Which pot works?

A refresher on how cannabis can remedy symptoms

SN&R’s covered this story before, but it’s worth repeating: Different tokes for different folks. Here’s a look at what cannabis can accomplish.

Pain: Patients commonly report that pot doesn’t actually eliminate pain, rather, weed dethrones it. As Americans for Safe Access San Francisco patient advocate David Goldman pointed out, the pain is still there, but it’s not as insistent or overwhelming. “The person is no longer obsessed with it,” Goldman explained. “Part of the misery of pain and suffering is the obsessing about it. You can’t think about anything else besides how much misery and pain you’re in. Cannabis can distract you.”

Patients generally report that the purer the indica, the better it is for pain. Try Pure Afghan, Afghani #1, Grape Ape, Jilly Bean, King Louis or L.A. Confidential. For those who don’t want to sleep, sativas in the Jack Herer line have been reported to relieve pain.

Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC for short, is the main psychoactive cannabinoid in pot and is responsible for the euphoria or “high” associated with the drug. The second most abundant cannabinoid in pot is cannabidiol, better known as CBD, and it’s a known anti-inflammatory. That means strains with high levels of CBD—typically sativas—can also be effective in relieving pain. And patients who seek pain relief but don’t want to be too stoned are now often turning to sativas with low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, such as Trident or Harlequin.

Insomnia: After pain, insomnia and tension were the top three reasons why patients sought a physician’s recommendation for cannabis, according to 2006 RAND survey. For insomnia, indicas provide a knockout punch, and you probably want to stay away from sativas, which can make you feel speedy and energetic. Blackberry Kush and Platinum Bubba Kush are two go-to insomnia strains.

Tension, stress and anxiety: For tension, websites such as Leafly and other experts recommend hybrid strains that include both indica and sativa, like the famed OG Kush lineage, which includes Sour Diesel and Chemdawg. Hybrids that include the sativa Haze can also melt anxiety. We love Blue Dream, a 50-50 mix of sativa Haze and indica Blueberry.

Some people recommend the hybrids Girl Scout Cookies, Green Ribbon, Green Crack and Trainwreck for stress, but if you suffer from anxiety, high-THC strains such as these have been known to worsen anxiety in some patients. If you’re anxious, and pot makes you paranoid, a strong indicalike Romulan can relieve anxiety.

However, if you have problems with both anxiety and depression, you might try Trident or Harlequin strains, as noted above, that are low in THC and high in CBD. High-CBD, low-THC tinctures can also work for cancer patients who need an appetite but don’t want to feel euphoric.

UC Davis’ Kymron deCesare, lab manager at Halent Laboratories, wrote in an email that sativas high in THC, like Super Silver Haze, also are being used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in some patients.