It’s important to understand the different types of marijuana. Marijuana has come a long way since the hippy era. The science of cannabis has become a subject of study for many plant biologists and chemists. Also, the technology involved in cultivating the plant is vastly more advanced. Growers now can make crops based on the chemistry of the plant itself. This allows medicinal dispensaries to offer marijuana for the treatment of a much broader variety of symptoms. These strains are grown from a few possible species of the cannabis family; cannabis sativa and cannabis indica are the two most popularly used, while cannabis ruderalis is less frequently used. These different species each have a somewhat different chemical makeup which alters their physical effect on the user. What this means for the average Floridian is that marijuana is more diversely useful than ever before.
Understanding The Chemicals at Work
Before detailing the differences between the species of marijuana and the strains within each respectively, it is important to understand the chemicals at work within the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are the active chemical compounds that compose the majority of the effects felt when using marijuana. There are few fully researched and understood cannabinoids; tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol being the two most understood.
The main psychoactive chemical in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. The strength of the marijuana’s potency is generally regarded by percentage of THC . THC is what gives marijuana users a different creative perspective.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is the cannabinoid most recognized for its medicinal benefits. CBD has no psychoactive effects. It also has anti-anxiety, anti-inflammatory, and anti-psychotic properties.
The marijuana species cannabis indica is of Asian and Middle Eastern origin. Indica strains, like Kush, Northern Lights, and Grandaddy Purple, all are noted for their strong, sleepy, “body high”, and because of this they are often favorable for nighttime use. They are great for insomnia, anxiety, pain, and loss of appetite (Top 5 Indica). Indica is good for treating those symptoms due to having a high percentage of CBD to THC.
The cannabis sativa species is popular for its clear-headed high. Originating in South America and Southeast Asia, sativa strains have a higher THC to CBD percentage than Indica. Due to its higher THC content, sativa strains are known for their clear-headed, energetic high. Sativa is great for treating depression and pain management, while also great for inspiring creativity. Since sativa strains don’t come with the sleepiness that is found in indica strains, they are more favorable for daytime use. Some key sativa strains are Durban Poison, AK 47, and Jack Herrer (Top 5 Sativa).
The third species, cannabis ruderalis, has only come into use recently. It is very low in THC, and not very easy to cultivate. It would be useful for hemp production except for the fact that it doesn’t grow very tall. Where ruderalis becomes very interesting is in the way it flowers. Ruderalis plants autoflower regardless of the light cycle, meaning they will flower without the specific light requirements found in Sativa and Indica plants. By creating a hybrid of ruderalis and sativa or indica strains growers have made useful marijuana plants that also have the autoflowering property.
Medicine In Florida
These three species of marijuana offer Florida a wealth of medicinal options. There is now the potential to offer patients strains of marijuana grown specifically for their needs, without some of the unwanted side effects that many would be concerned about. With all this information at hand it is now easily possible for Florida to grow marijuana to suit the widest selection of needs.