There are thousands of cannabis strain names with more being developed every day, each with their own unique balance of cannabinoids and potency. These differences result from the genetics of the strain, growing conditions, nutrients and environment. Land-race strains, or the original strains from specific areas of the world are the originators of all modern strain genetics.
When considering which cannabis strain to choose, it is important to remember that each of us has a unique physiological make up and will respond differently. Each strain exhibits a distinctive cannabinoid ratio and terpene profile. Cannabinoids are the active chemical components of the plant, while terpenes carry the scent and tell your body how to utilize the cannabinoids and offer medicinal effects of their own. You can learn more about Cannabinoids here and Terpenes here.
With an infinite variation of both of cannabinoids and terpenes coupled with individual chemical makeups, there is no blanket effect of how a particular strain will effect all people, but there are common and likely effects. We recommend seeking advice from your trained cannabis professional and sampling and evaluating tested cannabis strains for your individual response. Educating yourself to select your medicine based on the plant’s cannabinoid and terpene profile will allow you to quickly learn what works best for your body. Terpenes offer indicators to your body as to how the plant will work for you, so we suggest following your nose. If it smells appealing to you, it is more likely to offer the results your body craves.
Your method of consumption, whether you choose to smoke, vaporize, eat, or otherwise consume your cannabis will impact many factors of your effect from strength, onset time, medicinal effects, and length of effect.
To learn more about methods of consumption, visit our article, Consuming Cannabis.
Each strain may have very different effects on each individual. When testing a new strain, start with a small amount and wait 15 minutes to judge the effect of smoked cannabis (wait 2 – 3 hours if eaten). All possible side effects of medical cannabis are dose dependent and will vary from person to person. As such, patients should begin their therapy with low doses, slowly increasing use if necessary, so that the individual dose can be determined and undesired effects can be avoided.
Although there are an infinite variety of medical cannabis strains, the vast majority of them can be classified into one of the following groups: Sativa, Sativa-Dominant Hybrid, Hybrid, Indica-Dominant Hybrid, and Indica.
Indica and Indica-dominant strains tend to assist with pain, anxiety, sleep and offer a calming effect. Thanks to the higher levels of CBD, the effects of Indicas are predominantly physical and used to reduce pain and tremors, although they often offer relief of certain emotional issues as well, including reductions in anxiety, anger, PTSD, and stress. Indicas are characterized as relaxing or sedating and best used later in the day or before bed, often assisting with inducing sleep.
Sativa and Sativa-dominant strains are likely to assist with focus, clarity, creativity, depression, migraines and have moderate to mild pain relief. Sativa, Sativa Dominant and some Hybrid strains are most commonly used as daytime medication. Sativa strains often have higher THC to CBD ratios, resulting in a more cerebral effect. These benefits can be particularly helpful for the psychological component of many illnesses.
Hybrid strains have been bred to include both Indica and Sativa genetics, often offering the best of both worlds and reducing the undesired effects of their parents. Certain strains can offer the heady focus of a Sativa strain, while also relaxing the body, offering pain relief.
CBD-rich strains can have varying levels of THC/CBD ratios. It is a good idea to test several CBD-rich strains to see how much THC works for you alongside the CBDs. These are the best choice for those treating inflammation-related ailments and relieving pain and can be instrumental in treating cancer, leaky-gut and Crohn’s disease issues, diabetes, anxiety, epilepsy, and so much more.
Potency and Efficacy Factors
Choose cannabis grown by a reputable grower.
Cannabis displays a wide variety of properties, each of which can vary greatly, even within the same strain. Even the same clone from a single mother plant can turn out entirely differently depending on how she was grown. Genetics are a huge factor in quality, but the growing methods, timing of harvest, trim method, and cure can impact the efficacy of any plant. There are many points along the process that can result in the loss of quality, potency and result in loss of efficacy.What determines the potency, medicinal benefits, and ultimately the value of cannabis depend on a combination of the following main factors:
Overall plant health
Pest/Mold presence and/or mitigation techniques
Method of consumption (smoking/eating/tincture/topical)
It is important to choose cannabis grown by reputable growers and cannabis products that use quality cannabis in their ingredients. Always choose cannabis and cannabis products that have been tested by a reputable testing company and have high quality control standards.
We suggest that you keep a cannabis log to keep notes on the strains and products you try so that you can refer to your experience when choosing new strains in products in the future. Cannabis can be a great medicinal or recreational tool, but as with all intoxicants, should be approached with care.
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