Differences Among Medical Cannabis Strains. Or useful information if you actually have a choice!
Not all strain classifications of cannabis are the same. The categories are sativa, indica, and hybrid with each classification producing its own effects, flowering times, flavours, and geographical origins. Even the way the plant is grown can determine the phenotype, producing differentiations in physical effects of the same strain; the plant is likened to a snowflake in its uniqueness — no two plants of the same strain are the same. I don’t want to get too technical with the different chemicals and phenotype differences just yet, so I’m going to focus on some basics.
Indica’s are generally recommended, producing a body high experience (some colloquially call it “couch-lock” meaning it literally feels as if it locks you to the couch). This includes a numbing sensation within the body and limbs, feeling sedated and relaxed, feeling content, less anxiety with an overall slow-things-down effect. CBD strains are classified as indica and are the strain used in CBD oils. It is the flower’s CBD content, among other compounds, that gives its pain fighting, muscle relaxing, anti-inflammation, and antioxidant benefits. High CBD strains have low levels of THC and don’t produce a typical high; instead it causes a slight dizziness, a little spike in energy, and an overwhelming feeling of less pain systemically.
Sativa’s are recommended for symptoms of emotional/mood disorders, depression, fatigue. The effects are electrifying for some people and produce uncontrollable laughing attacks, creative thought, and an uplifted spirit. This is referred to as a cerebral high experience causing racing thoughts, and potentially new and deep mental or emotional revelations. This strain also causes an energized or refreshed feeling; its psychoactive nature is based on THC content, among other compounds.
There is some overlap among medical use between sativa and indica which is where selecting a hybrid strain comes in. For instance, both strain types and hybrids will help with nausea, appetite stimulation, depression, moods. While the effects of sativa and indica are distinct, there are many similarities ranging from happy, and euphoric.