Sativa, Indica & Hybrid - What Does That Mean?
When purchasing cannabis, one is often overwhelmed by choice, but even first-time buyers are familiar with the terms “Indica” “Sativa” and “Hybrid”.
Cannabis can be used to treat a variety of conditions. The use of medical cannabis promotes greater physical and mental relaxation, increased appetite, reduction of pain and better sleep. When purchasing cannabis flowers, you will often find that the cannabis is categorized into Sativa, Indica or Hybrid.
For Sativa strain, you will probably come across words such as “cerebral” “uplifting” and “energizing”, as opposed to “heady” “sedating” “couch-lock” which are often used to describe an Indica strain.
What Determines Sativa or Indica?
When the plant is classified as Indica or Sativa it is a result of the plant leaning more towards either the Indica or Sativa side of the spectrum.
While many might guess that a particular strain of cannabis is categorized as Indica, Sativa, or hybrid based on the presence or absence of a particular cannabinoid, or a cannabinoid in a particular volume, it is actually a terpene that determines this important status of a strain. The sometimes pungent aromas produced by many strains of cannabis are the result of terpenes, which are molecules in the herb that are similar in many respects to cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
Myrcene, the most common terpene in cannabis, is known to help patients sleep, battling conditions like anxiety and insomnia. If present in a specific strain in a volume greater than 0.5 percent, the strain is considered an Indica. If the amount of Myrcene is under one half of one percent, then the strain is deemed a Sativa.
What Is A Hybrid?
For the last 50 or so years of Cannabis cultivation, crossbreeding has been where it’s at. Due to crossbreeding it is virtually impossible to get a “pure” Indica or Sativa strain. The hybrid plant is the result of a man-made attempt at crossbreeding and ensuring that particular characteristics chosen from the parent plants are present in the “offspring”.
In today’s world of cannabis the real difference between Indica and Sativa is the observable different traits between the strains during their cultivation cycle. Indica plants grow well in cold climates, have short flowering cycles and tend to grow short, with thick stems and broad, dark green leaves. Sativa plants flourish in warmer climates with longer seasons, grow taller, have longer flowering cycles and usually have lighter green, narrow leaves.
It is still perfectly valid to describe strains as “Indica-like” or “Sativa-like”, but you must remember that the Indica or Sativa like effects may not necessarily ring true to the plants lineage.