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Marijuana is a plant that has been used for thousands of years for medicinal, recreational, and religious uses worldwide. It is derived from the cannabis Sativa plant and should be referred to as medical cannabis for the most accuracy.

The cannabis plant contains over 100 potentially active compounds including cannabinoids and terpenes. The most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD. When all of the elements of the cannabis plant work together it is called the entourage effect. Harnessing this entourage effect underlies the medicine of cannabis. There are other known cannabinoids that are present in various marijuana strains that will be discussed in future articles. There is very little research on cannabinoids other than THC and CBD.

Indica vs. Sativa

  • Indica plants tend to be shorter, with wider leaves. These strains tend to be associated with relaxation and sedation of the mind.
  • Sativa plants are taller, with neural leaf varieties. These tend to help patients feel more creative and energized.
  • Although these two families tend to be the basis of on which everyone associates certain types of strains with certain effects, almost all strains today are hybrids.
  • Hybrids, or mixtures of Indica and Sativa, are by far the most prevalent types of plants grown in the United States.

Ratios vs. Indica & Sativa

Many medical marijuana practitioners now concentrate on ratios of CBD to THC instead of strains. Ratios are based on the amount of CBD to THC in the marijuana plant, or taken separately. Almost all dispensaries offer a pure CBD product and pure THC products. Most will offer a balanced CBD to THC ratio of 1 to 1. Other ratios are available, but for the most part, patients will need to add CBD separately.

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