The Art of Understanding Cannabis Strain Types
Over the years, there have been various approaches employed in finding the right cannabis strain. Although choosing cannabis at times can be fun and a very easy decision to make. But choosing the right variety of cannabis for a particular individual or condition can be difficult and complicated.
Research has shown that despite searching for the right cannabis strain, some patients are not getting the desired result. Those who have knowledge of cannabis at times can find it difficult to translate into knowing the most suitable variety of cannabis for specific medical needs.
When searching for the right cannabis, it requires getting the right tools and making use of the responsible methodology. Knowing what your needs are before venturing is useful when choosing cannabis strain. Some strains help to focus while some are great for pain management.
The two most commonly used methods of identifying your ideal cannabis strain are:
• Indica/Sativa Method
• Active Compounds Method
While choosing a medicinal cannabis strain, it is necessary to have a basic understanding and full knowledge of the various approaches, especially the difference between indica strains and sativa strains in terms of their medical applications.
The Indica/ Sativa Method
The first approach to finding the right strain is Indica or Sativa method. According to research, Indica is attributed to relaxing and calming effects while Sativa strains are said to be more uplifting and energetic.
Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. Before cannabis became federally legal, or socially acceptable strains were broken down into one of these two categories.
Sativa gives the consumer an energetic high while indica can make users a bit sleepy. Knowing which of these strains to choose is what the “Indica-Sativa Method” is all about.
Today, thanks to decades of breeding and playing with strain genetics, the majority of all cannabis strains cultivated are called hybrid strains. Either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant, most strains have both plant types present.
The Active Compound Method
Active Compound Method requires looking into scientific research, which there is nowhere near enough, trying to build the right profile cannabis compounds that will best treat your condition. Finding the product that most closely resembles that profile is called the Active Compounds Method.
The Indica-Sativa Method
One of the most common methods that people choose to use is indica or sativa method. Sativa and indica are Latin terms, they both mean “cultivated”. Each strain is from either sativa or indica plants.
Indica strains are relaxing strains. The physical characteristics of the plant are, they are short and broad plants with wide leaves. Indica sometimes have less Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) than sativas, but amounts vary widely by strain. They tend to have more sedative effects and are for those who need help relaxing or sleeping. People often choose indica to relieve the symptoms of these conditions.
• Parkinson’s disease
• Chronic pain
Sativas, on the other side, have lower levels of myrcene. Sativas characteristics are made of its long, narrow leaves, and tall plants. Unlike indica, Sativas often contain high amounts of THC. They are known to provide therapeutic benefits without causing too much sedation, which is great for those who want to go promote creativity, energy and help with the following conditions.
• Chronic pain
• Glaucoma symptoms
• Low appetite
The botanist, medical researchers have different views about the two words, and their disagreement is about the hierarchy of the two: The question is are they two distinct species of cannabis, or is indica a subspecies of sativa.
But we as non-botanists have out basis in different researches where we get the tips we need. The difference in the classification is mostly about how tall or short the plant is, whether it has a fibrous or woody stalk, what its optimum growing climate is, and what part of the world it comes from. In the mid-20th century, probably around 1960s or ’70s, cannabis enthusiasts began using the terms indica and sativa to describe distinct kinds of cannabis.
Hybrids are crosses between indicas and sativas. They are typically very potent and can offer a blend of therapeutic benefits found in both strain categories. Most of the cannabis you find are dominant hybrids, Generations of cross-breeding have made it pretty rare to find a true indica or sativa these days.
Scientific data backed it up that, there is no real difference between sativa, indica, or hybrids of the two. Over the decades, cannabis smokers use their knowledge of the effect of both strains to identify them. Sativa products are described as uplifting, energizing generally producing a cerebral head high. Indica products are described as calming, relaxing, sedating, and helping with pain relief.
Cannabis Strains are available in the entire spectrum from pure sativas to pure indica, and in every combination in between. There are 30% sativa -70% indica strains, there are 80% sativa- 20% indica strains, and many 50- 50 percent combinations, as well as others.
It takes some time and a lot experimentation to find the most effective balance for each person, but one thing is for sure – there is a cannabis strain available for every smoker and every growing situation.
Uses of Indica/ Sativa Hybrid Strains
• Indica/sativa strain helps to relieve chronic pain.
• Combining sativa genes with an indica strain can aid mental clarity and decrease sedative effects.
• Adding indica to sativa strains can lower the tendency of pure sativas occasionally stimulating anxiety.
• Sativa strains are most effective for the treatment of nausea such as appetite stimulation, migraine headaches, depression, etc.
Uses of Medicinal Cannabis Indica
• The indica strain is centered in the body which relaxes muscle tension.
• It is effective in treating muscle spasms and tremors
Uses of Medicinal Cannabis sativa strains
• Cannabis sativa strains provide a cerebral, energetic high effect which is experienced in the mind as well as in the body.
• It is also useful for the treatment of nausea
The Active Compounds Method
This method deals with a lot of scientific research. All cannabis plants contain the active compounds known as cannabinoids. The two main cannabinoids are:
Cannabinoids are the most active cannabis compound and typically the biggest players when it comes to choosing a strain for a specific condition. While there are several different cannabinoids that contribute to the therapeutic effects of cannabis, THC and CBD are the most prevalent.
A number of scientists also believe that terpenes influence cannabis’ therapeutic effects in a medical context.
THC: This is the most well-known cannabinoid. It’s accepted as a potential analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-nausea, and helps with muscle spasms and sleep disorders. It is the most suitable choice for those who need help to relax from stress or to fall asleep. Also, it can help you fall asleep faster and even help reduce nightmares. It’s also great for:
• Pain relief
• Appetite stimulation
CBD: This is a powerful anti-inflammatory, anti- seizure, and anti-anxiety agent. In most medicinal cannabis strains, THC makes up the majority of the active ingredients, while CBD represent a much smaller fraction. For instance, a potent strain may be measured at 19% THC, but will typically contain less than 1% CBD.
Strains that are high in CBD are preferable for those who want to avoid the ‘high’ associated THC and those who need localized pain management. It also has a positive effect on mood and counteracts potential adverse side effects of THC like anxiety or memory imbalance. People choose CBD to help manage issues like:
• Muscle spasm
• Overall wellness
• A while range of other conditions
While CBD is not considered psychoactive in itself, it can impart many of the medicinal benefits of cannabis and can also moderate the effects of THC. The relationship between the two main cannabinoids goes some way in explaining the different effects of the numerous strains. Sativa strains normally have medium to high THC and a relatively low CBD content.
Varieties of cannabis with very high levels are being developed. These strains allow patients to experience the benefits of medicinal cannabis without experiencing a strong psychoactive effect. However, there are also other attributes of some major cannabinoids and terpenes.
Terpenes are basically the essential oils of the plant, and are mostly found in the tiny mushroom-like crystal. Terpenes are what give a strain its specific taste and aroma, as well as some of its therapeutic benefits. There are many types of terpenes, and it takes a little time and experience to become familiar with how they can benefits you.
It’s best to start by choosing strains with aromas you find pleasant. It’s also a good idea to ask your dispensary staff to recommend strains with specific terpenes that can help you achieve your desired outcome. Major terpenes in cannabis are:
• CBG, a cannabinoid, is a potential neuro-proctectant and anti-bacterial agent.
• Limonene, another terpene, is known as a potential relaxant by its anti-anxiety and anti-stress properties.
• Myrcene, a terpene, relaxes motor neurons, and is related to sleep regulation and general relaxation.
• I2-caryophyllene, yet another terpene often found in cannabis, is anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial.
All things considered, the tendency of cannabis marketers to indicate the cannabinoid and terpenoid profile of their products would seem to be a positive development. It allows users to examine the active ingredients in their cannabis products as opposed to only their taxonomic origin.
The effects of a strain can vary widely from person to person, so the best way to find the right strain for your condition is to do some experimenting. Starting a cannabis journal can help you develop an understanding of how different strains make you feel. By writing down the strain, your consumption method, and your experience, you’ll develop a personal database of the effectiveness of different products and how they contribute to your wellbeing.
Different types of cannabis strains
The following are some of the popular cannabis strain that are available in the market today:
• Fruity pebbles: Fruity pebbles OG, or FPOG, is associated with euphoria and relaxation, which could make it great for stress relief. It often makes users feel giggly, helps reduce nausea, and increases appetite.
• White Widow: White Widow improves your mood, gives you energy, and relaxes you all at once. It’s said to help reduce pain and stress, as well as feelings of depression. If you are feeling fatigued, white window might help you stay energized and alert.
• Maui Wowie: Maui wowie can help you feel super relaxed, yet energetic and creative. It reduces fatigue too, making it great for days when you need to be productive.
• Acapulco Gold: Acapulco has its origin from Mexican words. Acapulco Gold is a well known and highly praised strain of cannabis. It’s noted for its euphoric and energizing effects. It’s said to reduce fatigue, stress, pain, and even nausea.
• Blue Dream: Blue dream is relaxing and soothing, but it isn’t a total sedative. This makes it perfect for easing pain, cramps, or inflammation for when you can’t afford to fall asleep.
Plus, it’s said to lift your mood and give you a feeling a euphoria.
• Sour Diesel: A highly energizing, mood-lifting strain, Sour Diesel is great for giving you a burst of productive energy. It also has notable distressing and pain-relieving effects. Sour Diesel are magnificent marijuana morning glories. For a breakfast of champions to suit either the sweet or sour palate these two connoisseur cannabis strains are amongst the very best. Both are tremendously potent with sky high levels of THC and bursting with flavor. Get energized and start the day on a high.
• Purple Kush: Purple Kush is great for including a state of bliss so that you feel relaxed, happy and sleepy. It’s often used for reducing pain and muscle spasms. Its sedating effects means it can be used to reduce insomnia.
Pineapple and Somango XL are guaranteed to give you the munchies. Their exotic fruity flavors will whet your appetite and you will feel the effects immediately. Both pineapple Kush and Somango XL are indica dominant hybrids. Packing just enough sativa genetics to curb the lethargic heavy indica effect. The resulting high is long lasting and mellow. Perfect for infusing and inspiring cannabis cuisine.
• Granddaddy Purple: Grand purple is another highly relaxing strain. It’s often praised for its insomnia-fighting and stress-reducing results. Users also note that it can make you feel euphoria and increase hunger, which is great if you are experiencing a lack of appetite.
• LA Confidential: LA Confidential is another relaxing and sleep-including strain that is often used to soothe insomnia. It’s also said to have noticeable anti-inflammatory and pain-reducing effects, which makes it a favorites among people with chronic pain
• Golden Goat: Golden Goat is notable for making users feel euphoric and creative. It’s also great for reducing fatigue and stress while lifting your mood.
• Super Silver Haze: Another energizing strain, super Haze is said to produce feelings of euphoria, relieves pain and nausea, and lifts your mood. This makes it excellent for stress relief.
• Northern Lights: Northern Lights is another relaxing, sleep-including strain. It’s also known for its mood lifting effects, and it can be used to relieve insomnia, pain, stress, and depression. Nothing calms and pacifies mind and body quite like some old school Northern light. Rich earthy almost pure indica smoke is perfect for relaxing after a long day. However, if you have a high tolerance for phenomenal THC levels and enjoy the couch lock effect you need royal gorilla. These dense silver back buds are world renowned for sending stoners directly to dreamland. Best enjoyed in the evening for a good nights sleep.
• Pineapple Express: Made famous by the 2008 eponymous movie, Pineapple Express has a pineapple-like scent. It’s relaxing and mood lifting, but is also said to give you an energetic
buzz. This is the sort of strain that could be great for productivity.
• Afghan Kush: Originating from the Hindu Kush Mountains near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, Afghan Kush is super relaxing and sleep-inducing. This too can help you feel hungry if you are experiencing a lack of appetite, and can relieve pain.
• Bubba Kush: Bubba Kush is a relaxing, sleep-inducing strain. It’s perfect for helping you fight insomnia and get some shut-eye. It also offers pain reducing and stress relieving results.
• Chocolate Haze: It’s arguable that just as the original chocolate Thai mysteriously disappeared over a period of time, the creativity left with them. Blazing some chocolate Haze is bud brain candy. Ideally suited to creative pursuits. Plus it’s got that sweet chocolate taste that you just can’t beat.
• Amnesia Haze: Amnesia Haze with has a tropical flavor that can make you soaring high and give you a delightful mental relief.
• Haze Berry: Haze Berry is perhaps the fruitiest brain bud on the market. Touch the sky and leave your earthy troubles behind with some delicious head stash medicine.
There are a lot of cannabis strain available in the market today. If you’re taking cannabis for its medical benefits, you should know that not all of them are right for everyone and not all of them work for every medical issue. It is important for you to know which strain best addresses your medical issue. You might have to research which strain has the active compounds to address your medical issues. Even at that, you’ll likely still find a lot of strains that fall in your preferred category. You might have to use different strains and see how you react to them before determining which one works best for you.