Patients say cannabis is effective, but strains don't seem to matter

Different cannabis strains are often regarded as having different levels of effectiveness for different medical conditions. This study used patient reports to determine if there was a difference in effectiveness among different medicinal cannabis (MC) flower strains, or more accurately, cultivars, for different medical conditions. It was published online ahead of print in the journal Pharmacopsychiatry in March 2024.

Just over 1,000 patients who were prescribed medical cannabis and supervised by a physician in Germany in June, July, and August 2020, were included. Around 60% of the patients had been using MC for more than a year.

The most common conditions treated were:

  1. Pain
  2. Psychiatric disorders
  3. Neurological diseases
  4. Gastrointestinal symptoms


The patients were mostly male (83.3%) and the average age was 39.9 years. There were 43 different cannabis cultivars reported while the average number of cultivars used was 5.9 for each patient. 79% of the patients used THC (Delta 9) dominant cultivars while 14% used balanced THC/CBD cultivars. Only 7% reported they used a CBD dominant cultivar.


for the eight most frequently chosen strains, no differences were detected with respect to patient-reported effectiveness

Self-reported effectiveness and tolerability of MC for the treatment of a variety of medical conditions were rated as excellent, with no relevant differences between C. sativaindica, or hybrid. 

Based on this data, it seems unlikely that the type of MC (sativaindica, or hybrid) or the terpene profile influences effectiveness since in general, β-myrcene is the most prevalent terpene in MC.


In short, this study found no differences in the effectiveness of MC based on cultivar name or type (Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid). However, the average effectiveness reported was over 80.1%, where 100% means total symptom elimination. This result is VERY similar to our own self-reported research which has found an average effectiveness for medicinal cannabis of 80.2%.

Authors' conclusions:

Patients self-reported very good efficacy and tolerability of MC.

There was no evidence suggesting that specific MC strains are superior depending on the disease to be treated.

no influence of the disease on the choice of the MC strain was detected.


The most common side effects reported were:

  1. None (29%)
  2. Dry Mouth (19.5%)
  3. Increased Appetite (17.1%)
  4. Tiredness (13.0%)


The full text article is here at Thieme Journals.



Szejko N, Becher E, Heimann F, Grotenhermen F, Müller-Vahl KR. Medicinal Use of Different Cannabis Strains: Results from a Large Prospective Survey in Germany. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2024 Mar 12. doi: 10.1055/a-2261-2269. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 38471525.