Many cannabis consumers focus on the plant’s THC content, the chemical that gives you a head high, makes you laugh at just about anything, and leaves you fascinated by the progress of a screensaver. However, many medicinal patients find themselves focusing on CBD instead of THC, or at least strains with a combination of the two. The truth is, there isn’t necessarily a difference between medicinal strains and recreational strains, but most medicinal patients prefer a higher percentage of CBD for its ability to ease qualifying conditions like anxiety, loss of appetite, or insomnia. It may be a bit confusing to new consumers to navigate the difference between medicinal strains and recreational strains and to find what types of medical marijuana are best for them. To help give some guidance, we put together a list of some of the most popular strains for medicinal use and will help explain the difference between the two.
How THC and CBD Help Alleviate Symptoms
While there are many more active compounds in cannabis, the two most important and most well-known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Both bind to our brain and body receptors in the endocannabinoid system to produce a change of mind and mood. Take a puff of most bud and the first thing that will hit you is the THC, affecting your perception, your emotions, and your reactions to stimuli. Over time, however, you may feel more relaxed and even more sleepy as the CBD kicks in. One of the benefits of medical marijuana is that it has very different ratios of THC and CBD: unlike recreational weed that is primarily THC-heavy, medicinal cannabis strains are quite balanced. In general, sativa strains have higher levels of CBD while indica strains have higher levels of THC. This cannabis strain guide includes variants with different balances of both compounds.
Top Medical Cannabis Strains
Much like Tylenol tops the list of painkillers, so does Blue Dream sit atop the list of any medical marijuana strains. By far the most popular strain of medicinal marijuana, Blue Dream is an indica-sativa hybrid, meaning that it brings a lot of balance instead of knocking you down with its percentages. Combining blueberry with haze, it’s popular because of its pleasant taste, sense of uplifting relaxation, and ability to put you into dream mode. Blue Dream averages at about 18% THC content with 2% CBD, making it a strong but not too aggressive strain.
An indica strain that has a cult following among both recreational and medicinal users, Northern Lights was developed in Seattle and quickly exported to much of the world. With a pine taste and a high quantity of CBD, this strain is best known for pain and insomnia management.
Soul Diesel may be well-known for tasting like, well, a truck engine, but even if this sativa strain makes you cough it will also make you feel a lot better about life’s challenges. That’s because Soul Diesel usually storms in with a strong 18% THC ratio on top of its .2% CBD, meaning that it is great for cheering you up in addition to easing nerves or chronic pain.
Black Magic Kush
One of the best known kush types on the list of strains for medicinal marijuana, Black Magic is so named because its crystals are so dark that they appear to be solid black (in reality, they are very deep purples or blues). Its pinene terpenes offers a mellow high that is perfect for insomnia or shaking off the daily blues once you are home from work.
Known for its one-and-done pain relief, Dutch Treat is a fantastic medicinal cannabis strain that is widely available in most dispensaries. This sativa has a much lower THC profile but a much higher CBD percentage, clocking in at as much as 8% CBD. That’s higher than many CBD edibles or even creams, meaning that a puff of the Dutch can be all it takes to deal with a health condition – one of the key benefits of medical marijuana.
While the hit 1990s movie didn’t have much bud in it, it nevertheless inspired an indica strain called LA Confidential, taking its name from its propensity to put a person to sleep because of its strong limonene terpene content. With a minty taste and giving a strong head high, this is an excellent strain to take before sleeping, or whenever you need to block out the noise of the world for an hour.
So named because it is very popular in the medicinal industry, Cannatonic is a unique hybrid strain that is considered the first to balance THC and CBD at a one to one ratio. One of the main attractions is the flavor: if you can’t stomach the taste of stronger bud, Cannatonic’s light fruity flavors may be a relief in and of itself. On top of that, caryophyllene terpenes sedate the mind and relieve anxiety.
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card
It’s important to note that you should always consult a physician prior to self-medicating with any strains of cannabis. Only a doctor can determine whether or not medicinal marijuana will help or hinder a particular health condition. Luckily, finding a medical marijuana doctor is easier than ever. We’ve partnered with Leafwell to make it practical for people to get advice and access to medicinal cannabis cards. Simply head to the link above and get scheduled for an appointment today!
Do you have any favorite strains of medicinal cannabis? How has it affected your health, your mood, or your daily life? Let us know in the comments below if you have any advice for people in search of an herbal solution to their health concerns.
Originally published on Where’s Weed, July 27, 2021.