Charlotte's Web is a well known (high CBD) marijuana strain
Medical marijuana has been a breakthrough treatment option to an uncountable number of patients seeking the relief it provides for ailments that range from arthritis to migraines, seizures and even cancer. The whys behind the relief cannabis provides to some patients can be harder to understand--it's generally heavy on scientific theory but sometimes difficult to put in laymen's terms. One key reason medical cannabis could be the alternative treatment that makes a huge difference is linked to the amount of cannabidiol (CBD) that is contained in the particular type of medical marijuana strain that a healthcare provider recommends.
The Role of CBD
The two main components in marijuana are CBD and tetrahydrocannabinol, more commonly known as THC. While THC is the substance behind the way marijuana can impact a patient psychologically (such as creating heightened moods and enhanced feelings of comfort), it is CBD that can bind to certain parts of the brain in order to reduce the sensation of pain in patients, or even alleviate other common symptoms, such as nausea and spasms. This is often why practitioners prefer high CBD strains of cannabis; the mood and well-being impact of THC may be desirable, but CBD can tackle deeper issues faster and with more long-lasting results while avoiding some of the less-desirable effects of THC.
Researchers have come to recognize the important role cannabinoids may play in the treatment of life-threatening diseases like cancer. The National Cancer Institute notes that "commercially available cannabinoids … are approved drugs for the treatment of cancer-related side effects," and that while federal law has remained unchanged, a growing number of states have enacted legislation in a nod to the usefulness of cannabis in a complete medical regimen. Beyond usefulness with cancer side effects, CBD is now being explored as a treatment to hit cancer head-on.
Strains of High CBD Cannabis
The impact of CBD illustrates why practitioners and patients prefer high CBD strains of medical marijuana. All medical marijuana is not created equal, and that makes it important to explore available strains in order to find the right match for the illness and the symptoms being addressed. One particularly potent strain, called Charlotte's Web, is named for a child it most notably helped after a long struggle with seizures. In addition to a high concentration--20 percent--of CBD, Charlotte's Web has a low enough concentration of THC that it's considered hemp instead of cannabis.
Another high-concentration strain of medical marijuana is called Harlequin. This strain has been found effective by patients in the treatment of pain, stress, anxiety, depression and inflammation. Depending upon how it is distilled, Harlequin cannabis can contain between eight and 16 percent CBD, running only slightly lower than Charlotte's Web. However, it has a 5-to-2 ratio of CBD to THC, which means that this strain minimizes the effects of medical marijuana that patients often seek to minimize.
Patients and practitioners can also consider Avidekel, a strain of marijuana developed in Israel and reported by researchers at Hebrew University to treat people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and heart disease. In fact, Hebrew University researcher Ruth Gallily says that Avidekel, which contains less than 16 percent CBD, has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties. Because so many illnesses are exacerbated by inflammation, this particular strain can have very broad applicability between patients who range across the medical spectrum.
Sour Tsunami, another strain of medical cannabis that is high in CBD concentration, was one of the initial types of marijuana bred specifically for CBD versus THC. Naturopathic doctors, like Dr. Jake Felice, have seen Sour Tsunami make a world of difference in patients battling irritable bowel syndrome. As a hybrid of two other strains--Sour Diesel and NYC Diesel--Sour Tsunami's concentration of CBD is around 11 percent, with THC measuring slightly lower.
In addition to these four strains of medical marijuana that test high in CBD concentration, numerous others are available to therapeutic consumers in markets where cannabis has been legalized for use. They include Cannatonic, Trident, Remedy, Zen and many more. These strains all feature a different ratio of THC to CBD. Depending on the ailment being fought, some patients benefit from either a higher or lower concentration of THC alongside CBD. While CBD interacts with pain receptors in the body and in the brain, a particular patient's condition may also benefit from the psychotropic effects of THC. This can be particularly true in later-stage diseases or diseases that are highly complicated in nature.
Ratios of THC to CBD and specific concentrations of these compounds in medical marijuana should be discussed carefully with a patient's medical provider. Only after careful evaluation - and sometimes trying different variations - can the right type of cannabis be found to provide healing or relief.