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Marijuana Sativa: Medical Benefits and Side Effects

Cannabis has three types: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Of the three, sativa plants are known for their classic marijuana structure: tall plants with large thin leaves. Sativas are known for growing taller and lankier than their indica and ruderalis siblings and at the same time have unique recreational and medical characteristics. So before you purchase marijuana sativa seeds for sale, find out why sativa is better especially for its medical benefits.

What are Cannabis sativa plants?

Tall and lanky, sativa plants prefer the outdoors where they can stretch and grow wider. Sativas have longer flowering times than their indica siblings but they make up for it by growing moderate to high yields.

Sativa plants are perfect in places where there the climate is warm or with longer summers. The long and thin leaves allow the plants to divert most of its energy and nutrients to make buds. This is why most sativa plants develop only one large cola.

The effects of sativa strains

Over the years, sativa strains are known to energize while indicas will cause sedation. But now that there are more marijuana strains being developed, it is now easier to see that it is not about whether you are consuming an indica or sativa strain. It is all about the amount of cannabinoids in the strain.

Cannabinoids found in sativa plants

Marijuana plants contain hundreds of natural cannabinoids and two of the most common are THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or cannabidiol. THC is known as the compound that delivers the psychoactive effects in weed. On the other hand, CBD is a therapeutic compound that is responsible for weed’s therapeutic effects.

Sativa plants may have more THC and less CBD which means that the strain is more of a recreational strain and that it can give you psychoactive effects. Sativa strains can also contain more CBD and less THC which means that this strain is more of a medicinal strain than recreational.

You may also find sativa plants with balanced THC and CBD and this usually lets users relieve a number of medical conditions while experiencing a subtle high.

Medical benefits of sativa

Considering that sativa strains may have different amounts of cannabinoids, this can be used for the relief of the following medical conditions

  • Chronic pain

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have conducted a review with a large number of respondents. This was to assess tens of thousands of studies regarding the benefits and the side effects of using marijuana as medicine.

The study revealed that most users consumed cannabis to relieve forms of chronic pain. This condition is known as the leading cause of disability in the US and this affects more than 25 million adults in the country.

Marijuana or products that contain cannabinoids are used to relieve chronic pain. The cannabinoids bind to the cannabinoid receptors in the brain and this relieves chronic pain including muscle pains, headaches, and body pains.

  • Drug addiction and alcoholism

A review of the effects of marijuana in the treatment of drug addiction was published in the journal Clinical Psychology. This study revealed that cannabis may help patients that are undergoing alcohol or opioid dependencies. Marijuana can help fight their addictions and lead them to a healthy and better life.

  • Depression, PTSD, and social anxiety

According to a review featured in Clinical Psychology Review, marijuana may be used to support patients who are suffering from depression and PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, the study pointed out that cannabis use is not a treatment for conditions such as mental health conditions like psychosis and bipolar disorder.

The study also mentioned that marijuana can alleviate symptoms of conditions like social anxiety. However, there is evidence from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine saying that regular users of cannabis may have increased social anxiety.

  • Cancer

There is evidence that oral preparations of cannabis are effective in the relief of nausea and vomiting as a result of chemotherapy. Some studies have also revealed that smoked or vaporized cannabis may also stop the side effects of chemotherapy.

There are studies about cancer cells that reveal that the cannabinoids found in marijuana can slow down the development of these cells or may even kill cancer cells.

There are also studies that tested this finding in humans and the results revealed that although marijuana is safe for the treatment of cancer, it may not be as effective in curing or controlling cancer.

  • Epilepsy

The only approved marijuana-based drug was made for the treatment of epilepsy. In June 2018, Epidolex was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of two kinds of severe epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Epidolex contained a purified form of CBD and patients who took the drug reported reduced symptoms. CBD is not psychoactive which may be one of the reasons why the drug was approved.

Another study that was published in 2017 revealed that the use of CBD has led to the reduction of seizures in children that were affected by Dravet syndrome compared to taking a placebo.

The need to find an effective treatment for Dravet syndrome has possibly led to the discovery of Epidolex. The seizures in Dravet syndrome are usually prolonged, repetitive and life-threatening. It was also noted that one in five children who have Dravet syndrome will not reach their 20th birthday.

Another study in about 120 patients composed of children and teenagers diagnosed with Dravet syndrome has revealed a very interesting conclusion. These patients were randomly assigned to medicate with oral CBD products or a placebo for 14 weeks along with their prescribed medications.

According to the research, children that were medicated with CBD solution had around 12 seizures in a month while three of these children that took CBD did not experience any seizures.

Those that were given a placebo experienced a reduction in seizures but the effects were not as prominent. From 15 seizures a month, they experienced a reduction to just 14 a month.

Meanwhile, the study also revealed that there are notable side effects related to the use of CBD. Around 9 in 10 children that received CBD treatment have experienced side effects. Just some of the most common side effects were fatigue, fever, and vomiting.

The manufacturer of Epidolex also warns patients of the possible side effects in the use of the drug. Just some of the most notable side effects are sedation, liver damage, and suicidal thoughts.


  • Multiple sclerosis

There are studies that show that marijuana products taken orally may improve the symptoms related to multiple sclerosis. In patients who took part in the study, there was an improvement in the symptoms of spasticity but the positive effects were quite modest among the respondents.

Side Effects of sativa

  • Mental health conditions

Regular use of marijuana is said to exacerbate the symptoms of bipolar disorder in patients with this condition. The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have reported that in patients with no history of bipolar disorder there is no link in cannabis use and the presence of bipolar disorder symptoms.

There is also evidence that says regular cannabis users will experience negative emotions and thoughts such as suicidal thoughts. There may also be an increased risk of the development of depression in marijuana users.

There are also studies that show the increase in the risk of developing psychosis in a person with schizophrenia. There are findings that people with the mental condition and other psychoses who have used marijuana before will experience improved performance on different tests to identify learning and memory.

  • Testicular cancer

There may be no evidence between marijuana use and an increased link in the development of cancer but according to the National Academies of Sciences, there is evidence to suggest an increase in the risk of a slow-progressing type of testicular cancer.

  • Respiratory problems

Consumption of marijuana by smoking and vaping may be linked to the presence of chronic cough. But despite this, it is not yet proven whether smoking cannabis will make lung function worse or increase the risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma attacks.

A certain study conducted in 2014 has revealed the relationship between lung disease and the use of marijuana. The study mentioned that it was possible for smoking marijuana to lead to the development of lung cancer.

The Current Opinion in Pulmonary Medicine published a study that said there is evidence that regular or occasional smoking or vaping of cannabis is not harmless. However regular heavy users may suffer from respiratory problems.

The use of medicinal cannabis may not be harmful to the respiratory system in low doses. But the amount or limit should be defined. The study also stated that recreational use is not similar to medicinal use and should not be encouraged.

There are a number of scientists and health groups including the ACS or the American Cancer Society support the need for more research on medical marijuana use to treat health conditions. Before you consider using sativa strains or buying marijuana sativa seeds for sale for your medical condition, consult your doctor.

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