Cannabis is a psychoactive drug that is derived from the cannabis plant. It is more commonly referred to as Marijuana or “Weed”. It has many uses, but medical and recreational are the most popular. The overall psychoactive component of Cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol, or “THC”. It is only one of 483 compounds found throughout the plant, as well as 65 additional cannabinoids.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a phytocannabinoid that is also found in the cannabis plant and it makes up a much as 40% of the plant’s entire extract. Clinical research done on CBD in 2018 showed positive results when tested against medical issues such as anxiety, pain, cognition, and movement related disorders. CBD is the most popular and most used component of the plant because it has many positive benefits without the “high”. Also, anyone who may have adverse reactions to the THC compound find the CBD extremely helpful. Cannabis usage is becoming increasingly popular among adults of all ages and being educated on the subject can be very important and useful.
What is a Marijuana/Cannabis Strain?
Made from the Marijuana plant, Cannabis Strains can be either pure or of the hybrid variety. Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are the two more popular species strains of marijuana. The lesser known strain of Cannabis is Cannabis Ruderalis. It is shorter and produces much smaller amounts of THC making is less popular and less known in the medical, industrial, and recreational fields of marijuana uses.
Indica plants are grown short and stout, typically averaging in heights between 2 and 4 feet. They are known to have a more relaxing and sedative feel to them. They aid their users with multiple issues such as migraines, muscle pain, sleep deprivation, and even nausea. These strains are typically grown in colder climate areas and higher altitudes as they are coated in a resin that is made to protect them from these harsher environments. Indica plants typically take 6 to 8 weeks to flower, making them a favorite of indoor grow sites. Indica strains are perhaps responsible for the “lazy stoner” stereotype that marijuana has developed overtime, but advancements in the field have given us a better understanding of the misunderstood plant and with that, a wider range of options when it comes to Cannabis.
Sativa plant strains are acclimated for more warmer weather and higher humidity areas than their Indica sister strains. Their complicated growth habits and extended budding time creates quite the challenge for indoor growers. Sativa plants are a bit more difficult to grow as they typically take anywhere from 9 to 12 weeks to fully mature. However, they do grow anywhere from the average height of 6 feet to the incredible height of 20 feet! Sativa plants have a higher concentration of THC that gives its user an almost caffeine like energy along with an overall feeling of wellness and relaxation. The Sativa Marijuana strains help treat chronic pain and inflammation as well as give it’s user an increase in imagination, creativity, and even serotonin, making this strain a better day time choice. It has also been known to aid in eating disorders, anxiety disorders, and a number of mood disorders.
Hybrid strains are just that: a mixture of both Indica and Sativa strains. The majority of marijuana created now is a hybrid of some kind. Finding pure Indica and pure Sativa is actually quite difficult as the strains have been mixed and mixed to a point of really no return. While the strains are typically known for their separate characteristics, the science behind marijuana is not exact and what may effect one person one way, may have a whole opposite effect on another. Taking the time to try out different strands may be anybody’s best option when trying to figure out what works best for them as an individual.
What is Marijuana/Cannabis used for?
Medical uses for Marijuana are rapidly on the rise. Some of the conditions that Cannabis are being used to ease (not cure) include, but are not limited to:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Chronic Pain
- Multiple Mental Disorders
- Substance Abuse Disorders
- Eating Disorders such as Anorexia
- Alzheimers Disease
- Crohn’s Disease
And many more…
While more and more states are jumping on the opportunity to legalize marijuana as a medicinal remedy to so many ailments, the process is still in it’s baby stages and research will continue to be done to rid Cannabis of it’s unnecessary stigma.
How to Choose a Strain
Because there are so many different hybrid strains of Cannabis on the market now, it can be difficult to figure out exactly what is right for you. The choices you make will depend a lot of your individual symptoms. Not every strain will have the same effect on everyone. Dispensaries are designed to give their customers a wide range of choices so that you may exercise your options and find the strain that is right for you. This enables you to fully customize your own personal treatment plan, even if it be through trial and error. The staff at any dispensary will also be able to answer any questions or concerns you may have regarding your Cannabis interests.
Different Types of Strains
Acapulco Gold: Acapulco Gold is a popular Sativa Strain originating around the Acapulco, Mexico area. This particular flavor has been around since the 1960s and has remained popular due to it’s gorgeous colors and high potency. Users describe an overall “Happy” feeling with Acapulco Gold.
Blue Dream: This strain is a hybrid created from Sativa haze and Indica blueberry. With any hybrid, you are receiving a “best of both worlds” type of experience. It was born in California and still popular on the West-Coast. Blue Dream gives you a full body relaxation feel while also keeping your mind alert and happy.
Purple Kush: This strain is pure indica meaning it will gently relax your body and mind. It eases pain, and nausea, as well as giving it’s user a good night of sleep. This strain was born in California and is the result of mixing Hindu Kush and Purple Afghani.
Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel is a poplar Hybrid Strain of Cannabis Sativa and is named after it’s “diesel-like” smell. This particular strain has an energetic effect on the mind and is typically used on symptoms of depression, stress, and pain. Patients who have tried Sour Diesel brag on it’s long lasting ability to provide relief. It originated in the early 90s and has remained very popular since.
Bubba Kush: Bubba Kush is a powerful Indica Strain providing it’s user with a heavy, full body sedative like effect. Every part of the body becomes relaxed and euphoric as Bubba Kush eases the mind of stress and the body of pain. A mixture of happiness and sleepiness are often described by patients who have used this particular strain. The colors and smells of Bubba Kush are also noted to be why it has remained so popular since originating in California around 1996.
Granddaddy Purple: Granddaddy Purple (or GDP) is a hybrid mix between Indica Purple Urkle and Indica Big Bud. It was created in 2003 in California. It’s relaxing and euphoric effects can be easily felt in both the body and mind. This strain is usually used to help aid in sleep deprivation, stress, pain, eating disorders and muscle spasms. GDP was given it’s berry and grape-like aromas from it’s parent strain, Purple Urkle.
Afghan Kush: This strain is well known for it’s Afghani Black Hash and amazing “charas”. Also known as one of the most resin producing strains ever made. It originated in mountains in Afghanistan centuries ago and remains more popular now than ever. A very pure form of Indica.
It has a very powerful, yet relaxing feeling on both the body and the mind.
LA Confidential: This Strain is well known for being particularly successful it’s area. It has a calming and relaxing effect on the mind. It treats insomnia by helping it’s patient slowly drift off into sleep and can also be used to help ease acute pain. LA Confidential is also well known for activating creativity in many people.
Maui Wowie: Maui Wowie originated in the 1970s in Maui, Hawaii and is a Sativa-dominant strain of Cannabis. It is known for it’s tropical smells and tastes and it’s ability to relax your body and mind. Maui Wowie will have you feeling like Hawaii isn’t too far away. Described as relaxing, happy, energetic, euphoric, and a muse to creativity, this particular strain has stayed popular for over 40 years.
And More Strains
Golden Goat: Golden Goat was actually an accidental creation made in Topeka, Kansas. A male Hawaiian-Romulan accidently pollinated an Island Sweet Skunk female creating a spicy, sweet, tropical-type flavor and smell.. Lasting between 1 and 2 hours, this is a full body experience that causes feelings of happiness, euphoria, and relaxation.
Northern Lights: This pure Indica strain may be among one of the most popular ever. The origin is not 100% certain but what is known is that this sweet and spicy psychoactive strain is perfect for pain and insomnia and also mellow enough to handle depression and stress.
White Widow: This is a popular and well balanced hybrid that is famous world wide. It is a mixture of Brazilian Sativa Landrace and South Indian Indica. It was born in the 1990s in the Netherlands. Euphoria and Energy are often described not long before a wave of creativity consumes it’s user. This is an overall “Happy” Strain.
Super Silver Haze: At the “High Times” Cannabis Cup in 1997, ’98 AND ’99, Silver Haze actually walked out a first prize winner. This is a mixture of Haze, Northern Lights, and Skunk. This train provides a long lasting body high along with feelings of happiness and euphoria.
Pineapple Express: Even new Cannabis users are well aware of the name “Pineapple Express” due to the hilarious Comedy starring Seth Rogan. It is a sweet mixture of Trainwreck and Hawaiian. This is a full body, long-lasting strain that promotes a happy and creative feel to ensure a lovely mid-day escape.
Fruity Pebbles: This is an Indica/Sativa hybrid that relaxes the entire body while also providing relief from stress, mood disorders, and chronic pain. It is an energetic yet lazy feel that really gives you the option on how to spend your day.
Cannabis/Marijuana can be used to treat multiple different ailments and conditions. As time continues and science progresses, there is no telling what this plant has in store for the future, but it seems we will never stop finding new and delicious strains to help people overcome their aches and pains. Again, finding the right strain for you is not an exact science, but something that you need to experiment with a little. Discussing your needs and what might be right for you with your dispensary’s staff is always advised.