Keeping in mind that there is a strain for each person, it is important to know that each strain falls under one of the 4 types of Cannabis – Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis and Hybrid. Much to some’s surprise, telling these 4 types apart is easy once you know their identifying features. In order to tell the Canna Types apart, one must learn the identifying factors.. These factors are the following.
The first of the 4 types is Sativa. Sporting large and relatively skinny plants, with long skinny leaves often described as “finger-like”. Sativa leaves are the stereotypical “weed leaf” you’ll see around as Sativa is generally the most popular strain family. The family originated in the wild environments of countries on the equator – they continue to grow as they flower. This is due to the adaptation to the constant warm temperatures and high-UV levels.
EFFECTS OF SATIVA
Focusing and/or increasing alertness
Inspiring and increasing creativity
Helps relieve depression/promotes a sense of wellbeing
Stimulates the appetite
Cannabis indica plants are most commonly recognized by their short and stocky stature. This variety of cannabis originated in the wilds of sub-tropical countries, such as Pakistan and Afghanistan (which is sometimes reflected in a strain’s name). Anywhere between 30-50 degree north and south of the equator tends to have the ideal climate for them. Because these are further away from the equator then their sativa cousins, the hours of daylight cannabis indica plants are exposed to tend to fluctuate much more. This means that once the plants have reached their ideal height, they put all of their energy into producing flowers, utilizing the changing hours of day to the best of their ability.
The leaves of cannabis indica plants are a lot more fan like then any of the other families of cannabis. The fingers of the leaves grow much wider in order to utilize as much sunlight as possible.
This urgency to take full advantage of the sun has resulted in a line of cannabis plants that flower much faster than their sativa counterpart. This combined with their much smaller stature makes indica strains extremely attractive to those who are growing for money – where space and speed directly relate into potential profit.
Cannabis Indica Leaf
Cannabis indica strains are known for having a much higher CBD content than sativas. One of the many functions of CBD is to moderate the effect THC has on the body and mind. Thus indica strains have a very different effect than sativas. These effects include:
– A body buzz
– Acting as a muscle relaxant
– Reduces inflammation
– Effective pain relief/management
– Aids sleep
– Acting as a sedative
– Increasing the appetite
– Increasing dopamine production
– Relieving stress and anxiety
Cannabis ruderalis, is a relatively new line of cannabis within the cannabis cultivation scene. It 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).
The main feature of the ruderalis family is that it is autoflowering, meaning the cultivator does not need to get involved, and can leave their marijuana crop largely to itself. Ruderalis strains are also very small and very fast growing. They produce very small leaves and only a few side branches.
Cannabis Ruderalis Leaf
EFFECTS OF RUDERALIS
Ruderalis has very low levels of THC and CBD, making them worthless to use in a pure form. This is largely why they have not been utilized by the market up until recently. However, when bred with sativa or indica strains it is possible to produce a sativa or indica dominant plant that retains the auto flowering features of the ruderalis. This is a huge advantage for many growers, especially those who live in colder areas of the world, and/or those who grow outdoors. It means a crop can be planted, maintained with little effort and then replanted right after harvest – as flowering will be effected by time growing as opposed to seasonal change.
What this does mean is that ruderalis does not really have any effects in itself, and will be reliant on the sativa or indica genetics it has been bred with to produce any.
Although sativa, indica and ruderalis are 3 very distinct and different families of cannabis, they are all interbreedable. What this means is that there are now many strains out there that possess the qualities of multiple families. This allows seed banks and growers to customize and tinker with the qualities of their strains even more, producing some really stunning results.
Hybrid cannabis strains provide the best of both worlds. Expert breeders select the top sativa and indica strains and combine them into super strains that maintain the best aspects from both parents. Hybrids can be sativa or indica dominant and have the effects to match.