If you’ve watched the news any time recently, you’ve seen that medical marijuana is becoming more widely accepted across the United States. In fact, more states than not have legalized the plant. Here in Florida, Life Boost’s own Dr. Bruce Stratt has recently been approved as one of the few doctors in the state to evaluate patients who seek medical cannabis.
Marijuana splits into two species: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. There is a lot of misinformation and stigma when it comes to discussing these two strains, so the most helpful way to combat that is by understanding them a little better. How do they work, and what makes them different?
What Do They Look Like?
The easiest way to differentiate between indica and sativa is by their physical appearance. Indica plants are thick and dense, with wider leaves. Sativa plants are significantly taller, loosely branched, and their leaves are long and narrow. Indica plants might be grown indoors, while sativa plants would need to be outside.
Western medicine discovered indica and its benefits when Jean-Baptiste Lamarck stumbled upon it in India, in 1785. In the 1800s, people considered indica to be therapeutic. Sativa, on the other hand, originated from Southeast Asia, Central America and parts of South America. There’s also a theory that a common species of cannabis originated in Asia before dividing into indica and sativa.
The two cannabinoids of medical interest that marijuana produces are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the main mind-altering ingredient of marijuana, and it may reduce pain, inflammation and muscle control problems. CBD may also be useful for pain and inflammation, in addition to controlling seizures and possibly even treating mental illness and addictions.
The building block of these cannabinoids is cannabigerol (CBG). Indica plants tend to convert CBG into THCA, which becomes THC when heated. Sativa plants tend to convert CBG into CBDA, which later becomes CBD. So, sativa will have a large amount of CBD vs THC, while indica will have a large amount of THC vs CBD. This isn’t necessarily a hard and fast truth, possibly due to hybridization among the plants that cause some sativas to be high in THC and some indicas to be low in THC, but it’s a good guideline to follow.
Effect on the User
So, what does this mean for how these strains affect a person? Well, indica usually induces a relaxing high. The user is ready for a calm evening of just hanging out. Sativa has the opposite effect. It induces an energized high, one that’s conducive to getting some work done in the daytime.
While medical marijuana seems to be on a gradual path to legalization in all states, there’s still a stigma against it. Having a better understanding of the two main strands and the stark differences between the two can aid you in being more open-minded about how it can possibly help you. Medical cannabis could be exactly what you need to treat whatever you’re dealing with, so be sure to call Life Boost today to see if you pre-qualify.