Cannabis is a unique plant with many positive effects, and there are many options within the cannabis realm.
As the industry continues to grow, many people are choosing Cannabis to help heal current mental or physical conditions, or they use it merely as a way to unwind. If you’re looking to bring cannabis products into your life, you should do your research and find out which product or strain is the best for you.
Cannabis is known for three main different strains; Sativa, Indica and Ruderalis, these strains can also be combined to create hybrids and offer more diverse experience. Strains are characterised by their cannabinoids, which are the chemical compounds found in the strain.
The most well-known cannabinoids are THC and CBD; they are responsible for the high the strain produces. THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis strains, and it creates more of a “head high,” which is often sought after when looking for a cannabis product.
High levels of THC are commonly found in the Sativa strains. CBD is quite different as it does not produce a “high”; it instead targets the body and can create a relaxing effect. Pure CBD is often used for people who are not looking for any type of high but for general health benefits and other uses.
High levels of CBD can be found in strains like Indica and Ruderalis. Each of the three basic varieties originally grew in different climate zones and differ in appearance, growth pattern and effects. Most plants that exist now are a hybrid between the three.
The Sativa strain was initially grown in warmer climates and can now be found in areas such as Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. The plant can grow up to twelve feet tall and have longer leaves; they typically take longer to mature than other strains of cannabis.
Sativa plants are a lot more challenging to grow at home due to the specific climate needed for these plants to grow. The type of high Sativa produces a more “head high” and a euphoric feeling that is often described when consuming cannabis products.
Compared to other strains, Sativa does not provide the lazy effects that are stereotypical to cannabis. Instead, it produces an energising and productive impact, which reduces anxiety and stress while boosting creativity.
The reason it gives more of a “head high” is due to its cannabinoid properties. Sativa possesses a higher THC level and a lower CBD level; most Sativa strains are hybrids of these two. Still, when selecting Sativa strains, one should look at the description offered by the dispensary more than the levels of THC and CBD.
Sativa is best used in the daytime as it has energising properties, but if you want to use Cannabis as a calming device for the night-time, you can get lower THC levels and higher CBD levels. This strain is often used as a medication, the medical benefits of Sativa include anti-inflammatory, anti-depression, lower pain levels, and aid with attention disorders.
The ‘Haze’ varieties are usually Sativas e.g. Lemon Haze or Purple Haze. Popular strains of Sativa are Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Durban Poison.
The opposite type of strain to Sativa is Indica. Indica is a strain that produces more of a body high and has more relaxing properties. Indica is grown in colder climates making it easier to grow at home and has fatter leaves and a quicker flowering period.
In the cannabis community, Indica is categorised as having a sedative effect; the body high it produces creates a very relaxing state. The reason for this high is due to the lower levels of THC and the higher levels of CBD. It is similar to the CBD products that are on the market, but with the addition of THC, it gives one a full body relaxing experience.
This strain is most beneficial at night time as it helps aid with insomnia, pain relief, anti-stress, and anti-anxiety, it is commonly used in the medical cannabis industry. Indica has been labelled as the classic high as it can leave people in a couch-lock and can increase appetite; however, it should not be perceived as a harmful drug as it can have positive effects when used correctly.
Indica can also be combined with Sativa to make a hybrid strain, which can create a medium between the two leaving one with a relaxing but still functioning high. Dispensaries have been able to create different levels of hybrids, which give a lot of choice to someone looking for their perfect strain.
Indica plants don’t grow very tall, and are therefore more suitable for balcony or indoor growing. They originated from the Hindu-Kush region of central Asia, and the smell tends to be more intense than Sativa.
‘Skunk’ and ‘Kush’ varieties tend to be more Indica dominant.
The third and final strain of Ruderalis is a harder strain to find, which means it is not accessible for recreational purposes. It is considered a wild cannabis plant and was used initially used as anti-depression medication in Russia and Asia.
The Ruderalis plant is used by growers to create valuable hybrids with Sativa and Indica because it can increase the flowering speed of the plant and can adapt to harsh climates. These are known as Automatic flower varieties, they usually keep the positive attributes of the Indica or Sativa plant, but stay short and don’t require much attention.
The properties of Ruderalis are not well researched due to its rarity, but it consists of very low levels of THC and very high levels of CBD. Examples of strains include Amnesia Haze Automatic, or Haze Berry Automatic.
The three strains of Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis each offer their own conditions, properties and uses. This gives us some idea as to the roots and geographical history of the Cannabis plant, however when it comes to finding the right strain for you, it’s best to look at the unique Cannabinoid and Terpene profiles, which will vary between hybrids.
Sources – Ava Melenchuck