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What’s the Difference Between CBD Isolate & Full Spectrum CBD

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People nowadays use CBD for a variety of reasons. To treat their migraines, anxiety, and stress, to deal with pain, as an anti-inflammatory remedy, among many other uses. Now that CBD is legal in Canada, and almost everywhere in the world, the health industry has made CBD products more available for users to buy what they are looking for.

The tricky thing is that there is a wide variety of CBD options for people to choose from. Not only is CBD found in different product forms such as edibles, vapes, tinctures, pills, creams, gummies, and oils, among other things, but there are different types of this cannabidiol. CBD can be found in an isolated form, full-spectrum, and broad-spectrum. These three are the most popular methods for people to take CBD. And while they are all very different from each other, they all have in common the CBD component in their mixture.

In order to fully understand what is out there in the Canadian market, it is important to review what each type of CBD is used for.

CBD Isolate vs CBD Full Spectrum

Research demonstrates that CBD isolate is CBD in its purest form whereas CBD full spectrum can contain other compounds of the cannabis plant. There is no end to what a full-spectrum CBD product can contain, choosing this variety is entirely up to the user’s preference. Often, CBD in a full spectrum form might contain other cannabinoids, THC, and terpenes, among other things. It is important to assess all the ingredients found in your CBD product so that you understand exactly what you are taking and what the full effect will be on the body.

Actually, one of the most common mistakes in first-time buyers is not knowing the difference between CBD isolate and CBD full spectrum. As a consequence, often buyers are looking to shop for a product made of pure CBD (CBD isolate) but without them knowing they end up buying the full spectrum given that they believe that CBD is CBD, and it’s all the same, and they end up having a harsh time as a result of not knowing what they were taking.

Actually, one of the things that CBD consumers appreciate most about this cannabinoid is the fact that it doesn’t contain THC. Some people just want to experience the benefits of CBD without feeling “high”, and because many are misinformed about the product, they often end up buying a CBD product infused with another substance.

CBD Isolate Benefits

As mentioned previously, CBD isolate is the purest form of CBD, given that it is not infused with anything else. Most people who shop for this product use it to deal with chronic pain and inflammation. Actually, CBD isolate is the type of CBD that is most recommended to first-time users who are trying to experiment and learn what this product and plant is all about. This way, they are feeling the effects of CBD in its isolated form without any other compound added.

Full-Spectrum CBD Benefits

Unlike CBD isolate, full-spectrum can be more potent given that it is usually combined with other compounds. This type of CBD is just as popular because people use it to treat anxiety, stress, and even use it to relieve pain, or in a lot of cases to avoid seizures. CBD full spectrum can be combined with a variety of components including THC, which is a stronger cannabinoid also found in cannabis.

How To Choose The Correct Product

As a beginner, you need to fully know what you are choosing in order to get exactly what you want. The industry has become so big that the CBD options are now endless. A great way to get started is to consult a doctor or a specialist on the subject who can recommend and guide you, not only a reliable brand but also the type of CBD that you need. In addition, if you have the opportunity, inform yourself fully about the product that you are thinking of trying. Take some time to read and compare products and brands in order to fully make up your mind on what you need.



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Cannabinoids

Beyond CBD And THC: The Hottest Cannabinoids And Terpenes You Should Know

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This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the most widely researched compounds in the cannabis plant, and for good reason. CBD is renowned for its anxiolytic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic, and anti-epileptic properties while THC gives users the high we all so love, but also has powerful therapeutic benefits.

Both compounds have shown tremendous success through both anecdotal evidence as well as clinical research when it comes to dozens of ailments: from cancer to Parkinson’s disease, everyday stress and anxiety, depression, PTSD, nausea, insomnia, and so much more.

Will Congress Boost Hemp Total THC Limit To 1%?
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However, in recent years, researchers have discovered that there are other notable compounds in cannabis that are just as important as CBD and THC. In fact, many of them are even more significant for some people depending on the conditions they may have. Because of this, cannabis product manufacturers have been zoning in on these cannabinoids and terpenes that offer subtle yet powerful healing properties that you may be interested in exploring.

Consumers who live in states that have legalized medical or recreational marijuana can find an abundance of oils, food products, drinks, and even lotions that are powered by terpenes or cannabinoids alongside CBD and/or THC, are on the rise. On the other hand, in the past, consumers would seek out products specifically for the CBD and THC.

Terpenes

Terpenes are compounds in plants – not just in cannabis – that are responsible for its aroma and flavor profile. These occur naturally in the plant, and they served an evolutionary purpose: to ward off predators or attract pollinators.

Each strain or phenotype of cannabis has its own unique ratio of terpenes as well as cannabinoids. There are some 50,000 known terpenes today, but the cannabis plant has around 250, though scientists may soon discover more. Terpenes may be derived from the plant in essential oil form, though they can also be derived from other plants that contain the same terpenes such as lavender or pine. Where the terpene comes from will impact its consistency and purity.

RELATED: Don’t Shop By THC Levels: Here Are The Top 3 Cannabis Strains Based On Terpenes

The best way to consume terpenes are through inhalation, edibles or drinks, and topicals. They are naturally volatile and potent, so one doesn’t need much in order to feel its effects.

Here’s a rundown of some of the most popular terpenes and their health benefits:

  • Terpinolene is not common nor is it abundant in cannabis, but you only need a small amount to experience its benefits. It has an herbaceous and floral aroma, and it is known for relaxing and sedating effects.
  • β-Caryophyllene is an anti-inflammatory terpene that also has antibacterial, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties. Research has uncovered its potential abilities to fight against neurodegenerative diseases because it protects the brain from inflammation as well. Other studies show that it can help treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Myrcene is one of the most abundant terpenes in marijuana plants. It has an earthy and musky aroma but cannabis consumers appreciate its sedative effects. Myrcene is one of the compounds responsible for the couch-lock that users experience with some cannabis strains.
  • Humulene is common in cannabis as well as hops. It has a mildly spicy, musky, and earthy scent. When it comes to its medicinal benefits, humulene is renowned for its antibacterial properties and inflammation-fighting characteristics though some studies show promise in its ability for shrinking tumors.
  • Limonene is easily recognizable because of its sweet, fresh, and citrusy scent. You can detect limonene in lemony strains of cannabis which are associated with its mood-uplifting properties and mood enhancement, as well as its ability to relieve stress. It also has powerful anti-depressant properties that are ideal for anyone struggling with emotional distress; limonene is also gastroprotective and anti-fungal benefits.
  • Linalool has a woody, spicy, and floral scent. It is one of the oldest-known natural sedatives but aside from that, it has other important properties: linalool is an anti-convulsant, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and a muscle relaxant.
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Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are unique, naturally-occurring compounds in the cannabis plant. While scientists currently know of almost 500 different cannabinoids, we have only identified around 70 of them.

The most famous of these is of course, THC, which is the compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of the plant. CBD is the second most famous, which we mentioned earlier. All cannabinoids work by interacting with the cannabinoid receptors found outside of cells in the human body, most of which are concentrated in the central nervous system. The cannabinoid receptors are known as CB1 and CB2.

Just like terpenes, there are specific cannabinoid products that are now available on the market. Each of them have their own cannabinoid profile which has various benefits for the human mind and body.

Here are some popular cannabinoids to check out:

CBG: Cannabigerol (CBG) is the grandfather of THC and CBD, because chemically speaking, it serves as the foundation and building block that the cannabis plant uses to produce these other compounds. However, on its own, research shows that it may have numerous benefits especially for anxiety, treating IBS, tumors, and bacterial conditions.

THCV: Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) possesses a similar molecular makeup with THC, though it has less carbon atoms. It can potentially be intoxicating though since it’s so little, it’s nearly impossible to feel anything. It’s widely used as an appetite suppressant, so if you are trying to lose a little weight, it would be beneficial to look for products that have THCV. Research has shown that it can also be beneficial for diabetics in managing blood glucose.

RELATED: CBD, CBDa & CBGa: What’s The Difference?

CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is a cannabinoid created when THC has degraded because it was exposed to light, or when your cannabis has aged. However, if you ingest old cannabis, the CBN content is mildly sedating which can come in handy for people struggling with insomnia. Some researchers believe that even a small amount of CBN is adequate for relaxing the body compared to a 10mg pill of Valium.

CBC: Cannabichromene (CBC) is the second most abundant cannabinoid in most cannabis strains, after THC and CBD. It was discovered in the 1960’s, and while there is still more research needed for this cannabinoid, scientists do know that it enhances the benefits of other cannabinoids especially CBG, CBN, THC, and CBD through the entourage effect. It’s also interesting to note that current research says CBC is 10 times more powerful than CBD when it comes to treating stress and anxiety.

This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.



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FDA Head Says They Can’t Regulate CBD Until They Get This

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CBD has been one of the fastest-growing markets in recent years. It’s also confusing and poorly regulated, with hundreds of knockoffs and regulations that vary depending on state and company.

The head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that not much progress has been made by the agency, but calls out Congress for its lack of support.

Marijuana Moment reports that Dr. Robert M. Califf made a statement in a hearing discussing CBD regulation. The statement was prompted after Representative Dan Newhouse said that there was a lot of confusion surrounding CBD, primarily due to the FDA’s lack of regulation on the matter.

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RELATED: FDA Rejects CBD As A Dietary Supplement — Are They Right Or Wrong?

“It looks pretty much the same in terms of where we are now,” said Califf. “We just know more because we’ve done more research.” He said that FDA’s funds are currently trying to spot the risks of CBD and that, in order to move forward, the organization will need more leeway from Congress.

“I don’t think the current authorities we have on the food side or the drug side necessarily give us what we need to have to get the right pathways forward,” he added. “We’re going to have to come up with something new. I’m very committed to doing that.”

The FDA has been very slow in regulating CBD and other cannabis elements, an issue that has affected many businesses. While CBD is hemp-derived and thus legal, it’s not FDA-approved. Still, Califf said that he and his organization is looking forward to devising creative ways to address the topic of CBD.

RELATED: 6 Facts About CBD That You Might Not Know

Last December, the FDA reiterated that CBD shouldn’t be added to foods or dietary supplements, claiming more research was necessary. Recently, the organization has been busy debunking claims from CBD companies that the compound can cure illnesses, among them COVID-19. “Failure to adequately correct any violations may result in legal action, including, without limitation, seizure and injunction,” reads an FDA cease and desist letter.



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Cannabis Strains: A Patient Guide

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There are more than 1,000 different cannabis strains in the market currently. Given the pace at which breeders are creating new hybrid strains, this number could easily double in the next few years. What breeding does is that it improves the genetics of a strain by combining the best genetics from different strains. You take a cannabis strain with a sweet taste, say Wedding Cake and combine it with one that has a beautiful appearance, say Purple Kush and you get a strain that has the best of both worlds. Of course, the same goes for therapeutic qualities. That’s how far scientists have come with cannabis breeding. On the flip side, this has made selecting the best cannabis strain very confusing for patients. Here is a detailed guide that breaks down everything there is to know about cannabis strains and how to choose the best one for you.

This Guide Covers:

  • What are cannabis strains?
  • Landrace Strains
  • The Most Popular Landrace Strains
  • Ruderalis Strains
  • Hybrid Strains
  • Sativa Dominant Strains
  • The Most Popular Sativa Dominant Strains
  • Therapeutic benefits of Sativa strains
  • Indica Dominant Strains
  • The Most Popular Indica Dominant Strains
  • Therapeutic Benefits of Indica Strains
  • Cannabis Strains Versus Chemovars
  • Type A Cannabis: Marijuana or THC Dominant
  • Type B Cannabis: Balanced CBD and THC
  • Type C Cannabis: Hemp or CBD Dominant
  • What to look for when choosing a cannabis strain

Patients who are suffering from medical conditions in which traditional drug treatments are ineffective will often look for an alternative source of symptom and pain relief using medical marijuana.  If you’re just beginning to search for the best medical cannabis to treat your particular condition, the amount of choices can be overwhelming.  We hope to provide some simple information here to get you on your way in choosing the right strain or hybrid strain to best meet your needs.

What are Cannabis Strains?

Cannabis strain is actually a vague term that describes the lineage of a strain and the characteristics that are attributed to it. Earlier on, it was believed that cannabis strains had unique properties that were present throughout the strain. However, it has now emerged that environmental influences and “terroir” do affect the characteristics of a strain. This means that Purple Kush grown in one state may not have the exact same features as Purple Kush grown in a different state. That said, because the genetics are similar in each strain it is expected that the dominant characteristics will be present throughout the strain.

Originally, cannabis grew naturally in the wild and strains were indigenous to geographical locations. These strains such as Malawian Gold or Kilimanjaro from East Africa are referred to as landrace strains. Over time, breeders have created new strains by breeding existing strains. These are now called hybrids.

Cannabis hybrids are usually created with specific qualities in mind. For example, the legendary Colorado breeders, the Stanley Brothers, created the famous Charlotte’s Web strain with high amounts of CBD so as to help children manage their seizures and other ailments. Other strains will be created to offer high THC levels or to even produce beautiful-looking purple buds. This is called selective breeding.

Landrace Strains

It is believed that roots of the cannabis plant are in central Asia at the foot of the Himalayas. Cannabis strains from this region are believed to have a high resin content making them suitable for hash-making. Cannabis also found itself in China where it became an integral part of Chinese herbal medicine, and later moved to India where it formed a part of the Hindu religion. Finally, cannabis found its way to the European continent and Australia in the 18th century. By this time, different species of cannabis had begun to evolve as cannabis adapted to the changes in climatic and environmental conditions. Cannabis that left Asia did not have the same qualities as the one that was growing in Australia, even though they were of the same species. This process of natural and non-selective breeding created tens of landrace strains. Unlike hybrids, landrace strains have very close similarities to the original indigenous strains.

Popular Landrace Sativa Strains

Landrace Sativa strains originally grew in the equatorial region which has long summers. Due to the lack of water and high heat, the cannabis plants often grew tall and slender and were hardly bushy. The leaves were usually thin and delicate and the flowering cycle was generally longer. With such characteristics, the average yield of landrace Sativa strains is usually lower. The same characteristics have become associated with modern Sativa strains.

The most popular sativa strains include:

Acapulco Gold

This Sativa landrace strain is a 100% Sativa and traces its origins to the Acapulco region of Mexico. It has high THC amounts topping 18% but low amounts of CBD. The dominant terpenes in this strain are myrcene, humulene, and beta caryophyllene. It’s suited for managing anxiety, stress, and depression.

Panama Red

Panama Red is a pure Sativa landrace that traces its roots to South America. It has moderately high amounts of THC, usually about 10% but it has a low level of CBD. The dominant terpenes in this strain include myrcene, limonene, and linalool. This strain is best suited for boosting appetite and dealing with insomnia.

Thai

Thai is a pure Sativa strain that originates from Asia. It boasts of high amounts of THC, usually topping 22%. The dominant terpenes in this strain include limonene, pinene, and terpinolene. It’s suitable for managing chronic pain, depression, and fatigue.

Popular Landrace Indica Strains

Landrace Indica strains originally grew in temperate and mountainous regions that have short summers and long winters such as Afghanistan, Tibet, and Pakistan predominantly.  Because of the environmental conditions, landrace indica plants were usually short and bushy. They also produced higher yields due to the favorable climatic conditions. They also tend to have a shorter flowering cycle as an adaptation to the drastic seasonal changes.

Popular landrace indica strains include:

Hindu Kush

This is a 100% Indica strain that originates from the Hindu Kush mountain area on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan. It has high levels of THC, around 20%, with minimal levels of CBD. The terpene profile includes myrcene, pinene, and limonene. It’s suitable for managing pain and boosting appetite.

Afghani

Afghani is another landrace strain with pure Indica (100%) characteristics that originated from the Middle East. It has high amounts of THC, usually around 20%, and low levels of CBD. The terpene profile includes myrcene, humulene, pinene, and beta-caryophyllene. It’s suitable for managing chronic pain, nausea, and anxiety.

Lashkar Gah

This landrace pure Indica strain originates from southern Afghanistan. It has THC levels of about 12% and only small amounts of CBD. The dominant terpenes in this strain are myrcene and beta-caryophyllene. It’s suitable for managing chronic pain, poor appetite, and nausea.

Final note on landrace strains

Landrace strains provide an opportunity to try out pure indicas or pure Sativas. However, you will find that the qualities of the present landraces will differ from the original ancestral strains. These are changes that occur naturally as the plants have to adapt to different climatic conditions. If you want a truly authentic landrace experience it is advisable to travel to the “ancestral home” of the strain in search of the wild and indigenous strain.

What Is Cannabis Ruderalis?

The term ‘ruderalis’ in Latin means ‘a weed’ or ‘growing in a rubble.A ruderal strain can also mean any plant that grows wildly in an area. Ruderal cannabis strains are mostly found in Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia. Ruderalis strains are hardy and can survive in extreme conditions.

Ruderalis strains grow in 90 -110 days and are therefore considered to be the fastest-growing marijuana type. Originally, ruderalis strains were grown outdoors. However, breeders are now harnessing the unique traits of ruderalis by cross-breeding it with strains that do well indoors.

How to identify Ruderalis cannabis

Ruderalis plants are the shortest type of cannabis plant, growing to a height of 1 to 2.5 feet. These short plants have thick stems and wide leaves and produce buds that are small but chunky.

Ruderalis plants are autoflowering which is a very unique trait. Unlike Sativas and indicas, these plants will progress from the vegetative phase to the flowering phase without needing any changes in lighting. This will happen 21 – 30 days after they have been planted. Another month after the plants have been harvested they will be ready for harvest.

Ruderalis Effects

Most of the ruderalis strains that are on the market are not pure ruderalis but hybrids. Pure ruderalis will have the following effects:

Ruderalis strains have extremely low levels of the primary psychoactive cannabinoid, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Ruderalis strains are non-psychotropic and non-intoxicating.  This means that they are not ideal for recreational use.

Ruderalis strains have high amounts of CBD. Whole-plant extracts of ruderalis have a calming and relaxing effect. Novice patients can start with ruderalis easily without being anxious about getting overwhelmed by psychotropic effects.

Popular Ruderalis Hybrid Strains

Cannabis breeders have harnessed the auto-flowering capabilities of ruderalis to create exceptional cannabis strains. Here are a few that you are likely to come across.

Ruderalis Skunk

This ruderalis hybrid was created by the master breeders Sensi Seeds. It is a cross between the original ruderalis and the legendary Skunk. The result is an auto-flowering strain that is indica-leaning with 70% Indica and 30% Sativa. This low THC strain is suitable for treating extreme fatigue and promoting restful sleep.

Do-Si-Dos Automatic

This rudelis hybrid was created by Zamnesia Seeds. It is a cross between the original ruderalis and Do-si-dos strain. The result is an auto-flowering strain that is indica-leaning with 65% Indica and 35% Sativa that’s best suited for combating pain and insomnia.

Auto-Mazar

This rudelis hybrid was created by Dutch Passions as a cross between the original Mazar strain and an unknown indica strain. This is an auto-flowering strain that is indica-leaning with 70% Indica and 30% Sativa. It has moderate amounts of THC ranging from 10% to 14% and it’s best suited for addressing sleep disturbance and anxiety.

Sativa Strains

Cannabis Sativa strains are native to equatorial regions that are typically hot such as Thailand, Mexico, and Africa. With such a hot climate, Sativa strains are usually tall and may reach up to 20 feet. The plants have narrow and delicate leaves while the buds are small and fluffy.

Most Sativa strains have a higher THC to CBD ratio but this is not a hard and fast rule. Sativas are cerebral strains that cause intense cerebral feelings and psychedelic effects. They are popular for their uplifting, energizing, and stimulating effects.

When consuming Sativas, moderation is always advised. Sativa strains with high amounts of THC could easily trigger paranoia, anxiety, and panic. It is advisable to start off with small amounts and work your way up to your desired effect.

Sativa Effects

  • Elevates mood
  • Boosts creativity
  • Causes mental stimulation
  • Increases appetite
  • Relieves pain

Most Popular Sativa Hybrid Strains

Jack Herer

This famously known cannabis author and activist and namesake hybrid strain is flavor-packed and delivers powerful Sativa effects. It is a cross between three strains: Northern Lights #5, Haze, and Shiva Skunk. Its dominant terpenes include myrcene, pinene, and humulene. It can be used to treat stress, migraines, and anorexia.

Sour Diesel

This is an award-winning potent Sativa strain (90%) that features high amounts of THC (about 25%). The dominant terpenes in this strain are myrcene and limonene which give off a skunk-like and citrus aroma. With an energizing cerebral high, this strain is best suited for dealing with depression.

Tangie

This is a Sativa dominant hybrid strain with 70% Sativa and 30% indica. It is a delicious high-THC strain that’s best suited for combating pain and dealing with low mood. The dominant terpenes in this terpene are limonene and myrcene.

Therapeutic Benefits of Sativa Strains

Mood Elevation

Sativa strains are uplifting and contribute to improved mood and a happy disposition. Consequently, Sativas are used to treat mood and emotional disorders.

Increased Productivity

Sativa strains are energizing and uplifting. They also increase one’s focus leading to increased productivity.

Increased Appetite

Most Sativa strains have high amounts of THC which is a known appetite booster. One scientific paper noted that “…the ability of [C. Sativa] to promote eating has been documented for many centuries … [many users report] strong cravings for, and intensification of, the sensory and hedonic properties of food.” Simply put, Sativa strains will ignite your appetite in a big way.

Relieves Depression

Sativa strains offer mental stimulation and mood enhancement. This is helpful in treating depression and reducing depressive episodes.

 Cannabis Hybrid Strains

Cannabis hybrids are created by cross-breeding two or more cannabis strains. The result will be a cannabis hybrid strain that carries the genotypic characteristics of the parent strains. Cannabis hybrids can either be Sativa dominant, Indica dominant, not balanced hybrids.

Sativa dominant hybrids will have a higher percentage of Sativa characteristics which are usually expressed as a percentage. For example, it can have 70% Sativa characteristics and 30% Indica characteristics. The same applies to Indica dominant hybrid strains. Balanced hybrid strains have 50% Sativa and 50% Indica.

Indica Dominant Hybrid Strains

Indica dominant hybrid strains have a higher percentage of Indica characteristics than Sativa. They are usually associated with strong body effects and minimal cerebral effects. It is also believed that indica strains tend to have higher CBD concentrations than THC (the psychoactive cannabinoid). However, some indica strains such as Death Star, Skywalker OG. Purple Kush, and Green Gelato have high amounts of THC. Here are some effects that are associated with indica strains.

Indica Effects:

  • Sedation
  • Relaxation
  • Calmness
  • Mellowness
  • Stress relief
  • Enhanced senses such as sound, touch, and smell

What Are The Therapeutic Benefits of Indica Strains?

Relaxation

Indica strains are generally very relaxing and are the perfect way to wind down after a hectic day.  They cause deep muscle effects which help to ease away deep-seated aches and chronic fatigue.

Sedation

Consuming a strong indica strain is likely to produce a couch-lock which happens when one is not able to get up from a sleeping position. This makes indicas ideal for evening use when bedtime is beckoning. Even in small doses, indicas are likely to cause sedation.

Anxiety and stress relief

Indica strains are suitable for relieving stress and anxiety. The mental stimulation is rarely overwhelming and even new users are likely to tolerate indicas quite well.

Pain and Inflammation relief

Indicas strains with moderate amounts of THC will offer pain and inflammation relief. They are ideally suited for managing nerve pain, spasticity, joint pain, and non-migraine headaches.

Seizure reduction

Indicas with higher amounts of CBD can be used to reduce seizure episodes. Fortunately, high CBD indicas can be administered safely to children suffering from seizure disorders.

Indicas are generally better tolerated than Sativas. An online study that was published in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine“ in 2014 showed that most patients prefer Indica strains for pain management, and sedation while they prefer Sativa strains for mood improvement and boosting energy levels.

Popular Indica Hybrid Strains

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is a popular and award-winning Indica dominant strain that has very high THC levels, usually exceeding 30%. It’s a cross between two landraces; Thai and Afghani strains. It’s suited for treating sleep problems, poor appetite, anxiety and depression.

Granddaddy Purple

This is an indica dominant hybrid strain that was created by crossing Purple Urkle with Big Bud. It has a high THC (23%) with low amounts of CBD. It is famous for its beautiful purple-colored buds that are loaded with anthocyanin. Its dominant terpenes include myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene. It’s best suited for insomnia, anxiety, and depression.

 G-13

This (G-13 aka Government -13) is an indica-dominant (70% indica) hybrid strain whose exact lineage is unknown. It is a high THC strain that is known for causing extreme happiness and euphoria. With an aroma of skunky and sweet, this strain has myrcene and terpinolene as the dominant terpenes. This strain is suited for seizure reduction and pain relief.

The Sativa/Indica Debate

Some scientists have argued that due to the constant inter-breeding and hybridization of cannabis strains, indica versus sativa as a classification of cannabis has become “meaningless.” This has paved the way for a modern classification that is based on the biochemical properties of cannabis aka chemotypes.

Cannabis Strains Versus Cultivars

You might have come across the word cultivar and probably wondered if it is the same thing as cannabis strain. While strain is usually used to refer to varieties of microorganisms, the cultivar is the appropriate name for varieties of cultivated plants. Cannabis strain as a classification (Sativa and Indica) is falling out of favor because it does not capture the full essence of the cannabis plant. The cultivar is based on the chemical composition of the plant aka chemotypes. It takes into consideration the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds that are present in cannabis. Scientists now believe that cultivar gives a more accurate prediction of the effects and therapeutic benefits that can be obtained from a type of cannabis. Consequently, they have created a new system of classifying cannabis types that is based on the cannabinoid content.

Type A Cannabis: Marijuana Cultivars

Cannabis Sativa is a type of Marijuana that has high amounts of THC, usually exceeding 10%. Marijuana strains may also be referred to as high-THC strains.

Popular Marijuana Cultivars

  • Bruce Banner – 25%
  • Gorilla Glue – 25%
  • Lemon Kush – 23%
  • Banana OG – 23%
  • GMO Cookies – 24%

Therapeutic benefits of marijuana strains

  • Offer pain relief
  • Relieves nausea and vomiting
  • Promotes sleep
  • Relieves symptoms of PTSD
  • Boosts appetite
  • Enhances senses
  • Offers antibacterial and antioxidant properties

Type B Cannabis: Balanced THC:CBD

Type B cannabis cultivars have equal amounts of THC and CBD. These are rare cultivars that are intended to provide balanced effects.

Popular Balanced Cultivars

  • Dancehall
  • Shark Shock
  • Argyle
  • Hurkle
  • Royal Highness

Type C Cannabis: Hemp Cultivars

Hemp is a type of cannabis Sativa that has minimal amounts of THC, not exceeding 0.3%. Hemp strains may also be referred to as pure CBD strains.

Popular Hemp Cultivars

  • Elektra – 20% CBD
  • Cherry Wine – 17% CBD
  • Lifter – 16% CBD
  • ACDC – 14% CBD
  • Remedy – 14% CBD

Therapeutic benefits of hemp strains

  • Offer pain relief
  • Relieves seizures
  • Promotes sleep
  • Provides relaxation
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Offers stress relief
  • Reduces PTSD symptoms

How To Choose A Cannabis Strain

When choosing a cannabis strain, there are a number of questions that you should ask yourself. The most important is the kind of effects that you expect from this strain. This will be determined by the chemical composition of the strain.

  1. How much THC is in the strain?
  2. How much CBD is in the strain?
  3. Which terpenes are in the strain?
  4. What other cannabinoids are in the strain

This information can be found in the certificate of analysis (COA) report. When purchasing any cannabis strain, it is important to scrutinize the COA for the cannabinoid and terpene profiles. If you are a medical cannabis patient, your recommending doctor should give guidance on the best cannabis strain that will help you achieve your therapeutic goals.

The options on hybrid strains are endless, and you may not know which specific strain will help your medical condition most until you try it.  The two top criteria in choosing the best medical marijuana are:

  1. What is the illness or ailment you have been diagnosed with?
  2. What are the symptoms you are trying to treat using medical marijuana?

Now that you know the different kinds of strains and cultivars and what they are best suited for, the answers to the questions above will help you determine which cannabis strain will work best for you.

Although most well-known for treating cancer and HIV/AIDS patients, cannabis is effective in treating illnesses and autoimmune diseases such as:

  • Lupus
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Quadriplegia
  • Paraplegia
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Depression
  • Back pain
  • Insomnia
  • Migraines

Choosing the best medical marijuana strain for your particular condition can take a little trial and error, but knowing the difference between the two main strains can help shorten the search. Potency and dosage vary with each strain, your condition and your individual tolerance.  Your medical marijuana providers (sometimes also referred to as ‘budtenders’) can help direct you to the best strain and dosage that they carry and potentially will best reduce your pain while still maintaining your ability to function in your everyday life.

For more detailed information about the many different strains available, we have listed United Patients Group’s Cannabis Strain Guide in the resource section of our website.    Also, feel free to contact us for a recommendation of a medical marijuana dispensary in your area that can help you determine the best strains for your condition.

References

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/beginners-guide-to-marijuana-strains
  2. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/marijuana-strains
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cannabis_strain
  4. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2020.573299/full
  5. https://www.leafly.com/news/growing/is-cannabis-cultivar-same-as-strain
  6. https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/10.1089/can.2016.0017



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