Recently the use of marijuana for medical use continues to prevail, with many patients seeking it as an alternative treatment option. Medical marijuana is more popularized by the legalization of marijuana dispensaries in many states and the wide array of marijuana delivery methods. The many ways of consuming marijuana include smoking, vaping, concentrates, tinctures, cannabis oils, ointments, and edibles.

Medical marijuana is legalized in many states for managing various ailments such as chronic pain, muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease, ALS, tremors associated with epilepsy, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. Although most people are familiar with the main strains- cannabis Sativa and indica, there is way more to consider when it comes to medical marijuana, mostly CBD and terpene profile.

Cannabinoids (CBD)

Many breeders use male and female cannabis plants to create new strains, so there are many distinctive marijuana strains in the market. Most cannabis strains contain both CBD  and THC, while hybrids have a unique blend of the two components. CBD works by interacting with special receptors in the body’s central nervous system to cause the desired effect. Hence it is known to provide relief for pain, nausea, loss of appetite, etc.

On the other hand, THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis that causes the psychoactive effect, otherwise known as the ‘high.’ CBD is vital in medical marijuana since it provides health benefits while reducing the unpleasant effects of THC, such as anxiety.


Terpenes occur naturally in cannabis like many other plants and are responsible for its distinctive smell and taste. It is okay to say that terpenes are the unsung heroes of the cannabis plant as they cause the fruity, sweet, skunky, diesel-like, earthy, and citrusy flavors of different cannabis strains.

Terpenes are essential oils secreted by the cannabis plant’s sticky glands and are necessary for what is known as the entourage effect. That means the full effect brought by the symbiosis of the components in each cannabis strain. The interaction of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids results in an enhanced effect than one compound on its own.

Scientists have so far identified more than 100terpenes in marijuana, all of which deliver a distinctive effect and feeling. Let us look at the most common variants and their effects.

  • Caryophyllene- provides pain, inflammation, and anxiety relief and comes with spic and peppery aroma.
  • Myrcene- provides sedation and muscle relaxation and comes with an earthy taste.
  • Pinene- it is an anti-inflammatory and works well against the psychoactive effects of THC. It has a pine aroma.
  • Limonene- it has anti-anxiety and stress relief properties and has a citrus flavor.
  • Linalool- provides relaxation and pain relief. It comes with a citrus and floral flavor.
  • Terpinolene- has antifungal and antibacterial properties with a fruity flavor.

Choosing the right medical marijuana strain

When exploring different medical marijuana strains, the best thing is to research or identify its CBD and terpene profile since each combination provides a unique effect. If you find out that a particular strain delivers the desired effect, identify its dominant terpene so that you can seek other strains that may give you the same desired effect.

However, ensure you seek the advice of a knowledgeable medical marijuana specialist when it comes to choosing marijuana for medical use.