A Simple But Complete Guide to Different Cannabis Strains
It used to be rare to meet mind-blowing strains. Today, it is more common. Flavors, colors, aromas, effects, and even medical uses are all traits of a strain that might make you enjoy it over another. What is different about them? Just how do breeders acquire so much diversity? Several factors influence these outcomes, and the answers themselves lie typically within the environment, genetics, or evolution itself.
Much determines how strains end up available for weed delivery. Its genetic structure lays the bare foundation of a strain’s particular character, but it is the environment in which it grows that defines it. Plants with similar genetics, when grown in other environments, will express different traits from that plant’s specific genetic code. In this way, it produces unique smells, colors, shapes, and even resins.
Beginner’s Guide to Cannabis Strains
Evolution of Cannabis
The earliest records of cannabis plants come from Pakistan, specifically the Hindu Kush Mountains, along with other countries lining the equator. Called “landraces,” these early plants grew wild, on their own, without help. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, they adapted, changed, evolved. Sativa landraces occupy warmer climates, whereas Indica landraces prefer their conditions much cooler.
Breeding Cannabis for Genetics
In the past, prohibitions on cannabis plants drove interested parties indoors. Growers, researchers, botanists, and amateurs alike all started breeding their own plants, changing the gene pool. Some wanted to make strains easier to grow, others wanted them tastier, or busier, or more potent, or more medically useful. Indoor growing gave farmers control over the purpose and outcome of experimentation.
Professionally, breeders began showing interest in lighting, soils, extraction processes, temperature, cloning, cross-pollination, and other growing conditions. This created hybrids, which mixed Indicas with Sativas and strains within differing families. Today, most strains are hybrids to varying degrees. Some strains express more Indica dominance, whereas others inherit Sativa characteristics.
Sativa landraces had their humble beginnings in equatorial climates. There, farmers used it for food. They also processed it into oil, fibers, medicines, and more. It even had spiritual uses. These are tall plants with long branches and narrow leaves. This makes Sativa a tricky plant to grow indoors. It also takes longer to mature, requiring as much as six months flowering. The yield is higher, but THC is lower.
Sativa is typically energizing and quick to feel. They stimulate, uplift, and boost creativity. For this reason, Sativa strains are especially popular with writers, musicians, artists, and other expressive souls. They boost appreciation of the finer things in life too, certainly music, movies, and art. They make hungry, increase focus, and lower anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, headaches, and even cramps.
Indica strains trace their roots to the Hindu Kush Mountains of Pakistan. Today, farmers there still grow it, along with many in neighboring Afghanistan and the surrounding areas. It spread very quickly through Asia to the Middle East and into Europe back in the days of the spice trade. These are short plants. Fat. Leaves are wide. This means they grow quicker than Sativas, with smaller yields yet higher potency.
However, Indicas often contain higher levels of CBN, as well. This is what makes users so physically stoned. This body buzz is the basis of Indica effects. It leaves you sleepy, happy, and content with life. It also treats muscular disorders, such as convulsions and spasms, as well as seizure disorders, such as epilepsy. Indicas also have powerful painkilling properties. They numb the body, so you feel little.
Cannabis Ruderalis is unlike Sativa or Indica strains. These hardy plants grow particularly well in very harsh climates, or in toxic man-destroyed environments. Called the “survivor” of cannabis, it is also suited to the cold, found happy in areas where Indica also dominates. Ruderalis, however, triggers itself to flower, relying not on light or weather. For breeders, this trait is invaluable.
Because Ruderalis is very low in THC, it is not a popular option for cannabis farmers on its own. Its value lies in hybridizing its most useful traits. These small plants grow easily, have a shorter grow cycle, and offer thick, fibrous stems. From seed, they are ready to harvest in less than four months. This is why breeders cross Ruderalis with Sativas or Indicas: To capitalize on its self-flowering genes.
How to Read Cannabis Strains
The cannabis market, including all the best cannabis delivery services, differentiates strains and products by their effects. These plants contain an abundance of cannabinoids and terpenes, both of which work compatibly with the endocannabinoid system to influence mind and body, whether for medicinal or for recreational purposes. How a strain will make you feel should be a deciding factor when choosing.
- Sativa strains are often more energizing and uplifting.
- Indica strains are often more relaxing, even tranquilizing in cases.
However, this becomes tricky when one considers hybrid strains since they all contain different ratios of these. Some strains are heavily Sativa- or Indica-dominant. One can expect effects to mirror this. Balanced hybrids contain equal parts of both, whereas those hybrids with slight Sativa- or Indica-dominance will typically offer a more evenly balanced buzz. As always, experimentation is key.
Best Cannabis Delivery Services in California
Choosing cannabis strains may seem overwhelming at first, especially with so many options available for weed delivery. You should not worry, though. You will soon learn your way around reading labels and understanding what they mean. Just make sure that any product you buy has a label, a Certificate of Analysis proving independent safety tests, and good reviews by other weed enthusiasts online.