Indica strains are sedatives/relaxants and are effective for treating the symptoms of medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and tremors. Indicas have a higher level of cannabinoids than sativas, which results in a sedated body-type stone. Because indica strains may cause feelings of sleepiness and heaviness, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis at night.
Sativa strains are more of a stimulant, and are effective in appetite stimulation, relieving depression, migraines, chronic pain and nausea. Sativas have a higher level of THC than indicas, which results in a psychoactive and energetic mind-high. Because sativa strains may cause feelings of alertness and optimism, many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis during the day.
Hybrids and cross-breeds of indica and sativa strains produce varieties that carry some characteristics of each parent. For example, adding sativa to indica strains adds mental clarity and decreases sedation effects. And adding indica to sativa strains can decrease or even eliminate the sativa tendency to stimulate anxiety.
Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the primary compound responsible for the psychoactive effects of cannabis. The compound is a mild analgesic, and cellular research has shown the compound has antioxidant activity. THC is believed to interfere with parts of the brain normally controlled by the endogenous cannabinoid neurotransmitter, anandamide. Anandamide is believed to play a role in pain sensation, memory, and sleep.
Cannabidiol (CBD), is a major constituent of medical cannabis. CBD represents up to 40% of extracts of the medical cannabis plant. Cannabidiol has been shown to relieve convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, cough and congestion, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. Because cannabidiol relieves the aforementioned symptoms, cannabis strains with a high amount of CBD may benefit people withmultiple sclerosis, frequent anxiety attacks and Tourette syndrome.
Cannabinol (CBN) is a therapeutic cannabinoid found in Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. It is also produced as a metabolite, or a breakdown product, of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). CBN acts as a weakagonist of the CB1 and CB2 receptors, with lower affinity in comparison to THC.
Part of the mechanism by which medical cannabis has been shown to reduce tissue inflammation is via the compound ß (beta)-caryophyllene. A cannabinoid receptor called CB2 plays a vital part in reducing inflammation in humans and other animals. ß-Caryophyllene has been shown to be a selective activator of the CB2 receptor. ß-Caryophyllene is especially concentrated in cannabis essential oil, which contains about 12–35% ß-caryophyllene.
Like cannabidiol, cannabigerol is not psychoactive. Cannabigerol has been shown to relieve intraoccular pressure, which may be of benefit in the treatment of glaucoma.
Hash oil (also known as wax, nectar, shatter, full melt, honey, "dabs", or "budder") is a form of cannabis. It is a resinous matrix of cannabinoids obtained from the Cannabis plant by solvent extraction, formed into a hardened or viscous mass. Hash oil can be the most potent of the main cannabis products because of its high THC content, which can vary depending on the plant. Hash oil can be consumed in various ways, including smoking, vaporization, or oral consumption (eating).
Cannabis contains over 300 compounds. At least 66 of these are cannabinoids, which are the basis for medical and scientific use of cannabis. This presents the research problem of isolating the effect of specific compounds and taking account of the interaction of these compounds. Cannabinoids can serve as appetite stimulants, antiemetics, antispasmodics, and have some analgesic effects. Five important cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant are tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol, cannabinol, ß-caryophyllene, and cannabigerol.