Know Your Strains

Indica vs. Sativa:
Cannabis has two main species, indica and sativa, each with their own unique characteristics. Most marijuana users know that there are various strains available with different benefits and diverse effects. What some users may not know is the role that indica and sativa play. As you learn about and experiment with the difference between these two types of cannabis a whole world of strains and their benefits open up.

Cannabis sativa v. sativa
Originated in equatorial, warm climates.
Positives: Known for cerebral, up-lifting head highs that are generally thought-provoking, energetic, creative. Often they create a sense of wellness and ease, and can increase focus. Can be very appetite-stimulating and therefore great for cancer patients.

Cannabis sativa v. indica
Originated in the middle east in cooler climates.
Positives: Known to aid in sleep, pain relief, nausea, depression, muscle spasms, and headaches, having a relaxing high that is felt heavily in the body, giving it the “in the couch” reputation. Especially useful for people with autoimmune diseases like fibromyalgia, lupus, and M.S.. 

Cannabis ruderalis
Cannabis ruderalis can be found growing in the wilds of the colder regions of the world, usually above 50 degrees north of the equator (in such places as Russia and China).It is an auto-flowering variety that strains like Trainwreck and Northern Lights take their genetics from. Ruderalis strains are low in THC but make for great crossbreeding due to their short growing season and auto-flowering capabliities..

Landrace and Mega strains
Landrace strains are essentially unadulterated versions of indica or sativa, having developed without interbreeding with other cannabis species over a long time. Their genetics are strong and well-adapted to their local climate, making their highs unique as well. They are often named for their region of origination, e.g. Durban Poison originated in Durban, South Africa. Today we have many hybrid strains on the market, but before interbreeding of indicas and sativas became popular, people smoked original landrace strains such as Acapulco Gold, Durban Poison, Hindu Kush, Pure Afghan, Jamaican Lamb’s Bread, Malawi, or Panama Red. Everyone should familiarize themselves with the most common strains, especially landrace strains used in many hybrid crosses. Some basic examples: indica powerhouse strains like Kush or Skunk, or the sativa powerhouses like Haze and Diesel. The popular hybrids they make like Blue Dream, Blue Magoo, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Super Silver Haze, are what comprise many dispensaries’ menus.


Grace Young