Cannabis / Marijuana comes in many strains and varietals. When choosing a strain, it is important to work with your medical cannabis caregiver to understand the symptoms you are looking to relieve and your physiological makeup. Before identifying what strain or strains might benefit you, it's important to first understand how and why medical cannabis works.
Cannabis contains more than 100 active compounds called cannabinoids, each with their own unique effect on the body. These compounds are similar to chemicals that are naturally occurring in our bodies and that involve the regulation of things like pain, memory, sleep and movement.
Two cannabinoids, in particular, are referenced when speaking about the medicinal benefits of cannabis: delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). While THC and CBD come from the same plant, they are very different and thus produce very different effects.
THC, the best known of the cannabis cannabinoids, works by binding to cannabinoid receptors found in our brains and throughout our central nervous system. Depending on an individual’s body chemistry, THC can elicit various physical affects – ranging from a feeling of calm and relaxation to euphoria and energy to paranoia and anxiety. As such, it is important to work with a medical caregiver to achieve the desired effect or experience.
In most medicinal cannabis strains, THC makes up the majority of the active ingredients, while CBD represents a smaller fraction. However, this relatively small instance of CBD can have a noticeable effect on the way cannabis affects a patient and can also help moderate the effects of THC. Varieties of cannabis with relatively high levels of CBD can allow patients to experience the benefits of medicinal cannabis without experiencing a strong psychoactive effect.
In this way, THC together with CBD can offer a broad range of conditions that may be treated with medical cannabis.
In addition to THC/CBD content, it is helpful to understand the three cannabis plan ‘families”: Indica, Sativa and Hybrid. Certain Indicia, Sativa and Hybrid strains are used in various medical applications. Generally, Indica strains are reported to be effective in treating chronic pain such as joint pain or fibromyalgia. They are also often used by those suffering from insomnia and other sleep-related issues or by patients seeking the ability to relax and de-stress.
Sativas, on the other hand, are described as being energized, promoting focus and creativity. When used in the correct dosage, sativa patients report clarity of thought and little to no disruption of standard cognitive function.
Best for night time use
Full-Body Pain Relief
Best for day time use
Uplifting cerebral high
Sativa-dominant Hybrids: Cerebral high with a relaxing body effect. Provides physical and mental relief.
50/50 Hybrids: Ideal strains for people seeking a perfect balance of head and body.
Indica-dominant Hybrids: These strains provide a full-body pain relief, with a relaxing head high. Recommended for nighttime use to go to sleep, or daytime relief from minor pain. These strains are perfect for patients who suffer from all types of autoimmune diseases as well as insomnia or depression.
Sweet Dirt works with our patients to help them make educated decisions around how best to treat their conditions. Visit our storefront at 495 Harold L Dow Highway in Eliot, Maine to speak with a caregiver and learn more about strains and the benefits they may deliver.