General facts about cannabis and cannabis strains

Published Jan 29, 2019 02:42 p.m. ET

What is cannabis?
Cannabis plants AKA marijuana plants are a genus of plant from the Cannabaceae family and are most widely known for containing the main psychoactive effect causing cannabinoid THC. Cannabis are tall, fibrous, plants from the hemp family, and related to Humus (aka Hops), Celtic (aka Hackberry), Trema (evergreen trees), Pteroceltis (including blue sandalwood trees), Lozanella (vines), Gironniera, and Aphanthe (also an evergreen).

What is cannabis used for
Cannabis is used for recreational smoking, it is made into edible form (called edibles), it is taken as pain relief and for other medicinal reasons. In addition to recreational ingestion and medicinal use, these plants are often used in the production of many hemp materials that are made into clothing, purses, paper, shoes and more.

What is a marijuana strain?
Strains will fit into one or more of these four categories — hemp, Indica, Sativa, and hybrids. Every strain has been designed for a different purpose.

Hemp strains
Hemp is the strain designed for and used in the production of material and grown strictly from weed fibers. Hemp strains will have very little if any CBD or THC content. Sometimes hemp is also by mass producers of CBD tinctures. There are so little THC and CBD content in hemp plants that the only way they can be beneficial for ingestion is by extracting the CBD content with a solvent.

Indica strains
Indica strains are the most potent strains with the most intense full-body effects. Generally, they have higher THC content. Indica strains tend to grow on the smaller side staying under six feet high with large broad leaves and shorter flowering stages. Just a few of the most popular Indica strains are Pineapple Express, Northern Lights, and O.G. Kush.

Sativa strains
Sativa strains are known for their more energetic and lifting effects. Though many Sativa strains run averages like Indica, Sativa is generally higher in CBD content and on the lower end of the scale for THC content. Sativa strains tend to produce smaller buds, and have smaller leaves, while easily skyrocketing over six feet tall on average. Sativa tends to offer lower yields but are preferred by many for its notoriously lighter effects leaving the user the ability to keep motivated. A few of the most popular Sativa strains are Sour Diesel, Strawberry Cough, Lemon Haze, and Green Crack.

Hybrid strains

Hybrid strains are their own category and consist of three different variations.

Sativa Dominant
Sativa dominant hybrids consist of more than 51% Sativa genetics with less than 49% Indica.

Indica Dominant
Indica dominant hybrids have at least 51% India genetics with less than 49% Sativa.

50/50 even Hybrids
Even hybrids are an even 50/50 mix of both Indica and Sativa genetics.

How to choose a strain

Strains are usually labeled as one of those four categories listed above. Unfortunately, the strain labels themselves are not of much use when trying to decide which to get. They are more useful for those who grow because even though the effects of each strain are somewhat separated by those categories, you can easily get the same effects from a Sativa as you do from an Indica or Hybrid. This is because the separate groups we so often see dividing the plants are based more on leaves and overall size of the plants rather than THC or CBD content. The “perfect’ strain for you will depend on several factors. If you are growing, then the average flowering time and yield may ultimately make your decision. If you are using medically or recreationally, it is best to choose the strain based on THC or CBD content required to obtain your desired effects.

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