Mar 4, 2019 | admin | Blog
Indica and Sativa – The Two Main Types of Medical Marijuana
When shopping for medical marijuana, you may notice that dispensaries in Canada commonly break up products into two distinct groups: indica and sativa. How do the products in these two categories differ from each other? Let’s take a look…
Indica and Sativa Plants
Both indica and sativa are subspecies of Cannabis sativa L.plant, which belongs to the Cannabacea plant family. Indica comes from Cannabis indica plant while sativa comes from Cannabis sativa plant. The origin of these plants can be traced to eastern Asia, but due to their widespread cultivation, they can now be found growing in different parts of the world.
Cannabis indica plant usually grows up to 2 meters and has dark green leaves. The plant is bushy and dense. In contrast, Cannabis sativa plant is taller and grows to a height of up to 4 meters. It’s much less dense than Cannabis indica plant and has narrow, light green leaves.
Today, aside from pure indicas and sativas, dispensaries also sell flowers that are hybrid of the two plant varieties. These flowers are produced by crossbreeding indica and sativa. However, we won’t discuss them in this post, as we want to focus on indica and sativa only.
Indica and Sativa Medicinal Products
When talk about how indica and sativa medicinal products are different from each other, we’re essentially referring to the difference in the terpene profiles of the two cannabis subspecies.
Terpenes are a class of aromatic compoundsthat are present inside the resin glands of cannabis flowers. Indica medicinal products tend to have a higher concentration of myrcene—a type of terpene—than sativa medicinal products. This gives the former category of marijuana products an enhanced sedating effect. It’s also why, indica-based medical marijuana products are more extensively prescribed for the treatment of insomnia compared to sativa-based medicinal products.
For several years, many people believed that indica and sativa also differed in terms of their THC and CBD profiles. However, this belief no longer holds true, as cultivators have recently shown that they can grow high THC or high CBD strains of both indica and sativa according to their cultivation preference.
This misconception is very important to clear because it can ultimately misguide you when shopping for a medical marijuana product to treat your specific medical condition.
Remember, it is the level of THC or CBD found in a strain that ultimately determines whether that strain is suitable for treating a medical condition. The efficacy of the strain for treating a particular medical condition has nothing to do with its type—except in cases related to insomnia.
To review a couple of examples:
- If you’re buying medical marijuana for treating depression, choose a strain that has high CBD and low THC
- If you’re buying medical marijuana for treating chronic pain, choose a strain that has relatively high THC and low CBD
As always, consultation with your doctor is strongly advised to help decide the best medical marijuana product for treating your medical condition.
If you need any assistance in this regard, you can reach out to Auraceuticals for help.
Auraceuticals is your one stop solution for everything medical cannabis. We facilitate patients in applying for their medical marijuana card in Canada and provide information on the medical use of the drug. Click here to apply for a medical marijuana card online.