Cannabis 101: The Basics of Strains
There is always that one strain out there that will blow your mind once you’ve tried it. Now, there are different marijuana strains and none of them are the same. They might have some of the same properties, tasting notes, or effects but none of them will have all the same building blocks. All strains will differ in at least one of the following building blocks color, taste, smell, feel and effect. Based on this, most regular marijuana users will look for a strain that will give him/her the best overall effect. It is important to note that there are different factors that contribute to these categories and to know that even the same strains can vary. The factors that make up these properties are the genetics of the strain, the environment where it is planted, and lastly the evolution of the cannabis strains.
Factors That Contribute to the Properties of Cannabis Strains
Any agricultural researcher will confirm the fact that plant’s genetics and the environment in which it is planted defines its properties. Furthermore, there are various variables that will also contribute to the strain genetics, which include the soil type, the amount of light the strain is exposed to, the angle from which the light hits the plant, the distance of the plant to the source of light, and also the time of harvesting the strain. Another factor in cannabis cultivation is ability to cultivate cannabis indoors. This transition, in the 80`s, led to hybridization of many strains. This in turn led to a new larger pool of strains to choose from. This helped give people a better ability to find the perfect strain for their needs.
Types of Cannabis Strains
There are three main types of cannabis strains indica, sativa and hybrids. The hybrid strain is any cross-combination of the sativa and indica strains. The hybrid strains were conceived to enable cultivators an easier and more effective way of branding their products. There is a fourth not-so-common strain called ruderalis. This strain is typically not used in todays major markets.
About Cannabis Sativa Strain
This is the most common strain within the cannabis genus and has been cultivated for a very long time throughout history. It has been used for industrial purposes, as food, recreational medicine and it has even used in spiritual settings. This strain has global footprints being used for various purposes within different cultures. Originally, the sativa strain is believed to have come from Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Southeast Asia. These warm weather regions are much more favorable the sativa plant growth. Sativa typically gives the user a much vibrant euphoria allowing the user to be much more active.
Cannabis Indica Strain
This commonly used strain is believed to have originated in the Hindu Kush Mountains spanning across Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is also cultivated in Morocco and other parts of the subcontinent. The name indica derives from its discovery in the Indian subcontinent. The indica strain is shorter than the sativa strain. Indica strains are more sedating and relaxing whereas the sativa strains are more uplifting and result in more energy and creativity.
Cannabis Ruderalis Strain
This is the least commonly used strain in today’s market. Jorge Cervantes, The Cannabis Encyclopedia author, states “Botanists disagree as to whether c. ruderalis qualifies as a separate species or subspecies.” It is more enduring to the harsh environmental conditions than the sativa and indica strains. Ruderalis is native, most specifically, to Russia as well as Asia and Eastern/Central Europe. Despite being described as a wild species, it is becoming more commonly found in indoor grows being used in the development of new hybrid strains. Ruderalis strains have a naturally lower THC levels.
When the indica, sativa or ruderalis strains are crossbred in combination a hybrid is created. Hybrids are typically a combination of the best qualities of the strains being used. In general, a hybrid will have a dominant strain that closely relates to the dominant effect of that strain. So, hybrids can come in many different effect modes. The best option for the user is to do some research or consult their budtender.