Types of Cannabis
Cannabis grows in many different varieties and has a wide range of effects. It’s important to know how cannabis is classified so you know what to look for when finding your wellness. Learn more about the different types of cannabis that can help you feel a balanced sense of well-being.
Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana: What’s the Difference?
Cannabis is a genus of the family Cannabacae. Previously, the Cannabis Genus contained 3 species: Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis. Through vigorous genetic sequencing, scientists have determined that there is only 1 species: Cannabis Sativa.
Cannabis Sativa is commonly known as hemp and has a variety of industrial uses. It is rich in cannabidiol, an all-natural non-psychoactive compound found in the cannabis plant. For centuries, hemp has been used to make clothes, paper, body care products, rope and more.
Cannabis Indica is commonly known as marijuana due to high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol. Tetrahydrocannabinol or THC, is a psychoactive compound associated with the mental euphoria known as “a high.”
Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica
Two of the most popular categories of cannabis are Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Many people associate sativas with their uplifting mental effects and indicas with couch-lock and proper sleep. Now that there are more strains of cannabis than ever before, we know that the classic conceptions about sativa and indica only scratch the surface of how cannabis grows and all that it can do.
Cannabis Sativa was identified first, using the Latin term “sativa” meaning it was a female cannabis plant that was intentionally cultivated by humans. Cannabis Indica was named for its botanical origins near the Indus River near the Caucasus Indicus mountains west of the Himalayas.
Understanding Cannabis Phenotypes
Cannabis Sativa grows best in warm climates. Sativa has narrower leaves, grows taller and flowers for longer than many indica plants do. Cannabis Indica has broad leaves and shorter stature than sativa. It is better suited for colder climates that have short seasons. Indica plants often have shorter flowering cycles as well. Physical characteristics associated with Sativa and Indica are what are known as phenotypes. Phenotypes describe physical characteristics and include things such as mold resistance and environmental growth preferences.
This is where strains come into the conversation, each strain of cannabis can be described as a phenotype of Cannabis Sativa. Phenotypes can be considered stable or unstable. Stability is the term used to describe the frequency in which cannabis plants seeds repeatedly express the same phenotype.
This makes sense when thinking about the evolution of cannabis that began in the Ice Age. The Himalayan mountains were formed by shifts in the earth, resulting in a different species of the cannabis plant that can be traced back to each side. This geographical barrier was difficult for people to travel across, and the plants developed differently on each side due to climate adaptation, crossbreeding and cultural isolation.
Understanding Cannabis Chemotypes
Another consideration when describing cannabis sativa is the chemotype. Chemotypes describe the chemical makeup of the plant. This includes cannabinoid content and terpene profiles. Chemotypes are more difficult to identify because the chemotype of the plant can vary greatly based on a variety of situations. The easiest way to describe chemotypes would be to look at indoor cannabis vs outdoor cannabis. A phenotype or “strain” may have numerous chemotypes based on the way it is grown. A clone grown indoors will have a different chemotype than a clone grown outdoors, even though they originated from the same mother.
Maximizing the Effects of Cannabis
“Science reveals that the true key to predicting the effects of cannabis isn’t just in its cannabinoid genetics, but also in natural plant compounds called terpenes.”
Whether you choose cannabis indica or sativa, terpenes play a big role in the scent, quality, and effectiveness of cannabis. For hundreds of years, cannabis growers crossbred different varieties of cannabis to achieve their ideal level of THC. When CBD was discovered, strains became even more customized and specially bred. Now, science reveals that the true key to predicting the effects of cannabis isn’t just in its cannabinoid genetics, but also in natural plant compounds called terpenes. And with so many strains, it can be hard to find the best one for you. That’s why we extract cannabis’ natural compounds (THC, CBD, and terpenes) and recombine them in targeted formulas to make it easier for you to find your wellness.