Sativa and Indica are the two strains that can be considered the “yin and yang” of cannabis cultivation. Hybrid strains now considered “modern marijuana,” are the result of careful cultivation to precisely balance Sativa and Indica strains in varying degrees for individual needs. It is for this reason that Hybrid strains are now the most popular.
There are variations between individual plants, even between those of the same variety. Different effects result due to differences in chemical composition, mostly based on the growing conditions and technique used.
The Sativa strains thrive in more equatorial climates like parts of Asia, Southeast Asia, Africa, or Central America. Sativa is the taller, thinner version of cannabis, with longer and thinner leaves. The Sativa strains typically express less CBD (or cannabidiol) and more THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol). Sativa is more popular among recreational users for its energizing and productive “mind high.” It reduces anxiety and produces a more creative, socializing effect. It is therefore more frequently consumed during the day, stimulating one’s ability to interact with others.
The Indica strains originate from, and grows successfully in, the cooler climates of Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. Indica is the shorter and stockier version of the two strains, with wider and plumper leaves. The Indica strains typically express more CBD (or cannabidiol) and less THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol). Indica is therefore used by people in need of more therapeutics, providing an over-all “body buzz.” It is sought after for its relaxing and pain-relieving effects. It is also used for the treatment of chronic pain, depression, and stimulation of the appetite. Indica is best used in the evenings or at night when it’s relaxing “body-buzz” allows you to peacefully isolate.
The hybrid strains continue to increase both in popularity and variety due to the cultivator’s interest and abilities to precisely balance the attributes of the two parent plants, Sativa and Indica, to individual needs. This is done in carefully controlled greenhouses. Hybrids vary as to their growth and appearance based on which parent strain is more dominant and to what degree. Each hybrid strain has a unique CBD to THC ratio depending upon the intended use. Benefits can range from reducing anxiety and stress to relieving symptoms caused by cancer or cancer treatment.
Cannabinoids, naturally occurring compounds in cannabis plants, are what produce many of the effects, and benefits. They include THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), a psychoactive compound most responsible for the “high,” CBD (cannabidiol), a more therapeutic compound known to relieve conditions such as chronic pain, nausea, and anxiety, CBN (cannabinol), used to ease the symptoms of some neurological disorders, THCA (tetrahydrocannabinol acid), for reducing inflammation or stiffness caused by arthritis, autoimmunity, Parkinson’s disease, or ALS, and CBG (cannabigerol), thought to reduce anxiety, OCD, PTSD, and depression.
Recent research is showing that terpenes, another naturally occurring compound, has a major impact on the way cannabis affects us. Not only do they influence how the particular strain smells or tastes, but they may also very well determine the way the strains express their cannabinoids. Among the cannabis terpenes are Bisabolol (an anti-inflammatory), Caryophyllene (for treatment of depression and ulcers), Linalool (for relaxation and improved mood), Myrcene (for anxiety and insomnia), Ocemine (may reduce congestion, viruses and bacteria), Pinene (for a memory boost, reduced pain, and nausea relief), Terpinolene (a sedative with antibacterial and antifungal properties), Limonene (for mood and stress improvement), Humulene (an inflammation reducer), and Eucalyptol (for reducing inflammation and fighting bacteria).
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