The use of medical marijuana to treat diseases or conditions has continued to gain popularity across the globe in recent years.
While controversial at its onset, the use of different parts of the marijuana plant for medicinal purposes is now widely considered effective in treating various symptoms and ailments. Some of these conditions include anxiety, inflammation, and pain.
The marijuana plant has over a hundred varieties of cannabinoids. Each type has a different effect on the body, and these cannabinoids are the main active chemicals in medical marijuana. Like chemicals in the body, cannabinoids can influence a person’s memory, pain sensation, appetite, and muscle movement.
Marijuana strains pertain to the plant varieties. Each strain features unique health benefits, so they’re recommended to treat various conditions. In this sense, some strains are more effective in treating specific ailments than others. Hence, selecting the right medical marijuana strain is essential to ensure maximum benefits.
If you’d like some tips on selecting the correct marijuana strain for your medicinal needs, here are some points to help you decide:
Identify your Goal for Using Medicinal Marijuana
The type of strain you’re looking for will largely depend on the condition you want to alleviate. Thus, identifying what you want to feel or treat will help you narrow down your options and pick the product that will suit you best.
In addition, documentation is required in many places that have legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes. Because of this, you’ll need to consult with a doctor first before purchasing a cannabis product.
Currently, 37 states in the United States have legalized marijuana use for medicinal purposes. To legally acquire a cannabis-based product, you’ll need to secure a written recommendation from a licensed medical professional who practices in a state that allows medicinal marijuana use.
Aside from this, it’s also essential to secure proof that you have a pre-existing condition that qualifies you to use marijuana legally.
Depending on the state, you’ll also be required to present other documents to prove your qualification before acquiring a cannabis product legally. For instance, some states require patients to have a medical marijuana identification card. This card needs to be presented at a dispensary before a customer can purchase any item.
According to sanctuarywellnessinstitute.com, a medical marijuana card can be issued by certified doctors after a complete patient evaluation. Thus, obtaining a card could also help you better identify your goals for marijuana use and see which strain would suit them.
Familiarize Yourself with Key Information
When you visit your local dispensary, you’ll find a vast array of product options and various names for marijuana strains that you can choose from. Because of the number of options available, you may need to take time to select one that would best suit your needs and preferences.
Aside from this, you’ll also need to ensure that you have the right product in hand before purchasing to avoid any adverse effects after use.
The three main types of cannabis strains sold in most dispensaries are Sativa, Indica, and hybrid. Here are some details about each strain that you need to consider as you shop:
Sativa is commonly known for its invigorating effect. This strain is ideal for those who want relief from stress or anxiety. It can also enhance your focus and motivation. Moreover, it gives a ‘high’ effect because of its delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content.
This strain can also affect one’s mood and emotions by enhancing your energy and concentration levels as well as curbing depression. It’s believed that the Sativa strain is recommended for daytime use as the effects don’t interfere with one’s ability to perform daily activities.
Some examples of products with a Sativa strain include Chocolope, Sour Diesel, Super Silver Haze, and Durban Poison.
The Indica strain is known for its physical effects, which is why it’s usually recommended for alleviating pain and muscle tension. Examples of strains for pain relief include Do-Si-Dos, GMO Cookies, and L.A. Confidential.
The Indica strain is also known to promote relaxation. Because of its sedating effects, it’s commonly allocated for nighttime use since it also fosters restful sleep.
Some examples of cannabis products that are effective for relaxation include Purple Punch, Granddaddy Purple, and Ice Cream Cake.
Hybrid strains have the combined genetics of Sativa and Indica strains. Many available cannabis products sold on the market nowadays have the traits of both strains, with varying levels of potency.
For instance, the product Pineapple Express, popularized in the movie of the same name, has a combination of relaxing and mood-boosting qualities ideal for those who want daytime relaxation. Furthermore, it has anti-inflammatory properties, making it perfect for those who want to ease muscle tension.
Since there are different names and variants you may come across, it would be helpful to research before visiting the dispensary. In addition, you can ask for recommendations from your doctor or a trained staff member to help you choose a product that provides optimal benefits.
Select A Method Of Consumption
There are also various ways to consume medicinal marijuana, and each technique in using cannabis has its pros and cons. By choosing a method of consumption, it’ll be easier for you to find strains that come in your preferred product form.
Here are some examples of consumption techniques you can consider:
Smoking or vaping
This method helps the user feel the effects faster, though there’s a tendency to irritate the lungs and airways.
Some users consume marijuana in edible forms, such as gummies, chewable, and marijuana-infused food items such as brownies and drinks. Though it will take time to feel the effects of marijuana through edibles, users might experience more potent effects than inhalation.
Pills and capsules
Taking cannabis products in pill or capsule form is ideal for those who want to enjoy the effects without food preparation or without having to smoke. Though it can also take time for the impact to be felt, many users consider taking medicinal marijuana in pill form one of the most convenient methods.
Aside from these examples, there are other ways you can enjoy the benefits of medical marijuana, such as through transdermal patches or by consuming products in powder form. There are also oil tincture items and topical products that you can consider depending on your needs and preferences.
Gauge Your Tolerance
When you choose products at a dispensary, you’ll see different percentages used to determine the potency of the marijuana. For instance, an average marijuana strain contains 14% to 21% of delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. On the other hand, the cannabidiol or CBD content usually starts at 0.02%.
Depending on your doctor’s recommendations, you can start with the average percentages and gradually increase as needed, provided that you have a good tolerance for the product you’re using.
Moreover, your weed tolerance level can help you identify if you need to use a different marijuana strain.
Learn About The Side Effects
As with other chemical substances, using medical marijuana also has side effects. For instance, some users report how it can impair one’s movement and perception. With this in mind, it’s essential to be aware of these side effects so you can schedule your intake accordingly.
Moreover, for products that may cause dizziness, it would be best to take them closer to bedtime to avoid untoward incidents. Aside from this, here are other common side effects:
- Low blood pressure
- Bloodshot eyes
- Coughing or breathing problems for those who smoke marijuana
Much remains to be scientifically proven regarding marijuana addiction and withdrawal. However, some experts believe that there’s a possibility of developing dependence, especially for those with a history of substance misuse.
For this reason, doctors advise patients to follow their prescribed usage and avoid overconsumption to prevent adverse effects. Also, it’s safer to source products from only certified dispensaries to ensure safety of the ingredients used and the strength of each cannabis item.
Confirm The Legality Of Medicinal Marijuana Use In Your Location
While medicinal marijuana has been allowed in several countries worldwide, its use isn’t recognized as lawful in other locations. Some countries have serious legal sanctions for individuals who have been proven to carry, purchase, sell, or use products containing cannabis.
With this in mind, it’s essential to check the relevant cannabis laws in your location to avoid any legal implications.
There’s much to be studied and discovered about medical marijuana and the different strains. However, many patients attest to its effectiveness in alleviating many ailments.
Given this, it’s best to seek professional guidance and recommendations when choosing the right marijuana strain to cure different illnesses. Apart from healthcare professionals, qualified medical marijuana specialists can help you select the right products based on your medical needs.
Next time you visit your local dispensary, set aside time to consult with a trained staff member or a specialist who can assist you and answer your questions. This way, you’ll be able to explore your options for cannabis products and see which ones would best suit your requirements and preferences.