Curious about what the different cannabis strains are and how they work? Then let’s check them out!
If you’re new to cannabis, chances are you have quite a lot of questions. Marijuana or cannabis shouldn’t just be something you jump straight into without doing a little bit of homework on first. Before committing to buying any large amounts of marijuana, it’s important that you take a few minutes and work out what you want out of your marijuana and why.
There are three main species of marijuana; Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis. The first two are most common you’ll see, with their little cousin Ruderalis being exceptionally rare for either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana. You may also hear of Hybrids, sharing genetics of more than one of the species. The majority of cannabis connoisseurs believe that each of the strains has its own distinct characteristics. However, while that may be true in most cases every now and again a strain will buck against its traditional behavior. That is more on the rare side than the common side of cannabis strain behavior. The following behavior is most commonly exhibited by each strain:
- Indica strains are most commonly known for their sedating experience. Indica is ideal for relaxing at the end of a stressful day, or to help you get a decent night’s sleep. Indica plants tend to be shorter than Sativa strains, with stout, broad leaves.
- Sativa leans more towards an uplifting and invigorating experience. Most commonly known as the artist’s strain of choice, Sativa is ideal for social occasions, physical activity, and getting those artistic juices flowing. The Sativa cannabis strain is a tall plant, with narrow leaves.
- Ruderalis is mostly utilized in the production of commercial and industrial hemp plants. It’s a shorter more robust plant without the same high amounts of either CBD or THC.
- Hybrids are somewhere in the middle of the two strains. Depending on which strain is most dominant, you may experience more of an uplifting experience or a couch lock experience. They may take what is good from one strain and combine it with something good from another, creating a better Hybrid strain of cannabis.
While many people believe that the characteristics of each strain are set in stone, experts are beginning to learn that each strain can break away from its normal characteristics and lean more towards the other side of the cannabis spectrum. Nine times out of ten that Indica strain may knock you out, but every now and again it’s going to surprise you! At least when the plants grow, you’ll be able to easily tell the difference between most of them, except for hybrids, as they look completely different and unique.
Indica was mainly cultivated in the mountainous area of the Hindu Kush region close to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It was named Cannabis Indica by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and was known for its psychoactive properties. It was initially harvested for its hashish, seeds, and fiber production. The Cannabis Sativa plant variety was mainly found across Western Eurasia and named by Carl Linneaus. The two names were mainly introduced to differentiate between the two different cannabis species. While the popularity has seen immense growth across the cannabis sector, it has also led to the definitions of different strains and species becoming quite vague.
While it’s great to be able to grab an Indica or Sativa strain, the most important part is understanding what they are made of and how they affect your body. Now, it’s time to look at cannabinoids and how they work.
It’s important to understand how cannabinoids work and what they mean to truly get the most out of marijuana. The most common cannabinoids in the cannabis plant are THC and CBD. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC is most commonly used to treat symptoms such as pain and nausea. It’s also responsible for that traditional marijuana ‘high.’ CBD or cannabidiol is the non-psychoactive ingredient in cannabis which is commonly used to treat anxiety, pain, tremors, spasms or convulsions, stress, and inflammations. Cannabis contains over 100 different cannabinoids and research is only now discovering what they are and how they work.
Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains of marijuana have CBD and THC present. What separates different strains, however, is how dominate one cannabinoid is over the other. If you understand what each cannabinoid does and how it affects you, you’ll be better prepared to choose a strain of marijuana with the characteristics you’re looking for.
- THC – Strains with high amounts of THC will give you that euphoric high most marijuana users recognize. If you prefer the benefits of THC without the high, then you need to look at CBD dominant strains.
- CBD – CBD dominant strains of cannabis contain only small, trace amounts of THC. CBD can be bought in many countries over the counter and is used primarily for medical treatments.
Choosing the right strain of cannabis will depend largely on your own personal preferences. It’s important with any medication to speak to your healthcare professional before switching medication or stopping treatment.