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Versatile Medicine: A Quick and Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Cannabis Strains Part 1

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The medical marijuana industry has been flourishing in recent years. There has been an influx of patients realizing the healing powers of this versatile plant. With this wave of medical cannabis popularity, new patients sometimes feel overwhelmed making choices on which strains to medicate with. While there is no exact science behind differentiating cannabis strains, your local “bud tenders” will probably agree with our assessments. Ask your doctor and your bud tender before you try any of these strains. Before you make your first trip to the dispensary, read on to find out what to look for. Keep in mind we’re only talking about the cannabis flowers, or “buds” in this article.

Cannabis Sativa

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Sativa usually features a cerebral, less euphoric medicated effect which is perfect for treating inflammation and acute pain when a patient needs to get on with their day. The cannabis sativa plant grows tall and long most of the time. Patients treating depression and anxiety tend to do well with sativa dominant strains like Sour Diesel and AK-47.

Cannabis Indica

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Strains of medical cannabis showing predominantly indica characteristics are typically known for their relaxing and healing effects on the body. Cannabis Indica plants most often grow short and thick. Indica dominant strains can treat chronic pain such as back and neck pain. Indica dominant strains like Northern Lights and OG Kush are well suited to treat most chronic pain suffers.


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Hybrid cannabis strains combine the medicated body effects of an indica and the cerebral effects of a sativa. An example of a perfect cross hybrid is blue dream. PTSD is has recently been nationally recognized as an ailment legally treated with cannabis, and hybrid strains are helping treat this disorder.

Cannabis Ruderalis

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Filled with stems and seeds, most ruderalis is what’s known as “schwag” marijuana. Ruderalis can withstand much harsher climates than indica or sativa and grows with little care, which is why its quality is lower compared to the others.


Did we miss anything? If you’re a medical patient, which strain helps relieve your particular physical or emotional pain the best? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Stay tuned to this series – The Comprehensive Cannabis Medicine Guide! In future articles, we’ll cover other ways to medicate with cannabis: such as dabs, hash, edibles and more!