Several new cannabis strains have been developed in recent decades, focusing on terpene profiles and cannabinoid content.
It’s crucial that patients understand the variety of medicinal cannabis products available as well as the effects associated with each.
Some strains and cannabis products may be more effective at treating certain symptoms than others. Choosing the right strain ensures that each patient gets the results they want. The cannabis plant is divided into three subspecies: Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. Ruderalis plants are much smaller and produce relatively little medicine, so cannabis cultivators tend to avoid them. The medical cannabis community focuses primarily on Sativa and Indica strains. Indica and Sativa plants exhibit a variety of characteristics, from the way they look to their effects on the body. Indica plants, for example, tend to be short and stocky with large, chunky leaves and dense buds, while Sativa plants grow much taller and their leaves are thinner. The main differences between Indica and Sativa strains can be found in their medical effects, as well as how they influence energy levels and productivity. Indica strains are known for making strong body highs and reducing energy, so they make great sleep aids. Alternatively, Sativas are known to be uplifting and may enhance feelings of creativity and motivation, sometimes referred to as a “head high.” In terms of specific ailments, patients report that Sativa strains may provide relief from psychological disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. It has been reported that indicas provide relief from chronic pain and inflammation, so they may also be helpful for patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and cancer. However, because many conditions and ailments have an array of symptoms, many patients end up using a mix of Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. Hybrids are crosses between Indica and Sativa strains. Theoretically, hybrid strains possess most of the beneficial properties of both parent plants. Any two strains can be mixed to create a hybrid plant, and while it is most common to cross a Sativa and Indica plant, it is possible to cross two strains of the same subspecies. Patients must seek out the strains that best deal with their particular disease or ailmenrarely an overnight project. This may take months, if not years, of diligent research and work.