Visiting a medical marijuana dispensary might get you all confused because of all the different kinds of products. Aside from the fact that medical marijuana comes in different forms and offers different methods of ingestion, there are also many different strains to choose from.
When it comes to different kinds of cannabis strains, you will hear nice-sounding names like Northern Lights, Bubba Kush, Charlotte’s Web, White Widow, Purple Haze, Sour Diesel, Bubble Gum, Cotton Candy Kush, Tangerine Dream, and many others. Are there really that many different kinds of cannabis?
The first thing to know about cannabis is that there are two general strains: indica and sativa. Most of the finished products you see in dispensaries are combinations of these strains.
Indica blends generally have a dry and skunk-like smell. Indica strains have a sedating, relaxing, stress-relieving, and pain-reducing effect. Patients often say that indica strains work well in reducing chronic pain.
Meanwhile, sativa strains have sweet and floral aromas. They are said to be energizing and inspirational. Sativas can help in separating your mind from pain.
Various blends and strains work differently because of the varying ratios of cannabinoids that they contain. Cannabinoids are the active chemical components in cannabis. Two of the most common cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Unlike THC, CBD is non-psychoactive and does not create high.
Other than cannabinoid ratios, what makes various blends different from each other are terpenes. Terpenes are molecules for odor and they are found in the essential oils of cannabis and other plants. These oils are used in aromatherapy because they have been found to regulate mood and brain function.
Researchers are now acknowledging the belief that terpenes affect how cannabis works in the body. This means that, if this is indeed true, knowing how a particular cannabis blend or strain smells like can help predict how it will work.
The most common terpene in cannabis is Myrcene. It has an earthy, citrus, fruity, and mango-like quality. This particular terpene has anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and pain-relieving properties. Myrcene is believed to work in combination with THC and can help in elevating mood, reducing depression, and allowing more THC to get into the brain for potent medicinal benefits.
Another terpene in marijuana is Beta-caryophyllene. This one is characterized by a peppery odor. It possesses pain-relief properties but does not have a mental effect. In other words, this terpene is non-psychoactive.
There’s also the terpene called Pinene, which is a major component of turpentine. This terpene is characterized by a piney odor. It has been shown to support memory and to increase focus and the sense of self-satisfaction.
Terpenol is another terpene in cannabis. It has a floral odor with hints of orange blossom. This terpene has a significant sedative effect and is therefore very useful for those who have sleep issues.
Cannabis has other terpenes that help improve memory. These terpenes are believed to be adversely affected with existing cannabis strains. Pulegone is one of these and it is said to keep people alert and slow the destruction of memory transfer proteins.
Patients who want some help with sleeping should, for the most part, look for a floral sweet marijuana variety with the terpene Linalool.
The different kinds of terpenes and their effects on the body will become more apparent as more research is performed on them. There is a need for more research to be conducted in order to help patients receive treatment for their ailment more effectively.