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Choose the cannabis strain that works for you

Both sativas and indicas have a variety of benefits—and when it comes to choosing the “right” type of strain, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. But now that you know the differences between sativas and indicas, the benefits (and potential downsides) of both types of cannabis plants, and the other key indicators you can use to evaluate a strain, you have everything you need to choose the cannabis strain that’s the right fit for you.

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What classifies a Hybrid Strain?

Along with indica and sativa, hybrid marijuana strains play a huge part in the diversity that makes up the world of cannabis plants. Understanding the characteristics and benefits of hybrid cannabis can help consumers tailor their recreational experience, as well as choose better medicine for particular illnesses and ailments.

Hybrid cannabis plants are a combination of indica and sativa strains. While discussions about types of cannabis tend to focus on the differences between sativa and indica, these only examine one part of the picture. In fact, most marijuana strains found today aren’t pure sativa or pure indica. Typically, they will be indica- or sativa-dominant hybrids, and sometimes they’ll be an equal mix of both kinds of cannabis.

Using multiple indicators to evaluate a cannabis strain can help you get a clearer picture of what kind of experience you can expect—which can help you make a more informed decision about whether that strain is the right choice for you.

How is cannabidiol different from marijuana?

CBD stands for cannabidiol. It is the second most prevalent of the active ingredients of cannabis (marijuana). While CBD is an essential component of medical marijuana, it is derived directly from the hemp plant, which is a cousin of the marijuana plant. While CBD is a component of marijuana (one of hundreds), by itself it does not cause a “high.” According to a report from the World Health Organization, “In humans, CBD exhibits no effects indicative of any abuse or dependence potential…. To date, there is no evidence of public health related problems associated with the use of pure CBD.”

The evidence for cannabidiol health benefits

CBD has been touted for a wide variety of health issues, but the strongest scientific evidence is for its effectiveness in treating some of the cruelest childhood epilepsy syndromes, such as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), which typically don’t respond to antiseizure medications. In numerous studies, CBD was able to reduce the number of seizures, and in some cases it was able to stop them altogether. Videos of the effects of CBD on these children and their seizures are readily available on the Internet for viewing, and they are quite striking. Recently the FDA approved the first ever cannabis-derived medicine for these conditions, Epidiolex, which contains CBD.

CBD is commonly used to address anxiety, and for patients who suffer through the misery of insomnia, studies suggest that CBD may help with both falling asleep and staying asleep.

CBD may offer an option for treating different types of chronic pain. A study from the European Journal of Pain showed, using an animal model, CBD applied on the skin could help lower pain and inflammation due to arthritis. Another study demonstrated the mechanism by which CBD inhibits inflammatory and neuropathic pain, two of the most difficult types of chronic pain to treat. More study in humans is needed in this area to substantiate the claims of CBD proponents about pain control.

 

Is cannabidiol safe?

Side effects of CBD include nausea, fatigue and irritability. CBD can increase the level in your blood of the blood thinner coumadin, and it can raise levels of certain other medications in your blood by the exact same mechanism that grapefruit juice does. A significant safety concern with CBD is that it is primarily marketed and sold as a supplement, not a medication. Currently, the FDA does not regulate the safety and purity of dietary supplements. So you cannot know for sure that the product you buy has active ingredients at the dose listed on the label. In addition, the product may contain other (unknown) elements. We also don’t know the most effective therapeutic dose of CBD for any particular medical condition.

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