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Marijuana Strains 101:
A Beginners Guide for Patients 2022 Edition

Cannabis strains refer to hybrid or pure varieties of the plant genus called cannabis. It primarily encompasses the Sativa and Indica species and their manmade hybrid combinations. The purpose of developing such varieties is to enhance the specific plant characteristics for using it as a medical drug.

Marijuana growers and manufacturers usually decide the names of these medical marijuana strains. The names are based on the unique properties of the specific strain, such as its color, taste, smell, and origin. These cannabis strains may have different effects on different people. In this post, let us look at the major varieties of cannabis strains that are predominantly used for medicinal benefits.


  • The Cannabis Sativa is primarily available in regions of Africa, Southeast Asia, Central America, and certain parts of Western Asia where the climate is hot and dry with long hours of direct sunlight.
  • The Sativa plant is thin and tall which can grow as tall as 12 feet and has finger-like leaves. They take relatively longer to mature in comparison to some other cannabis types.
  • The plant typically has a higher THC dose with a lower dose of CBD.
  • Sativa is known to have energizing and anxiety-reducing effect with the dominant strains making the user feel more creative and productive, rather than just relaxed and lethargic.
  • The stimulating effect of the plant makes it convenient to use during the daytime.
  • The Durban Poison, Panama Red, and Acapulco Gold are the three most popular strains of the Sativa.
Medical Use of the Sativa Strains
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    Alzheimer's Disease
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    Aids or HIV
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    Bipolar Disorder
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If you are using medical marijuana for any of the following health conditions a Sativa strain may be recommended by your physician –
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    Improved Focus
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    Relief from depression
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    Increase in energy
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    Relief from chronic pain
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    Increased appetite
  • The Indica cannabis is native to India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan. The turbulent, harsh, and dry climate of the Hindu Kush Mountains is suitable for these plants.
  • Indica plants are short with broad and wide chunky leaves with bushy greenery. The plants produce more buds and are faster-growing than Sativa.
  • While Indica strains have higher CBD levels the THC levels are also not that low.
  • Indica strains are popular for their deep relaxing effects. They can reduce pain and nausea and also increase appetite.
  • It is better for consuming during the nighttime because of the intense relaxing effects.
  • Granddaddy Purple, Afghan Kush, and the Hindu Kush are the three most popular Indica strains.
Medical Use of the Indica Strains
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    Sleep Apnea
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    Parkinson’s Disease
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    Panic Attacks
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    Multiple Sclerosis
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    Crohn’s Disease
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    Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
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    Anxiety Disorders
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    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
If you are using medical marijuana for any of the following health conditions a Indica strain may be recommended by your physician –
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    Relief from nausea
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    Sleep disorder
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    Relief from muscle tension
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    Anxiety relief
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    Pain Relief
Hybrid Strains for Medical Marijuana
  • Hybrids are a combination of Indica and Sativa strains that are grown on greenhouses or farms.
  • The combination of the parent plants determines the final strain.
  • While some strains are developed for increasing the THC content, each strain has a unique CBD to THC ratio.
  • Producers and farmers prefer hybrid strains for their unique impact on the body. It can ease symptoms of radiation and chemotherapy besides reducing stress and anxiety levels.
  • The predominant effect of the strain will determine if it is suitable for daytime or nighttime use.
  • These strains are classified as Sativa-dominant (or Sativa-dom), Indica-dominant (or Indica-dom), or balanced strain. Some of the popular variants include Blue Dream, Trainwreck, and Pineapple Express.
Medical Use of the Hybrid Strains
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If you are using medical marijuana for any of the following health conditions a Hybrid strain may be recommended by your physician –
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    Hybrid strains are known for their all-around effects. They can be used during the daytime or at night for treating medical conditions depending on the plant's genetics. These are widely available in the market for their yield size, and wide range of medical benefits.

Note: Cannabis ruderalis is another cannabis species. However, since it does not produce any potent effects, its use is limited.

Choosing the Right Medical Marijuana Strain for Your Needs

While searching for the appropriate medical marijuana strain, consider the following factors:

Know your requirement

The purpose for which you are looking for medical cannabis products will help to narrow down your options. Different conditions like reducing anxiety, increasing energy levels, or treating insomnia will require different cannabis strains. Discuss your requirement for medical cannabis with the dispensary attendant to help you make a salient decision.

Consider your past and present medical condition

Although cannabis is a natural extract it has the power to create intense effects on the body. Share your current medical condition and ongoing medications with a physician. The medical professional will consider the possible interactions and weigh the benefits with the potential risks before prescribing a specific cannabis strain.

Know the proper intake method

There are techniques for cannabis use to get the desired effect on the body. While smoking and vaping cannabis can show the effects more quickly it may irritate your lungs and respiratory passage. Chewables, gummies, and intake through food may be more tolerant but will take longer to show the effects. Know which method suits you better to achieve the desired results.

How to Find the Best Medical Cannabis Strains

To begin with, identify your health condition or determine the specific goals you want to achieve before shopping for medical marijuana. This will help you to match the qualities of the available products with your requirements.

Reach out to a trusted medical marijuana provider to know which strains might be the most effective for your unique health conditions, such as chronic pain, sleep problems, mood disorders, anxiety, and more.

If you are a first-time user, the provider may recommend entry-level strains to help you to understand your tolerance level.

Once you decide on which strain to go for, you can choose from the available product formats such as tinctures, oils, edibles, smoking, or other options.

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This content is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to serve as legal or medical advice. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information as of the publishing date, laws and regulations related to medical marijuana in Florida may change over time. For the most accurate information, please consult with a legal or healthcare professional or visit the Florida Department of Health's Office of Medical Marijuana Use. Please note that the use of medical marijuana is subject to both state and federal laws. Even though medical marijuana is legal in Florida under certain conditions, it remains illegal under federal law. Always consult with a professional advisor to understand the potential legal, health, and safety implications.This content is not intended to promote or condone the illegal use or misuse of medical marijuana.