Do different flavours of marijuana have different effects?
November 23, 2011 3:48 PM   Subscribe

Is there any robust evidence that different varieties of marijuana have different psychoactive or physiological effects?

There's lots of anecdata that suggests they do, but isn't it all THC, just of varying strength?
posted by dontjumplarry to Science & Nature (5 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
there are many (85+) different types of cannabinoids, and each plant strain contains only a handful. it seems that there are subtly different effects given the specific combination offered by any particular plant.

posted by radiosilents at 3:51 PM on November 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Depending on the dispensary you visit, they may label their wares with relative levels of THC, CBD and CBN. Higher relative levels of CBD generally give a more tranquil, body high (and thus are recommended for pain relief), while higher relative levels of THC and CBN give a more psychoactive, "head" high.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

I once had the great good fortune of being introduced to a man who had devoted a substantial fraction of his life to up-close-and-personal investigation of this question.

J's classification system used three dimensions: up, out and sideways. Breeds that scored high on "up" would make people giggle and free-associate and talk reams of amusing gibberish; a high "out" rating would get people relaxed and tranquil; a high "sideways" rating would bring on special visual and sound effects.

In ten years of careful hand pollination, J had worked up six breeds whose reported three-axis results were pretty consistent across a fairly wide range of happy volunteer test subjects.
posted by flabdablet at 4:13 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

A friend of mine who smokes medicinally for a terminal illness has had the opportunity to try a lot of different varieties and is currently devoting time towards researching/experimenting/breeding plants to help everyday problems based on his experiences and those others have documented. One of the first on the list is a combination of strains that promote energy levels, focus and creativity for people with attention disorders, depression or just those of us who need a little push to get things rolling.

Part of why he's doing it is to prove this very question and to show that there are everyday uses for cannabis that aren't going to leave you pinned down on the couch, but instead motivated enough to get out and go for that jog or finish that dreaded project. Really interesting stuff.
posted by june made him a gemini at 7:23 PM on November 23, 2011 [3 favorites]

Yes. The THC/CBD ratio seems to matter a great deal. It wasn't something that growers were focused on until fairly recently. While there's evidence that strains vary not just by strength but also by effect, it's a bit early to declare how it all works. Marijuana is a complex drug and hasn't had the research it deserves.

Growers are paying attention these days. See Sparc's menu as evidence which breaks down THC and CBD strength.
posted by chairface at 10:56 AM on November 24, 2011

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