The cannabis industry is booming, with new studies coming out every day about the benefits of this amazing plant. There are three main types of cannabis plants – Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. Understanding these differences will help you find the best strain to suit your needs!
This guide will help you understand the difference between Sativa, Indica, and hybrid cannabis strains so you can make an informed decision on which strain is best for your needs. You’ll also learn about the many benefits of each type of cannabis as well as how to use it properly to get the most out of your experience with this incredible plant!
Brief History of Cannabis Plant
First, let’s take a moment to discuss where cannabis comes from. So, for centuries, many parts of the world have used marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is believed that the cannabis plant originated in Asia thousands of years ago. The first recorded use of Cannabis for medicinal purposes was during 2737 BC by Emperor Shen-Nung from China.
Throughout time we’ve learned about its benefits and uses through extensive human observation; however, it wasn’t until the 1940s that researchers began to uncover how and why cannabis has so many therapeutic properties. It was in 1964 when scientist Dr. Raphael Mechoulam isolated THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) which is the psychoactive chemical compound that gives marijuana its potency. Not too long after this discovery, he also discovered what CBD (cannabidiol) was!
After these discoveries took place labs all over the world got an interest in studying this plant further. This increased the amount of research that has been conducted on cannabis and its effects. So, now we are in the middle of this huge medical revolution in which many people and government officials are starting to recognize how beneficial marijuana is!
What do you want to feel?
You need to decide which effect you want. Do you want to feel relaxed? Or do you enjoy euphoria and uplifting (Sativa) effects or are you looking for something heavier with full-body relaxation? To get the right strain and dose, it’s important to account for how much time will elapse between using cannabis and the desired effects.
Although there are many different strains out there that have their own unique benefits, these basic factors seem to cover most of what we think about when choosing a strain.
Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that interact with receptors in your nervous system and immune system. You may have heard about THC(tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (cannabidiol), CBN (cannabinol), and CBG (cannabigerol).
CBD: It is believed to provide relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, and nausea.
THC: It causes the feeling of being “high” or euphoric as well as providing different health benefits including reducing nausea and vomiting and stimulating appetite for those who need help increasing their weight.
CBN: It has sedative effects.It’s important to note that not all cannabis strains contain these same values of CBD/THC; therefore, the effects will differ by strain.
CBG: It is involved in the regulation of blood pressure and inflammatory responses.
The ratio of CBD to THC is typically associated with the effect you will experience. For example, strains that are higher in CBD typically provide more relief while those with a higher amount of THC have more psychoactive effect.
This is very important to know when choosing what kind of strain you want since the ratios can vary even within your preferred type!
Terpenes are oils secreted by the cannabis plant that gives different strains their unique smell and flavor. Not only do terpenes help you identify a strain, but they also affect your experience when using it. Some terpenes are known for increasing focus while others make you feel more relaxed or blissful! Of course, there is no right or wrong answer, so experiment with each one until you find what works best for you!
Some of the most common types of terpenes found in cannabis include- Pinene (pine), Myrcene(musky), Limonene (citrus), Linalool (floral/ lavender), Caryophyllene(pepper), among others. Some of these are also found in other plants and herbs, like cloves and hops!
Different strains of cannabis have different concentrations of THC and CBD. This can make a huge difference in the effects you experience from using cannabis For example, Sativa strains tend to produce more uplifting and heady effects while Indica strains are known for providing more body-high relaxation! But don’t worry! You won’t know how any given strain will affect you until you try it on your own skin!
Cerebral effects refer to the mental or cognitive impact that weed has on you, whether it’s a positive or negative effect. These effects vary depending on what type of strain you’re using. For instance, Sativa typically provides more cerebral stimulation than Indica while also being lighter on the body. While Indica strains typically provide users with calming cerebral effects lathered on top of a strong body high.
Physical effects refer to how cannabis can affect you physically which ultimately affects your mood (your mental state of being). These are often referred to as head and body highs. The term “body high” is slang for the overall relaxing effects that cannabis has on your entire body, whether it be from walking down a long flight of stairs or going to sleep at night! If you’re looking for something more stimulating (that doesn’t necessarily have an impact on your mood) then stick with Sativa-dominant hybrids or pure Sativas!
The legality of cannabis has a lot to do with what kind of state or country you live in. In the United States, it’s illegal under federal law and each state handles its laws differently — for example, some states have legalized medical marijuana while others have not yet passed any legislation but may decriminalize possession for small amounts.
In terms of legality, the rules are still being formed in our nation. Some states have made recreational use legal while others have medical cannabis regulations changing as we speak. It’s important to do your research on the legal status of cannabis in your state before consuming it, me personally I knew the minute it was legalized in Chicago!
3 Major Cannabis Types: Sativa-Indica-Hybrid
Based on their physical appearance, there are three main types of cannabis strains – Sativa, Indica, & hybrid. They all interact with our bodies differently due to their chemical makeup.
Sativa! originated in Southeast Asia and is known for its long skinny leaves, high THC levels, and uplifting cerebral effects. Sativa is often used during the daytime to provide users with focused attention while also boosting creative energy.
Appearance: Sativa! plants are traditionally tall, have light green buds covered in bright orange or red hairs, and can have a skunky smell when dried (due to lower CBD/THC content).
Effects: When using Sativa you might experience feelings of euphoria, heightened creativity, increased focus as well as a feeling of being more awake and aware.
- Medical benefits: Sometimes referred to as “heady” cannabis strains since they can make your head feel spacey or cloudy, Sativa strains are often used to increase energy, focus, and a sense of well-being.
- Taste: Tangy/citrus flavor with some hints of spice found in most Sativa strains.
- Side effects: side effects can include: anxiety, paranoia, and/or headache.
- Popular strains: A few popular sativa strains are Acapulco Gold, Durban Poison & Panama Red.
- Grow time: Sativa plants tend to grow a bit longer than Indica strains and take long periods of time before being ready for harvest.
- Daytime or nighttime use: Sativa is used best during the day and may be too stimulating for users looking to sleep at night.
Indica! originated in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Northern India as well as other mountainous areas of different regions throughout the world. In the mid-’80s when Indica strains started t o get attention, they were known for their high CBD/THC content and relaxing body effects. Related: 4 THC & CBD Myths You’ve Always Believed!
Appearance: Indica plants are taller and bushier than Sativa plants with darker green leaves coated in a thick layer of sticky trichomes (which is where most of its compounds, like THC, originate from). They also typically have orange hairs on the top of their buds as well as a more skunky smell when dried (due to higher THC content).
Effects: When using an Indica strain you might experience feelings of being relaxed, calm, sleepy, or hungry. While some people describe it as an “in-da-couch” type of high… others can experience a body high that gives them the munchies!
- Medical benefits: Indica strains are often used to reduce pain, anxiety, and even insomnia. It’s also worth mentioning that many Indica strains have sedative effects which make them perfect for treating patients suffering from insomnia. Don’t forget about its helpful properties in reducing nausea as well.
- Taste: Earthy/sweet with hints of wood or gasoline (when smoked).
- Side effects: Dry mouth, dizziness, and cottonmouth! Some users might find it difficult to concentrate on certain tasks while under the influence of an Indica strain.
- Popular strains: A few popular indica strains are White Widow, Northern Lights, and Blueberry.
- Grow time: While hybrid plants tend to grow faster than Indica strains it still might take more time for this type of cannabis plant to be fully grown before being ready for harvest. Indica plants are also smaller in size than Sativa plants which makes them easier for growers to hide or disguise from prying eyes.
- Daytime or nighttime use: Since sedative effects can cause some people to feel tired.
Hybrids! are a cross between two strains of cannabis and typically exhibit traits from both their parents. This cross-genetic breeding helps breeders create plants and flowers that might be adapted to certain climates, as well as illnesses or conditions like anxiety, depression, or pain.
For example, if you’re looking for the stimulating effects that can cause an increased level of energy try out a Sativa strain while if you’re looking for more “chill” effects by most likely choose an Indica variety that tends to make users feel relaxed and sleepy. Hybrids also contain higher amounts of THC than CBD but don’t worry consuming these will not get you “high” since there’s still less than 0.3% psychoactive THC in each hybrid strain.
Appearance: Hybrid strains can come in many sizes and shapes. Some are tall while others have short bushy leaves. The color of the flowers on hybrid plants tends to be a combination of both their parents-light green with orange hairs or darker green with reddish-orange hair.
Effects: Depending on which strain was cross-bred will depend on what you can expect when consuming it. The effects can range from feeling relaxed/sleepy to energetic depending upon whether it’s an Indica or Sativa type of strain.
- Medical benefits: There are some hybrid strains that have been created for medical use, such as pain-relieving CBD oil that may benefit people suffering from epilepsy, arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis (MS), and even cancer.
- Taste: While the base of flavor is determined by its parent strains, this type of cannabis strain will typically have a fruity taste (due to its high sugar content). However, it could also be described as earthy or sweet-smelling with hints of vanilla or berries.
- Side effects: Since Indica strains tend to make users feel tired or sleepy some people might experience feelings of dizziness or dry mouth when under their influence — but most people describe feeling relaxed instead!
- Popular Strains: A few popular hybrid strains are Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies, and the Hindu Kush.
- Grow time: It might take until the harvest date for this type of cannabis plant to fully grow before being ready for harvest in comparison to Sativa plants which typically grow faster.
- Daytime or nighttime use: Hybrid strains are normally used during the day rather than in the evening because of their effects. Hybrid strains can make users feel energetic and uplifting, making them a desired strain to consume during daytime activities such as working out at the gym or taking care of daily chores around the house.
Side Effects/Risks of Cannabis
Though it has primarily medicinal uses, the following are some of the side effects that have been associated with using Cannabis
- Fogged Memory
- increased heart rate
- Anxiety, paranoia
- Cravings or munchies
- Dry eyes
- Dry mouth
- Weight gain/loss (associated with food intake/munchies)
A Few Last Thoughts!
While each cannabis strain has its own unique set of effects it’s important to remember that everyone is different and how people react to consuming these strains might be slightly different from one person to another — but in the end, they’re all effective ways for you as a user to relax, unwind, and feel more zen.
The different types of Cannabis have their own benefits and side effects. Sativa strains are typically associated with a cerebral high that leaves you feeling creative or social while Indica-dominant hybrids can be helpful for chronic pain relief or insomnia. Understanding these differences can help you find out what type will work best for your needs!
We hope this article was helpful!
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