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Patients seeking medical relief are usually seeking a specific effect from the cannabis they’re consuming. Sativas and Indicas typically have very different side effects and therefore different strains are recommended for the user to achieve the desired outcome. Some medicinal qualities are present in both types of strains.

— IMAGE COURTESY OF UNSPLASH.COM
 

ALL IN A STRAIN

Sativa vs. Indica — Know the Difference

The cannabis plant typically produces two different types of strains: Sativa and Indica.

Strains can also be a hybrid (both Sativa and Indica) in varying ratios, with some leaning more toward indica dominant and other with a stronger sativa presence. So what’s the difference and why does it matter? Sativa and indica plants and buds look very different in appearance.

Sativa plants grow taller than Indicas. Their flowers therefore take longer to mature tend to produce lighter, leafier buds. Most Indicas plants are shorter, produce denser buds, and normally reward growers with higher yields.

Patients seeking medical relief are usually seeking a specific effect from the cannabis they’re consuming. Sativas and Indicas typically have very different side effects and therefore different strains are recommended for the user to achieve the desired outcome. Some medicinal qualities are present in both types of strains.

For example, both Indicas and Sativas can help relieve nausea and pain. Indicas can be recommended for anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and are known for causing heavy sedation. Sativas tend to have a more energizing, uplifting effect and tend to be recommended for symptoms like ADHD, depression, fatigue, and other various mood disorders.

Because strains have been crossed so many times, many new genetics have been produced over the years, creating various hybrid strains. Some patients may choose to use a combination of sativa-dominant strains during the day to avoid hindering productivity or indica-dominant strains at night to help with relaxation before bed.

Above is an artist’s rendering of a THC molecule. THC is the most commonly known (and arguably the most important) cannabinoid, which produces psychoactive effects and is used to treat pain, nausea, tumors, and ADHD.

— IMAGE COURTESY OF WIKIPEDIA.ORG
 

The Magic Healing Power of CANNABINOIDS

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds that make up the cannabis plant and produce different effects, often providing a number of healing qualities for medical patients.

Cannabinoid receptors are found all over our bodies. At least 85 cannabinoids have been identified in the cannabis plant and we are constantly discovering unique health benefits. Each strain is usually made up of several cannabinoids. THC is the most commonly known (and arguably the most important) cannabinoid, produces psychoactive effects and is used to treat pain, nausea, tumors, and ADHD.

CBD is another cannabinoid that has been getting a lot of attention lately. This is mostly because CBD is non-psychoactive, making it suitable to give to children, the elderly, pets, or anyone else who seeks medical relief but does not want the “high” that THC causes. More importantly, CBD can be used to treat seizures in patients with MS and epilepsy, can aid in lowering blood sugar in patients with diabetes, and has been effective to manage pain (especially conditions like arthritis), reduce tumors, improve blood circulation, treat stress-related disorders, and help with insomnia.

THC-A is another non-psychoactive cannabinoid with a number of medicinal qualities. THC-A is an anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-spasmatic, encourages appetite, and can combat insomnia. The benefits of some of the other cannabinoids may surprise you. For example, a-Pinene can be used to treat asthma, Caryophyllene treats gastric reflux, Linalool treats psychosis, and Humulene and THCV actually suppress appetite.

To fully understand the importance of cannabinoids, you must understand the concept of the entourage effect. While some people may rely heavily on CBD strains, the entourage effect discourages isolating single cannabinoids in an effort to replicate their natural components. This theory argues that cannabinoids work together within the plant, and that their relationship to one another allows the greater organism (the cannabis flower) to produce more profound effects. In other words, cannabinoids work better together than when isolated.