Which Medical Cannabis Strain is Best For You
How was your first visit to the dispensary? We understand how overwhelming it can get giving this alternative form of medicine a try. After getting your medical marijuana license and equipping yourself with the basics of medical cannabis use, the next thing to think about is the variety of strains available and the most helpful ones for your specific health concern.
Dispensary Necessities has this simple guide to help you pick the best strain of medical cannabis that you should be using.
There are three main group classifications of medical cannabis: indica, sativa, and hybrid.
Choose INDICA when:
- You need to calm down and relax
- You need relief from anxiety
- You need relief from pain
- You need relief from muscle tension
- You need treatment for muscle spasm and tremor
- You experience chronic discomfort
- You have arthritic and rheumatic symptoms
- You want to improve your appetite and sleep quality
Cannabis indica are known for their sedative effect hence they’re ideal for alleviating symptoms of pain, physical stress, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s and panic attacks. Like a sleeping pill, cannabis indica can help you relax the body and pacify your mind.
Choose SATIVA when:
- You need energy and stimulation
- You need help with nausea (brought by chemotherapy or HIV medicines)
- You need to stimulate your appetite
- You experience migraine headaches
- You’re fighting depression
Tall, slow-growing cannabis sativa provide energetic effects like what a cup of black coffee or tea brings. Because sativas have higher levels of THCV or tetrahydrocannabivarin compound and lower myrcene component, they are more stimulating and with reduced sedative effects compared with indica strains. Sativas are best for chronic fatigue, glaucoma, increasing focus and concentration, and for daytime relief.
Opt for a HYBRID when you want the best qualities of sativa and indica plants. Hybrids are supposed to have the right mixture of stimulation and relaxation. If you suffer from arthritis pain, for example, and you need to medicate before going to work, a hybrid strain can give you the pain relief you need without causing you to become too sleepy.
When choosing a hybrid, it’s best if you do a little research on the specific strain to be sure on the effect. You should be looking at the levels of myrcene to identify the sedative level of the strain. Hybrids with myrcene levels above 0.5% are seen to bring about the “couch lock” effect which is a colloquial term for a strong feeling of physical sedation (where limbs and head feel heavy, hence the person will be “locked” to the couch).
Every person is different and will respond differently to various strains. We thought you’ll be needing more information about specific medical cannabis strains to narrow your search on the best strains for your condition.
Hawaiian Sativa. This is a pure sativa strain that smells tropical and sweet. It is a sought-after medical marijuana strain particularly for glaucoma patients as it provides good ocular release. Used for daytime medication, expect a remarkable energy boost from the Hawaiian strain.
Avidekel. A sativa strain with 16% CBD and almost no THC. This medical cannabis strain is intended to treat inflammation and provide relief from digestive disorders. Patients diagnosed with Crohn’s, Colitis, Cancer, PTSD, Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis use this unique strain developed in a government-approved plantation in Israel.
Girl Scout Cookies. A popular hybrid with one-of-a-kind flavor and a potent effect given its 28% THC level. An indica-dominant strain, GSC can help you completely relax and find relief from migraine, depression, or stress. Girl Scout Cookies medical cannabis strain is found to be also useful in managing bipolar disorder, ADD/ADHD, and lack of appetite.
Strawberry Cough. Many medical marijuana patients choose this strain because it offers relief from a variety of conditions. It can help manage social anxiety and stress given the easygoing, carefree, all-around happy mood it delivers. Increased focus is also a reported effect of Strawberry cough along with relief from headaches and mild body pains.
Blue Dream. A favorite among medical cannabis patients in California and all over the world, this legal cannabis strain is high-yielding and easy to grow. Blue Dream is a well-balanced hybrid although it is slightly sativa-dominant. This strong strain has THC content ranging from 17-24%.
Charlotte’s Web. As you may already know, this is the well-known strain named after the young girl with Dravet Sydnrome, Charlotte Figi. Her rare and severe form of epilepsy was effectively managed by this high-CBD strain produced by the Stanley Brothers of Colorado. Although Charlotte’s Web cannot cure Charlotte’s seizures, it significantly improved her quality of life. Charlotte’s Web is a completely non-psychoactive strain so it is often used in pediatric cannabis treatments. Medicate with this strain if you want to combat anxiety, get relief from fatigue, muscle spasms and headaches, and treat depression. Charlotte’s Web’s efficacy as seizure preventative medication is well-documented.
ACDC. This is a cannatonic marijuana strain with high CBD and is used to treat stress, depression and pain. ACDC stands for Alternative Cannabinoid Dietary Cannabis as this strain can give medical benefits when used raw or when heated. You can medicate with ACDC by consuming it raw which translates to including the leaves or flowers when juicing, blending, and preparing your salad. The ACDC strain is a non-psychoactive flower that promotes deep relaxation. It is a powerful strain for treating anxiety disorders and severe psychiatric conditions. Medical cannabis patients with epilepsy and multiple sclerosis also opt for this strain.
These are just some of the most popular medical cannabis strains available in California dispensaries. As mentioned earlier, individual strains impact consumers differently. Work closely with your doctor to find which strain is most beneficial for your condition. Yet, the best way to go about finding what works for you is to carefully experiment with different strains. Track how well a specific strain manages your symptoms by keeping a cannabis strain journal. You can easily keep track of things that don’t agree with you and you can easily see patterns and report it to your doctor or budtender. In your cannabis journal, write about the initial feeling or state of mind before medicating with a strain. Also include the brand, method and amount consumed as well as the cannabis effects (intensity, time they tapered off, quality of sleep).
Medical marijuana comes in all sorts of forms, shapes, styles, and flavors. Being a new patient can be truly overwhelming but if you do your homework and equip yourself with knowledge about this controversial, but indeed beneficial, clinical approach, you can get the most out of this form of medication. The World Wide Web offers a lot of user-submitted reviews and legit chemical profile data that you can easily get hold of. Read, research, and don’t hesitate to ask. More and more people are diving into the world of medical cannabis so it is no longer that difficult to find help.
Choosing the right medical cannabis strain can be tricky as it requires a bit of experimenting for you to find the right fit. We expect that more in-depth research and information will soon be available as the world becomes more accepting of medical marijuana.