about these groups and what they mean for medical cannabis patients:
Indicas often have distinct physical characteristics. Those traits are broad leaves and short, stocky plants. Don’t be fooled by its size though. Dispensaries described it as more sedative, relaxing strains that provide a heavy-bodied, numbing sensation.
Myrcene, an aroma molecule (terpene) that provides a musky, mango-like aroma to dried flower, is high in this type of strain. The higher the myrcene level, the more drowsy a strain will be. These are the health effects that the Indicas are most suited for:
- Chronic pain
- Lack of appetite
- Muscle tension
- Muscle spasms
- Anxiety (low doses)
- Physical stress
Sativas has a tendency of a tall and slow growth pattern, which features narrow leaves as compared to Indicas. Indica strains in dispensaries are thought to provide more energetic effects, which is similar to drinking a cup of coffee.
Higher levels of a cannabis compound called tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) are found in most Sativa strains. This perhaps results in its more stimulating effects. However, lower amounts of myrcene can decrease the sedation that is often felt with indica strains. Sativa strains are thought to be beneficial for:
- Chronic fatigue
- Migraine and headache
- Moderate pain relief
- Depression (low doses)
- Focus and concentration
- Daytime relief
Vast majority of cannabis strains belonged in hybrids class. This type of strain has sub-categories such as indica dominant, Sativa dominant, or well-balanced. It’s good to do a little research on its overall effects ahead of time before purchasing. Look at the levels of myrcene in the strain. This may give you an idea about how much sedation you should expect from the bud. Levels of Myrcene has over 0.5 percent indicates that the strain might produce some of the famous cannabis “couch-lock”. Also, hybrids are relatively more potent than pure Indica or Sativa strains.
Selecting the right medical cannabis strain can be tricky. From the outside, marijuana may seem like a simple herb. The medical potential of this herb seems invaluable when we look closer. It’s important to be mindful of both the classification and the dominant cannabinoid.
Whats next? Enjoy your weed
Once you’ve made your pick, the next step is to enjoy your weed and test how different strains will affect your body. Personally, I would use a good weed vaporizer. They have been shown to be healthier than combusting as you don’t burn plant matter, rather it’s heated to a point where your body is able to absorb THC through your lungs. Long winded but a simple solution!
Another great thing about vapes is they are discreet which make it easy to travel with and you are less likely to burn any holes in your carpet or cars. Medical cannabis selection can be daunting. But, budtenders and savvy healthcare professionals can also make for resources when trying to find the best possible medicine for your illness.
Joseph Rollin is the founder of SlickVapes.com with a particular interest in vaporization for its health benefits. His ambition is to see the 420 trends become widely legalized in the mainstream.