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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Types of Cannabis: Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid

Daniel King

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Medical Cannabis

Medical marijuana has been all over the news recently after 33 states in the US, and many other countries around the world legalized the plant. A growing number of scientific studies backing up the use of the plant as medicine has convinced the governments of these states and countries. These experiments proved the wide range of health benefits that can be derived from cannabis. Since the legalization of this plant, you can find many health products and supplements being derived from medical cannabis.

When you shop for medical marijuana, either online or not, you might notice that the products are usually classified into three groups: sativa, indica, and hybrid. Each of these variants has a unique set of effects on the user. This article aims to clarify the differences between these three types of medical cannabis. This will give you a better understanding of the different kinds of weed, their characteristics, and the distinct therapeutic benefits that you can get from them.

Unique Traits of Sativa and Indica Plants

The term Cannabis, more commonly known as marijuana, refers to a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Cannabaceae family. It is one of the oldest crops cultivated by humans. Historians have records showing the use of this plant as early as 4,000 BC. Ancient civilizations in China and India used this plant for medicinal purposes primarily to relieve pain and to help cure other diseases.

While the exact number of species of the Cannabis genus is still disputed, two species have become popular in the scientific community: sativa and indica. They each have distinct characteristics that make them easy to distinguish from each other.

  • Sativa

Sativa plants grow well in countries near the equator where the length of the day seldom changes during the year. This plant is cultivated in countries and regions like Thailand, southern Africa, and Mexico. This plant can grow up to 20 feet tall so is better suited to outdoor cultivation. This plant takes almost six months to fully mature and, on average, it has a flowering time of between 60 and 90 days. Its leaves are thin and narrow and light green in hue.

  • Indica

Indica plants, on the other hand, are best suited to the more severe climate typically found in the mountainous regions of the Indian subcontinent (hence the name indica), Central Asia and the Middle East. Compared to sativa, indica plants are shorter and bushier, specifically adapted to enable them to survive the harsher environment. They also have high resin production to protect the leaves and trunks from turbulent conditions. This plant also matures quickly but has a shorter average flowering time (45-60 days). Its shorter growth height and flowering time make it more suitable for indoor cultivation. Unlike sativa, it has thicker and wider leaves and is darker green in color.

  • Hybrid

Just like in dogs, cats, and other pets, cross-breeding is a common phenomenon in plant cultivation. After thousands of years of cultivating the plants, pure cannabis strains, either a true indica or a true sativa variety, are a rarity nowadays. Most cannabis strains these days will be a combination of the two species and be either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant, and with the advancement in agricultural science and technology, growers can cultivate hybrid strains that are customized for different uses.

  • Ruderalis and Industrial Hemp: The Other Cannabis

While most medical journals only talk about sativa and indica, there is another type of cannabis known as ruderalis. It has physical features similar to indica. Aside from having thick foliage, it is also grown in harsher climates, like that found in the northern regions of the world such as Russia. It is the shortest cannabis variant, with an average height of 20-25 inches, and since it is grown in very cold areas, it matures early and has a fast flowering cycle.

Ruderalis contains harmful substances that can severely affect the brain. Hence, it is only cultivated by breeders and cultivators for experimentation and genetics.

Industrial hemp is a variety of the cannabis sativa plant. This plant is grown exclusively for industrial use. It can be processed and refined into different commercial items, including paper, clothing, textiles, paint, insulation materials, biodegradable plastics, biofuel, food ingredient, and animal feed.

Healing Properties of Sativa and Indica

Each species can affect the mind and body of a person differently. So, knowing the difference between the two will be very useful if you’re a patient seeking treatment using medical marijuana. According to research, here are some of the diseases and health conditions the two species can cure.

  • Sativa for Day

Scientists discovered that sativa contains substances that can uplift the mood of a person. Moreover, this plant also has chemicals that can increase the mental capacity of a person. It has properties that can improve focus and creativity and can also make a person more alert.

Because of these qualities, medical sativa is prescribed to relieve depression and attention deficit disorder (ADD). It can also be used to fight fatigue and creative blocks. It also has pain relieving qualities and can even stimulate the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, learning, sleep, and appetite. With these properties, sativa is often used during the day.

  • Indica for Night

Indica contains compounds that induce a sedative and relaxing effect on the body. It can also calm the whole body, which makes it a perfect companion for relaxation and during meditation. It has properties that relieve stress and anxiety. Indica has a drowsy effect that can induce sleep, making this plant ideal to be used at night.

Indica can relieve insomnia and anxiety attacks, and it can also provide relief for nausea and chronic pain. What’s more, it can stimulate the appetite.

  • Hybrid: Best of Both Worlds

With the help of modern science, researchers were able to produce hybrids that contain both the qualities of sativa and indica. Hybrids are classified into three types: sativa-dominant, balanced, and indica-dominant.

  • With the sativa-dominant type, users can experience an active brain while experiencing a relaxed body feeling; the sativa-dominant hybrid is often used for relaxing both mentally and physically.
  • The balanced type has an equal ratio of sativa and indica This is typically used to provide an overall beneficial effect for both the mind and the body.
  • The indica-dominant type can put your body in a sedated state, but it only has a mild effect in your mind. Indica-dominant keeps you mentally awake while you feel a calm and relaxed sensation all over your body.

When deciding which type of medical marijuana to use, you’ll first need to establish the purpose for buying the weed. Do you want your body and mind to be stimulated for the day? Then purchase the sativa. If you want an effective sleeping aid and effective pain reliever, indica would be best for you. However, if you want the best of both worlds, pick the hybrid type.

As each of these three types has a different effect on the body, be sure to select the right strain and use according to the recommended dosage. Like any medicine, an overdose can cause harmful side effects. Since all the strains can affect the mind, experts caution users to take the correct dose of marijuana to avoid complications.

CBD: The Medical Compound from Weed

The three-type classification simplifies what effects each type has on the body. However, the effects of cannabis can be more complex and confusing in real life. As mentioned above, most cannabis strains nowadays are a mixture of sativa and indica. Thus, users cannot be sure if they will get the stimulating property of sativa or the calming property of indica. To get only the healing properties of cannabis from both species, scientists extract a substance called cannabidiol (CBD), which is present in all types of cannabis, including ruderalis, and industrial hemp.

When medical marijuana experts and researchers talk about medical marijuana, they often refer to CBD. CBD is one of at least 113 cannabinoids or substances that can be extracted from cannabis. Experts believe that this liquid is responsible for all the healing properties of weed. Just recently, CBD was declared safe for medical use by the WHO. The global body also provided a list of diseases that CBD can cure. Here are some of them:

  • Treatment of pimples and other skin diseases
  • Relief for chronic pain because of CBD’s anti-inflammatory properties
  • Capacity to rewire, heal and protect the nerves
  • Relieves symptoms of neurological diseases like epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease
  • Treatment for anxiety and depression
  • Can improve the functioning of the heart and the cardiovascular system
  • Treatment for substance abuse
  • Can ease cancer symptoms

As you can see, most of these diseases are the ones cured by either sativa or indica.

Medical marijuana is now a popular medicine in the US and other parts of the world. You can now order medicinal weed online or offline. But before self-medicating with cannabis, be sure to consult a physician first to avoid experiencing the dangerous side-effects of wrong use and overdosage.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

3 Excellent Sleep Benefits with Using CBD Oil

Stacey Wellington

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CBD Oil and Sleep Benefits

Happiness consists of getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.”

Robert A. Heinlein, U.S. Science-Fiction Author

 

We live in troubled times – for some people, stressful times.

Cities on total lockdown, regular social interactions that we have taken for granted all our lives are now frowned upon (and are even being legislated against), and governments constantly talk of “flattening the coronavirus curve of infection.” And if this curve isn’t flattened, we’ll lose thousands and thousands more.

The world has never seen anything like it, certainly not on such an all-encompassing global scale, and we used to think that it was the digital age and its social media that had suddenly made our world so much smaller.

There’s plenty to concern us all, and plenty you could seriously lose sleepover.

Maybe, 3 or 4 months ago, you were even then struggling to get a good night’s sleep – things on your mind, physical pain that’s hard to manage, or anxiety and stress over those things we realize are out of our control anyway. All of these issues can contribute to a disturbed night’s rest. We’ve just had another one added now.

And maybe, just maybe, this is all water off a duck’s back to you, all this death and illness potentially on your doorstep, and nothing can affect you from that sweet moment your head hits the pillow. Lights out. See you in the morning. If you are one of these kinds of people, count yourself lucky. Many people out there will be just plain jealous of you.

Whoever you are, and whatever you feel about what’s going on around you with the coronavirus pandemic, finding a natural way to relax, especially at night, is going to be of significant benefit. For many, an appreciated and much-needed benefit – one that could drastically improve their lives, and their outlook in these troubled times.

We’ve all been there. Getting yourself into bed at a reasonable time, possibly in preparation for a testing day to follow, only to simply lie there, staring blankly at the ceiling. Sleep seems a million miles away. And, to top it all, when it does come, it’s broken and unrestful. You surface the following day feeling more tired than when you hit the hay 8 hours ago.

If this sounds like a typical scenario, maybe a little lateral thinking is called for, and maybe the use of CBD oil for better sleep will be the difference your troubled mind is looking for.

Important: If you are currently taking any form of prescription medicine, it is vital that you first consult your family physician to guard against possible negative interactions between these and the CBD oil.

What is Cannabidiol (CBD)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is one of the many cannabinoid substances found in cannabis. However, the substance itself doesn’t usually produce the “high” that cannabis smokers have long enjoyed. CBD medical studies have pointed with evidence to the fact it can be medically beneficial in treating certain neuropsychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, epilepsy, and even schizophrenia.

CBD Oil Sleep Benefits

CBD Oil and Sleep Benefits

The evidence found shows that CBD exerts a calming effect on a person’s central nervous system. It is for this very reason that new researchers have studied the effect of CBD on those will disturbed sleeping patterns.

#1. Enhanced, Deeper Sleep

Pharmacology researchers from the Department of BioMolecular Sciences at the University of Michigan specifically looked into CBD’s effect upon the daily physiological patterns of circadian rhythms in its clinical study.

Circadian rhythms are physical, mental, and behavioral changes that follow a daily cycle. Responding primarily to light and darkness in an organism’s environment, sleeping is a prime example of a circadian rhythm. Think of them as your biological clocks.

In this and other studies, CBD demonstrated a positive enhancement in subjects, with most of them reporting 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The ability to recall dreams significantly decreased, pointing to a far deeper sleep than normal, as dreams occur during the crucial REM stage of sleeping.

#2. Anti-Anxiety & Anti-Depressant Effects of CBD

As mentioned above, studies have found that CBD has a positive medical effect on those who suffer with anxiety – one of the biggest factors when it comes to disturbed sleeping. By calming the mind of the anxious person, overthinking at night is significantly reduced, and therefore enables sleep to come and, just as importantly, stay.

This calming response to the CBD also has another beneficial element – the less anxious you are, the better and clearer your cognitive thinking and rationalization skills, meaning you can resolve issues more adeptly and faster, and so allow for better sleep.

#3. Pain Management

CBD has been proven to both help rebuild brain cells and to improve the natural serotonin levels in trial subjects. Furthermore, it also affects anandamide levels and the brain’s opioid receptors. All of these are known to positively affect our perception and management of physical pain.

Many people are unable to sleep deeply and fully because they are, in some small way, easily affected by pain. With improved natural pain management, this becomes much less of an issue come lights out at night.

To recap, CBD has been proven to produce enhanced, deeper sleep, even for those who suffer from anxiety and physical pain. So, on that note, sweet dreams and sleep well.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award

Stacey Wellington

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PrestoDoctor Snags Top Cannabis Telemedicine Award

Medical tech company PrestoDoctor was awarded the title of the top cannabis telemedicine company in Missouri, said the Associated Press. The award, given during the recently concluded event MOCannBizCon+Expo, recognizes the innovation and accessibility the firm offered to the cannabis community.

PrestoDoctor co-founder and COO Rob Tankson said that the award is a result of the company participating in the telemedicine community across the United States. It is known for provided medical recommendations to more than 100,000 patients in 5 states in the country. The company entered the Missouri market only recently.

About PrestoDoctor’s participation in the Missouri cannabis community through its telemedicine services, Tankson said that it “is anticipating robust demand in the newly-opened Missouri market.” He also noted that the team is planning to “continue to meet the needs of the Missouri cannabis telemedicine community.”

The Rise of Telemedicine

Telemedicine has revolutionized the provision of medical services through remote means. In recent years, these companies are able to provide more efficient and effective recommendations with the emergence of advanced technologies. Such platforms use online tools to connect patients with qualified physicians, especially through text- and video-based communication avenues, said The Fresh Toast.

In the cannabis industry, this mode of medical services has become necessary in light of the need for recommendations from licensed cannabis medical practitioners when getting a medical marijuana card. Today, prospective MMJ patients can acquire endorsements from their physicians through telemedicine platforms.

PrestoDoctor allows patients to communicate with their “compassionate licensed physicians” and “world-class patient support team” through secure video chat. Clients can schedule appointments through the company’s website. This way, users can consult their board-certified doctors online.

When getting medical marijuana cards in states where PrestoDoctor operates, patients can set a consultation session with a PrestoDoctor physician to find out if they have qualifying conditions. After the assessment, the company will send a certification form that the patient has to accomplish.

This form, complete with a doctor’s signature, is required when applying for an MMJ card. Other documentation requirements can vary depending on the state. In Missouri, the state requires proof of residency. The Missouri Medical Marijuana Authority also charges an application fee upon submission.

When approved, the patient will receive an email notifying them of the status of their application along with instructions to access their digital MMJ card, which can be printed or save on mobile devices.

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Benefits of Medical Marijuana

JAMA Study: Number of Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise

Daniel King

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Seniors Using Cannabis On The Rise

Research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) revealed that the number of American senior citizens who consume cannabis has increased from 2015 to 2018. Market Watch said that the reasons for the increased use are unclear.

The JAMA research evaluated data of around 14,896 individuals from 65 years old and up based on records from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. These people reported using “marijuana, hashish, pot, grass and hash oil.”

According to the study, there was a 75% jump in just three years. This means that from 2.4% of the senior population who used cannabis and related products in 2015, the figure spiked to 4.2% in 2018. This is a huge leap from the mere 0.4% in 2008.

Highest among racial and ethnic minorities

An interesting finding from the research is that the highest recorded surge in marijuana consumption is among racial and ethnic minorities. According to data, there was a whopping 336% increase in use in this group.

This is followed by senior citizens who have diabetes with an increase of 180%. Other groups that showed notable spikes in marijuana consumption include seniors who were treated for mental health issues (157%), individuals with $20,000 to $49,000 income (139%), those with incomes of $75,000 and up (129%), college-educated seniors (114%), married individuals (100%), and women (93%).

Unclear reasons

In a report by Market Watch, it was noted that the researchers, headed by Dr. Benjamin Han, did not include questions a Because of this, the study did not include a conclusion as to why the respondents consumed the plant. Dr. Han, who is an assistant professor at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, said that the figures could be higher.

This is because while 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, there remains a stigma against the plant. According to the geriatric medicine and palliative care specialist, respondents could have hesitated to reveal their cannabis use.

Moreover, it is important to note that the newly-published study failed to ask medical conditions such as chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease or arthritis. Market Watch remarked that this could have provided valuable insight into the reasons for using the plant as medical marijuana is known for treating chronic and debilitating medical conditions and symptoms.

Meanwhile, Dr. Han expressed concern over possible negative interaction effects of cannabinoids with current medications taken by seniors.

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