An Overview of Marijuana Strains

A person in a lab coat holding a small jar of marijuana
Updated August, 9 2023

The global Cannabis market is currently worth $7.7 billion according to Forbes. That number is still expected to grow significantly in the near future, as other countries pass more relaxed marijuana laws. In the U.S., the use of Cannabis for recreation has taken its popularity to new heights. Now, several kinds of marijuana are being offered on the market. But how do you know which one is for you? To help you navigate through this sea of options, here are the things you need to know about marijuana strains.

What are marijuana strains? What about OG Strain Names?

Descriptions about marijuana usually mention indica, sativa, or hybrid varieties. Indica came from the Indian Hindi Kush mountains. It is believed to have a relaxing effect. Sativa, on the other hand, is supposed to be energizing. Hybrid is any combination of the two. But the qualities of these classifications are not set in stone. One may get the characteristic of the other. This is where strains come in. Strains further divide and classify marijuana into the products people buy. Strains that have the same name, regardless of where they are sold, usually have the same characteristics. This is more evident in strain names that are less common. One of the tells of a good source is the consistency of its products with the same name.

How do you choose a strain?

Since strains generally have unique characteristics and effects, choosing one for medical uses should be based on how it can affect the medical condition. Depending on the condition, some strains can be more helpful than others. In the same way, the potential adverse side effects should also be taken into consideration. Some of the more generally expected side effects of marijuana-use include dry mouth, dry eyes, and dizziness. Marijuana may also react with other medication patients have taken or treatments they have undergone. Either way, it’s best to consult your doctor if you are interested in helping manage your condition.

What are THC and CBD?

Both tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are compounds found in plants that are part of the Cannabis genus. These two compounds have similar molecular structure but have different effects on the body. CBD is mainly distributed as gummies, oils, gels, and extracts. Meanwhile, THC is known for its psychoactive property that gives the high feeling. Variations in the amount of these compounds present in a particular strain result in differing effects, including the degree of highness a person experiences. As such, in medical marijuana, these compounds are also associated with helping manage their own list of conditions. According to Healthline, CBD helps with seizures, inflammation, pain, mental disorders, migraines, and depression. THC is commonly used for pain, insomnia, and low appetite. As for side effects, CBD typically has none. Even in large doses, the body usually tolerates CBD well. The only side effects that may present from CBD use is likely the result of the compound interacting with other medication. On the contrary, THC has temporary side effects like increased heart rate, dry mouth, red eyes, coordination problems, slower reaction times, and memory loss. It is important to note that neither of the two compounds can be lethal. When choosing the right strain, with the right amount of CBD or THC for your medical condition, it is important that you consult with your doctor and the marijuana professional at your local dispensary.

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