When picking up a cannabis strain to treat a particular symptom or condition, it can be difficult to know how a strain is going to benefit you. For those patients struggling with mental illness, we’d like to introduce you to Chernobyl, a sativa-dominant hybrid from TGA Seeds with the impeccable ability to null anxiety, stress, and depression in a flavorful fusion of citrus and lemon.
Its name might sooner conjure images of Ukrainian nuclear fallout than peaceful release from body and mind, but trust us, the latter best describes the experience you can expect from Chernobyl’s sage, resinous buds. Trainwreck, Jack the Ripper, and Trinity all contribute to the genetic makeup of Chernobyl, passing on some of the most desirable characteristics found in medical marijuana strains: thick trichome coverage, a diversity of terpenes, and calming cerebral effects that stamp out negativity with ease.
How Can Chernobyl Help?
In order to understand why Chernobyl of all strains belongs in your medicine cabinet, we’ll need to take a closer look at the therapeutic compounds that color this sativa-dominant variety. These constituents work together in synergy to create a unique experience that goes well beyond the detectable psychoactive buzz.
Like most cannabis varieties, Chernobyl’s most abundant chemical constituent is THC. As most of us already know, THC is the psychoactive compound responsible for euphoria, but its uses extend far past the dreamy, elevating high.
While THC has the capacity to exacerbate anxiety in some individuals, its effects are highly variable and your individual response depends on a variety of factors, just like all psychiatric medications. For many patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, OCD, PTSD, and other mental illnesses, THC relieves psychological symptoms quickly and without the side effects often expected from legal pharmaceuticals.
Every patient will describe their results differently: for some, THC dissolves apathy and rekindles life’s curiosities, while others may find that cannabis slows racing thoughts to a manageable pace. Research has yet to substantiate exactly how THC effectively treats mental illness, but in Chernobyl, there are many other therapeutic compounds at work that you might not expect.
Terpenes in Chernobyl
Terpenes, or the aromatic oils that give cannabis its many scents and flavors, carry their own medicinal effects. Here are just a few of the terpenes abundant in Chernobyl:
We often think of sativas as providing energetic and focused effects, but some of that may be a result of pinene, a terpene that promotes alertness. For patients with mental illness, this compound can help direct their attention toward productive tasks that would otherwise seem impossible in the throes of anxiety or depression.
There’s something about Chernobyl that seems less anxiety-inducing than other sativa strains, and perhaps that’s due to the abundance of the terpene Myrcene. Myrcene is known for its relaxing qualities that help snuff out mania, depression, and stress-fueled anxiety.
That subtle lemon aroma comes from limonene, a terpene also found in rosemary, juniper, and peppermint. Limonene has a variety of mood-enhancing and stress-relieving effects useful for maintaining mental health.
Patients living on the West Coast are more likely to come across Chernobyl at their next dispensary visit, but this TGA classic has made its way to surprising pockets far beyond Chernobyl’s birthplace. Remember, you can also look up other strains with comparable mental relief using Leafly’s Explorer: