Medical Marijuana: Indica v. Sativa
It’s Saturday night, Dark Side of the Moon is on the turntable, and bags of M&M’s and Doritos stand ready for…
Okay, if the previous words took you back to the days of black light posters, Janis and Jimi, 8-track tape players, and spilled bong water, well, you already have some understanding of the mechanics of pot smoking. However, it’s a whole new world out there today and, as you know, in some states marijuana is approved to treat certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma, depression, and even cancer.
Before we delve any further into the topic, though, you should know there are two main types of cannabis (marijuana)—Indica and Sativa.
Sativa plants are tall and loosely branched, with narrow leaves (leaf pictured above). Indica plants are short, densely branched, with wide leaves (the appearance is similar to the above photo, but the leaflets are much broader).
By the way, a marijuana leaf is a compound leaf, a leaf composed of individual leaflets. The top photo of the marijuana leaf shows a single leaf with seven individual leaflets (cannabis leaves will have between 5-9 leaflets with serrated edges).
Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main ingredients in the marijuana plant.
THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It’s the component that makes you high. CBD is non-psychoactive (CBD does not make you high) and is the ingredient that’s most attractive as a medicine. Both, however, are used in medical marijuana.
Uses of Medical Cannabis
Sativa is uplifting, therefore it’s used to treat mild depression, social anxiety, ADD, fatigue, and migraines. It’s also thought by some that Sativa helps increase creativity. Sativa is best used during daytime hours.
Indica is relaxing and calming and is used to treat conditions such as, anxiety and panic attacks, pain, glaucoma, muscle cramps, asthma, complications associated with AIDS, epilepsy, gastric disorders, MS, cerebral palsy, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and insomnia. Indica is best used at night.
There are numerous methods of consuming medical cannabis. For example, smoking, vaporizers, tinctures or tonics, topicals applied directly to the skin as a salve, and edibles, to name a few.
Since most of you are probably familiar with pot smoking (you’ve at least heard about it), we’ll address edible cannibas and its many forms and products. Remember, cannibas edibles are not the meek and mild pot brownies of days long ago. Edibles today are much more potent.
Sure, it’s said that edibles do a great job of reducing anxiety and helping to induce deep, restful sleep without the medicated feeling that one experiences after consuming pharmaceutical medications. However, dosing of edible cannibas can be a hit or miss situation. The perfect amount for one person may not be right for another. Therefore, a bit of trial and error can come into play before a user/patient finds the correct size “bite/dose” that best suits their needs.
So, without further adieu, here’s a small sampling of the vast assortment of edibles available this holiday season. Bon appetit!
And for those of you who prefer to prepare your own…
Now, please pass the M&M’s, onion dip, chocolate ice cream, and pickled pigs feet.