Sativa strains tend to produce a more cerebral effect, which impacts mood and emotion. These strains are popular for increasing energy levels, improving focus, and combatting depression. Sativa strains are often recommended for daytime use because many patients find them helpful for providing symptom relief without interfering with daily activities.
Hybrid strains are varieties that contain similar levels of indica and sativa. These “best of both worlds” strains offer a balance between the benefits of both types.
The cannabis plant’s best-known component is THC, an important cannabinoid that plays a prominent role in stimulating both the psychoactive and medicinal effects of the flower. For this reason, medical cannabis is tested for THC content and patients sometimes regard THC levels as the beginning and end of any conversation regarding the quality of an individual flower. The reality, however, is more interesting and advantageous to patients willing to look beyond THC content alone in their quest to discover the best medicine for their needs.
Other common cannabinoids include CBN, which may treat pain and insomnia, and THCv, which may have neuroprotective properties. Many other cannabinoids can be found in varying percentages within specific strains and we expect that continuing research will yield new treatment applications for cannabinoid components whose potential remains to be fully understood. Paying attention to the cannabinoid content of the strains you sample will you identify what works best and may help guide future purchasing decisions.
Although it is the cannabinoid and terpene profiles that truly determine the unique characteristics of individual varieties, strain names serve as an important reference point on the vast map of modern cannabis genetics. Becoming familiar with the most common strains and educating yourself about your prefered genetics will help steer you towards products that work for you and away from those that don’t. Product names often include valuable clues you’ll want to pay attention to. For example, anything with “Purple” in its name will likely have a more sedative effect, while “Haze” suggests a more energizing experience. Making notes of what you like and sharing that information at the counter will help us customize our recommendations. Learning the history of your favorites will also help you discover other strains with similar qualities.
One of the many benefits dispensaries offer their patients is the ability to choose specific strains from a large selection of products. Patients appreciate knowing what they’re buying and take comfort in the fact that the products on the shelf are cultivated specifically for medical use and lab tested for safety and potency.
Darker colors may suggest a more sedative, indica-dominant effect.
While it’s true that relative THC content does provide some guidance towards anticipating the strength of a given flower’s effect, it doesn’t tell you the whole story. THC is just one of several dozen cannabinoids commonly occurring in the cannabis plant, which collectively impact its mental and physical effects. CBD-rich cannabis, for example, is rapidly rising in popularity as a treatment for anxiety, seizures and inflammation, yet lacks the psychoactive effects of THC. Patients seeking symptom relief paired with milder cerebral effects may find that elevated CBD levels are an important indication that a strain will work well for them.
Indica strains tend to provide a physical effect, which can be felt throughout the body. These strains are commonly used for reducing pain, relieving muscle tension, increasing relaxation, and helping patients rest. Indica strains are often recommended for nighttime use, because many patients find them helpful for promoting sleep.
Cannabis science offers a helpful roadmap for making informed decisions at the dispensary counter and finding the best products for your needs.