It can be difficult as a new medical marijuana patient to know how to select a product. Misinformation surrounding marijuana is rampant across the internet and sometimes, even in dispensaries. Believing these myths about medical marijuana may cause a patient to purchase the wrong product. This can be frustrating and expensive. Knowing which medical marijuana products to purchase can be a powerful tool toward effectively treating your condition.
Here are some common myths about medical marijuana that new patients could be wary of as they select their cannabis medicine at the dispensary:
Heavy indica strains may cause drowsiness, but a lot of strains can cause the opposite effect. A majority of strains at a medical marijuana dispensary will be hybrids, so their effects might be unpredictable.
Marijuana contains dozens of different natural chemical compounds that affect your sleep and sleep cycles. Understanding what’s in the cannabis product you select will help achieve the desired effects. If you’re looking for a relaxing, sedative effect, look for cannabinoids like CBD, CBN, and THC. Terpenes that may help to relax you include myrcene, caryophyllene, and limonene.
If you’re looking for your medical marijuana to energize you during the day, look for strains that contain pinene, a terpene believed to promote alertness, increase creative energy, and sharpen mental focus. But don’t take our word for it. Check out Rolling Stone’s list of marijuana enthusiasts who certainly couldn’t be classified as lazy based on their accomplishments!
Cannabis has been proven to have a powerful effect on appetite. Vaporizing or consuming cannabis can cause a short-term spike in hunger that may lead to a wicked case of the munchies.
However, one of the myths about medical marijuana is that it’ll definitely increase your desire to eat. Cannabis is known to modulate the body’s management of food once eaten. A 2018 study in Science Daily found: “We’re finding genetic and physiological events in the body that allow cannabis to turn eating behavior on or off.”
If you’re looking to try strains that aren’t as likely to make you want to eat a whole bag of chips, consider sativas that contain THCV. It’s thought that THCV blocks THC from binding to receptors that induce appetite. When looking at terpenes, look for humulene. Humulene may suppress the brain’s appetite, reducing the desire to eat.
Another hack for the hunger monster: High-CBD strains don’t tend to induce appetite quite as much as THC-rich varieties.
Some patients find cannabis relaxing. Others report that the plant’s mind-expanding properties cause them to experience racing thoughts, anxiety, or paranoia. The level of anxiety you experience from medical marijuana may depend on a number of factors. One basic thing that scientists have discovered is that higher THC levels can cause more anxiety. Therefore, look for strains with lower THC or a higher CBD:THC ratio to combat these unwanted feelings, especially when first starting out on your medical marijuana journey
Science is getting closer to knowing how cannabis causes anxiety and paranoia, and therefore allowing patients to select strains to avoid it. A study from 2018 attempted to identify strains that might be better or worse for anxiety. They found sativas tend to cause more paranoia than indicas.The research concluded patients might look for Kush strains to relieve anxiety, and to avoid strains like Chocolope if anxiety or paranoia is a common side effect they wish to avoid.
According to Leafly, the biological limits on THC production tops off at about 35 percent as the upper limit for flower. While high THC strains have been made available at dispensaries for some very difficult-to-treat pain conditions like eating disorders and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, they aren’t actually appropriate for most patients.
When choosing a strain, the terpene and cannabinoid profile determines the benefits you may receive, not the THC percentage. Many patients find the most effective ranges of THC for their condition are significantly lower than 35 percent THC. Optimal strains for medical marijuana patients tend to range between 15 and 25 percent THC.
Hundreds of new strains, forms and methods to administer medical marijuana become available in dispensaries every day. If you find one type doesn’t work for you, another strain or form of administration might be more effective. By paying attention to THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids and terpenes in a strain, you may find a combination that works completely differently thanone previously tried.
Many medical marijuana patients go through lots of different strains before they find one that works optimally for treating their condition. It’s important to journal your body’s response to each strain you try. By working with your doctor and dispensary budtender to determine the strains that are right for you, you can optimize the benefits of medical marijuana as an effective course or treatment.
By dispelling these myths about medical marijuana, we hope that patients are able to go into a dispensary with a more concrete plan for treating a medical condition. If you’re struggling to find the right strain of medical marijuana for your condition and want to seek help, reach out to one of our knowledgeable doctors at Duber Medical today.
Gabrielle has been writing and editing professionally for the medical and wellness industries for more than 20 years. She currently writes articles about medical marijuana for Duber Medical and is the founder of the Ohio cannabis journalism non-profit, MedicateOH.