Updated on January 4, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Marijuana can come in many different forms, flavors and strands — and the choices can be overwhelming for people seeking relief for certain medical conditions, but fear not. MarijuanaDoctors.com has the low down on the most common types of cannabis and what you will likely experience from each of them.
Above all else, you need to know what you’re looking for in terms of effects. Each type and strain has its own nuances that can help your condition in different ways. Some will make you feel more upbeat, while others will bring you down to earth and help you relax in ways you likely haven’t relaxed in a long time.
Two Types of Cannabis Plant
It is generally accepted that marijuana has two species — indica and sativa. Indica and sativa grow differently and have different appearances. While indica marijuana plants are short with dense branches and wide leaves, sativa plants are taller, have narrow leaves and have sparse branches. Indica is a better indoor plant than sativa, as sativa can grow it be upwards of 20 ft. tall.
Beyond appearance, these two types of cannabis have different effects on people:
Most people prefer to use these strains at night due to the relaxing, sedative-like feeling
When it comes to patient needs, it’s important to know the difference between these two strains. For example, someone who is dealing with depression or fatigue may opt to ingest a sativa strain during the day, while another patient addressing insomnia and chronic pain would likely go for an indica strain at nighttime.
Medical Marijuana: It’s All in the Strain
Not all strains of marijuana have the same effect on people, and patients with medical conditions likely want to take it a step further and understand what each strain is known for. While some strains of marijuana are better known for they’re uplifting or euphoric properties, others have a better reputation for they’re calming and sedative effects. Typically, strains with higher levels of cannabidiol (CBD) have more powerful sedative properties, while strains with higher levels of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) tend to make people more alert.
There are many strains of marijuana that people say makes them feel more energized and productive. Here’s a list of them and the information you need to determine what you’re looking for and which is right for you:
1.Amnesia Haze. This strain has a THC range of up to 22%, while the CBD range in this strain is a hair below 1%. Users have described the effects as creative, giggly, happy and euphoric, and the aroma is described as sweet and tangy citrus, and also earthy.
2.Jack Herer. The THC range for Jack Herer is between 17% and 24%. People say this strain makes them feel creative, energized, happy, euphoric and cerebral. They also say they feel a body buzz, and the aroma is akin to an earthy, herbal lemon.
3.Sour Diesel. With a THC range of 12% to 24%, people say Sour Diesel makes them feel energized, creative, happy and euphoric. The smell is candy-like, musky and sweet.
4.Cannatonic. The strain is bred to have lower THC levels, which fall between 7% and 14% or even lower, to lower the psychoactive effect. Meanwhile, the CBD range falls somewhere between 17% and 23.4%. Users have described the effects as calming, happy, focused and euphoric.
5.Green Candy. The THC range is about 18%, and people who use green candy describe the effects as calming, cerebral and happy. The aromas associated with this strain include earthy, minty, pine and sweet candy.
6.Raspberry Cough. The THC range of raspberry cough is between 15% and 24%, and users report feeling alert, energized, clear-headed and even introspective after using this strain. The aromas associated with this strain include nutty, sweet, berry and earthy.
7.Blue Dream. The THC range for Blue Dream is between 17% and 24%. People report feeling creative, calm, happy and euphoric after ingesting it. It’s flavor profile can be described as berry, earthy, sweet and vanilla.
8.Purple Trainwreck. The THC range for purple trainwreck is approximately 18%, and users describe the effects of this strain as creative, relaxed, happy and euphoric.
9.Lemon Haze. The THC range for this strain is about 17%. People say their experience with lemon haze as uplifting, relaxed, euphoric and happy. The smell of lemon haze is, of course, lemony.
Strains by Medical Condition
Certain strains treat different medical conditions differently than others. Anecdotally, here is a list of medical conditions typically treated with medical cannabis and the most appropriate strain for them:
For cancer-related symptoms, you can try Arizonan Western Light Purp, which is indica/sativa, or Cinderella 99, which is also indica/sativa.
To help relieve chronic pain, you should try Afghani #1, which comes in either pure indica or indica/sativa form, or Big Bud, which is indica/sativa.
If you are suffering from depression or related symptoms, try Blueberry or OG-18, which are both indica/sativa.
To manage glaucoma-related issues, try Pluto OG or any other strain that is a byproduct of indica.
If you suffer from headaches, try White Gold or Super Lemon Haze, which are both indica/sativa.
For insomnia, the most appropriate strand for you could be Northern Lights, which is indica/sativa.
If you are suffering from joint pain, try Purple Kush, which is an indica strand.
Patients with multiple sclerosis should try Island Sweet Skunk, which is sativa/indica, or Sour Deisel, which is just sativa.
If you suffer from muscle spasms, appropriate choices for you include White Widow, which is indica/sativa, Black Domina, which is just indica and Apollo, which is just sativa.
Patients experiencing nausea can try Dutch Haze, which is sativa/indica, or Kandy Kush, which is indica/sativa.
Talk to a Health Professional About Your Questions and Concerns
It’s true that different strains of medical cannabis can have different effects depending on the person, but it’s also true that all medical cannabis strains have the same essential active ingredient. Because of this, you should be able to find relief or some kind no matter which strain you obtain. If you have any more questions or concerns about which type and strain of marijuana is right for you, get in touch with a physician near you who can provide you with all the information you need.