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Why Choosing a Cannabis Strain Isn't an Exact Science

Our knowledge of all things marijuana sure has increased over the last 20-30 years. For example, just think of the many different strains of cannabis. It is no longer a matter of Indica vs. Sativa. In fact, putting undue emphasis on those particular strains is to completely miss the point of developing new ones. As a Medical Marijuana user, do you prefer one or two particular strains? Some patients do. On the other hand, it has been our experience that most patients struggle to find the right strains for their symptoms. Unfortunately, choosing a cannabis strain that is right for you is not an exact science.

Forget Indica and Sativa

We have a recommendation that may sound shocking in the current Medical Marijuana environment, but here it is – forget Indica and sativa as primary indicators of the best strain for you. Scientifically, the two terms mean very distinct things. But over the years, they have been misused to the extent that people attempt to classify their preferred strains as Indica or sativa based on their own experiences.

There are so many more strains now available that the Indica vs. Sativa distinction is no longer relevant. It just doesn’t matter. What matters is the cannabinoid and terpene profile of a given product. Cannabinoids and terpenes are largely that which determine how your body responds to Medical Cannabis.

Here is something else to add to the mix: did you know that there are over a hundred cannabinoids and terpenes in a typical plant? And by the way, that’s only counting the ones we know about. There may be others that have not yet been discovered. The point is that cultivators and processes alike are constantly looking at new cannabinoid and terpene profiles to come up with better products.

Different Products, Different Effects

The biggest reason that choosing a cannabis strain isn’t an exact science is the simple fact that there are so many different strains. Combine different strains with a virtually unlimited number of cannabinoid and terpene profiles that processors can come up with, and you end up with an unimaginable array of products offering different effects.

The Cannigma website likens it to apples. When you buy apples at the grocery store, there is more to it than just red or green. You’re looking at a huge selection of varieties ranging from Granny Smith to Red Delicious and Ambrosia. And just like with cannabis, all these varieties are actually cultivars. There are more than 7,500 cultivars of edible apples.

As for the number of available cannabis cultivars, it just keeps growing. Truth be told, it is hard to say just how many there are at this point. Even if you could come up with definitive number, that number would likely change a few weeks down the road.

Choosing the Right Strain

So how do you choose the right Medical Cannabis strain for your condition? You have a couple of options. For starters, Cannigma offers a free, online tool to get you pointed in the right direction. You answer four simple questions, and the tool returns some suggestions. A second option is to have a good discussion with your Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP).

Whether you choose the online tool or advice from your PMP, don’t stop there. Write down cannabinoid and terpene profiles and then track the results as you use your medicines.

By tracking the results, you and your PMP can gradually narrow down the best cannabinoid and terpene profiles for you. You will eventually hit on those strains that do the best job of addressing your symptoms. Just remember, you’re not dealing with an exact science.

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Published February 8, 2022

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