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‘Dr. Weed’ on Reddit: ‘Sativas and Indicas are terms cannabis community wants to start getting away from as they are meaningless’

Matt Elmes, a longtime cannabis consumer who has a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology, takes to social media for a Q&A

“Too many people blindly regard cannabis as a cure-all, which it is not,” says Matt Elmes. Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

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    Matt Elmes’s Ph.D. research focused on biochemistry and cannabinoid intracellular transport. He now works in product development with CannaCraft, a California-based cannabis company. He’s also been a regular cannabis consumer for the last 20 years.

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    ‘Dr. Weed’ on Reddit: ‘Sativas and Indicas are terms cannabis community wants to start getting away from as they are meaningless’ Back to video

    Earlier this week, he took to Reddit to answer all the burning cannabis questions the community had. Here are a few of the highlights.

    Is there really a difference in highs between Sativa and Indica?

    Yes and no. ‘Sativas’ and ‘Indicas’ are terms that much of the cannabis community wants to start getting away from as they are sort of meaningless.

    The differences that people observe can most likely be attributed to the different terpenes that are expressed by the cannabis plants. So the terpenes expressed by indica-like chemovars are generally believed to be more sedative, hence the couch-lock association. In reality, almost all cannabis you encounter today is really a hybrid due to so many generations of selective breeding. The terpene profiles are not always consistent between generations, which could lead to different experiences.

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    Why do people keep producing high THC / low CBD strains?

    The simple answer is that the market drives it. The typical dispensary consumer is looking to get maximum amounts of THC per buck they spend. Most people just want to see high numbers in the THC category, which means lower numbers in CBD.

    THC and CBD both are derived from CBG, so maximizing the amount of one necessarily reduces the amount of the other. If you want to try to breed a cannabis plant that produces flowers with an extremely high THC content, it will certainly have almost no CBD mixed in with it, essentially because all of the CBG went towards making THC rather than CBD.

    I personally find a mixed THC/CBD profile to have the best effects, so it’s sad that it’s becoming so hard to find. Almost everything these days seems to be either hemp or all THC! I’d take a lower potency, mixed cannabinoid profile product any day.

    Is it true that cannabis is not harmful and can actually improve your health?

    I don’t like using blanket statements like that, cannabis can be helpful for some things and can be harmful for others. Too many people blindly regard it as a cure-all, which it is not.

    Its objective safety is readily demonstrated, though. No one has ever overdosed on cannabis, as you would need to consume truckloads of it within minutes to get to potentially lethal doses. C

    How do you feel about those who are incarcerated for what you can freely do now?

    Yes, it’s absolutely insane to think about it. The cannabis industry was deemed an ESSENTIAL business during COVID, yet simultaneously there are thousands of people sitting in a jail cell for possession offences!

    Matt Elmes, a longtime cannabis consumer who has a Ph.D. in molecular and cellular biology, takes to social media for a Q&A

    This Chart Shows the Difference Between Sativa and Indica Strains

    Just because someone knows how to roll a joint or visits a local dispensary, doesn’t mean they know the all the little specificities about cannabis. One of those specificities is the difference between sativa and indica strains of marijuana. Luckily, there are people out there who can help those people out.

    A user on the r/Trees subreddit (which is not a forum for fans of pine or oak) posted a handy-dandy guide to the differences between sativa and indica strains. Take a look:

    A commenter on the original Reddit thread noted that most marijuana you’ll find is most likely a hybrid of the two strains, and that it’s actually fairly rare to run into a pure sativa or indica strain. But at least this chart will help you not sound like a complete noob the next time you’re smoking up with any of your stoner buddies.

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    Which Cannabis Strain is Perfect for You? Take this Quiz to Find Out

    There are so many strains of marijuana available it can be nearly impossible to figure out which one is right for you. And sure, a knowledgeable budtender could point you in the right direction, but we think we’ve figured out a better method for choosing a marijuana strain. Take our quiz below to find out which cannabis strain is your true soulmate.

    Do you know the difference between sativa and indica marijuana strains? Here is an easy-to-use guide to help you learn how to tell the difference between the two.