All about cannabis strains
Although cannabis has been used for thousands of years, with the original plant being thought to have originated in Central Asia, the majority of our current hybrid varieties of cannabis are extremely different to this ancient ancestor.
The multitudinous different varieties of cannabis, known as strains, have developed over time due to selective breeding and the different environments in which the seeds of the original plant variety were grown in.
Indeed, despite originating in Central Asia, cannabis seeds were transported and planted all across the world by travellers from years ago, with these seeds then ending up in practically every continent. Once planted and grown in these different environmental conditions, the plants adapted and mutated to their new growing conditions, resulting in a number of different strains.
These strains, which are indigenous to their particular environment and developed their difference from the original plant types naturally, are known as landrace strains and still exist today. These landrace strains have different compound constitutions due to the environment’s impact on the original plant varieties, with these strains therefore having differing terpene and cannabinoid make-ups.
Additionally, different cannabis strains have developed as horticulturists have specifically interbred different varieties of the plant to garner specific effects. This crossbreeding takes place as growers use pollen from one strain of cannabis to pollinate another strain. The seeds of the pollinated plant then become a new variety – meaning when growers selectively breed two plants with specific desired traits, it is hoped that the resultant plant will then exhibit these combined qualities.
In years past, breeders typically bred cannabis strains to have a higher THC content, to elicit the psychotropic and euphoric effects of the plant when taken recreationally. Indeed, as stated in the National Geographic‘s ‘Marijuana Medicine’ edition: ‘In 1993, the average THC content of marijuana was 3 percent by dry weight. By 2008, savvy growers had managed to triple that figure. Today, there are ultrahigh THC breeds that top out at 37 percent‘.
However, more recently, with the popularisation of CBD’s many positive effects and the rise of medical cannabis use, high CBD content strains have been increasingly cultivated and used too.
At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we acknowledge the growing medical consensus that a balanced ratio between THC and CBD delivers the best therapeutic benefits. Through using medicines with a balanced ratio like this, we are able to address issues like insomnia, pain and muscle spasms through our clinic.
High CBD strains can be used for many medical conditions including treatment-resistant epilepsy and anxiety, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and colitis. Often, treatments with us will start with a CBD dominant strain, as many patients look to avoid the “high” that may come from a more THC dominant strain.
Nonetheless, THC can still act as a beneficial medicine for conditions including chronic pain and post-chemotherapy treatment, as it increases appetite and reduces nausea. It can also reduce inflammation and improve muscle control and coordination. The effects of THC dominant strains can include euphoria, positive mood and relaxation. However, we find that it’s still best to use THC along with CBD to counteract any anxiety, which sometimes results from THC dominant treatments.
Treatment with us:
Our GMC registered specialists are some of the most experienced and respected medical cannabis practitioners in the UK.
When you book an appointment with us at one of our clinics, these specialists will identify the appropriate cannabis medicine care plan and products for you after a comprehensive assessment has been carried out to determine the main symptoms that need to be targeted, what current medications you’re taking, the typical pattern of your symptoms and various lifestyle factors that we’ll need to consider like safety-sensitive occupations.
You can also be assured that we’ll monitor and adjust your medication on a regular basis to ensure that the best effects are seen with the fewest side effects possible.
To book an appointment with one of our specialists, complete our form here.