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The Many Faces of Cannabis

What's the difference between THC and CBD? Are Hemp and Cannabis plants the same thing? Do I need Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa or does it even matter?

There are thousands of individual marijuana strains which can be a little overwhelming to new consumers but all of the different strains can be categorized as one of three groups: indica, sativa, or hybrid. If you're a wine drinker it may help you to think about cannabis as a red, white, or pink wine. Although the strains can be divided into these three groups, there are many varieties within each group just as there are many red wines, white wines, and pinks. Make sense?

Cannabis Sativa

Appearance: Tall, thin, long plants with more narrow leaves

Origins: Thailand, Southeast Asia, Colombia, Mexico

Effects: Euphoric, energetic, mood lifting, creative head high

Medicinal Benefits: Stress relief, Anti-depressant, Anti-nausea, Appetite stimulant

Possible side effects: Stronger sativas may cause increased feelings of anxiety or paranoia

Cannabis Indica

Appearance: Short, stockier, and more dense leaves than sativa with a broader appearance

Origins: Tibet, Morocco, Afghanistan

Effects: Relaxing. Body high

Medicinal Benefits: Helps treat insomnia. Relieves chronic pain and muscle spasms.

Possible side effects: Stronger indicas can cause intense body highs that have a sedating effect that leaves people so stoned they lose motivation to do much other than sink into the couch. AKA- couch-lock

You may have heard people say that "Sativas will get you high; indicas will get you stoned." Depending on how you are feeling or what type of relief you are looking for, you may find yourself reaching for one or the other. Other times, you may find that you need a blend of the two to find the relief you need. This is where the Hybrid comes to play.


You will rarely find a pure sativa or indica these days. Most strains are a hybrid of some sort but the ratios will vary. Some may be split evenly between sativa and indica, whereas others may be split 60-40, or 70-30. Just as many things, you may have to try many different strains and ratios to find what works best for you. You may prefer a heavier sativa during the day and a heavier indica at night or in the evening. Also keep in mind there are many strains so you may find that you prefer certain strains over others regardless of the split.


Cannabidiolic acid, or CBDA has recently gained a lot of attention. It is the most common phytocannabinoid produced by hemp. CBD is created from heating CBDA over time. CBD has proven to have many medicinal benefits without causing an intoxicating effect that THC has been known to cause. Strains all have a blend of CBD and THC. Some ailments, such as #endometriosis, are better treated with higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. CBD has been shown to counteract some of the unpleasant side effects of THC. You will have to experiment with what works for you as each individuals needs differ. Patients may also benefit from using pure CBD products that contain extremely low to no THC. CBD is currently legal and does not require a medical marijuana card to obtain.


Hemp and Cannabis come from the same plant but they are not the same. Both come from the Cannabis sativa plant but hemp has been used to make clothing and paper products for thousands of years. The first United States flag was made from hempen cloth. #truestory. Hemp is a pretty amazing part of the plant as nearly 25,000 products can be made from it from paper, to clothing, to windmills! It's so much more than we give it credit for.

Hempseed, which is technically a nut, qualifies as a functional food, meaning there are health benefits aside from only nutritional benefits. Hempseed has been used in Asia for both food and medicine for nearly 3 thousand years.

Despite what you may have heard, you cannot get high from smoking or ingesting hemp. Hemp contains about 0.3-1.5% THC, whereas cannabis contains much more at 3-10%. Think of hemp as the non-psychedelic cousin of cannabis and marijuana.

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