How To Choose The Correct Medical Marijuana Strain

How To Choose The Correct Medical Marijuana Strain

How To Choose The Correct Medical Marijuana Strain

How To Choose The Correct Medical Marijuana Strain
by Ellen Lenox Smith

When it comes to using medical marijuana, unfortunately, “one size does not fit all.” You and I could have exactly the same medical condition, use the same strain of Medical Marijuana, but the bottom line is, we will not necessarily react in similar fashion. Therefore, it may take time to find your effective strain. This process will require patience and holding on to hope that you will succeed. However, the first time I tried some indica marijuana oil, I literally slept the entire night and so lucked out. However, we have had patients that have sampled numerous Medical Marijuana strains to find their magic.


As you get ready to decide on a Medical Marijuana strain, remember that there are two types of plants – the indica that provides you pain relief and allows you to sleep and the sativa that also provides you pain relief but helps to stimulate the body, so you can have a more productive day.


The other thing you have to pay attention to is the THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidiol) content of the medical marijuana strain you are selecting. THC is known to provide the high sensation that people refer to when used socially. Those of us using this for chronic pain generally do not have that experience, unless we take too high of a dose or just react wrong to a medical marijuana strain. CBD, also in the plant, are known to have medical benefits of cannabis, without the high that can happen with a plant with a high level of THC when too much is taken. It does not make people feel “stoned” and can actually counteract the psychoactivity of THC.  The fact that CBD-rich cannabis doesn’t get one high makes it an appealing treatment option for patients seeking anti-inflammatory, anti-pain, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, and/or anti-spasm effects without troubling lethargy or dysphoria. However, we don’t all experience the needed pain relief without a higher content of the THC. In fact, we have seen some children be more successful with reducing seizures with more of the THC included. So do not become discouraged if you don’t have success at first.


Please know that the levels of THC and CBD doesn’t mean that every plant ever produced of a specific strain will always have those percentages and ratios reported by others. Due to different grow methods, factors can change those levels. So, always make sure what you are buying has been tested by a reputable testing facility if cannabinoid levels are important to you.


One successful thing I would like to  pass on to you is a trick we discovered making our sleep inducing pain relief oil and our day tinctures.  We now mix all of our five types of  indica strains or sativa strains together to create the oil or tincture. We make it from the small clippings around the bud, instead of the whole bud. Patients seem to prefer it made this way. You are exposed to the benefits of each plant along with it being very gentle and less expensive since you are taking advantage of that part of the plant. So far, we have not had one patient that has had to change from this process.


So in conclusion, remember that you will have to test out suggested types of medication to find the right match for your personal needs. It is worth the time it takes to do this for the pain relief is gentle, non invasive, and allows you to return to a more productive life without worrying about any organ damage!



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Ellen Lenox Smith and her husband Stuart live in Rhode Island. In addition to their work for the U.S. Pain Foundation, as Co-Directors for Medical Marijuana Advocacy, they also serve as board members for the Rhode Island Patient Advocacy Coalition. Ellen wrote a book about her journey as a Pain Warrior, It Hurts Like Hell!” For more information about medical marijuana and how to convert it to other forms of administering besides smoking, visit their website.

The information in this column should not be considered as professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is for informational purposes only and represents the author’s opinions alone. It does not inherently express or reflect the views, opinions and/or positions of this website. Medical marijuana is legal in some U.S. states but is still technically illegal under federal law. Even in states where it is legal, doctors may frown upon marijuana and drop patients from their practice for using it.


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