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Plant Types

Fat Leaves, Short Bush

Cannabis Plant Type

Indica

Cannabis indica plants tend to have broad leaves with short wide fingers. They are generally compact and bushy in shape, growing 3 to 6 feet tall, with little space between branches resulting in a dense appearance. This branching pattern contributes to their ability to thrive in a variety of growing conditions and climates. Indica plants come from mountainous regions where they have adapted to shorter growing seasons. They also have a shorter flowering period, usually ranging from 6 to 8 weeks, since they evolved to flower quickly in colder climates to avoid frosts. Indica strains tend to produce dense, compact buds and often showcase deeper shades of green with hints of purple or blue. Their aroma tends to be pungent, with earthy, skunky or sweet notes.
Feel

Indica

Indica strains are often linked to relaxation, sedation, and a more physically calming experience. Indicas are often described as providing a “body high” that can lead to feelings of tranquility, stress relief, and muscle relaxation. Many consumers turn to indica strains for nighttime use or relaxation after a long day. These effects can be attributed to specific terpene and cannabinoid profiles. Chemical compounds work together in a nuanced manner to influence mood, energy levels, and bodily sensations. For example, Indica strains often contain terpenes like myrcene, which is also found in hops and contributes to sedation, relaxation, and an overall calming effect. Another terpene, linalool, is often present in Indicas and is known for its potential anti-anxiety and sedative properties, contributing to the soothing experience. Indicas frequently have higher levels of CBD, a cannabinoid associated with relaxation, pain relief, and a reduction in anxiety.

Skinny Leaves, Tall Bush

Cannabis Plant Type

Sativa

Cannabis sativa plants typically have narrow leaves with slender fingers. They often appear more elongated and spindly, with fewer branches spaced further apart, resulting in a more open canopy. Sativa plants can often grow up to 12 feet or more in height. This is because sativa plants originate from equatorial regions with ample sunlight. Sativa plants typically have a longer flowering period, often requiring 10 to 16 weeks to fully mature and produce flowers. Sativa plants often develop long, airy buds spread out along the branches and vary in color from light to medium green with vibrant orange or reddish-brown pistils. They may have an uplifting aroma profile with scents ranging from fruity and citrusy to earthy and spicy.
Feel

Sativa

Sativa strains are often associated with uplifting, energizing, and cerebral effects. Consumers often report feeling more creative, focused, and sociable when consuming sativa strains. Sativas are commonly believed to provide a “head high” that can inspire productivity and enhance mood without inducing heavy sedation. Terpenes and cannabinoids play a pivotal role in shaping these effects. For example, the terpene limonene, found in citrus fruits, is often present in sativa strains and is linked to mood elevation, stress relief, and an overall sense of well-being. Pinene, another common terpene found in sativas, may contribute to the focus-enhancing effects by acting as a bronchodilator and promoting alertness. Sativas often contain higher levels of the cannabinoid THC, which is responsible for the euphoric and psychoactive effects commonly associated with feeling energized and creative.
Cannabis

Hybrids

Cannabis cultivators grow hybrids by intentionally crossbreeding different cannabis strains with the goal of combining desirable traits from each parent plant. Hybrids can offer a wide range of benefits, including enhanced potency, unique flavors and aromas, specific medicinal properties, and improved growth characteristics. Cultivators may choose to create hybrids to meet the demands of consumers seeking diverse experiences and effects from cannabis products. For example, a cultivator might crossbreed a Sativa strain known for its energizing effects with an indica strain prized for its relaxing properties. The resulting hybrid could potentially offer a balanced experience, providing both mental stimulation and physical relaxation. Hybrids can also be bred to express specific terpene profiles that contribute to unique flavors and aromas, catering to consumers’ preferences for distinct sensory experiences.
What To Look For

Hybrids

When shopping for hybrids, consumers should request the specific terpene and cannabinoid profiles of the hybrid strain to understand its potential effects and medicinal benefits. Terpenes such as myrcene, limonene, and pinene can offer various therapeutic properties, while cannabinoids like THC and CBD contribute to the strain’s overall effects. Understanding these profiles can help consumers make informed decisions based on their desired experience. When shopping for cannabis, asking for the parentage or lineage of a strain can be incredibly helpful in anticipating its effects. By understanding the genetic background of a strain, including the specific parent strains that were crossed to create it, consumers can gain insights into the potential characteristics and effects of the product.
Cannabis

Genetics

The world of cannabis genetics is a fascinating and rapidly evolving field that encompasses a wide range of breeding techniques, genetic modifications, and advancements in plant science. Over the years, cannabis breeders have experimented with various crossing and selection methods to create new and innovative strains with unique characteristics. Traditional breeding techniques involve crossing different cannabis varieties to combine desirable traits such as potency, flavor, aroma, and growth patterns. Through selective breeding, breeders aim to stabilize and enhance these traits over successive generations, resulting in strains that meet the preferences and needs of consumers. For example, selectively breeding cannabis plants with elevated CBD enabled breeders to develop high CBD strains for medicinal use. The future of cannabis genetics holds immense promise as researchers continue to explore the plant’s genetic diversity and potential applications.
Cannabis

Strain Names

Cannabis strain names and naming are deeply intertwined with its cultural, social, and legal context. During the black market era of cannabis prohibition, which spanned much of the 20th century, cannabis cultivation and distribution occurred largely outside of legal frameworks. In this illicit environment, strain names often reflected their origins, appearance, or effects, with colorful and imaginative monikers emerging as a way to differentiate products and create brand identities. These names ranged from descriptive labels like “Skunk” or “Purple Haze” to whimsical and tongue-in-cheek references such as “Alaskan Thunderfuck” or “Green Crack.” Despite the shift towards legalization and regulation, the cannabis industry retains elements of its underground roots, including a sense of countercultural identity and rebellion against societal norms. Quirky and unconventional strain names continue to resonate with consumers, offering a sense of novelty and individuality. Today strain names serve as marketing tools for producers and retailers to differentiate their products in an increasingly competitive marketplace, appealing to consumers’ curiosity and desire for unique experiences.
Cannabis Plant Type

Hemp

Hemp is a distinct variety of the Cannabis sativa species that has been cultivated for its industrial and commercial uses rather than its psychoactive properties. Hemp plants typically have a tall and sturdy growth structure, often reaching heights of 10 to 15 feet or more. The spacing between branches is greater, giving the plant a more open canopy. This growth pattern contributes to the production of long and strong fibers, which have been historically valued for various applications. Hemp plants typically have a shorter growth cycle of around 90 to 120 days. This rapid growth allows for efficient cultivation and harvest. Hemp is known for its adaptability to a wide range of climates and soil types, making it a versatile crop that can be grown in various regions around the world. Additionally, hemp cultivation is promoted for its positive environmental impact, as it requires fewer pesticides and herbicides and can help sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
Uses

Hemp

Hemp has a rich history of human use dating back thousands of years. Its fibers have been utilized for making textiles, ropes, paper, and even construction materials due to their durability and strength. Hemp seeds are a nutritious source of protein, essential fatty acids, and other beneficial nutrients. They have been consumed as food, added to various dishes, or pressed to extract hempseed oil. Hemp-derived Cannabidiol (CBD) has recently gained significant attention for its potential health benefits. CBD is extracted from the flowers and leaves of hemp plants and is used in various products such as oils, tinctures, capsules, and topicals. Hemp-derived CBD has also become a popular ingredient in wellness and therapeutic products, as it is believed to have potential effects on pain management, anxiety reduction, and overall well-being.
Cannabis Plant Type

Ruderalis

Cannabis ruderalis is a lesser-known subspecies native to regions of Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Cannabis ruderalis is characterized by its small stature, typically reaching only one to two feet in height, and its auto-flowering trait, which means it flowers automatically based on age rather than light cycles. While Cannabis ruderalis has lower THC levels compared to sativa and indica strains, it has been utilized in breeding programs to introduce auto-flowering genetics into hybrid strains. This trait can be advantageous for outdoor cultivation in regions with short growing seasons, as auto-flowering plants can complete their life cycle more quickly and with less reliance on specific light conditions.
Cannabis Plant Type

Afghanica

Another lesser-known cannabis type is Cannabis afghanica, which is native to the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Cannabis afghanica is often classified as a subspecies of Cannabis indica due to its similar growth characteristics and effects. However, it is sometimes considered distinct due to its unique terpene profile and geographical origin. Cannabis afghanica strains are known for their resinous buds, high potency, and strong sedative effects. They have been historically used for making hashish and are prized by breeders for their contributions to hybrid vigor and potency in modern cannabis cultivars.
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