What Is Medical Cannabis? The Beginners Guide to the Types of Medical Cannabis

April 14, 2021

What Is Medical Cannabis? Guide to the Types of Medical Cannabis

There are so many types of medical cannabis available these days. How can you know what to get? Check out the beginners guide to learn what is medical cannabis?

Making the choice to start using medical cannabis can be difficult, if only because of the sheer variety that's available to you. You have a specific outcome or effect that you're looking for in cannabis, and you have to pair that outcome with one of the hundreds of potential strains. 

There are many types of medical cannabis, but there area few ways to categorize the variety to find the product that you want. 

 We're going to give answers to some of the questions you may have in this article. We'll discuss the various types of medical marijuana, giving you some insight into how to make the right choice when you get to the dispensary. 

What Is Medical Cannabis?

To start, let's explore some fundamentals about cannabis. 

Medical cannabis is any form of the cannabis plant that is used as an attempt to address various health issues. At one time, there were only a few variations of cannabis, and there wasn't much effort put into cultivating the plant for different effects or intensities. 

Now, however, billions of dollars are invested into the proper cultivation of cannabis and the result is a wide variety of strains and products for every kind of consumer. Additionally, with the arrival of Cannabis2.0 in Canada, medical cannabis now includes products like medical cannabis edibles, waxes, rubs, oils, tinctures, candies, and more instead of just dried flower. 

The uniting factor among the products listed above is that they contain various cannabinoids used to address specific medical issues.The most notable of those cannabinoids are THC and CBD. 

While cannabis is host to over 100 cannabinoids, the way that most strains are identified is by their ratios of THC and CBD.

Indicas, Sativas, and Commonly-Believed Myths

The traditional thinking is that strains of cannabis that are high in THC are called sativas and those higher in CBD are called indicas. Both have a combination of the two cannabinoids as well as other cannabinoids in smaller amounts. 

THC is the compound in cannabis that most contributes to the feeling of an intoxicating high. Strains high in THC might make the user more alert. Some individuals have also claimed to experience rapid thoughts and anxiety on strains high in THC. 

CBD is the compound that is non-intoxicating, and is often used by patients and users to seek some sort of pain relief. CBD extracts are extremely popular, and many people swear by them for the treatment of a number of issues. 

While more research needs to be done to verify many of the claims that are made about THC and CBD, the evidence is certainly promising. 

The dominant categories of cannabis strains are indica, sativa and hybrid. Hybrids are crossbred and contain lineage of both sativa and indica strains in various ratios. The difficult thing about knowing how these will affect you, though, is that the name of the strain doesn't always correspond to the contents. 

In other words, indicas aren't always higher in CBD, and sativas don't always have more THC. While these are commonly-held beliefs, the real evidence should be found on the prescription and reliable information provided by the LP.

What Are Terpenes

Terpenes are naturally present in most plants and dictate the way that those plants smell. In most cases, the arrangement of terpenes present in a particular species is a method of fending off various forms of predators. 

If an animal doesn't like the way that a plant smells, for example, it will steer away from that plant. The effect for humans, though, is an arrangement of smells that we've come to enjoy. 

For example, the smell of lavender is pleasant to us, and it may be even be mixed with other terpenes to create lovely perfumes and aromatics. When it comes to cannabis, terpenes are big components of the smell and flavour profiles. Terpenes are naturally occurring, but they are also sometimes added to cannabis concentrates for a more complex aroma profile and experience. 

The interesting thing about terpenes in cannabis, though, is that they interact with cannabinoids in various ways to produce unique effects on the user. This impact is often called the "entourage effect," which refers to the unique impact that comes from a natural plant containing all of the terpenes and cannabinoids it grew with. 

What All of This Means for You

The combinations of cannabinoids and terpenes are nearly endless. The myriad strains you find on the market are all the result of different breeding practices that produce unique combinations of terpenes and cannabinoids. 

The difficult thing is that, while we know a good deal about cannabis and how it can impact people, we don't always know the specifics of how a strain will interact with any one individual. 

So, you may be recommended a certain strain of cannabis that could have potential to address your back pain. It's likely that the strain is high in CBD, and would be less intoxicating than another strain higher in THC.

Your biological makeup might not agree with the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids, though, and that strain might actually prove to not be the best fit. This is normal, and is a process you must try when using medical cannabis to find what's best for you.

It's important that you tryout a few different strains and combinations to see how they affect you. The better you analyze and understand the makeup of the strain, the more effective you can be when choosing future strains and inhalation methods.

How to Choose a Strain

Your choice of strain can be based on the medical issue that you're dealing with, or simply your personal preference. 

Those who are dealing with chronic pain might consider leaning toward the strains that are higher in CBD than others. In a lot of cases, these will be varieties of indica, although it's important to look at the chemical makeup given by the LP

If you're looking for more on an intoxicating, or "high" experience, then strains high in THC are for you. With these strains, it's always recommended to start with low doses, and go slow, especially when trying a new strain or high-THC concentrate, like a vape pen.You can always consume more to reach your desired effects.

Additionally, these options will come with their own nuances and variances that change the way you feel. You can also play around with different methods of ingestion. 

Consuming edibles, for example, will provide a different experience than smoking cannabis will. The same goes for candies, oils, and more.

How to Test New Strains for Yourself

Those of you who are new to cannabis should take sometime to explore your options before you start incorporating the plant into your daily life. In other words, take some time to try different strains and methods of use in the comfort of your own home. 

Set some time aside and see how the plant makes you feel, what its effects on your body are, and how your mind responds to different dosages. Some people have an excellent time using cannabis and make quick work incorporating it into their daily lives. 

Others find it more difficult, even potentially psychologically taxing to consume cannabis. It could be the case that strains high in THC can produce some uncomfortable feelings, but the important thing to remember is that cannabis is safe, and these feelings are temporary. 

Make sure to plot out the time for yourself to consume cannabis and get a feeling for how you respond to it. That way, you'll be in a safe space if you start having a difficult time. 

You can also manage your responses by starting small and working your way up. It's absolutely possible to use small amounts of cannabis to gradually build your tolerance. This is why careful dosing is so important when beginning to use medical cannabis for the first time. 

Explore Your Options for Using 

If you're having difficulty smoking marijuana regularly, know that there are a lot of options for you to adjust the method of ingestion. 

Within the new realm of smoking, there are different forms of glassware that can make things more comfortable. For example, using a water pipe can cool the smoke and make it easier on your throat. 

You can also explore various rigs for tinctures and oils that will allow you to achieve your desired effects in a shorter amount of time and with less product. You can also make the process a lot smoother by acquiring a vaporizer and ingesting your cannabis that way. 

Vaping is a great way to customize your experience, as vapes are concentrates are more easily controlled in specific doses. You can quickly and easily take one small hit from a vape pen without any grinding, rolling or smoking. Many people find this very convenient for their medical needs.

As we mentioned before, you can also incorporate cannabis into your life through oils and edibles. If you're not interested in experiencing psychological effects, you can also incorporate CBD oils and edibles. Oils can be dropped into food or drink and are sometimes virtually unnoticeable. This makes the process smooth and simple, completely avoiding any discomfort that you might have from smoking or vaping. 

With a little exploration, you should be able to find strains that suit you well and methods of using cannabis that are tuned to your lifestyle. We're here to help you along the way with products, information, and any questions that you may have. 

Looking for Medical Cannabis Information?

Hopefully, our exploration of types of medical cannabis has been useful to you. There's a lot more to learn, though, and we're here to put you in touch with the information that you need to move forward. 

Explore our site for products, information on cannabis in Canada, cannabis delivery, and a whole lot more. 

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