TL;DR The most important part of cannabis as medicine is the entourage effect.
Strain selection and the entourage effect
Determining what strain may effect your specific needs should to be based on the strains terpene profile and major cannabinoid content: THC and CBD. In a perfect world your weed is full of terps and has a nice 10% or higher level of THC and a percentage of CBD. Most commercial cannabis is devoid of CBD and exceptionally high (20% or higher) in THC. This is not necessarily a problem but more of a limitation. The entourage effect is the hypothesis that cannabis works best when all of it’s compounds (THC, CBD, CBG, terpenes, etc.) are used together. This means that the strains with no CBD are not - according to the entourage effect - working as well they should.
Some classic strains bred for specific medical uses are ACDC, Charlotte’s Web and Harlequin. All of these strains are bred to contain specific terpenes and CBD and other cannabinoids and not just THC as the primary cannabinoid. These are by no means the only strains with medical use however. Some of my favorite that produce my needed effects are Girl Scout Cookies, Greek Crack (I know, the name can be off-putting but it’s fantastic), OG Kush, Granddaddy Purple to name a few. For me, I want strains that are high in or at least contain linalool as it’s an anti-convulsant. This leads me to the next subject:
My favorite terpenes
Here’s my favorite terpenes and their benefits in no specific order.
- Peppery terpene good for relieving anxiety, pain relief and inflammation. Aside from also probably making you sneeze it can also bee an anti-depressant.
- Humulene has a woody, hoppy scent and flavor. It’s good for inflammation (so good!), appetite suppression and pain relief.
- Myrcene is a musky, balsam like smell and is almost always the highest content terpene in cannabis. Myrcene calms you down and increases the efficacy of cannabis as well as a host of other effects like sleep promotion, pain relief and helps with muscle spasms.
- My favorite terpene. Smells like lavender. It’s a anti-convulsant as well as being a analgesic, helping with anxiety and being a sedative.
Using your cannabis
Smoking works, it’s not great for your lungs and there’s no control over the temperature which I find very important. Smoking is fast and easy though and I’ll never turn down a bowl. Vaping flower is a great way to use your weed and you get the bonus of using the flower you have vaped (known as AVB or ABV) for edibles. I prefer concentrates and dabbing. For me, it’s the most effective.