A large percentage of Americans now have access to medical marijuana. This natural medicine treats a multitude of different symptoms from a variety of illnesses. There are literally hundreds of different strains available to choose from. For many first time users, it can be hard to decipher which one can treat your symptoms. Dispensaries commonly separate strains into larger categories of either Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids. In order to help you understand the differences, we are going to compare & contrast these 3 larger categories.
As far as appearance goes, the Sativa plant is taller in stature with narrower leaves. It goes through a longer flowering cycle and is better suited for warmer climates that have a longer season.
Sativa generally has a greater effect on the mind. It is commonly used during the day due to it’s energizing and invigorating properties. Sativa pairs well with physical activity, creative projects and social gatherings. It typically is a mood and productivity booster. These effects are often caused by the higher concentration of THC.
The Indica plant is the exact opposite of Sativa in the way that it looks. Indica is shorter, with wider leaves. It has a shorter flowering cycle and is better off in a colder climate with a shorter season.
The effects of Indica are usually quite different than Sativa, as well. Indica has more effect on the physical body than the mind. Due to it’s relaxing and sedating properties, it is perfect for night time use. It can act as a natural sleep aid because of its calming effect.
Hybrids are a combination of Sativa and Indica so they can look like either one, depending on the concentration of strains used.
Again, hybrid plants can share the effects of both Sativa and Indica. Generally speaking, a hybrid strain can be a good balance of each, boosting your mood and then mellowing you out without making you too sleepy.
Which is Right for You?
It’s important to note that some studies have shown that there is no scientific proof that Sativas will always make you feel energized or Indicas will always produce sedating effects. Jeffrey Raber, Ph.D. is a chemist that has said we need to be more focused on cannabinoids and Terpenes.
The two most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC produces the euphoric high. People suffering from chronic pain, nausea, migraines, depression and anxiety often choose strains with a higher THC concentration in order to treat their symptoms. CBD offers similar effects of THC, without the high. This is a common choice for people in need of relief that also need to maintain a clear mind for work or school. Mixing strains with THC and CBD offers a slight euphoric effect while still effectively treating symptoms. Terpenes play a large role in producing sedating and/or energizing effects, as well. They are also responsible for cannabis’ aroma, which has a surprising therapeutic effect.
Dr. Raber recommends focusing less on Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids and paying more attention to concentration of cannabinoids (THC & CBD) and aroma of strains. Understanding the effects of THC, CBD and Terpenes will enable you to choose a strain that will better treat your symptoms. Your best bet is to experiment with different strains until you figure out which one works best. Cannabis is a complicated subject. It is extremely diverse, which also happens to be why it is such an effective tool for such a wide variety of people. With so many combinations to choose from, it can help just about anyone.
If you are a Florida resident with questions or concerns, book your free consultation today! We have qualified physicians on staff ready to help! Call us at (786) 224-4005, book online, or visit one of our 12 Florida locations. We’re here for you.
Getting the proper amount of sleep each night is extremely important for your health. According to the American Sleep Association, approximately 60 million people struggle with a sleeping disorder. Furthermore, 30 percent of Americans experience insomnia, 10 percent of which struggle with chronic insomnia. In the United States, nearly 9 million people take prescription sleep aid. Many of these medications come along with a number of negative side effects. In recent years, many people have begun using medical marijuana for insomnia and other sleeping disorders, as it is both effective and low risk.
Why and Who
One of the many benefits of marijuana is that it has the ability to restore the sleep cycle. Using medical marijuana before bed can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. People experiencing chronic pain, anxiety, stress and other related symptoms can really benefit from medical marijuana. Additionally, those who have been diagnosed with PTSD can also benefit from certain cannabis strains.
Choosing the Right Strain
When choosing a cannabis strain for sleeping disorders, you’ll want to choose one with a higher THC level. THC has been shown to help induce sleep. You will want to select Indica over Sativa. Indica contains more THC and will bring about heavier, sleepy effects due to the concentration of relaxing, sedating terpenes. Sativa will have the opposite effect by energizing you. THC has the unique ability to reduce the REM cycle, also known as our dream state. This means that it will reduce nightmares as well, which is why it will benefit those that suffer from PTSD.
Harvard physician, Dr. Jordan Tishler, recommends choosing a strain with less than 20% THC. He warns that consuming too much THC before bed can have adverse effects, leaving you anxious and even paranoid. Long term use also has the potential to impair the quality of your sleep. Dr. Tishler also noted that while edibles may help you stay asleep longer, they can also take much longer to kick in, leaving you feeling groggy in the morning. The effects of smoking usually last less than 4 hours while it can take the liver up to 12 hours to to process edibles.
Your Best Option
Your best option is to smoke an Indica strain that contains less than 20% THC, at least 1 hour before bedtime. Keep in mind that not all sleep aids work the same, including medical marijuana. Dr. Tishler says that choosing a strain should be like choosing a tea. Everyone is different and may require a different blend. You should experiment with different strains until you find one that works for you.
If you’re a Florida resident that suffers from any of the symptoms mentioned above, contact us today to set up your free consultation. You can call us at (786) 224-4005, Schedule your appointment ONLINE, or stop in to one of our 12 Florida locations. It’s time to get a good night’s rest!