Order Online
Skip to main content

Types & Effects

Sanctuary Medicinals cultivates many different medical marijuana strains to ensure that each customer can find a product that suits their needs. The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times but has been available for legal use in the US for only a few years.

Mature cannabis plants contain many different cannabinoids that provide physical and/or psychotropic effects for the user. Each strain of cannabis has a unique cannabinoid profile with varying degrees of strength.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Tetrahydrocannabinol is commonly referred to as THC and is the cause of the euphoric or "high" feeling that's associated with cannabis.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is a well-known cannabinoid that provides little to no "high," but is widely regarded for its known medicinal benefits.

Factors to Consider

Every user can experience the effects of medical marijuana differently. Here's a list of factors that can influence the effects you feel:

  • Dosage (amount used)
  • Strain or type of cannabis
  • Environment/setting
  • Method of use
  • Mood or mindset
  • Experience/history of marijuana use

Cannabinoid Benefits

Cannabinoid Benefits

Strain Types

There are four categories of cannabis strains : Sativa, Indica, hybrid, and CBD-rich. Strains are bred to maximize/minimize specific traits and effects.

Hybrid strains are created from a combination of genetics from both Sativas and Indicas. Sativa and iIndica strains originate from different geographic locations.

Each has distinct characteristics in appearance and differences in their growth cycle. More importantly, the two types of cannabis can have very distinctive effects on the human body.

Sativa Strain

Sativa strains are often recommended for patients seeking an alternative method of pain relief. Other benefits of this strain include increased energy, enhanced creativity, and motivation for physical activity. Sativas can also help alleviate anxiety and depression by promoting a sense of well-being.

Indica Strain

Indica strains are preferred for anyone looking to relax the mind and body. The full-body sedation effects of Indicas are a match for patients seeking pain management and insomnia relief. These strains are also useful in stimulating appetite, reducing nausea, and relieving intraocular pressure.

Hybrid Strain

Hybrid strains are crossbred strains of cannabis that have genetics from both Sativa and Indica strains, and generally categorized as Sativa-dominant, Indica-dominant, or balanced (50/50) hybrid. Their traits depend on what is inherited from parent strains.

CBD-rich Strains

When it comes to CBD-rich strains, these are specifically bred for high CBD content to maximize the medicinal benefits. They can be an Indica, Sativa, or hybrid.

CBD-rich strains are reported to be helpful in treating conditions like pain, inflammation, and anxiety, while producing little to no psychoactive effects. Schedule a consultation with Sanctuary Medicinals to learn more and find the ideal strain for your specific needs.

Choosing the Right Strain for You

Speak with your Sanctuary Medicinals Patient Care Advisor to learn about our strains. A consultation will help you understand different effects and discover which alternative medicine approach may be best for your needs.

Delivery & Dosage


Inhaled cannabinoids enter into the lungs, where they are then passed directly into your bloodstream; it's the method most commonly used by patients. This enables a quick onset, making proper dosing easier than most current methods.

1. Vaporizing

With zero combustion occurring, vaping is considered a safer alternative to smoking cannabis. This releases cannabinoids as a vapor without producing smoke and causes little to no irritation in the throat or lungs.

Vaporizers are devices that work by heating up the cannabis to a specified temperature, below its ignition or combustion point. The temperature range that is typically used is between 338 to 390 degrees Fahrenheit.


Vaporizing may require up to twice as much dry cannabis flower to deliver the same effect as other delivery methods unless using concentrates, which provide a higher dosage.

2. Smoking

Whether you are using rolled paper, pipes, or water pipes, smoking provides patients with controllable and readily available effects. A benefit of smoking is that patients can gradually increase their dose to achieve symptom relief at their own pace.


The amount used while smoking varies. The average joint contains 0.5g to 1 gram of cannabis. The average amount used daily also varies from 0.5g-7g or more. Smoking is done frequently throughout the day, as the duration is 2-4 hours.

Onset: 5 - 10 minutes

Duration: 2 - 4 hours


Ingestion of cannabinoids is metabolized by the liver, strengthening both the effects and duration of the medicine. It can be difficult to control the effects (titrate) compared to inhalation because of the variability of digestion and product.

Ingestion may be a better choice for chronic conditions that require a maximum dose due to the longer and slower release of cannabinoids.


You will want to wait at least an hour to two hours to assess the results before increasing the consumption amount. It's important to remember that an empty stomach can significantly affect the time it takes for cannabis to take effect.

For results that are too strong, drink water and find a safe and comfortable place to rest until the effects pass. It may take some time, but the effects will pass. It's always better to "Start low and go slow!"

Onset: 1 - 2 hours

Duration: 6 - 8 hours

Sublingual Delivery

"Sublingual" refers to the tissue under the tongue, an area where cannabinoids can enter directly into the bloodstream. This is a very effective delivery method, and it is commonly known to come as a "tincture."

Dosage Amount

Patients should start with a few drops and increase it as needed. Typically one dropper full is considered a dose. One dropper is equal to 1mL. Until you find the right amount to use, the proper amount you will need really depends on the tincture.

Onset: 5 - 30 minutes

Duration: 1 - 6 hours


Topicals consist mostly of non-psychoactive, cannabis-infused salves, oils, and transdermal patches. Topicals are applied to the skin directly, and cannabinoids are absorbed without any psychoactive effects.


Dose is a function of an area to be covered. Topicals can be used as needed.

Onset: Varies

Duration: Varies

Limited Psychoactive Effects

At Sanctuary Medicinals, we offer several products with little to no psychoactive effects. These include flowers, vaporizers, capsules, and tinctures.

One of our Patient Care Advisors can help with suggestions, including providing information about new products available that you may not be aware of.


THC-A has been reported to offer relief from inflammation, seizures, and muscle spasms. THC-A is the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid in raw cannabis, and converts to THC when heated, smoked, or vaporized.

CBD Dominant

CBD dominant products are used for anxiety, pain, seizures, and inflammation. They're believed to have little or no psychoactive effects on the patient.


A one to one ratio of CBD and THC offers a balance of both CBD and THC. These products offer a balance of psychoactive and non-psychoactive effects that many patients find are helpful.

The best approach is to speak with your Sanctuary Medicinals Patient Care Advisor to learn about strains, understand the effects, and find the method that may be best for your needs.

Finding the Right Dose

Finding the Right Dose

At Sanctuary Medicinals, we always say, "Start low and go slow." When trying a new product, always start with a low dose to gauge how well the product works for you.

Method Start With
Smoking One inhalation
Vaporizing One inhalation
Tincture 5 - 10 mg
Edibles 5 - 10 mg
Topicals Thin layer of product

Tracking the products you use is beneficial to many patients. Use the Strain and Product Log on page 23 in the handbook to learn from your experiences.

Cannabis-Infused Products First Time Rule of Thumb

Start low and go slow! Start with 10mg or less. Wait at least two hours before having more.

Safety & Responsibility

Safety & Responsibility

Completing a New Patient Form and Qualifying Patient & Caregiver Waiver is required before purchasing any Sanctuary Medicinals' product. These forms contain important patient acknowledgments regarding safe and compliant use of medical marijuana. Copies of these forms will remain in your patient file and are available upon request.

Responsible Use

Medical marijuana may cause drowsiness and impaired motor skills. It is illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana. Inexperienced marijuana users should have supervision from a trustworthy source during first time use. Discontinue use if you're feeling stressed, confused, anxious, or uncomfortable.



Tolerance & Dependence

Physical dependence on marijuana is not substantiated by research. However, physiological dependence is possible with the overuse of any substance.

Cannabis Withdrawal

Unlike other medicinal and illicit drugs, cannabis withdrawal may be unpleasant but never deadly.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Each drug has different physical effects; however, addiction symptoms are similar. If you notice the following signs or symptoms of drug abuse, seek additional help or professional advice:

  • Neglecting responsibilities at home, work, or school because of your drug use
  • Spending excessive time in acquisition, using, or recovering from use
  • Unsuccessful attempts to use in moderation or discontinue
  • Resulting legal trouble
  • Usage to avoid or relieve withdrawal symptoms
  • Your life revolves around your drug use
  • The substance is often taken in larger amounts or over a longer period than was intended
  • Continued use of the substance despite having persistent or recurrent social or interpersonal problems caused or exacerbated by the effects of its use


Tolerance plays a significant role in the amount of cannabis used and required to notice the effects. Tolerance develops faster with high potency cannabinoids. Chronic use leads to a "desensitization" of cannabinoid receptors. Over time, more of the drug is needed to achieve a desired effect.

Help with Substance Abuse

If you think you need help with substance abuse, call SAMHSA's National Helpline, 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you are looking for more information about our services, please call 617-366-2900 or complete our online request form.