Sativa plants, which thrive in temperate conditions, are tall, thin plants with skinny leaves. Their higher THC:CBD ratio stimulates a cerebral effect on the brain which can energize patients and relieve fatigue. Due to their uplifting qualities, sativas are generally used during the day and are known to relieve depressive moods, fatigue, increase energy and help to improve attitude.
The indica plants, believed to have originated in the Hindu Kush region near Afghanistan, are short and stocky with thick coats of resin to protect the plant against harsh conditions. Indica strains are well known for their sedative effects, which are accompanied by a mild “head high” due to a high ratio of CBD:THC. Indica plants are commonly used as an appetite stimulant, to aid sleep and provide pain relief.
Hybrid plants result when a male plant of one strain pollenates a female plant of another strain; with the female strain remaining dominant. Hybrids are often described as having a “balancing” effect, offering attributes that both indica and sativa strains offer. Depending on which strain is dominant, hybrids are used to help control muscle spasms, alleviate insomnia, relieve anxiety and reduce inflammation.
The State of Illinois has approved several debilitating ailments that qualify patients to receive treatment using medical cannabis. Patients find discomfort in many different ways, and the chemistry behind the genetics in each strain of cannabis will result in unique therapeutic benefits for the patients in need. Every plant and strain of cannabis vary in their chemical makeup, but they all contain a substance called cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds secreted by cannabis flowers that imitate compounds that the body naturally produces, called endocannabinoids. Cannabinoids are known to provide relief to an array of symptoms including pain, nausea and inflammation. Different cannabinoids have different effects depending on which receptors they bind to in the brain (CB-1 in the brain and CB-2 in the body). Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) binds to receptors in the brain whereas cannabinol (CBN) has a strong affinity for receptors located throughout the body.