Have you ever wondered whether the strains of marijuana at your mmj dispensary are really all that different? The answer is yes, and the reason has to do with what is in them. The marijuana flower is very complex and contains hundreds of different ingredients. Probably a good one hundred or more of these are cannabinoids which are responsible for the properties the marijuana plant is cherished for. Strains differ in the relative amount of these ingredients, which has a significant effect on the type of psychoactive effects, pain-relieving properties, and body sensations you feel. It also affects the characteristic aroma.


THC, short for tetrahydrocannabinol, is perhaps the best known active ingredient in marijuana and is also the one primarily responsible for the psychoactive effects like feeling euphoric or high. Strains that have high THC content are likely to give you a strong, cerebral energized effect. THC levels vary significantly among different strains with intense strains of 20% or more now available. Sativa or sativa-dominant hybrids tend to have the most THC.


CBD, short for cannabidiol, is not a psychoactive compound like THC but is an active ingredient that can reduce pain and promote anti-inflammatory effects. There is also evidence that it reduces anxiety. For many medical uses, higher relative levels of CBD may be beneficial, and some strains are now marketed as CBD-rich. A primary indicator of how a particular marijuana strain may affect you is the absolute and relative levels of THC and CBD.


These unsaturated hydrocarbons are responsible for the intense and varied aromas you get with different marijuana strains. Terpenes, or more technically the denatured derivatives called terpenoids, not only give cannabis its delicious smells but are also believed to be responsible for some of a strain’s effects on the user. This recognition has led to some mmj strains to be highlighted for their terpenes composition.

These represent only a small number of the many compounds, including some strongly sedating ones, which are found to varying degrees in different medical marijuana strains giving each one its unique character. Given the vast spectrum of mmj strains and their effects, it may take you some time before you identify your personal favorites. There is always the possibility there is another one out there you haven’t encountered yet that you’ll end up a huge fan of too.

Learn more at Desert Rose, including our information for new patients. Remember to check out our dispensary deals that allow you to try something new at an affordable price. When you’re ready to visit, you can also pre-order online to make your experience even easier!

Photo by Esteban Lopez / Unsplash

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