While those who are new to marijuana may be surprised to discover that there is more than one type of marijuana, in fact those who have a greater knowledge are aware that there are no less than three different types. Knowing about the differences between these strains will ensure that you know which ones are right for you to grow and use.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that not every strain of marijuana is identical. There are female and male plants as well as different seeds which produce a range of strains or varieties of plants. There are 3 different marijuana plant types – cannabis indica, cannabis sativa and the lesser known cannabis ruderalis. Being aware of the ways in which the three differ from each other couldn’t be more important since it enables you to make informed decisions when buying and selecting seeds for growing or strains for use.
What Is Cannabis Sativa
Cannabis Sativa is perhaps the best known type of marijuana strain and is said to be the type which is grown most frequently. This type of plant grows as high as 19 feet and is usually slender in appearance. Its plants feature delicate leaves and the seeds are smooth without flecked patterns or marbling. Sativa takes longer to flower than indica plants, and in the wild they are found in Thailand, India, Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria and other places which are below a 30 degrees North latitude. Once sativa has been harvested, it is dried and cured before being processed for smoking or vaporizing. Sativas are generally associated with causing a “high” euphoria rather than a “stoned” sensation, and this means that they produce an energetic and active feeling in the user. Thanks to the uplifting and positive effect that sativas produce, they are a good choice for those who suffer from depression. Sativas have a higher proportion of THC to CBD and are therefore not used as frequently for medical reasons. They are, however, associated with greater levels of creativity, and are sometimes used by artists and musicians when working to gain greater inspiration.
What Is Cannabis Indica?
You can identify a cannabis indica plant by its stocky and short structure. This type of plant usually only grows to about 10 feet in height, and features round, robust leaves. Its seeds are usually smooth and feature a marbled pattern. Indica plants also flower more rapidly than sativas, and respond well to changes in light. Indicas are found in the wild above the latitude of 30 degrees North in places like Afghanistan, Morocco, Lebanon and Nepal. The flowers and buds of indica plants grow densely together and are much more sticky than those of the sativa plant. Thanks to the large amount of resin in these buds, they are primarily used for making hashish. Often, indica buds feature a higher amount of CBD when compared to its THC content and therefore they produce a stoned and relaxed sensation when used. This sedating effect makes them an excellent choice for anyone who needs to unwind or who has sleeping difficulties. Indicas are also commonly recommended for those who are suffering medical problems such as chronic pain, anxiety, migraines and muscle spasms.
What Is Cannabis Ruderalis?
The third marijuana variety is the one that fewest people know about and these plants are not so common as sativas and indicas. Cannabis Ruderalis grows only to a height of around 2 feet, however the plant features leaves and branches that are very dense, making the plant especially bushy. The Ruderalis strain usually grows in the north as it has an early flowering cycle. As colder weather is experienced in north climates at an earlier time of year, ruderalis is therefore ideal for growers in these regions. Autoflowering cannabis plants are always made using ruderalis strains. Usually, ruderalis is never used for smoking as it does not produce such a psychoactive effect as a sativa or indica strain. More commonly, ruderalis is used by cultivators and breeders for other purposes – primarily as a source of genes to produce hybrid cannabis strains which are designed to be grown in cold climates.
Although there are three main types of marijuana – indica, sativa and ruderalis, there are also many hybrids available these days. Hybrid plants are cultivated to combine the best features of different strains of marijuana so that a desired effect can be produced when the hybrid is used. These days, many marijuana plants do not fall neatly into any of the three categories above but instead range across the spectrum.
Hybrids are popular because they have a host of different advantages to suit the grower’s climate or the user’s purpose. The goal of cultivating hybrid plants is to bring positive qualities from several strains into a single useful plant which exhibits all of these qualities.
If you are looking at a growing cannabis hybrid plant, you’ll be able to tell whether it has dominant sativa or indica genetics by examining its high, its leaf size and shape, its smell and how spaced out its buds are. If you are using a hybrid strain, you will be able to tell whether it is THC or CBD dominant by the feeling that is produced in your body.
What Is Hemp?
There is technically another type of cannabis plant – industrial hemp. Usually found growing in the north, hemp is a type of sativa plant which is specifically grown for industrial purposes. This rapidly growing plant has been spun into fibers for thousands of years and used to produce items like textiles, paper, clothes, insulation, food and animal feed. As hemp’s content of THC is extremely low, it is no use for smoking. Hemp has a THC level of under 0.3% and therefore it is now often used as a derivative source of CBD for use in supplements.
So, there you have it – a guide to the different types of marijuana plant. Armed with this information, you can now make the right choice about which is the best for your needs.