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Medical Conditions

Using Cannabis Strain Fingerprints to Target Specific Medical Conditions

A strain fingerprint shows the average concentrations of 12 of the most relevant cannabinoids and terpenoids found in the cannabis strain.

Things to look for:

  • Testing facilities can and should give you a complete cannabinoid profile of your medications. You need to know what you’re getting. The key is the medicinal molecules the strain contains.

Cannabis contains two groups of medicinal molecules and they generally are considered to provide differing medicinal benefits.  These groups are cannabinoids and terpenes.  The cannabinoids mainly relieve the patient’s physical symptoms.  The terpenes also may have some medicinal value but mainly seem to provide the sense of well-being that cannabis is so well known for.

  • Know the ratio of the two major cannabinoids THC and CBD. This first molecule to look for should be CBD not THC.  The CBD molecule mitigates the psychoactive effects of the THC.  CBD is the most sought out compound for medical users. Studies show that CBD has been shown to relieve things such as chronic pain, inflammation, migraines, arthritis, and spasms.  THC has analgesic effects and is the main pain killing molecule in cannabis.  You must determine the best balance of CBD/THC for your body chemistry.

  • Understand the properties of the most influential minor cannabinoids

CBN Cannabinol

The compound that makes you sleepy.  CBN is produced when THC is oxidized (breaks down) and is the result of being stored for a while. Another use for cannabinol is as an antibacterial.  Early studies suggest it could stimulate bone cell growth and could possibly be helpful in treating osteoporosis and make bones recover more quickly

​CBG Cannabigerol

Like CBN Cannabigerol has antibacterial properties and has been shown to stimulate brain cell and bone cell growth.  A study published in the May 2013 edition of Biological Psychology suggests that CBG has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties beneficial to cannabis patients.  It is also one of the cannabinoids that increases fluid drainage and reduces the amount of pressure in the eyes.  

THCv Tetrahydrocannabivarin

THCv dulls the appetite.  It can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.  It can reduce panic attacks and curbs anxiety attacks without suppressing emotion. Unfortunately strains high in THCv have been virtually eradicated by the DEA.

CBC Cannabichromene

Much research links CBC to a reduction in migraines as a result of its interaction with anandamide.  Anandamide is an endocannabinoid, which means our body produces it naturally.  If affects the CB1 and CB2 receptors.  CBC inhibits the uptake of anandamide, which allows it to stay in the bloodstream longer.

One of the earliest studies on CBC was published in 1981 by the University of Mississippi. In this study, the researchers found that CBC exhibited “strong antibacterial effects on a variety of gram-positive. Gram-negative and acid-fast bacteria including E. coli and staph (S. aureus)”.

A more recent study from the University if Mississippi identified a significant antidepressant effect of CBC in rat models, concluding that CBC and a number of other cannabinoids may “contribute to the overall mood-elevating properties of cannabis”.

CBC showed “mild to moderate “activity against different types of fungi too, including a common food contaminant known as the black mold (Aspergillus niger).

A recent study showed evidence that CBC may actually help your brain grow, specifically by increasing the viability of developing brain cells (neurogenesis).

  • Contrary to popular belief, neurogenesis, brain cell growth, doesn’t stop once you reach a certain age.  However, it only occurs in a specific part of the brain known as the hippocampus.  The hippocampus is important for memory and learning and lack of growth in this area is believed to contribute to a number of disorders.

While CBC’s ability to promote neurogenesis is a very recent finding, previous studies suggest THC and CBD can do the same.

One of the first scientists to uncover this remarkable aspect of cannabis -Dr. Xia Jiang explained why in an interview with Science Daily:

“ Most ‘drugs of abuse’ suppress neurogenesis.  Only marijuana promotes neurogenesis.”

Alcohol, nicotine, opiates, and cocaine all inhibit brain growth.

Cannabinoids not in Fingerprints

THCa Tetrahydrocannabinol

The tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCa) compound has a number of therapeutic uses.

Analgesic- relieves pain

Antiemetic – reduces nausea and vomiting

Anti-inflammatory – reduces inflammation

Anti-insomnia – aids with sleep

Anti-spasmodic-suppresses muscle spasms

Neuroprotectant – slows damage to the nervous system and brain

Modulates the immune system- THCa has been shown to both improve and suppress immune functions.

Suppression of the immune system is important at times because if the immune system gets out of control is can mistake healthy cells for invadesers and repeatedly attack them.  Thi sis what happens with any inflammatory condition.  These are generally referred to as auto-immune disorders (again balance is the key).


More research is needed for CBDv.  The problem is that CBDv is rare.  Smart cultivators are are beginning to target that particular compound for increased levels in new strains.  The way that it works is based on the fact that cannabis plants are heterozygous. That simply means that there are many different molecules in each strain and when you cross breed many different strains you will have more variations of molecules in the resulting plants.  Here at balance bio we are in the process of producing strains that will be high in CBDv.

The most effective method of determining the medicinal molecules you need is to have a doctor diagnose your medical condition.  Once identified you can use the following wheel to determine the medicinal molecules to target that particular ailment.  You can use the strain fingerprints to find strains of cannabis that are heavy in those particular molecules.  It is quite rare to find a single molecule alone.