Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain for Your Medical Condition

With over 800 varieties out there, choosing the right strain for your medical condition can be a daunting task. Your doctor can’t or won’t help you, your friends don’t have your condition, and the effect of the plant can vary greatly depending on the consumer.

How can you know what’s right for you?

This post will give you three guidelines for choosing the right strain for your medical condition.

Three Guidelines for Choosing the Right Strain

THC Is Powerful, But Not on its Own

The cannabis plant’s best-known component is THC, and many patients think it will dictate your experience. The reality is more complicated.

choosing the right strain cannabinoid molecules

THC is just one of several dozen cannabinoids in the cannabis plant, which collectively impact your health. Other common cannabinoids, like CBD, CBN, THCv, and CBDa, have also been shown to have medicinal properties, though more research is needed to determine just how they can impact us.

Follow Your Nose

You may have noticed that cannabis is known for having a strong smell and taste. What you may not know is that these smells and tastes vary, sometimes dramatically, depending on the strain and quality of the cannabis.

These distinctive aromas are created by terpenes—oils produced by the cannabis plant. Like cannabinoids, the terpene composition varies by strain but is easier to judge based on flavor and aroma.

choosing the right strain terpenes limonene bud on lemon

For example, strains that smell like lemon and pine are exhibiting the terpenes Limonene and Pinene. This often means that the strain will be energizing. In contrast, strains with a musky and earthy aroma may be rich in the terpene Myrcene, which is associated with more sedative, indica-dominant effects.

Understanding terpene profiles can fine-tune your ability to identify strains with particular attributes. However, it takes time, experience, and guidance from experts at your local dispensary to become familiar with what will work for you. Make notes of what you like and share that information at your dispensary. Learning the history of your favorites will help you discover strains with similar qualities.

Trust Your Source

Strain names can sometimes give you a hint for what a strain will do for you. For example, strains with “Purple” in their name will likely be more sedating. Strains with “Haze” may be more energizing. These generalizations should not be taken as definitive, though. There are examples of growers accidentally or purposefully mislabeling cannabis flower, especially in the illicit market. That’s when buying from a reputable dispensary becomes even more important. Regulations instituted by medical legalization help ensure that you’re getting what you pay for and that your products have been tested.

choosing the right strain bud in vial

Besides reliability, three other benefits dispensaries like Sunburst Pharm offer patients is knowledgeable sales associates (a.k.a budtenders), safety, and the availability of a large selection of products. We know patients appreciate knowing what they’re buying and take comfort in the fact that the products on the shelf are cultivated specifically for medical use and lab tested for safety and potency. Plus, it helps them better manage their dosing!

Our staff is ready to help you find the right strain or cannabis product to help you manage your condition or alleviate symptoms. Stop by our Cambridge dispensary or check out our online dispensary menu to learn more.