Are you looking for a Sativa, Hybrid or Indica? This is one of the first questions to ask yourself when selecting a cannabis strain. What again was the difference? In stoner language: a Sativa gets you high and an Indica gets you stoned. A hybrid – you already guessed so – combines the best of both worlds. But there’s more to it. Here is some basic information every cannabis lover should know.
Sativa strains are recognisable by their stimulating, activating and cerebral effects, often called a ‘high’. They are mainly used for recreational or creative purposes. Sativa species appear naturally in tropical climates and can be recognised by their tall height and sweet smell. Traditionally they contain high levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.
Typical sativa strains are:
– Jack Herer
– Sour Diesel
– Green Crack
Indica strains generally have more relaxing and sedating effects. This is what many users call ‘stoned’. Indica strains typically produce deep body relaxation. Indica plants are smaller in appearance and originally grow in moderate climate zones. Traditionally they contain higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC. That’s why they are often more suitable for medical use.
Typical Indica strains are:
– Granddaddy Purple
Hybrid cannabis strains
The distinction between sativa and Indica helps us understand why not all cannabis strains have the same effect. But in reality, the dichotomy is not that sharp. Most cannabis strains are hybrids: they have both Sativa and Indica qualities.
Hybrids came into existence by crossing Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica species. Or by crossing them with a third species of the cannabis plant: The Cannabis ruderalis.
Hybrids are often classified by the amount of indica and sativa properties they contain. White Widow for example, is a well-known hybrid with a sativa/indica ratio of 40:60. The effects of this strain are both euphoric, uplifting and relaxing.
These are well-known hybrid strains:
– White Widow
– OG Kush
Sativa, Hybrid or Indica: they derive from different species of plants
As mentioned above, there exist three different species of the Cannabis plant: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis ruderalis.
These plants cannot only be distinguished by their effects, they also look different. Sativa plants are the tallest: they reach a maximum of 4.5 meters in height! They are recognisable by the large space between the twigs (internodes), large branches and narrow bladed leaves. Originally Cannabis sativa appears in relatively warm climates around the equator.
Indica plants are shorter, and therefore more suitable for indoor or balcony growing. The plant looks more like a bush and has a woody structure with less space between the twigs. The leaflets are wider. The smell of an Indica plant is usually more intense, but less sweet than a Sativa. They can be found in moderate climates.
The third variety, Cannabis ruderalis, is less well-known as it produces only minor amounts of cannabinoids. The plant has small leaves and reaches 1.5 meter at maximum. In contrast with the other two species the stages of flowering and growth are not clearly separated.
Ruderalis plants are valuable as they have been crossed with other species in order to create autoflowers. Autoflower plants grow and bloom independent of the light cycle and mature much quicker than the other species – usually in about 10 weeks. Ideal when you want to grow outdoors in cooler climates.
Over time many cross-breedings of Sativa, Indica and ruderalis have been created, resulting in the wide variety of cannabis strains that exist today.