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How Cannabis is Shaking Up Herbal Medicine

While the current state of cannabis research offers more evidence to support the medicinal use of marijuana, many, if not most, research studies overlook one crucial concept: all strains are not created equally. The cannabis cultivated within the black market has been bred with a focus on Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the compound in cannabis that causes intoxication or the “high”. As medical marijuana has gained more traction, the cannabis grown today comes in a variety of strains with, not only with different cannabinoid content, but also a variety of terpenes. These terpenes are the compounds that are responsible for not only the variation in scent, but in effect as well. Research often fails to recognize that there is no one-strain-fits-all approach to using medical marijuana for various ailments.

Much like cannabis, terpenes bind to receptors in the brain to affect mood and attention, with different terpenes have different effects. Though the exact mechanism is not completely understood, it is believed terpenes interact with the Endocannabinoid System along the phytocannabinoids (i.e. THC and CBD). Some terpenes induce a calm, mellow feeling, causing many people to feel sleepy, while other terpenes may cause people to feel wide awake, active, and focused, regardless of the cannabinoid content. In fact, many of these terpenes are also shared with other herbs within the plant kingdom. For that reason, when planning any holistic cannabis medicine regimen, it’s best to seek advice and certification through a cannabis specialist that can guide your choice of strains.


Calming Strains

If you’re suffering from anxiety, a strain of medical marijuana with linalool might offer a solution. Linalool is a terpene, also found in lavender, that is known to have a sedating and calming effect and is great for treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Linalool is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties. An integrative physician may add lavender to your treatment program to increase your linalool ingestion.


Strains for Alertness

If, on the other hand, you’ve been feeling off balanced, depressed or sleepiness and need something that will make you feel more awake and alert, there are several varieties of cannabis that contain pinene. Pinene is a terpene also found in sage and conifers, such as pine, and is known to improve memory and alertness. Pinene has also been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping with diseases such as cancer, arthritis, Crohn’s, and multiple sclerosis. Pinene may be effective as an anti-cancer agent due to its ability to potentially shrink tumor size. An integrative approach may include adding rosemary or sage to one’s regime in an attempt to maximize the effects of pinene.


Trust A Professional

Choosing a strain of cannabis because it is generally known to contain a particular terpene is not enough. Not only do different strains contain different kinds of terpenes, but the amount of terpene could vary between harvests. Obviously, this all depends on the state in which you live and their own laws regulating medical marijuana. My integrative care can provide you with advice and certification opportunities for medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

Regardless of what ails you, if you’re looking for a more holistic and natural way to treat your ailments I can find the right combination of diet, exercise, and if necessary, medical marijuana to help you get back to being your best self. Schedule an appointment here today.