Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Sativa and Indica?
- The Short Answer: Indica strains are better for relaxing and falling asleep, Hybrid strains are good for daytime pain relief and an overall sense of wellbeing. Sativa strains are good for uplifting mood and focus.
- Indica terpenes: Myrcene, Terpineol, and Linalool. If you see these terpenes listed first, they will deliver a relaxing experience.
- Sativa terpenes: Limonene, Terpinolene, Pinene. If you see these terpenes listed first, they will deliver an uplifting effect.
- Entourage effect explained
The theory is that all compounds in cannabis work together, and when taken in combination, they produce a better effect than when taken alone. The hemp plant contains more than 100 different compounds called cannabinoids and terpenes that can interact with your endocannabinoid system. Your endocannabinoid system works to keep your body in homeostasis, or balance. Its purposes range from neuroprotection to regulation of your immune system, impacting things like appetite, sleep, mood, and pain.
CBD & THC are the 2 most popular cannabinoids. Other cannabinoids like CBN, CBC, CBA, CBG, and THC and terpenes such as myrcene, pinene, limonene, and caryophyllene, are also naturally present in cannabis and play a supportive role. Research has shown that taking a precise, balanced formulation of these cannabinoids and terpenes is more effective than taking even the highest quality CBD or THC alone. This is due to an interaction between the cannabinoids and terpenes called “the entourage effect.”
In the world of CBD products, this means that in order to experience optimal health benefits you will want to find full-spectrum CBD products. If you can’t take THC, look for broad-spectrum CBD products. CBD Isolate will not provide the same effects, as it contains only the CBD cannabinoid. This also means that you’ll want to buy from a trusted manufacturer who balances their products with a scientifically-based amount of cannabinoids, flavonoids, and terpenes.
- Minor Cannabinoids: CBG – CBN – CBDa – THC D8/9
CBDa – All cannabinoids are bound by an acidic chain when they are grown on the plant, in order for us to feel the benefits, that “a” needs to be broken down by a process called decarboxylation. If you’ve ever tried to eat a raw bud, you’ll know from experience that nothing will happen to you (due to the intact acidic chain). Once decarboxylation occurs, the cannabinoid is ready to consume and take effect. The vast majority of reputable CBD companies will decarboxylate the cannabinoids in the extraction process so this is not something the consumer needs to worry about.
Like CBD, CBG has been used to combat pain without having the intoxicating effect of cannabinoids like THC. CBG is the mother cannabinoid, in other words, all cannabinoids start as CBG before molecularly shifting to CBD, THC, and other cannabinoids.
While the research on CBG is limited, studies do exist that suggest that it offers several benefits.
CBG may be able to improve the following health conditions:
Inflammatory bowel disease. CBG seems to reduce the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease, according to a 2013 study conducted on mice.
Glaucoma. Medical cannabis seems to effectively treat glaucoma, and CBG might be partly responsible for its efficacy. A study published in 2008 suggests that CBG might be effective in treating glaucoma because it reduces intra-ocular pressure.
Bladder dysfunctions. Some cannabinoids seem to affect the contractions of the bladder. A 2015 study looked at how five different cannabinoids affect the bladder, and it concluded that CBG shows the most promise at treating bladder dysfunctions.
Huntington’s disease. CBG might have neuro-protective properties, according to a 2015 study that looked at mice with a neurodegenerative condition called Huntington’s disease. The study concluded that CBG might show promise in treating other neurodegenerative conditions.
Bacterial infections. A 2008 study suggests that CBG can kill bacteria, particularly methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which causes drug-resistant staph infections. These infections can be hard to treat and fairly dangerous.
Cancer. A 2014 study looked at colon cancer in rats and concluded that CBG might reduce the growth of cancer cells and other tumors.
Appetite loss. A 2016 study on rats suggested that CBG could stimulate the appetite. Appetite-stimulating chemicals could be used to help those with conditions such as HIV or cancer. CBG is known to provide a more uplifting effect compared to CBD.
CBN can be understood as a weaker version of THC. When THC components found in the cannabis plant age, they break down. This leads to the formation of a less potent cannabinoid called CBN. It’s about 25% as effective as THC, which makes it a mild chemical.
Unlike CBD, which is entirely non-psychoactive, CBN in larger doses can produce mild psychoactive reactions.
CBN has been shown to have sedative properties that could relieve conditions like insomnia. However, more research is required.
- Pain relief.
In a study of rats, CBN use showed relief in muscle and joint pain conditions like fibromyalgia. The study also noted that pain relief was better when CBD and CBN were used together.
Neuroprotective properties. One 2005 study found that CBN could help delay the onset of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that affects cells in the brain and the spinal cord. CBN was given in small amounts for a period of 12 weeks. However, more research is required in this area.
- Delta 8 vs Delta 9 THC
THC as the world knows it is scientifically known as Delta-9 THC. Found in traditional cannabis, this cannabinoid is intoxicating and mind-altering. It is sold to the public in states that have legalized recreational cannabis, and to medical patients in other states.
Delta-8 THC is an isomer of Delta-9 THC that is produced from the hemp plant in the extraction process, making it federally legal. The effects are about half of traditional THC but it feels very similar. It is important to note that while it is federally legal via the 2018 farm bill, some states have made their own laws to restrict its sale. We recommend starting with 10mg if you are new to THC.
- What are strains?
Cannabis and hemp are incredibly unique, in fact, every single plant (that’s not a clone) will produce a slightly different effect. As you may know from trying cannabis or hemp in the past, every experience is a little different. Why is that? The answer lies within the active ingredients. Just like humans, each seed will produce a different genetic makeup, with traits derived from its lineage. In order to better understand strains, it is important to look back to the origin of cannabis.
From human’s earliest records, you will find excerpts of how cannabis was used in different cultures. For example, in the great Hindu mountains cannabis was used as a sedative and pain reliever (Indica). However, near the equator in Panama, cannabis was used as a stimulant (Sativa). How can the same plant be used in such different capacities? When cannabis was born, it adapted to its environment and only the plants fit for the local conditions would survive. Since we know that cannabis has the potential to host an incredibly vast amount of terpenes, and certain terpenes grew in certain environments, we ascertained that these terpenes are the driving factor for how cannabis can be used in different ways.
Fast forward thousands of years to today, cannabis has been taken from its homelands and hybridized in a million ways making it much harder to distinguish which strains will have which effects. Sativa and Indica used to describe the shape and effect of cannabis but since we’ve made so many crosses of the two, it is increasingly difficult to predict each plant’s effects, especially because each seed will have a slightly different molecular make-up, even if its the “same strain”.
So if Indicas and Sativas have been hybridized, and each seed will grow a strain with different effects than the last, how do we know how to pick the right strain or product for our needs? Answer: terpene + Cannabinoid lab test. Understanding each cannabinoid and terpene and its effects is the only way to be sure you are getting exactly what you want. Once you learn what each cannabinoid and terpene does, you can look to the COA (certificate of analysis) and match your needs to the active ingredients in any product.