“Cannabis” is a term that encompasses hundreds of different strains. As if hearing the various names of different strains wasn’t enough, you might be even more surprised to learn that they don’t all do the same thing. Different strains produce different outcomes. So, how do you know what strains have what effects? Here’s what you need to know.
Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid?
One of the first things you might notice about a cannabis product is its label. The label gives you all sorts of information, including the strain name and whether it’s a Sativa, Indica, or hybrid. Along with providing you some basic information about the physical characteristics of the particular plant, these categories can also provide you with a bit of information regarding what you can expect.
Sativa strains are generally uplifting and energizing strains. They clear your mind and inspire creativity. Indica strains, on the other hand, are calming and relaxing strains. They ease your muscles and can make you feel one with your sofa. Hybrids are a mix of the two. They exhibit traits from both of their parent strains, giving you a mix of a head high and a body high. Not all hybrids are evenly split, though. Some lean more heavily one way or the other.
The Plant’s Cannabinoid Makeup
Every cannabis plant has what are called cannabinoids. These are the main compounds responsible for producing a variety of health benefits. Even if you’re new to cannabis, you’ve no doubt heard of THC and CBD. These are the top two most abundant cannabinoids in every strain. Currently, we know that there are more than 120 different ones, including:
CBN – pain relief, sedative, anti-inflammatory, neuroprotectant
CBC – antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, acne fighter
CBG – treats inflammatory bowel disease, anti-bacterial, anti-cancer
THCV – appetite suppressant, stimulates bone growth, reduces insulin resistance
Different plants can have different cannabinoid profiles. As such, one strain might be particularly effective at reducing pain and inflammation, while another might be perfect for depression or PTSD.
The Terpene Profile
Along with cannabinoids, different strains of cannabis also have various terpenes. These are the compounds that give each strain its unique aroma and flavor. Not only that, but they also play a role in some of the effects you feel. For instance, limonene and beta-caryophyllene can boost your energy. Myrcene, linalool, and terpinolene can all trigger sedative effects.
Again, every product label will provide you with some information regarding the terpene profile of the plant. If you’re wondering what kind of experience you can expect, make sure that you take a look at the terpenes as well as the cannabinoids in any product you’re considering.
Finding a Strain that Meets Your Needs
There are hundreds of cannabis strains on the market. And yes, different strains produce different outcomes. Knowing what to choose, especially when you’re new to using cannabis in any form, can present a challenge. Determining your specific needs and what you’re trying to achieve can help to simplify the process. Once you figure out these pieces of information, you’ll be able to select strains with ease.