There a many different varieties of cannabis and they all affect us in different ways. Some make us relaxed and help us sleep. Others help us concentrate and stay alert. The type of cannabis and the amount of cannabis we ingest are important considerations when choosing the cannabis we use.
The Plural of Cannabis May Still Be Cannabis
The two most popular cannabises (if we were referencing multiple flowers of the same plant the plural would be cannabis) are Sativa and Indica. A third type of strain known as Hybrid can display properties of both and can be tailored, by the grower, to possess the best qualities of other strains.
Indica: Relax and Sleep
Indica is well known as a sleep aid and can help you relax. The leaves of an indica plant are broader than those of sativa and the buds are wider, more dense, and rather bulky. Many indica strains have a relatively lower concentration THC relative to the many cannabinoids, including CBD, CBN, and CBC, along with the terpenoids.
Originally grown in the Himalayan Mountains, it is believed by many that the extreme temperatures and harsh conditions affected the evolution of the plant. Indica flowers grow with a think coating of THC trichomes. This coating may have helped protect the plant and allowed it to thrive in the wintery environment.
All indica strains have a higher level of the cannabinoids than their sativa counterparts which contain more THC. Because of this, they tend to promote a feeling of calm, and enhance sleep and relaxation. They are also good for pain management.
Indica is often used at night before bed because of its relaxing effect.
There are a wide variety of popular indica strains sold in dispensaries around the country, including Blue Mystic, Blueberry Kush, Bubble Kush, Fat Banana, Ice, Northern Lights, OG Kush, and Pineapple Kush.
Sativa: Energize and Focus
Sativa is know for being an energizing strain of marijuana. Its leaves are thinner and longer than those of indica. The buds of a sativa plant are also longer and shaped like a cat tail willow. Sativa has higher relative levels of THC compared to the cannabinoids.
Sativa grows faster than indica which may explain why its leaves are thinner and longer. Since it grows naturally in warmer climates, natural evolution may have played a part in the physical and medicinal characteristics of the strain.
Many sativa strains are known for the ‘high’ they provide for those who use them.The increased level of THC is believed to help them achieve a more creative frame of mind and a higher level of energy.
The higher level of THC is also the cause of an increase in laughter and psychic visions often associated with using cannabis.
Sativa is often used during the day because of its energizing effect.
A few popular sativas include: Cannalope Haze, Chocolate Haze, Chocolope, Durban, Dutch Haze, Kali Mist, Super Silver, and Utopia Haze.
Hybrid: Best of Both Worlds
A third popular strain of cannabis is known as a Hybrid. This strain, as its name implies, displays characteristics of both indica and sativa plants. A hybrid cannabis plant is carefully cultivated to embody the best of multiple strains of cannabis. As you might imagine, there are multiple types of hybrids depending on the characteristics developed by the grower.
Hybrids are the result of careful breeding and of multiple cannabis plants to get a plant with the desired characteristics of both. Breeding is highly technical field and, on a professional level, requires experience and know how.
Getting a plant with the desired amount of THC, CBD, CBN, CBC, and terpenoids, specific aroma, or any of the other traits of a cannabis plant is much more than trial and error.
Cross breeding and genetic engineering (in a good way) of marijuana plants is definitely becoming more and more popular. In fact, many believe that in the not too distant future, hybrids will become more popular than both indica and sativa.
Some of the more popular hybrid strains of cannabis are: Ak-47, Blue Dream, Blueberry, Ghost OG, Pineapple Express, Purple Kush, Sour Diesel, and White Widow.
Classifying Weed: A Word of Caution
Classifying the strain of weed based on whether it was indica or sativa was once an easy task. With today’s variety of options and hybrids created with two or multiple other hybrids, the classification of weed has become much more complex and sophisticated. As a result, the parent strain is no longer a conclusive method for predicting the effect it may have on you.
A much better indicator is to measure the percentage of THC and cannabinoids contained in the strain. Those percentages are a much better indicator of the impact that particular strain of cannabis will have on you.
It’s All about THC, Cannabinoids, and Terpenoids
Cannabis flower, whether used as is or as one of the ingredients of an edible, tincture, or topical, is often described based on the effect it has on us. It’s no longer accurate to say a particular strain acts in a particular manner.
The more accurate way to describe cannabis is based on the percentage of THC contained in the strain. It’s a more scientific way of predicting how the strain will act.
It’s considered a good idea to use a testing lab for determining an accurate measure of THC, cannabinoid, terpenoids, and other chemicals found in cannabis.
Choose the One You Like
All strains of cannabis provide a sense of euphoria. They alter your perception and make you feel good. They effects can be physical, emotional, or even spiritual.
The best way to find the strain that’s best for you is to ask questions, try multiple strains, and keep a journal of how each one makes you feel.
Keep in mind that using cannabis may be associated with negative side effects like short term memory loss, anxiety, or fatigue.
In general though, cannabis has been shown to have many medical benefits and may provide relive from pain and in some studies has been shown to be an effective cure for some of life’s more common ailments.