Although it is still greatly stigmatised, medical marijuana is increasing in popularity across the United States.
Today, 33 states and Washington DC have laws legalizing medical marijuana. Proponents of medical marijuana see it as an alternative to many of the addictive opioids prescribed today. “If people read the literature, they will see marijuana is not a gateway drug and it’s not evil. This stigma was created decades ago, but studies prove time and again there is little basis for it,” said Dr. Jacqueline Montoya, MD, and founder of GreenMed MD, a medical marijuana practice in South Florida, where medical marijuana with a prescription is legal.
“Of course marijuana is not a cure-all, but it is an excellent alternative therapy for many chronic conditions and should be available to those who can benefit from it,” she told INSIDER.
Studies have suggested that cannabis can be a viable substitute for certain opioid drugs because it’s not as addictive and damaging as prescription painkillers. But before you smoke a joint for your headache, Dr. Montoya explained that depending on a patient’s condition, some strains may be better than others. “Sometimes it takes a little bit of trial and error to find what will work best for you,” she said.
INSIDER asked Dr. Montoya which strains she prescribes most frequently at GreenMed MD. Here are her top six.
Editor’s note: While the science remains murky and various strains affect different people in different ways, we pulled product descriptions from Leafly.
OG Kush is said to “crush stress.”
One of the most famous strains, OG Kush, “is cherished for its ability to crush stress under the weight of its heavy euphoria. It carries an earthy pine and sour lemon scent with woody undertones, an aroma that has become the signature of OG Kush varieties and descendants.”
Blue Dream is said to deliver “symptom relief.”
Blue Dream “delivers swift symptom relief without heavy sedative effects. The popular strain is often prescribed for “treating pain, depression, nausea, and other ailments requiring a high THC strain.”
Consumers say Jack Herer is “blissful.”
Named after the famed marijuana activist and author of “The Emperor Wears No Clothes,” Jack Herer is a popular medical grade bud. “Consumers typically describe this 55% sativa-hybrid as blissful, clear-headed, and creative.”
Sour Diesel is said to have “dreamy cerebral effects.”
Known for its fast acting qualities, Sour Diesel is a favourite among many medical marijuana patients. The “fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that have pushed Sour Diesel to its legendary status. Stress, pain, and depression fade away in long-lasting relief that makes Sour Diesel a top choice among medical patients.”
Grand Daddy Purple is said to “combat stress.”
Known among users as GDP,Grand Daddy Purple is known for creating “relaxation.” The strain is said to deliver “a fusion of cerebral euphoria and physical relaxation … Like most heavy indica varieties, Granddaddy Purple is typically pulled off the shelf for consumers looking to combat pain, stress, insomnia, appetite loss, and muscle spasms.”
Northern Lights is said to “relieve pain and sleeplessness.”
Northern Lights’ “psychoactive effects settle in firmly throughout the body, relaxing muscles and pacifying the mind in dreamy euphoria.” The strain is often prescribed to “relieve pain and sleeplessness, while its mellow contentment roots out depression and stress.”
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