At beWell Organic Medicine, Inc., it is part of our mission to educate our patients and the general public about medical marijuana. Pick a section by clicking on a topic below and start learning about cannabis!
At beWell, we offer our patients a large selection of cannabis strains, products, dosing, and options for treatment. Information about the different types of marijuana, including indicas, sativas, hybrids, and CBD varieties and their reported effects, medicinal uses, and terpene makeups are listed below. Hover over each image to learn about the different types of Cannabis!
SATIVA – Uplifting, stimulating, with more “cerebral” effects. Good for anxiety and PTSD relief, and daytime usage. The plant is tall with narrow leaves, fluffier buds and has a longer flowering period than indica. Sativas are reported to have the following therapeutic effects:
Increased sense of well-being & focus
Note: For some patients, sativas may increase feelings of anxiety & paranoia.
HYBRID – The result of breeding different types of cannabis plants in order to create a combination of effects. Hybrids can be 50/50, or more indica or sativa dominant. This allows for strains to be customized in order to create desired therapeutic effects.
INDICA – Sedative, analgesic, with more somatic relief. Indica targets conditions of the body rather than mind and is often recommended for nighttime usage. The plant is short and stocky with broad leaves, dense buds resulting in a shorter flowering period than sativa plants. Indicas are reported to have the following therapeutic effects:
Relaxation & stress relief
Relaxes muscles, reduces spasms
Reduces pain & inflammation
Promotes sleep, reduces anxiety
Relieves nausea, stimulates appetite
Reduces intra-ocular pressure
Note: For some patients, indica may result in tiredness and unclear thinking.
CBD VARIETIES – While not a separate type of cannabis, some strains are bred to have a higher CBD and lower THC content – resulting in a less psychoactive effect, or even no psychoactive effect. In addition to relieving pain and reducing anxiety, CBD strains are reported to be helpful in treating a number of other medical conditions. Reports have also shown that CBD strains have anti- inflammatory properties and are effective when treating seizure disorders, particularly in children.
Cannabinoids and Terpenes
Cannabinoids are the biological active ingredients found in a marijuana plant, the two most widely known ones being tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). Concentrations of each type of cannabinoid will vary from plant to plant and strain to strain. Cannabinoids affect the user by interacting with specific receptors located in different parts of the central nervous system. The effects that each cannabinoid has directly relates to the part of the brain that they interact with. Since humans have receptor systems that cannabinoids bind to, we can reap the benefits of cannabinoids for both health and pleasure. Listed below are some of the different cannabinoids and their effects and benefits.
THC is the main active and most common cannabinoid in marijuana responsible for the psychoactive properties. THC taken from cannabis plants is found in oils, edibles, topicals, and other marijuana infused products. The THC is what gives the user the high associated with cannabis. It can provide the patient with euphoric, relaxing effects. THC has the potential to treat medical conditions such as insomnia, chronic pain, and more.
CBD is non-intoxicating and will not cause a “high” in the way that THC does. There are a wide range of benefits and uses such as managing pain, inflammation, anxiety, epilepsy and seizures, PTSD, Crohn’s disease, MS, and more. High CBD strains usually deliver clear-headed, functional effects without the euphoric effect felt from the use of high THC strains.
CBN is a mildly psychoactive cannabinoid that is produced from the degradation of THC. There is little to none of this cannabinoid found in a plant. CBN contains anti-bacterial properties when applied as a topical. This cannabinoid also can be used for convulsions, appetite, pain relief, inflammation, and insomnia.
CBG is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid. CBG is an anti-fungal compound that is known to decrease anxiety and muscle tension. It is also thought to kill or slow bacterial growth, reduce inflammation, inhibit cell growth in tumors and cancer cells, and promote bone growth.
CBC is non-intoxicating and early stages of research are pointing to its potential for treating a wide array of conditions such as chronic pain and depression. It is said to stimulate new bone growth, block the growth of tumors and help limit inflammation and pain, and more.
Marijuana has a notably strong unique aroma, and each strain has a different smell as well. The part of the marijuana plant that causes these different smells are the terpenes, aromatic molecules secreted inside the resin glands of the cannabis flowers. Terpenes not only provide a wide range of smells, they also provide a wide range of medical effects – there are over 100 terpenes unique to cannabis. Terpenes are not unique to marijuana and can be found in other plants, herbs, fruits, and more.
They interact with the endocannabinoid system and assist the cannabinoids entering the bloodstream. The combination of the terpenes and cannabinoids is referred to as the “Entourage Effect” as they work together to improve the absorption of cannabinoids into the body. Terpenes bind to brain receptors and cause various effects. Some terpenes are effective in relieving stress, some are great for relaxation, and some are good for increasing focus. It is important to note that the makeup of each strain can vary, due to growing and curing techniques and the strains involved. In addition, it is important to consider your method of consumption when choosing strains based on terpenes because the beneficial qualities can be seriously damaged if heated past their boiling point. Below is an info-graphic created by Leafly, it highlights the most common terpenes and their characteristics.
Methods of Consumption
Inhalation: Patients may choose this method as their primary way to consume cannabis because the effects are noticed and felt quickly after use. This is a good way for them to get immediate relief. Medical use through traditional methods of inhalation include smoking the flower in a pipe, a water pipe, and rolling papers. The safest way to consume dry flower cannabis through inhalation is with a vaporizer, this is because it heats the cannabinoid oils to the point where they become airborne vapors without burning the rest of the plant matter. Concentrates can also be consumed through inhalation with vaporizers or by smoking which will be further discussed in the concentrate section below.
Concentrates: Concentrates are an alternative form of marijuana that some patients may choose for medicating. These are created through an extraction process that separates essential cannabinoids from the flower, such as THC and the terpenes, so that the patient has a product that’s catered to their needs. Marijuana concentrates have a much greater proportion of cannabinoids and terpenes compared to flower. These can be consumed by inhalation with a vaporizer or by smoking. Concentrates come in many forms including kief, hash, rosin, live resin, shatter, and distillates just to name a few. One of the biggest benefits of this method of consumption is the ability for the patient to feel instant relief due to the rapid onset time.
Edibles: These Marijuana Infused Products (MIPs) are created by taking the oils extracted from the flower and incorporating them into a variety of foods. These MIPs can take many forms including brownies, cookies, gummies, lozenges, and many more. Edibles are a perfect way for a patient, who wants to avoid smoking, to consume marijuana. It is important to know that it takes 30-60 minutes and sometimes even longer to feel the full effect. A common mistake people tend to make is they eat a small amount of an edible and think that it wasn’t enough. So, they eat a little bit more. When it finally all hits their system, the patient realizes they have made a mistake and it leaves them much too high and very uncomfortable. Therefore, we recommend that you remain patient and start with small doses to see how your body reacts to these products.
Tinctures: Cannabis tinctures are alcohol-based cannabis extracts, a great alternative for those looking to reap the benefits of marijuana without smoking it. These come in droplet bottles making it easy to consume in a variety of different ways. This method makes it easy to test your desired dosage so you can avoid side effects of being too high. The effects can be felt in 15-45 minutes, it will differ from patient to patient. The preferred method is dropping it directly onto your tongue, but it can be incorporated with almost any meal or drink.
Topicals: Topicals can have both THC and CBD and comes in many varieties including salves, ointments, lotions, and sprays. These are a great way for patients to medicate and treat specific ailments without any psychoactive effects. They are meant to be applied directly to the affected area for relief from arthritis, chapped skin, eczema, muscle soreness, swellings, and joint pain to name a few.