All about sativa strains of cannabis

Published Feb 13, 2019 02:46 p.m. ET
What is sativa?

Whether you are into smoking or growing of cannabis, the term sativa likely holds at least some meaning to you, but do you know what it actually means? Cannabis sativa is just one kind of marijuana plant that carries several specific characteristics based on both where it came from, and how it grows. This is because the system that we currently follow for labeling one type of cannabis as Sativa strains has changed dramatically from those in we have used in the past. At one time Indica and Sativa were both solely based on the region that they originate from, and since then it has been adjusted to make a bit more sense for growers. This is based on both origin and the physical characteristics of a cannabis plant.

What is sativa?

Cannabis Sativa is a species of marijuana plant that originated in eastern Asia. Sativa was first classified in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus who was a Swedish Botanist who formalized our current system of naming and labeling organisms. It has since been cultivated throughout most of throughout history for fiber, oil, food, recreation, spiritual, and medical purposes.

Cannabis sativa physiology

Just like with indica plants, cannabis sativa produces flowers that can contain various amounts of cannabinoids including THC, CBD, terpenes, and over 1200 other chemical components. A sativa plant will require a shorter day light cycle and tend to be much taller than their counterparts with many male and females’ plants reaching easily over six feet tall. Males are generally taller and spindlier than females, but females are the only ones that produce pistils and higher active cannabinoid levels. Sativa strains tend to be slightly more prone to deformities such as hermaphrodite plants when put through extreme environmental changes. They are however resistant to bugs, pests, and drought.

Sativa plant uses

Cannabis sativa plants have many different uses including:

  1. Recreational - Sativa plants carry components like those found in indica plants including THCA which is the psychoactive component once it has been heated and transformed into THC.

  2. Medicinal - Medical patients often use the product of sativa plants to get relieved from a myriad of symptoms including nausea, anxiety, depression, lack of appetite, and pain. It is often made into tinctures, topical creams, and ointments to be used for its anti-inflammatory properties.

  3. Manufacturing- Cannabis sativa seeds are used to harvest hemp seed oil which is used in the making of many paints and cooking oils.

  4. Food- Sativa plant seeds are often processed as a food supplement or alternative. Hemp hearts are just one example of health food that is derived from sativa plants. It is used this way due to its high fiber and high doses of essential fatty acid content.

  5. Spiritual- Sativa plants have been used in a variety of ways as a part of cultural and religious traditions all over the world. Most often it is made into a tea or smoked to provide a more definite connection to a spiritual place.

Sativa strains

There are hundreds of cannabis strains out there that contain anywhere from 50% to 100% sativa genetics. Unfortunately, pure sativa strains have slowly become more difficult to find as so many strains have died out, as the demand for hybrid marijuana strains keeps rising. Some of the most popular sativa or sativa dominant strains (that carry at least 80% sativa genetics) are:

Moby Dick, Super Jack, Great White Shark, Alaskan Thunder Fuck, Harlequin, Chocolope, Trinity, Super Silver Haze, Lemon Haze, Maui Wowie, Lemon G, Super Lemon Haze, Cat Piss, Amnesia Haze, Charlotte's Web, Laughing Buddha, Strawberry Cough, Jack Herer, Tangie, Green Crack, Cinex, Candyland, and Sour Diesel.

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