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Types & Effects

Sanctuary Medicinals produces many different strains of medical marijuana to ensure that each individual can find a product that suits their needs.

Cannabis has been used for medicinal purposes for many years. Mature cannabis plants contain many different cannabinoids that give the user physical and/or psychotropic effects. Each strain of cannabis has a different cannabinoid profile with varying degrees of strength.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

The was first cannabinoid identified was Tetrahydrocannabinol also known as THC. The "high" effect associated with cannabis is generated by THC.

Cannabidiol (CBD)

CBD is a well-known cannabinoid that has gained major media attention this past year with the recent passing of the Farm Bill in 2018. CBD provides little to no "high" and is known worldwide for its medicinal benefits.

Factors to Consider

Medical marijuana can affect everyone differently. Here's a list of factors that you should consider that could impact the effect 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


Strain Types

There are four categories of cannabis strains. They are: sativa, indica, hybrid and High CBD. Strains are bred to maximize/minimize specific traits and effects, and hybrid strains are created when genetics from both sativas and indicas are joined together.

Sativa & indica strains originate from different geographic locations. They have distinct characteristics in appearance and growth cycle. More importantly, the two types of cannabis can have very different effects on the human body.

Sativa Strain

Patients seeking medicine that offers pain relief and encourages physical activity, increased energy, and creativity may prefer sativa strains. They provide energizing effects and an uplifting feeling. Sativas can also help alleviate anxiety and depression, promoting a sense of well-being.

Indica Strain

Indica strains are known for relaxing the mind and body. The full-body sedating effects of indicas are best for those with chronic pain and issues with sleep.These strains are also effective in stimulating appetite, reducing nausea, and relieving intra-ocular pressure.

Patients that are looking to manage pain, insomnia, anxiety, and stress, Indica strains are the way to go.

Hybrid Strain

Hybrid strains are generally categorized as sativa-dominant, indica-dominant, or balanced (50/50) hybrid.

Hybrid strains are crossbred strains of cannabis that have genetics from both sativa and indica strains. Their traits depend on what is inherited from parent strains.

CBD-rich Strains

These strains are specifically bred for high CBD content, therefore maximizing medicinal benefits. CBD-rich strains can be an indica, sativa, or hybrid.

High-CBD strains are reported to be helpful in treating a number of conditions while producing little to no psychoactive effects. CBD may be helpful in treating pain, inflammation, and anxiety.

We highly recommend you schedule a consultation with Sanctuary Medicinals of Gardner so that you can learn more and find the right strain for your needs.

Choosing the Right Strain for You

Speak with your Sanctuary Medicinals Patient Care Advisor to learn about our strains, understand their different effects, and find the medicine that may be best for your needs.

Delivery & Dosage


Inhalation is the most common method used by patients. When inhaled, cannabinoids enter into the lungs where they are then passed directly into your bloodstream. This enables a quick onset, making proper dosing easier than most current methods.

1. Vaporizing

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

Vaporizers are devices that come in a variety of sizes and colors. They work by heating up the cannabis material 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.

If using a concentrate, much less is required. Concentrates provide a higher dosage. For example, 0.1g of wax might provide 65mg of cannabinoids.

2. Smoking

Whether you are using rolled paper, pipes, or water pipes, smoking provides patients with controllable and readily available effects. This means that many patients can slowly 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


When cannabis is ingested, cannabinoids are metabolized by the liver, which strengthens both the effects and duration of the medicine. It can be difficult to control the effects (titrate) is more compared to inhalation because of the variability of digestion and product. Due to the longer and slower release of cannabinoids, ingestions may be a better choice for chronic conditions that require a maximum dose.


You will want to wait at least an hour to two hours to assess the effects before increasing the amount of cannabis consumed. It's important to remember that an empty stomach can significantly affect the time it can take for the cannabis to take effect. If the effects are too strong, drink water and find a safe and comfortable place to rest. It may take some time but the effects will pass. As we say at Sanctuary Medicinals in Gardner..."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. Patients apply these products directly onto their skin to treat localized pain, muscle soreness, and inflammation. Patients with skin disorders or peripheral pain disorders do well with topical cannabis. Cannabinoids are absorbed through the skin and do not result in 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

We offer several products with little to no psychoactive effects including flower, vaporizers, capsules, and tinctures. Please speak with one of our Patient Care Advisors and they will guide you as we have new products available that you may not be aware of.


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

CBD Dominant

These can have little or no psychoactive effects on the patient. CBD products are reported to be helpful in treating many conditions. CBD dominant products are used for anxiety, pain, seizures, and inflammation.


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.

Speak with your Sanctuary Medicinals Patient Care Advisor to learn about our strains, understand their different effects, and find the medicine that may be best for your needs.

Finding the Right Dose

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

Patient Acknowledgements

New Patient Form and Qualifying Patient & caregiver Waivers must be filled out before purchase of any Sanctuary product. These forms contain important patient acknowledgements regarding safe and compliant use of medical marijuana. Copies of these forms will remain in your patient file. Copies of these forms 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. If you are inexperienced with marijuana, ask someone you trust to stay with you the first time you use it. Stop use if you feel stressed, confused, anxious, or uncomfortable.



Tolerance & Dependence

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

Cannabis Withdrawal

Unlike other medicinal and illicit drugs which may cause severe withdrawal symptoms and even death upon cessation of that drug, cannabis withdrawal may be unpleasant but never deadly.

Signs and Symptoms of Drug Abuse

Each drug has different physical effects however, the symptoms of addiction are similar. If you notice the following signs or symptoms of drug abuse, consider talking to someone about this.

  • 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 quit/cut down use
  • Getting into legal trouble
  • You take drugs 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 tolerance develops faster with high potency cannabinoids. When cannabis is used chronically, there is a continued stimulation of cannabinoid receptors which leads to a "desensitization" of these receptors. Thus, 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 978-304-0329 or complete our online request form.