Let’s Discuss the Different Types of Medical Marijuana

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Hi there.  This is Dr. Victor Chou with the Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana, and thanks for reading our latest tip.

Today we’re going to talk about the different strains of medical marijuana.

You may have heard people talk about sativas and indicas and hybrids.  But what does it all mean for you as a medical marijuana patient?

Read on to learn more.



So how did these terms come to be?

Initially, sativa and indica were descriptions of the botany of the cannabis plant.  That is, they were descriptors of how the plants were grown and cultivated.

For example, sativas tended to grow long and slender, without much circumference.  They grew fast and readily.

Indicas, on the other hand, tend to grow short and fat.  They require more room when planting and were slow to grow.

It wasn’t long that people noticed that the biologic groupings were also generally indicative of the physiologic effect on the patient.

Now keep in mind that we’re talking about generalities, and that every specific strain and every patient has their own individuality.



Sativas are generally regarded as a stimulating type of cannabis.  While they work well to reduce pain and help with a wide variety of medical conditions, they generally do so in a less sedating manner.

People who use sativas say that they get relief from their medical symptoms, but because they are not sedated, they feel that they are able to perform their daily routine, whether that’s working a job, taking care of kids, or going to school.

In fact, many people say that the sativa effects are very stimulating, and they have a clear headedness about them.  If they feel high, it’s usually a clear headed type of high.

So overall, sativas are a good choice for many people for daytime use.

Are there some people who shouldn’t use sativas?  Because sativas are somewhat stimulating, people with anxiety or ADD might become overly stimulated with sativas.



Indicas, on the other hand, can be thought of as opposite to sativas.  People often describe the effects of indicas as heavy, sedating, and lethargy inducing.

That’s why many people refer to indicas as “in-da-couch.”

Obviously, it’s not a strain that you want to use if you have a lot of things you need to accomplish.  That’s why many people like to use indicas at night time, to help them relax, unwind, and sleep after a long day.

Are there any side effects from indicas?  Besides the obvious sedation, people tend to feel more of a high from indicas.

While that can be good side effect if your goal is to distract from your medical symptoms, it can be too much for patients with a history of psychosis, schizophrenia, or bipolar disorder.



As you might expect, a hybrid combines the effects and side effects of the sativas and the indicas.

You get good symptomatic relief, such as pain relief, nausea control, and appetite stimulation, without some of the potential side effects of using strictly sativas or indicas.

Obviously, you won’t get nearly the same stimulatory effect that a sativa would give, or the sedation that an indica would give.

Indicas would be a good choice for someone who desires to use the same regimen for daytime and night time use or who prefers a less complicated regimen.

Someone who has a history of mental health issues may also prefer a hybrid to reduce the chances of psychiatric symptom flairup.


Cannabidiol (CBD)

Finally, we should discuss a little about cannabidiol (CBD).

The first three strains that we discussed (sativas, indicas, and hybrids) can generally be described as THC-predominant strains.

As a refresher, THC is one of the predominant components of medical marijuana, and is generally thought to be the psychoactive component of marijuana.

THC has many positive effects, such as pain control, nausea relief, and appetite stimulation.

However, THC is not appropriate for all patients.  Perhaps someone can’t use THC because they are drug tested at work, they don’t like the psychoactivity from THC, or high amounts of THC is not needed for their medical condition.

In these patients, we’ll use strains of marijuana that are high in CBD.  You can also cultivate CBD from hemp.

The effects we hope to achieve from CBD include mild pain relief, anti-inflammatory effects, immune modulation, seizure control, just to name a few.



So I hope that we’ve been able to give you some information about the different strains of medical marijuana that we use to help you with your medical conditions and symptoms.

If you’re interested in getting more tips and update from us, please subscribe to our tips email on our official website MarijuanaClinicLa.com, follow us on Facebook, or subscribe to our YouTube videos.

Thanks for reading


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana