Medical Marijuana | The Best Strains
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Many more people are beginning to become interested in the concept of medicinal marihuana for treating their illnesses and issues such as fibromyalgia, eating disorders, anxiety, depression etc. Many people believe that any type of cannabis is medicinal and apt for treating their illnesses right out of the gate, but they forget that there are various different types of cannabis and each one has a range of different effects. Today we’re going to talk about the best medical marijuana strains and how to know which strain is the best for you.
Medical Marijuana Strains | History of Medicinal Cannabis use
Cannabis legalization is quite a modern concept; large parts of the world have been fighting to legalize it for years now, and some countries finally made it passed the finish line. Even though legalization seems to be quite a modern movement, did you know that medicinal cannabis has been used for over 5000 years?
The first known record of cannabis use for medicinal properties was found in ancient Chinese medical records from 2737 BC. Large amounts of pollen were also found in the Netherlands, dating back to 2459 BC, alongside another herb typically used in ancient medicines, meaning that the pollen in question was most-likely used for pain relief, although there is no way to actually confirm this theory.
Cannabis has been around for thousands and thousands of years, has been used medicinally for quite a large portion of that time (although there are also signs of recreational use) and wasn’t made illegal until the start of the 20th century. Part of cannabis illegality comes from the fact that the construction industry didn’t want hemp to come into the scene, being stronger and cheaper than most materials, and then of course the war on drugs began to rage.
The war on drugs was based on discrimination against people of color and those that struggle with addiction, and sadly it’s still something that’s seen around the world today. Fortunately, in many places cannabis has been legalized medicinally, helping people with a myriad of illnesses including those with dependency issues after being treated with certain medications.
Medical Marijuana Strains and Types
It can be hard to make a full list of the best medicinal cannabis strains because every strain has its own particular effect and can be more or less apt for certain illnesses. Before talking about the best strains, first you’ll need to know which types of cannabis are best for which illnesses.
Indica strains are known for their intense effects that’ll calm and sedate most consumers – this effect is pretty much the opposite from sativa strains. Unlike sativa strains, indicas can be used to treat anxiety thanks the fact that they’re mainly sedating and calming; perfect for someone in the midst of an anxiety attack. Using that exact logic, these types of strains should not be used to treat depression; patients suffering from depression do not want a strain that will sedate them even more, they’d be better off with a more energetic sativa.
Indica strains are perfect for treating issues such as insomnia, muscle pain, nausea, headaches and even rougher illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s arthritis, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, cancer, lupus and many, many more illnesses and issues.
For medicinal uses, we recommend the legendary Northern Lights. We’re aware that NL has already made its rounds and is well-known by many, many, growers around the world, but this doesn’t mean that its medicinal properties aren’t top tier. This strain is super easy to grow indoors, it’s quite fast and it produces deliciously earthy and citric cannabis. It can also be used to make your own extracts, which give a more intense and concentrated medicinal effect.
Sativa strains are known for their generally energetic and euphoric effect, which is almost the entire opposite of most indica strains. This, logically, means that sativa strains are not ideal for treating anxiety. In fact, sativa strains can actually give you such an energy boost that it might actually cause an anxiety attack in individuals prone to such attacks.
Sativa buds are capable of reducing nausea, increasing concentration, reducing physical pain, increasing creativity, reducing stress, increasing energy and improving your mood. Medicinal sativa strains are specially indicated for depression, ADHD, Glaucoma, Alzheimer’s, AIDS, chronic pain etc.
One of the best medicinal strains out there is the world-renowned Kali Mist. Like all good sativas, Kali Mist is a bit complicated to grow indoors as it can grow to massive sizes. If you have enough space and sativa strains sound like they’d be good for your particular illnesses, we highly recommend growing some Kali Mist. This strain has actually been claimed to be one of the most-recommended strains for menstrual pain in women.
When grown outdoors it does well, putting up quite the fight when it comes to humidity and fungi thanks to its open, aired buds. It may take until the end of November to fully mature, although the wait is definitely worth it thanks to the enormous yields it can give and its incredible pain-relief medicinal effects. Make sure to cure it after drying it and you’ll have one of the best medicinal cannabis strains on your hands.
Medical Marijuana Strains with High CBD Content
Last, but far from least, CBD or Cannabidiol is a cannabinoid that has an incredible amount of medicinal properties without giving a psychoactive high like THC. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuroprotective properties; it’s also not psychoactive so you won’t feel that typical THC “high”.
Until recently it was quite hard to find cannabis strains with high enough CBD levels to cancel out the effects of THC. Thanks to recent investigations and studies, you can officially get your hands on strains designed to have much more CBD than THC, allowing you to consume your medicine without feeling too stoned. This is incredibly helpful for those that want to medicate during the day and still be able to go about their daily business.
Solodiol CBD by Elite Seeds is a strain designed for those that want to make the most of the medicinal properties of CBD without the psychoactive effect that tends to accompany THC-rich strains.
It can be grown easily indoors and outdoors, and it doesn’t need much care at all to produce more than an acceptable amount of cannabis. The best thing about this strain is that it has 24% CBD and 1% THC – it doesn’t give any high but you’ll still be able to enjoy its medicinal properties and delicious sweet and earthy flavor.
Forms of Medical Marijuana Strains
When it comes to consuming cannabis for medicinal purposes, you don’t always have to smoke or inhale it – in fact, for some illnesses you may do more harm than good by smoking your medicine, such as issues regarding the lungs or asthma.
Smoking does have some benefits for certain issues; it provides almost instant relief, it’s much easier to know what dose you’re taking, there’s little processing and if you have access to a medicinal dispensary you probably have a lot of options. Vaporizing is also healthier than smoking, as there’s no combustion and you won’t stink of smoke afterwards, while still giving almost instant relief, although vaping units can be expensive. You can check out some of our most popular vaporizers right here.
One of the most popular ways of consuming cannabis for medicinal reasons, especially those regarding digestive troubles, is via ingestion. This can be done by preparing your very own meal with cannabis infused ingredients or by using cannabis drops under the tongue. Again, the strain used is going to affect the outcome; if treating stomach issues you’ll want to go with a strain with potent anti-inflammatory properties.
A popular option in places where medicinal and recreational consumption is legal is to simply buy your edibles from your local dispensary; they stock everything from lollipops to chocolate bars, crackers, gummy bears and pretty much everything else you can think of. Most of them actually taste nice thanks to legalization allowing for cannabis culinary artists to fully explore and perfect the art of infusing food with cannabinoids.
Lesser-known Medical Marijuana Treatments
There are a few types of treatments that aren’t the most well-known methods of consuming medicinal marijuana strains, but they’re incredibly effective. Patients that have tried everything and still can’t seem to find relief or have issues with coming to terms with the smell or flavor of cannabis can try transdermal patches, just like nicotine patches, which are usually placed on the ankle or the inside of the wrist and produce small doses of cannabinoids.
Another less conventional treatment is by using cannabis suppositories, which are essentially suppositories made out of cannabis extract that dissolve and are absorbed through the colon into the body. The effect kicks in quite fast and can last for a while, and it’s definitely the most efficient way to digest cannabinoids.
Discover what the best medical marijuana strains are, including their types and how to best consume cannabis for the perfect desired effect!
Best Medical Strains & What to Look For!
Unfortunately, there is no “best” medical marijuana strain just like there is no best medicine, but each strain has something different to offer, and may or may not be suited to your needs!
“Medical” vs “Non-Medical” Marijuana
What’s the difference between medical vs non-medical marijuana? There’s a range of effects that people can get from different strains of cannabis, and even each strain can affect people differently.
The main ingredient in cannabis is a special class of compounds known as cannabinoids. These interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system (which is known to affect many of our body’s natural functions, including mood, appetite, and the ability to feel pain).
THC, CBD and a variety of other “cannabinoids” are responsible for many of the recreational and medical properties people associate with cannabis
The most commonly known cannabinoid is THC, which affects appetite and is what causes many of the psychoactive mental effects people associate with cannabis. However, there are hundreds of other cannabinoids found in different strains, many of which we’re just starting to learn about.
The second most famous cannabinoid is CBD, which has the potential to help people with anxiety and also seems to help prevent some adults and children from experiencing seizures.
All the cannabinoids react with each other! For example, higher levels of CBD actually reduce the mental affects of THC, which can be good or bad depending on what you’re looking for. On top of all the interactions between cannabinoids, there are lots of other compounds in cannabis (known as terpenes) which give cannabis its smell and and may alter the effects even further.
So without a whole lot of scientific research (which luckily is changing now that cannabis is becoming legalized all over the country!) the best guidance for choosing the best medical marijuana strain comes from anecdotal information and a lot of experimentation!
What to Look For in a Medical Strain
When shopping for strains online, you usually have the ability to see what to expect from each strain before you buy. Most breeders provide basic information about the potency, smell and mental/physical effects, which will guide you towards finding what you want.
But there are some general things to remember when it comes to cannabinoids…
THC is the main psychoactive component in marijuana buds, and mimics the action of anandamide, which is a naturally occurring cannabinoid in the brain.
Quick Summary of THC
- THC has the strongest psychoactive effects
- THC can cause feelings of creativity, curiosity, or excited well-being
- High THC levels may cause people to feel anxious, disorientated, drugged or “messed up”
- Relieve Certain Types of Pain, Especially Nerve Pain
- Help with Nausea and Lack of Appetite
- Be Neuroprotective (help stop brain from degenerating over time)
- Cause Relaxation
- Cause Euphoria
- Contribute to Altered Space-Time Perception
Having a high THC content by itself does not necessarily mean that the marijuana is great. It’s important to look at the whole experience caused by the plant, which includes considering the effects of CBD.
In fact, the following negative effects of THC are often prevented when higher levels of CBD are present:
- Lapses in Memory
Quick Summary of CBD
- CBD is not psychoactive and doesn’t make you feel impaired
- CBD appears to have many positive health implications
- The presence of CBD can alter some of the subjective effects of THC. Higher levels of CBD reduces the psychoactive effects of THC, which can be a great way for some patients to get the medical benefits of THC without having to feel “high”.
We’ve known for a long time that CBD is found in cannabis and hemp plants, but it’s only recently that we’ve started to study and explore the health benefits.
- Reduce pain
- Prevent seizures and spasms for some people
- Relieve some types of inflammation
- Reduce anxiety
CBD has also been shown to:
- Have a calming effect
- Act as an antipsychotic for people suffering from schizophrenia
- Offer relief for some patients suffering from Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, and Epilepsy
- Possibly help stop the growth of cancer by inhibiting cancer cell growth
- Prevent the memory impairment and disorientation associated with THC
In addition to the THC and CBD levels, each strain can cause other general effects. Some strains tend to make people feel energetic and creative, while other strains can be sedating and relaxing.
When choosing strains, the breeder will tell you in general what you can expect. With the best breeders, you get what they say you will get. With less trustworthy breeders, you might get more variation than you might expect.
Examples of Some of the Best Medical Strains
There are thousands and thousands of cannabis strains, and there are new ones every day! Because of the sheer number of strains there is now way I could possibly list them all .
So I just wanted to share a short list of some of the best and most consistent strains for medical marijuana patients, to help you start your journey!
- Many of the modern strains and cannabis cup winners have been selectively bred to be high in THC. This produces the most mind-altering effects.
- After a certain point, higher levels of THC don’t necessarily mean the buds feel more potent. I’ve tried cannabis with 20% THC that feels even more potent than buds that have been tested at 30% THC. After about 15-20% THC, I believe the potency of strains should be determined on a case-by-case basis as opposed to just the THC numbers. In fact, all strains should be judged on a case-by-case basis if possible.
- It’s easy to find a huge variety of high-THC strains – the sky is the limit!
Some of my favorite High-THC Strains
> Sour Diesel by Reserva Privada (this breeder now goes by DNA Genetics) – this strain has been described as “insanely strong” and there’s a good reason for that! Growers should be aware that this strain gets really big, really tall, really fast. With careful plant training you can achieve great yields with this strain. It does really well with heat but tends to grow slowly if it gets cold. Unfortunately, the strain is often sold out these days so grab it if you see it on sale!
> OG Kush by Dinafem – OG Kush is a world famous strain which is very high in THC and low in CBD, giving it a very potent overall effect. It has an “up” (or sometimes even “hallucinogenic”) effect that people love.
> White Widow by Dutch Passion has become a legendary strain, and continues to win Cannabis Cups and be served coffee shops and dispensaries around the world. The popularity of White Widow is based on its appearance, strength, and ability to make people feel uplifted and happy. It’s known as White Widow because its buds become so covered in trichomes/glitter that buds can actually look white. The version of White Widow by Nirvana is another great choice that is extremely easy to grow (it is actually one of the first strains I ever grew).
- Auto-flowering strains tend to have higher levels of CBD than photoperiod strains because they are descended from high-CBD wild hemp plants. There are also autos that have been specifically bred to produce high CBD levels.
- Many high-CBD strains are becoming available online as seed, since many breeders are now selecting for plants with higher levels of CBD and lower THC
- Unfortunately, the best high-CBD plants to grow are the ones that have already been tested for CBD content, which means starting with clones or getting your buds tested. However, for those who don’t have access to medical marijuana clones (most of us), there are now seed options that allow you to produce high-CBD levels at home
Trustworthy High-CBD Strains Available as Seeds
> Cannatonic CBD by Resin Seeds – one of the most famous high-CBD strains
> CBD Critical Mass by CBD Crew – This breeder has specialized in breeding high-CBD strains since 2009, and offers some of the best high-CBD strains in the industry.
> CBD Med Gom Auto by CBD Crew – Same great breeder, this time an auto-flowering high-CBD strain
Hopefully these lists will help get you started on your journey to find the best medical marijuana strain for you!
Best Medical Strains & What to Look For! Unfortunately, there is no “best” medical marijuana strain just like there is no best medicine, but each strain has something different to offer, and may