Thursday, February 8, 2024

Exploring the Cannabis Strains Indica and Sativa

Scott Haber 42 Degrees

The two main types of cannabis strains are sativa and indica. Sativa strains are taller and have more narrow leaves and looser buds. By contrast, indica is relatively short and has broad leaves and dense buds. The most profound difference, however, as far as cannabis smokers are concerned, is their psychoactive effect.

The Cannabis indica plant originated in temperate regions such as the Middle East, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tibet. Indica strains target the body and have sedative properties that can relieve issues such as muscle tension, pain, and insomnia.

Possessing higher cannabidiol (CBD) levels, they offer lower THC levels than sativa. CBD acts as a moderating force that tempers THC’s effects: some people find THC challenging to tolerate without its presence. Specific strains of indica are used as a remedy against anxiety, delivering a soothing high and deep relaxation accompanied by clarity of thinking. Given this dynamic of effective pain relief and flat, relaxing, high, Indica strains are often the basis of medical marijuana.

Cannabis sativa originated in tropical areas, such as Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Compared with indica, sativa strains provide a more cerebral experience, including sociability, euphoria, and increased concentration. They have an uplifting effect, featuring higher THC and lower CBD levels.

For centuries, hybrids have also been cultivated that achieve results such as growing faster, providing greater yields, and balancing out the effects of each distinct strain. Hybrids are not always created by combining just sativa and indica strains. Cannabis ruderalis, which grows wild in cooler regions such as Russia and the Ukrainian-Hungarian border, is not high in either CBD or THC. Still, cultivators value it for its hardiness and the fact that it flowers on its own, and ruderalis is often used in creating indica and sativa hybrids.

Within each strain, there is considerable variance regarding the types of psychoactive and physiological effects of cannabis. Reflecting underlying chemical composition differences, the cannabis industry is moving away from terms such as sativa, indica, and hybrid altogether and characterizing strains as Type 1 (high THC), Type 2 (THC/CBD combined), and Type 3 (high CBD).

Some of the more well-known indica strains include Purple Kush, which has less than one percent CBD and 17 to 22 percent THC and is used to combat muscle spasms, insomnia, and chronic pain. Afghan kush features six percent CBD and 16 to 21 percent THC and is taken by those with low appetite and acute pain issues. LA Confidential combines 16 to 20 percent THC with only 0.3 percent CBD and is often used for combatting stress and pain.

Nearly all strains on the sativa end of the spectrum contain one percent or less THC. Among the most well-known strains is Acapulco Gold, which has 15 to 23 percent THC and works against stress, nausea, fatigue, and pain. With 20 to 22 percent THC, sour diesel addresses issues such as fatigue, acute pain, anxiety, mental fog, and PTSD. With the cannabis plant containing more than 100 cannabinoids and chemical compounds such as terpenes to consider as well, the user experience with each cannabis strain is complex and unique.

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Scott Haber 42 Degrees
A cannabis-derived compound, Delta 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is a largely non-psychoactive compound that is among the hundreds of bioactive compounds, such as terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids, derived from cannabis. It is molecularly similar, but distinct, from more common cannaboid compounds such as Delta 9 – tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)...

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