Medical Marijuana 101
There are three main types of cannabis strains
When consumed, indicas tend to produce more relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality.
When consumed, sativas tend to produce more cerebral effects as opposed to physical and sedative ones.
Hybrid refers to a plant that is genetically a cross between one or more separate strains of cannabis.
Cannabis species contain many active compounds. CBD and THC are the most well-known compounds.
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol. Recently, CBD has gained support for its use as a medical treatment as research has shown it effectively treats pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects (the “high” or “stoned” feeling) associated with THC.
THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in marijuana plants. THC is also the component in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the “high.”
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds unique to cannabis that act upon the human body’s cannabinoid receptors, producing various effects including pain relief and other medically beneficial uses. Marijuana’s most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) due to the fact that it is the most abundant, and also because it produces the psychoactive effects (or the “high”) that drives the plant’s recreational use. However, there are over 85 known cannabinoids all with varying effects, so THC isn’t the only one. [Source: Leafly]
Cannabis is a plant genus that produces three species of flowering plants: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are used to produce both recreational and medical marijuana. Cannabis ruderalis is rarely farmed due to its natural lower THC content and small stature, but there is some cross-breeding thanks to ruderalis‘s unique ability to auto-flower rather than mature based on light, so there is potential for this variety to grow in popularity. Cannabis is native to Asia, but grows almost anywhere and has long been cultivated both for the production of hemp and to be used as a drug. [Source: Leafly]
CBD is the abbreviation for cannabidiol, one of the at least 85 cannabinoids found in cannabis and the second only to THC when it comes to average volume. Recently, CBD has gained support for its use as a medical treatment as research has shown it effectively treats pain, inflammation, and anxiety without the psychoactive effects (the “high” or “stoned” feeling) associated with THC. High CBD strains, such as Harlequin, are being bred more actively and appearing more frequently on the market. [Source: Leafly]
Costs may vary based on dispensary prices, form of marijuana and amount purchased. [Source: DOH]
Hybrid refers to a plant that is genetically a cross between one or more separate strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen unintentionally, but they are usually bred specifically to combine desired traits of the original plants. Most marijuana on the market today is some form of hybrid. [Source: Leafly]
Indica is the less scientific name for the Cannabis indica species of cannabis. Generally these plants originated in the Middle East and Asia and include both of the famous kush and Afghan lineages. Compared to their sativa counterparts, the plants are shorter, bushier and have more compact flower structure. This species tends to produce more relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality. [Source: Leafly]
At this time, insurance companies do not cover medical marijuana. [Source: DOH]
Marijuana is the general term for female cannabis plants or their dried flowers. Females are distinct from male plants in that they are the ones that produce flowers which contain the high percentage of cannabinoids that hold both their medicinal and psychoactive properties. [Source: Leafly]
– Topical forms (including gel, creams, patches, or ointments)
– Forms medically appropriate for administration by vaporization or nebulization (including dry leaf or plant form)
Sativa is the less scientific name for the cannabis sativa species of cannabis plant. In general, these plants originated outside of the Middle East and Asia and include strains that are from areas such as South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Thailand. These strains tend to grow taller as plants (usually over 5 feet), are lighter in color and take longer to flower. When consumed, sativas tend to produce more cerebral effects as opposed to physical and sedative ones. [Source: Leafly]
A strain is a specific variety of a plant species. Strains are developed to produce distinct desired traits in the plant and are usually named by their breeders (or by creative consumers). Strain names often reflect the plant’s appearance, its promised buzz, or its place of origin. Although the medical marijuana industry strives for consistency, strains can easily be mistakenly or purposely misidentified. [Source: Leafly]
Secreted in the same glands that produce cannabinoids like THC and CBD, terpenes are aromatic oils that color cannabis varieties with distinctive flavors like citrus, berry, mint, and pine. [Source: Leafly]
THC is an abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. It is the most well-known and most abundantly available cannabinoid in marijuana plants. THC is also the component in marijuana that is responsible for the psychoactive effects, or the “high.” Also known as delta-9-tetracannabinol, it was first isolated in 1964 and is thought to serve as a natural defense for the plant against pests. Research has shown THC to be an effective medical treatment for a range of conditions. There is no lethal dose of the compound in its natural form. [Source: Leafly]
A tincture is a liquid cannabis extract usually made with alcohol or glycerol that is often dosed with a dropper. Tinctures can be flavored and are usually placed under the tongue, where they are absorbed quickly. Effects can be felt within minutes. Tinctures can also be mixed into a drink, but in these cases effects will take longer because the tinctures will be absorbed by the digestive system. [Source: Leafly]
A topical is a type of cannabis product where the active properties of the flowers have been extracted and added to a product such as a lotion or a cream that’s applied to the skin. The medicinal properties are absorbed through the skin and can be used to treat muscle aches, long term soreness, or ailments like dry skin. [Source: Leafly]
A vaporizer is a device used to consume marijuana. It heats either flowers or marijuana-infused oils to a temperature that produces a cannabinoid-laced vapor to inhale. Vaporizing is healthier than smoking since there is no smoke to ingest, but this method still produces near instant effects. With new, more compact models on the market, vaporizing is growing in popularity. [Source: Leafly]