Cannabis has very diverse properties across the different strains and species; there are new strains popping up almost daily. In addition to the numerous strains, we are discovering the functions of tons of different psychoactive chemical compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes. New discoveries, new products, new methods of consumption, and even new species of cannabis are surfacing; much of this is due to the new legal marijuana markets across the U.S.
Indica plants are thought to have originated somewhere around the Kush Hindu geographical region. Indica plants are usually much shorter and stockier than sativa which makes them ideal for indoor growing. Most indica strains will provide the user with more of a body oriented high rather than a head high. Indica has also been known to have more of a sedative effect than sativa. For these reasons, indica is primarily used at nighttime to help people unwind and relax. A phrase that is commonly used to help people remember this is “Indica, in da’ couch”
Sativa usually grows taller and thinner than indica which makes it more suited for outdoor growing than indoor; this of course only being an issue of how much space you have in your grow room. Sativa strains give the user more of a head high than a body high. The head high is an ideal effect for artists, musicians, or anyone using marijuana in hopes of boosting their creative process. Sativa is also known to have more of an uplifting high that can give you energy and motivation. Sativa is primarily used during the daytime. Some sativa strains may cause temporary insomnia in some users if used before bed.
Hybrids are the offspring of two different parents, one parent being indica, the other being sativa (or one or both parents can be different hybrids). Hybrids have been getting more and more popular in recent times. Growers have been experimenting with crossing strains for quite a while now and this has yielded some amazing new hybrids. Snoops Dream is an example of a hybrid cross of Blue Dream and Blueberry. Blue Dream is a sativa or sativa hybrid and Blueberry is an indica or indica hybrid. Hybrids share the traits of both parents; some hybrids might give a strong body high but also give the user energy while others might give a strong head high but also cause relaxation and sedation. Hybrids encapsulate the largest category of marijuana strains and can range widely in its effects on a persons state of consciousness.
Depending on who you talk to, if you ask “how many species of cannabis are there”, you’ll likely receive an answer of 1-3 different species. Cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are considered as the two pure bred species; hybrid’s are the third species and are not pure bred. To most, indica, sativa, and hybrid are the only 3 strain types/species, however, there are more. A species named cannabis ruderalis also exists although it doesn’t have the potent mind altering effects that indica or sativa has. Due to the unique grow habits of cannabis ruderalis, it is currently being crossed with psychoactive species to create “autofem” strains (which might be a topic of a future article).
There has also been a discovery in Australia that some people speculate could be an entirely new species of marijuana. The plant was removed from the ground and given to a local university for testing but researchers and explorers have been unable to find another of these plants. With all the undiscovered organisms that have remained hidden from taxonomists’, I wouldn’t be surprised if new marijuana species are discovered and popularized at some point in the near future. Until then, there are plenty of varieties of psychoactive cannabis species and strains to choose from.