For centuries, humans have relied on the beneficial cannabis plant to improve ailments, conditions, diseases and discomforts. There’s evidence that the ancient Romans used cannabis and that traces of cannabis pollen have been found throughout Italy. The cannabis plant still exists because of human activity, cultivation and historical usage.

There are two main species of cannabis, each offering their own benefits: Indica and Sativa. Indicas originate from the Middle East, Central Asia and Indian subcontinent and over time have migrated all over the world. The different strains of cannabis contain different blends of cannabinoids. In recent years, breeders combined both strains to create a hybrid plant.

Cannabis sativa plants look different than cannabis indica plants. The leaves on a sativa breed may be more narrow and the plants typically have a longer germination and growth period. The plants are taller than indica strains. Cannabis sativa is believed to have originated in South America and Central Asia and Thailand. Frontiers in Plant Sciencedescribed cannabis sativa as the “The Plant of a Thousand and One Molecules.” Because of its extensive uses, the plant has survived for centuries.

Cannabis sativa has been reported by patients to decrease depression, increase creativity and productivity and to feel energized. Sativa has a high THC to CBD ration which means the psychological effects may be stronger. Some of the most common conditions cannabis sativa helps are chronic pain, anxiety, depression and appetite regulation. Cannabis sativa has been credited with decreasing cancer symptoms for some patients. Most notably, this report describes that after extended use of medical marijuana, many patients decreased their opioid use.

Since an increase in the availability of medical marijuana, there has been an increase in research studies which have clearly illustrated a connection between improved health and cannabis use. Medical marijuana can be used to treat a variety of diseases and conditions. Patients who administer cannabis as part of their healthcare regime may see pain reduction, increased appetite, relaxation and more. Although most medical marijuana patients are well-informed, there is often confusion when cannabis species are discussed. Medical marijuana and cannabinoids can be used to treat a patient’s physical and psychological health, alleviating the symptoms of numerous conditions.

There are significant findings that the use of medical-grade cannabis may improve “therapeutic interventions in terms of the different ratios (THC to CBD), activating characteristics (cannabis sativa) versus sedating (cannabis indica) cannabis strains and slow (oral oils) versus fast routes (vaporized administration) of delivery.” What this means is that while there are a variety of methods available to medical marijuana patients, each strain and method will affect each patient uniquely. For patients with numerous conditions and health issues, it is possible that a combination of cannabis sativa and cannabis indica may be recommended.

Speak with your medical marijuana physician regarding which cannabis strain is right for you. If you or someone you love is experiencing health challenges, consult with a certifying physician to determine the best recommendation.

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