Medical Marijuana 101

If you’re new to medical marijuana,
it’s a good idea to learn the basics. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! In our marijuana 101 guide, we introduce you to the history and uses of the marijuana plant as well as provide some much-needed context when selecting which strains to try for your symptoms. In addition, we’ll try to address some of the potential concerns and questions you might have. Let’s get started!

Indica or Sativa? What’s the difference?

All medicinal marijuana products can be traced back to the 2 basic types of marijuana we commonly refer to as Indica and Sativa. While the two types share many similarities, they do differ in size and appearance, flowering cycles, and preferred climates.

Traditionally the 2 types are thought to produce different clinical effects as well. However, as the industry has grown and attracted more research, it’s become clearer that clinical effects are related to a strain’s chemical composition, not necessarily it’s categorization as Indica or Sativa. While considering a type of marijuana may provide some guidance, it’s important to consider a strain’s THC and CBD content when deciding which is the best fit for you.

What are marijuana’s medical uses in Pennsylvania?

For patients with cancer, Marijuana can be used to reduce nausea as well as vomiting and can help to improve appetite. It can also help with chronic pain, inflammation, and muscle spasms along with many other chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. See our full list of conditions qualifying for Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program for more information.

What if there are side effects?

It’s important to understand that medical marijuana is not for everyone. Be sure to consult your MMP doctor before consuming any medical marijuana products and report any adverse side effects you may experience during usage.

Methods of Consumption

Today, there are several ways to consume medical marijuana. At Calypso, we offer a wide variety of strains and products to fit your lifestyle.


Natural oil is extracted from the plant and bottled immediately to preserve its freshness and potency. The oil can then be ingested in its liquid form, placed in pills or capsules for more precise dosage, or used as an ingredient in tinctures. It’s important to note this method takes the longest for effects to kick in.


The plant’s natural oils are extracted then mixed with a carrier fluid and placed in vaporization cartridges. Cartridges are then fitted to devices, such as vape pens, where the liquid is wicked and heated just enough to cause it to vaporize without burning. Once inhaled, the natural oils are absorbed by the body very quickly and effectively. Dry leaf/flower must be used for vaporization only in the state of Pennsylvania.


The extracted natural oil is combined with other ingredients to produce a lotion or ointment. Alternatively, the oil can be added to a transdermal patch. In either case, the product is placed on the skin – often on a sore or painful location –  where it is absorbed by the body. When using topical products, people typically experience localized symptom relief without any psychotropic (‘high’ feeling) effects.


Over-consuming marijuana can lead to very unpleasant side effects that can last for hours at a time, so it is never advised to push your limits or over-indulge. As with all products, medical marijuana should be consumed thoughtfully and responsibly, following all physician recommendations.