Photo by Kaya Blaze Kelley for Herb
High-quality cannabis has many therapeutic solutions for patients both new and experienced in pot therapy. Not all strains are the same, but it is important that you research different qualities of the plant to identify which is best for you.
The number of seniors who use cannabis and cannabis products has steadily increased over the past few years as many states legalize the use of this plant for medical and recreational purposes. A study published in the JAMA network journal in 2020 revealed that between 2015 and 2018, the number of adults aged 65 and above who use cannabis increased by 4.2%.
Many seniors turn to cannabis to treat health issues like chronic pain, inflammation, muscle spasms, insomnia, glaucoma, and so much more. Since most golden agers don’t necessarily use weed for the sole purpose of getting high, it is vital to pick strains that have the most therapeutic value.
As you may know, cannabis strains have different levels of cannabinoids and terpenes. Due to their unique cannabinoids and terpene profile, some strains may be more beneficial to seniors than others.
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There are significant differences between these species of cannabis that go beyond the obvious visual variety. There are two species of cannabis strains that are widely used today: sativa and indica.
Indica plants tend to grow shorter and bushier, offering a strong body-high that is ideal for relaxation and sleep. Sativa plants, on the other hand, grow taller and skinnier with narrow leaves offering a strong head-high that is commonly used to lift the mood and encourage creativity.
Sativa strains are generally recognized as cerebral, enhancing creativity and productivity, and energizing. These strains are ideal for daytime use, providing an uplifting experience that leaves the user feeling clear-headed and focused.
Indica strains provide a “body high” and sativa strains provide a “mind high.” Unfortunately, sativa strains grow and yield less medicine (flowers) than do indica varieties. This is why indica strains dominate the market.
Mixed or hybrid strains can be made from any two strains. In general, sativa/indica hybrids have been known for their “alert mellowness” and productivity. Medical cannabis breeders can create two sativa hybrids using two indica strains as parents or use two indica strains as parents.
Sativa is a strain that gives seniors energy. Seniors might be more motivated to perform daily activities, such as cleaning, washing laundry, and cooking if they are using sativa. Sativa also activates creativity in the brain, making menial activities more enjoyable for all.
Sativa can stimulate appetite and alleviate nausea. Sativa tends to produce a cerebral “head high” rather than a body high, so it may not relieve pain or help with aches. Sativa can improve one’s mood, so seniors may become more talkative and experience audio or visual enhancements if they are suffering from depression due to chronic pain or a terminal illness.
Indica strains are widely used as they create relaxation. Unlike sativa, they are generally used at nighttime as they cause tired or drowsy effects; they are recommended for seniors who suffer from insomnia and prefer natural sleep aids over traditional medications.
Indica is a stronger strain of cannabis than sativa. It’s useful as a pain reliever or muscle relaxant, especially for seniors with cancer, arthritis, or glaucoma. Seniors recovering from surgery may find that smoking or ingesting Indica reduces nausea and increases their appetite, preventing weight loss and frailty.
Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant hybrid strain made by crossing Blueberry with Haze. It produces cerebral stimulation and full-body relaxation. It’s 18% THC but has a low CBD percentage. Patients often use it to relieve symptoms of depression, chronic pain, and nausea.
Harlequin produces a clear headed effect without sedation or intoxication. This strain’s high CBD content makes it an effective treatment for pain and anxiety as it counteracts THC’s paranoia while amplifying its painkilling properties. Harlequin has earthy, musky flavors that range from sweet to fruitiness.
Durban Poison is a sativa strain from South Africa. It’s known for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects. Durban Poison is the perfect strain to help you stay productive or if you’re exploring outdoors or if you need some creativity. Buds are round and chunky and leave a thick resin on nearly all surfaces of the plant.
Afghani is a potent indica strain that delivers a deep state of relaxation and euphoria. The flavors Afghani produces are sweet and earthy, and it’s used to treat insomnia, pain, and stress disorders. Afghani originates from Afghanistan, where early varieties of cannabis grew.
Green Crack is an energizing sativa strain made by crossing Skunk #1 with an unknown indica. This is loved by many consumers for its sharp energy and focus. With a tangy, fruity flavor redolent of mango, Green Crack is a great daytime strain that will help you fight fatigue, stress, and depression.
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