Indica, Sativa and Hybrid Strains – What is the difference?

 

  There are over 1000 different strains of cannabis that have evolved over that last several decades with constant new developments thanks to the wonderful breeders trying to increase the quality and targeting specific issues someone may have. These strains are commonly divided into 3 main categories: Sativa, Indica and Hybrids. It is important for someone using cannabis for medical purposes to know the difference between them to better treat or help with symptoms of specific ailments or conditions.

  Let’s start with Cannabis Sativa. Sativa strains generally originate in the equatorial regions for example: Thailand, Southern India, Jamaica and Mexico to name a few. The Sativa plants grow to be quite large in size, about 8-15 feet, and they require more light and do take longer to grow and mature compared to the Indica plant. Commonly the colour of the plant are a lighter shade of green, with buds growing along the length of the branches. Typically the buds weigh less than the Indica due to lower density, and normally take anywhere from 60-90 days to fully flower. The leaves on the Sativa plant are long and thin and contain lower CBD and higher THC amounts. Sativas are know to give the feelings of being “High” or having a head high. It is considered to give increased energy, productivity, and alertness. Sativas are helpful with treating Anxiety and Depression, Chronic pain, ADHD, HIV/AIDS, Glaucoma, Alzheimer’s Disease, Mood swings, Stress Relief, Concentration, Creativity and increases Serotonin. Typically a Sativa is consumed during the day.

  Next let’s talk about Cannabis Indica. Most varieties or strains of Indica come from Central Asia and the Indian Subcontinent like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Northern India, Tibet, Nepal and so on. Indica plants are smaller in size, about 2-6 feet in height and bush like. The leaves are wide  and thick and contain higher CBD and lower THC that the Sativa. The buds are dense and heavily fragrant, growing in clusters around the nodes of the stems and branches with short spaces in between clusters. The Indica plant is deeper in colour and typically takes 45-60 days to fully flower which is much sooner than the Sativa. The Indica strain is know for the feeling of being “Stonned” or giving a full body high, which is why this strain is considered a night time Cannabis. This strain helps with  treatments of Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Sleep Apnea, Parkinson’s, Arthritis, Crohn’s Disease, PMS, Epilepsy, Inflammation, Anxiety disorders including OCD, PTSD and Panic Disorders, Insomnia, Nausea, Physical and Mental pain, and Headaches. It increases relaxation and dopamine making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep and help increases appetite.

  Hybrid plants are a combination of two different strains of cannabis that theoretically possess the most beneficial medical properties of both strains. Normally breeders cross two strains in an attempt to deliver the best possible benefits to specific needs. Breeders can choose to combine Indica and Sativa together, or two Indicas and 2 Sativas together. When a strain displayed the name Indica Dominant or Sativa  Dominant, it means the Hybrid contains contains more of one parents traits than the other. The look and traits of the plant are all dependant on the strains combined.  Often the strains are labeled with a sativa/indica ratio like 60/40 Sat/Ind, other times only a percentage eg. 70% Indica and 80% SativaSativa Dominant Hybrids give a cerebral high with relaxing body effects along with the medical and mental relief. Even Hybrids are the ideal strain for people seeking a perfect blend between body and head high.  Indica Dominant Hybrid provide a full body pain relief with relaxing head high. Recommended for night time to sleep or day time for minor pain. It is a great choice for people suffering from autoimmune diseases and depression.

Cannabis Ruderalis is another species of cannabis whose potential benefits have only begun to be explored. This species of cannabis grows wild in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia, so it is accustomed to colder weather. Ruderalis plants contain lower percentages of THC, but are frequently cross-bred with Sativa strains to produce plants that grow short like Ruderalis, and can bear the weather of outdoor grows up north where Sativa strains can not usually flourish. These Hybrids are known as auto-flowering strains, because of the short flowering period that Ruderalis carries with it 2-3 weeks after germination. The strains are typically more resistant to insect infestation and disease pressures, and are thought to have high CBD content. The whole life span of these plants can be as short as 7 weeks long, and are relatively simple to grow, which has made them more popular among home growers.

How THC Works In The Body

 

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is a chemical compound found in cannabis that gives you the feeling of being “high”. There are multiple different strains of cannabis, and each on will give you a different sensation or feeling.

THC has many medical benefits like: PTSD, Neuropathic and Chronic pain, Insomnia, Nausea, Inflammation, Arthritis, Migraines, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Glaucoma, Alzheimer’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, ADHD, Sleep Apnea, and Appetite loss to name a few.

There are many different ways of taking THC products, like edibles, tinctures, and even topical treatments, however the most common way is to smoke it. Vaporizers heat cannabis to vaporize its active ingredients without burning, which makes an inhalable alternative to smoking. When cannabis is ingested, it enters the stomach and the blood there absorbs it. It then travels to the liver and from there to the rest of the body. THC is absorbed slower this way in comparison to smoking, the levels of THC are lower however the effects last longer. When cannabis is inhaled, it goes directly into your lungs where it is absorbed into your bloodstream which goes to your brain and then to the rest of your body. It is the quickest way to get the THC into your bloodstream.

The purpose of your lungs are to take in oxygen and remove carbon dioxide as a waste product, this process is called “gas exchange”. Lungs are a pair of spongy air filled organs located on either side of your chest or thorax. the windpipe or trachea, conducts air that has been inhaled into the lungs through it tubular branches called bronchi. The bronchi is divided into smaller and smaller bronchioles that finally become microscopic. The air then travels the the Alveoli. These alveoli line the lungs by the millions, this is where the “gas exchange” happens. The surface area of the alveoli is greater that the skin which makes it easy for the THC to enter the bloodstream. Lungs absorb smoke within seconds of it being inhaled.

The brain tells your systems to resist foreign substances, but since cannabinoids have a place in the brains working, it allows them to enter. THC typically reaches the brain seconds after inhalation and begins to work right away. Neurons are the cells that process information in the brain. Chemicals called neurotransmitters allow neurons to communicate with each other, they fill the gap, or synapse between two neurons and bind to protein receptors which allows areas in the body and brain to be turned off. Some neurons have thousands of receptors that are specific to particular neurotransmitters. Chemicals like THC, can copy or block actions of neurotransmitters and interfere with normal functions. Short-term memory, coordination, learning and problem solving are all areas of which your brain’s cannabinoid receptors can affect both physically and mentally. Anandamide are neurotransmitters that activate the cannabinoid receptors. Like THC, anandamide is a cannabinoid, however its one your body makes. THC copy’s actions of the cannabinoid receptors and activates neurons which causes effects on the body and mind

 When THC binds to the receptors, it leads to deep relaxation reducing nerve pain and muscle spasms , reduced pain and inflammation, and boosts your appetite. THC can cause some side effects including sedation, dizziness, dry mouth, short term memory loss and increased heart rate. Anxiety and paranoia are commonly reported however when THC and CBD are consumed together, These side effects are much smaller or not experienced at all.

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CBD and ADHD

 

 

    ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and is a neurodevelopmental disorder, a syndrome of the brain that affects executive functioning skills which includes important functions like attention, concentration, memory, motivation and effort, learning from mistakes, impulsivity, hyperactivity, organization and social skills to name a few. Some examples are wasting energy on things that really don’t matter, unable to complete important tasks because they are unable to focus, jumping from one shiny object to the next, increased anxiety, and overthinking things. Due to genetics, this disorder is caused by chemical and structural differences in the brain.

   Treatment for ADHD is most commonly a combination of medication and Behaviour Therapy. Behaviour Therapy can teach people coping skills and strategies, learn how to focus, and how to change or redirect their line of thinking.  Learned behaviours can overcome some of the symptoms of ADHD, and most adults can function without medication. Some of the side effects associated with ADHD medications consist of :

  • Sleeping problems
  • Decreased appetite
  • Delayed growth (children)
  • Headaches
  • Stomachaches
  • Rebound irritability when medication wears off
  • Tics
  • Moodyness
  • Irritability

 If you have ADHD, taking control of you anxiety can be a huge step towards improving you ADHD. CBD oil can boost your mental clarity and can help the way you feel on any given day. Some people have noticed after taking CBD: Effects from taking it happen instantaneously, they had less mental resistance, improved communication with other people and being more talkative, not thinking about “stuff”, feelings of living in their body and not living in they head, nerves were calmed, no brain fog, feel more connected to others, important tasks were being completed as opposed to being side tracked and less irritability towards other people and themselves.

How can CBD and THC help with your Arthritis

 

  Arthritis affects 1 in 5 Canadians everyday. The two most common kind of arthritis are:

  • Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): a disease where a persons body attacks their joints, causing inflammation. it commonly affects the hands and feet amd leads to painful, swollen and stiff joints
  • Osteoarthritis (OA): a degenerative disease that affects joint, cartilage and bones causing paint and stiffness, most commonly in the hips, knees and thumb joints.

  CBD affects your immune system, which naturally makes it helpful for an autoimmune conditions like RA. Studies published in the Journal Rheumatology from DR. Sheng-Ming Dai of China’s Second Military Medical University found that CB2 receptors are found in unusually high levels in the joint tissue or arthritis patients. The use of cannabis is shown to fight inflammation in the joints by activating the pathways of the CB2 receptors.

  But it’s not just CBD that can lend a helping hand. “Chronic pain is a symptom of rheumatoid arthritis, and when it comes to chronic pain, we have 9,000 patient years of data showing that THC [the active ingredient in cannabis] effectively treats it,” says Jahan Marcu, PhD, the Chief Scientific Officer for Americans for Safe Access, an organization devoted to the legalization of cannabis for therapeutic use. “Cannabinoids stop the transmission of pain and decrease inflammation, and that’s very important for people with joint issues.” On a basic level, THC is anti-inflammatory and analgesic (it kills pain), and it’s also known to reduce the anxiety and depression that goes with diseases (especially ailments that are cause a loss of mobility like rheumatoid arthritis). Have you ever read about how smoking weed can cause seizure patients to relax? Based on similar physiological principles, people with chronic pain and stiff joints may find that their body naturally loosens when using marijuana.

  Essentially, all of these scientific studies support one of the key principles of medicinal marijuana: that both non-psychoactive CBD and psychoactive THC work wonders for those suffering from joint pain.

  People have been using marijuana as a source of pain relief for thousands of years. Gooey Rabinski, an aptly named author considering he writes about that sweet Mary-Jane, writes, “Until the dawn of the 20th century, pot—albeit in tincture form, not smoked—was the primary form of pain killer in the United States. One hundred years ago, if a young girl skinned her knee, she was given a marijuana tincture, not an orange and white Bayer aspirin.”

  THC is omnipresent, but CBD has been historically more difficult to come across. However, in the contemporary golden age of cannabis culture, CBD is readily available to be vaped, smoked, applied topically, or taken as a tincture.

  One thing’s for sure: for those suffering from chronic pain in their joints, a little bit of chronic can go a long way. Give CBD a shot, you might love the effects. We rely on CBD after every ski day, backpacking trip, and workout—there’s just nothing better from a natural pain relief and relaxation standpoint.

CBD andAutism

 

Many people are now familiar with the videos of children with seizure disorders being calmed and treated completely with cannabis. Similarly, we are beginning to see more and more “anecdotal evidence” that CB2 receptor is found to help the management of autism. In fact, a 2013 study at the Second University in Naples, Italy in association with the Medical School at Stanford University in California found that a malfunctioning or otherwise unhealthy endocannabinoid system may contribute to autism. 

The Autism Research Institute has described that the use of medical marijuana has had improved symptoms such as  “anxiety, aggression, panic disorder, generalized rage, tantrums, property destruction and self-injurious behaviour.” The aforementioned 2013 study in Italy by Dr. Piomelli and Dr. Manzoni has revealed critically important discoveries about the “Bliss Molecule” anandamide and how cannabis compounds like CBD and THC can be used to stimulate imbalances in the body’s endocannabinoid system and directly helping to treat autism patients in the process. They are both consider Cannabis as an optimal contributor to scientific approaches to the disorder.

The endocannabinoid system is not only important in regulating healthy behavior, it is now being shown to improve dysfunctional behaviours characterized in autistic patients. Our body’s endocannabinoid system also produces oxytocin which is essential in learning and social behavior. The chaos characterized by the Autism spectrum appears to be calmed significantly by inducing natural cannabinoids to out system. According to Dr.Bernard D. Rimland from the Autism Research Institute, the research and studies all show the need to take advantage of “relatively safe drugs like marijuana.. the reports we are seeing from parents indicate that medical marijuana often works when no other treatments, drugs or non-drugs, have helped.”

CBD and Anxiety

 

 

Anxiety-related disorders affect a huge segment of our population – 3 million Canadians (11.6%) aged 18 years or older. In response, Pharmaceutical companies have developed numerous drugs to treat anxiety-related disorders, from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac and Zoloft to tranquilizers ( the most popular class being benzodiazepines such as Valium and Xanax)

CBD has powerful anti-anxiety properties. Administered acutely (“as needed”), it is safe, well-tolerated, and may be beneficial to treat a number of anxiety-related disorders, including:

  • Panic Disorders
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Social Phobia
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
  • Mild to moderate Depression

  Researchers noted: “The fast onset of antidepressant action of CBD and the simultaneous  anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects would solve some of the main limitations of current antidepressant therapies.”

  In a study researchers found: After consuming CBD, participants reported a significant decrease in anxiety. Researchers validated patients subjective reports by preforming brain scans showing  cerebral blood flow patterns consistent with an anti-anxiety effects. In another small study, researchers had patients preform a simulated public speaking test. Participants reported significantly less anxiety, findings reported by objective anxiety indicators like heart rate and blood pressure. researchers concluded, “[CBD] significantly reduced anxiety, cognitive impairment, and discomfort in their speech performance,” whereas the placebo group experienced “higher anxiety, cognitive impairment, [and] discomfort.”

CBD and Heart Disease

  CBD relaxes the arterial walls of the Heart. Studies have shown that CBD help in relaxing the arterial walls. This lessons tension within the blood vessels. While relaxing the arterial walls, it protects arteries against inflammation. Using CBD has been proven effective as a way of reducing metabolic issues of increased glucose responses that are present in most heart disease sufferers. That because it decreases the permeability of the wall.

  Heart Disease can cause inflammation- CBD can relieve that. There is a lot of inflammation in heart disease patients. New studies show that the anti-inflammatory and immune modulating abilities of CBD coupled with its antioxidant effects provide protection to the heart against tissue damage, This damage occurs when the condition leads to lack of blood and oxygen supply. Additionally, CBD provides protection to the heart against cardiomyopathy. This is a condition that causes thickening and hardening as well as eventual limitation of blood flow. Studies have shown that CBD stops the production of endotoxin. These are pro-inflammatory cytokines that cause progression of the heart condition. As such, by inhibiting their production, CBD helps in the therapeutic aid of the heart disease.

  CBD Could Help With Arterial Plaque Reductio.  Arterial plaque is usually a significant factor in the therapeutic aid of the heart disease. Thats because once plaque builds up on the arterial walls, it hinders the heart from pumping blood properly. CBD had been proven effective in decreasing plaque adhesion on the arterial walls. This is very important since the heart disease progresses when the plaque continues to build up on the arterial wall.

Hemp seed oil VS CBD oil

  Hemp seed oil and CBD oil are similar in some ways however there are some important differences. First lets take a look at what they are and how to distinguish the two.

 What is Hemp seed oil? Hemp seed oil is extracted from the seed of the hemp plant, the seeds contain as much as 50%of their weight in oil. While it can be extracted from all of the plants in the cannabis family, industrial hemp is the only plant this oil is made from, this kind of hemp is specifically produced industrially and the amount of psychoactive substances that are contained are minimal.

 Hemp seed oil is used for making things like lotions and soaps and is a great moisturizer for after the shower. It can be used as a base for different forms of plastic instead of using a petroleum and can even be used in the production of paints that are more eco-friendly than petroleum based paints. Hemp oil is amazing to use in cooking, it can give a nice nutty and crispy taste to you food like in a salad or can be used in replacement of all other vegetable oils.

 What is CBD oil? CBD is one of the most vital components of marijuana. CBD is the short form of the term cannabidiol oil. Cannabidiol is the natural component of both hemp or cannabis. CBD oil is cannabis oil that has a significant content of cannabidiol and is made from flower, leaves and stalks of the plant, not from the seed. The extraction methods vary, but the safest known process is the oil based method, where the plant is soaked in a carrier oil- typically hemp or olive- to separate the components. Contrast this with the unsafe solvent-based approach that pushes butane, hexane or alcohol through the plant to extract the chemicals. Larger better funded operations may also use opt to use a CO2-based approach which places the material under high pressure. This method offers the safest alternative and produces the purest end product.

  CBD is used most in the medical marijuana industry to help various conditions without the typical intoxicating effects of marijuana. Some things CBD can be used for is the treatment of cancer, inflammation, anxiety, depression, chronic pain, seizures, neurodegenerative disorders and so much more. CBD can be put into many things to get results for example soaps, lotions, salves, tinctures, food and candy, shampoos and capsules to name a few, depending on the issue you are trying to treat.

  Hemp and Marijuana are cousins in the plant world but marijuana has a much higher THC content than hemp. Hemp contains low levels of CBD– typically less that 25 parts per million, while CBD oil can have up to 15 percent CBD. Unlike CBD, Hemp has a strong nutritional value, as it is high in polyunsaturated fats like Omega-6 and Omega-3 as well as Vitamin E.

 

CBD and Parkinson’s

  The endocannabinoid system and digestive imbalance play major roles in Parkinson’s disease. Research on CBD, THC and THCV has a demonstrated that cannabis medicine may help PD symptoms.

While current Parkinson’s medication seeks to redress the depletion of dopamine, the main focus of current cannabinoid research is into the neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the plant. Even the US Federal Government has patented cannabinoids as neuroprotectants and antioxidants for the treatment of diseases of the central nervous symptoms. It is a powerful antioxidant, that CBD shows most promise for Parkinson’s. CBD scavengers the free radicals that cause oxidative stress, commonly believed to be a precursor to Parkinson’s.

Other properties that make CBD a potentially preferred therapeutic aid for Parkinson Disease include:

  • Immune modulation
  • It is an anti-arthritic agent
  • It has anxiolytic properties
  • It is an anti-convulsant
  • It is an anti-inflammatory agent
  •  It has antiemetic effects
  • It has antipsychotic effects

    Studies have shown that when patients with Parkinson’s disease use CBD as a therapeutic aid, they show improvements in sleep, pain, bradykinesia, tremors, rigidity, motor impairments, and disability. Additionally, CBD helps in the reduction of pain and motor symptoms within 30 minutes of administration. The fact that CBD is anxiolytic enables it to improve mood and sleep patterns while decrease sufferers.