A Simple Medical Marijuana Strain Guide for Beginners

Marijuana is much different now than when I first tried it back in the 60s. Back then it was $10 to $15 an ounce and no one knew what strain it was – it was just grass, man. If you could find someone selling Panama Red or Maui Wowie you knew it would be potent and it would definitely be priced higher than your everyday $10 baggie of weed. Sometimes your friend’s brother would be coming back from Viet Nam and have some Thai Stick, which was really good stuff.

But for the most part there wasn’t a huge distinction between strains. You just hoped your friend was selling you something that wasn’t full of stems and seeds. (Having seeds explode while smoking a joint was an unpleasant surprise.) Present day there is a head-spinning variety of strains and there can be major differences between them depending on if they are sativa or indica dominant.

vintage bottle of cannabis extract

How Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains Are Different

Here are the differences in a nutshell (I told you I was going to keep it simple!):

  • Indica – This strain will give you more of a body high, relaxing you physically and numbing pain. It can also give you “couch lock,” where you really don’t want to get up and do anything that requires any effort. This strain will also help you sleep and is good for anxiety and relaxation in general.
  • Sativa – Will give you feelings of well-being, stimulates creativity, can increase focus and alleviate depression. Also, can energize you. This strain’s effects are considered a cerebral, or head high.
  • Hybrids – Combined effects of Indica & Sativa. Hybrid strains will be more dominant in one category than the other and won’t be a simple 50/50 ratio. For instance, the strain Blue Dream is more sativa dominant for a more uplifting experience. Hybrids, in my opinion, can offer the best of both Indica and Sativa strains.

What’s the Importance of High CBD to THC Ratio?

If you are looking for pain relief and body relaxation in particular and not so much the head high, you’ll probably want to seek out higher CBD strains. In my situation, I decided early on that the higher CBD strains were better for me.

There is a school of thought that CBD alone is sufficient for body pains and other ailments, and there are many, many CBD products out there to buy and it is (as of now) legal in all 50 states. But isolated CBD is derived from Hemp plants which have no THC, or so little as to be practically non-existent. This is just my opinion, and I know that there are many people who would take issue with it, but I believe that CBD alone is not sufficient to derive the benefits you can obtain from the marijuana plant. The hemp plant is different than the marijuana plant, to put it mildly. THC in combination with CBD is the ticket for a better and more potent remedy for what ails you. The two combined have what is called an “entourage” effect, and they just work better together.

There is a whole scientific explanation of how all the different cannabinoids affect the human body, but we can talk about that another day since it can get very involved and today we’re only trying to discuss different strains. So, just suffice it to say CBD and THC together work wonders.

Having said that, what follows are my suggestions for strains that I have tried. Not all of them are higher CBD to THC, but they are still good to use for pain, anxiety and as sleep aids. The secret to some of these higher THC strains is Micro Dosing and I’ll talk about that in another post coming up soon.

Strains Good for Pain Alleviation

AC/DC : Hybrid, Sativa dominant – My old friend, a very high CBD to THC hybrid (20:1). This was the first strain I smoked when I decided to use MMJ for my back pain and it worked. I’ll always like this one.

Cannatonic : Hybrid – Here’s another favorite strain for me because of its high CBD and low THC makeup. I think the ratio was about 1:1 or almost 3:1 depending on the grower. This one will give you a little buzz, but it’s pleasant, short-lived high. Very relaxing and also good for muscle spasms and anxiety.

Purple Urkle : Indica – Good for pain, stress and insomnia. But it can have a powerful, couch-locking high so micro-dosing is the way to go here.

Blue Dream : Sativa – This is a very popular strain – almost everyone likes Blue Dream and it’s good for pain relief as well as depression and nausea. It does have a high THC content though, so proceed with caution.

Strains to Help Reduce Anxiety

Candyland : Sativa – Great for when you’re feeling down in the dumps and anxious, also helps alleviate pain. Drawback is it can give you dry mouth and dry eyes (as can most strains), so keep some water and eye drops close by. I like to take juice (orange or cranberry) and dilute it with water and ice, like half water / half juice. That way you’re not getting too much sugar from the juice which is easy to do.

Pineapple : Hybrid – An uplifting and yet relaxing strain. Good for depression as well. Takes you to a happy place.

Blue Dream : Sativa – I’m going to include it in the anti-anxiety category, too, because it’s just that good. To paraphrase an old ad campaign for Sara Lee, “Nobody doesn’t like Blue Dream.” And you’ll probably want to eat some Sara Lee after having some of this.

Strains to Help You Sleep

Granddaddy Purple : Indica – I loved this in the Baked Bros. syrup form. Had a wonderful sleep with this strain, plus it’s very relaxing even if you’re not wanting to got to sleep right away.

Purple Urkle : Indica – See above, it has a very quick onset so is great for insomnia. When you want to go to sleep quickly this is a good one. Also good for pain.

Tahoe OG Kush : Hybrid – This stuff is heavy duty – use with caution and micro dose. I had used this in a syrup form before bed and it really knocked me out. Also, I had a bit of a “hangover” or lingering effects from this the next day, but I may have taken too much. Edibles can have a much stronger effect than smoking or vaping, and I will cover that in another post.

To Sum Up the Strains Topic . . .

This is in no way a complete coverage of marijuana strains, far from it. There are hundreds upon hundreds of strains available today. These are just some that I have had personal experience with and so I can recommend them. I’m not going to recommend something I haven’t tried. And if you’re curious about the different strains and have more questions about MMJ in general check out Leafly.com and have fun exploring.

You Want to Try MMJ, But Do You Have to Smoke It?

The very good news is – NO! You don’t have to smoke it. There are so many ways to ingest marijuana and enjoy its benefits without smoking it. And I will cover that in my next post as well as dosing.

Thank you once again for reading my blog!

New Day

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