What are the Different Types of Marijuana?
Although there’s some debate about the true number of species within the plant genus known as Cannabis, there are three species that are generally recognized. They are Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis ruderalis is a short plant that only produces very small amounts of THC and is high in CBD.
In addition to pure Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis, there are also hybrid strains that include different blends of these pure strains. Most medical marijuana hybrids will be a mix of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. These strains will have varying effects that can be useful for a wide range of medicinal and recreational purposes.
What is Indica Medical Marijuana?
Indica medical marijuana plants are typically short in stature and feature broad leaves and shorter growing cycles. Indica plants are well-suited for growth in cooler climates due to their shorter flowering periods.
Due to their full-bodied, muscle relaxing effects, Indica strains can be helpful in treating conditions like multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, chronic pain, Chrohn’s disease, headaches, and sleep disorders.
Indicas can also be used to help treat anxiety and boost appetite. However, some patients have found that certain sativas can actually exacerbate their anxiety. This is why it is important to always test new strains before committing to using them as medicine. Because they can tend to provide a sedative body high, many consider Indicas to be best suited for nighttime use.
Popular Indica Marijuana Strains
Hindu Kush Strain
A pure indica from the Hindu Kush mountain range between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Granddaddy Purple Strain
Known for its deep purple flower with sweet, earthy terpenes and aroma.
Smells and tastes like fresh fruit with an assortment of red and purple coloring.
What is Sativa Medical Marijuana?
Most cannabis users will hear the term sativa and think of an energizing, uplifting, and cerebral experience that can be useful when patients need to be more functional while medicating. Sativa strains have also been known to help boost creativity and increase mental focus. As a result, sativas are often used to help treat conditions like depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADD, and other mood disorders. However, it is important to note that some patients have found that certain sativa strains can increase their anxiety. That is why it is essential to always test out a new strain before committing to using it as medication.
Sativa is said to produce a "mind high" that users typically describe as an en energizing effect. Sativa dominant strains are typically referred to as a great daytime option for patients due to their energizing effect. Sativas have the potential to reduce anxiety, but some users have reported they have felt the opposite.
Everyone has a unique Endocannabinoid System, that's why it's recommended for new users to sample a strain before using it to medicate.
Popular Sativa Marijuana Strains
Super Silver Haze
With an earthy citrus flavor this strain is known to provide a burst of energy.
One of the most popular sativa strains, has a fruity flavor profile and is known to produce energetic effects.
With genetic roots going back to South Africa this sativa packs a punch.
What are Hybrid Marijuana Strains?
Hybrids are crossbred strains of cannabis that have both indica and sativa genetics. Although hybrids can take after either parent, the goal is usually to create a strain with desirable characteristics from each parent.
Hybrids are relatively common, with many popular indica and sativa strains having hybridization somewhere in their ancestry. In some cases, a hybrid strain may be more characteristic of one species (indica or sativa). These types of hybrid strains are referred to as indica-dominant or sativa-dominant. For example, Northern Lights is a 90% indica-dominant strain.
Hybridization, also known as crossbreeding, can be useful for many different reasons. For example, it can be used to “mellow out” a sativa strain that tends to cause paranoia, or to decrease the tired feeling that can be caused by certain types of indicas.
Sometimes crossbreeding can happen by accident, other times it is the result of careful selection like it was with the Charlotte’s Web strain – which is a strain high in CBD that is used to help treat children with severe epilepsy.
Popular Hybrid Marijuana Strains
Is a hybrid strain that’s the result of crossing Chemdawg, Lemon Thai, and Hindu Kush.
An indica dominant hybrid strain that provides a body high with a sweet flavor thanks to its skunky terpenes.
Is a sativa dominant hybrid strain that is the result of crossing Blueberry and Haze strains.
Got Questions? We Have Answers!
Indica vs. Sativa FAQs
If you are interested in learning about the differences between cannabis types, below are some answers to commonly asked questions about indica and sativa marijuana strains.
In the past, the different effects of various types of marijuana were thought to result from whether they were indica or sativa. Now, as we learn more, science suggests that the main differences between the way people feel after medicating with a certain strain, can be attributed to things like the terpene profile and the way those terpenes interact with an individual’s endocannabinoid system.
Helpful Beginner Resources to Get you Started with Cannabis:
The bottom line is that everyone’s experience with medicinal cannabis will vary. Instead of focusing on whether you should medicate with a sativa or indica strain, it is more important to identify the strains with the terpene profile that works best with your endocannabinoid system. By striking the right balance, you can be on your way to enjoying the quality of life enhancements that are possible with medical marijuana.
The best way to find which strains and products are best for you and your condition, is to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a Patient Care Specialist at a Bloom Medicinals dispensary near you!