If you’ve recently decided to take advantage of all the benefits of medical cannabis, you might be feeling overwhelmed with the variety of strains and methods of consumption. While it can seem confusing at first, it gets easier once you know the basics. In this article, we’ll go over finding the right cannabis strain and consumption methods that work for you.
What Makes a Cannabis Strain Unique?
To get an idea of what makes a strain stand out, it’s helpful to understand a little about cannabis chemistry. While there are hundreds of different compounds in any given variety, the cannabinoids and terpenes will have the most significant impact on how a strain will make you feel.
Cannabinoids are the most active cannabis compounds and are 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.
THC: strains high in THC are an excellent choice for those who need help with sleep or stress. It can help you fall asleep faster and even help reduce nightmares. It’s also great for:
- Pain relief
- Appetite stimulation
CBD: Strains high in CBD are preferable for those who want to avoid the “high” associated with 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 impairment. People choose CBD to help manage issues like:
- Muscle spasm
- Overall wellness
- A wide range of other conditions
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 benefit 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.
Finding the Right Cannabis Strain: Cannabis Strain Categories
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 about their everyday tasks. People also enjoy sativas for their ability to promote creativity, energy and combat depression. Sativas are known to help with the following conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Glaucoma symptoms
- Low appetite
Indicas sometimes have less THC than sativas, but amounts vary widely by strain. They tend to have more sedative effects and are great for those who need help relaxing or sleeping. People often choose indicas to relieve the symptoms of these conditions:
Hybrids are a cross between indicas and sativas. They are typically very potent and can offer a blend of therapeutic properties found in both strain categories. Most of the cannabis you find at dispensaries are sativa-dominant or indica dominant hybrids. Generations of cross-breeding have made it pretty rare to find a true indica or sativa these days.
Finding the Right Cannabis Strain: Consumption Methods
Choosing a consumption method comes down to personal preference. Some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of smoking, while others may have respiratory conditions that make smoking out of the question. While vaping is a healthier version of inhalation, you also have the option of ingestion (edibles and capsules), oral absorption (sublingual drops), or topical application (lotions and salves.) Your dispensary stuff will be happy to help you select a method based on your preferences and goals.
Keeping a Cannabis Journal
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.
Whatever goals you want to achieve with cannabis, finding the right cannabis strain is an important first step. The staff at Remedy Columbia will be happy to help you with all your questions and provide helpful recommendations. Stop by or schedule an appointment today!