Hundreds of cannabis varieties are available on the legal market, each with their own unique characteristics. Explore the differences between indica, sativa and hybrid plant types, and learn why there may be more helpful ways to choose the best products for you
You may know them as sativa and indica — or, more technically, as Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. These are the two most common cannabis plant types, alongside the less common Cannabis ruderalis and hybrids, which are a mix of two or more strains (or cultivars). So what’s the difference between Indica, Sativa and hybrids?
It was once thought that Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica produced distinct effects, but these names are just botanical terms for the structure of each plant type. As growers cultivate unique hybrid strains and research develops, this classification is becoming less relevant or helpful. Newer, more nuanced ways of choosing cannabis products, such as by their terpenes and cannabinoid content, may be more useful.
Today, there are hundreds of plant strains, each bred for specific characteristics. Read on for a breakdown of the basic differences between indica, sativa and hybrid, the potential effects and how to choose the right products for you.
Each cannabis plant type has its own characteristic appearance, with differences between the leaves, overall shape and height, thought to be influenced by the growing regions the plants originated in. Here’s an overview of how each one typically looks.
Originating from South America, the Caribbean and Africa, this species can grow quite tall (up to 25 feet) and has long, serrated light green leaves — it’s typically taller and more slender than Cannabis indica. Cannabis sativa L, more commonly known as hemp, is typically grown for industrial use and is regulated to ensure the plants do not contain more than 0.3% THC.
This species comes from the Hindu Kush mountain range within Afghanistan and Pakistan. Indica plants are generally faster-growing, bushier and up to six feet shorter than Cannabis sativa, with dark green leaves.
This species is short, stalky and shaggier than the others, with light green leaves. It tends to be rugged and autoflowering, which is ideal for breeding — it’s used mostly by breeders to enhance their hybrids.
The appearance of hybrid plants can’t be generalized, as it depends on which varieties were used in the cross-pollination process.
For each of the different plant types, there are certain cultivars or strains that have become popular with consumers. Each one has its own unique look, aroma, taste and other characteristics. Explore these common popular strains, which may be marketed under Licensed Producers’ own proprietary names.
Ghost Train Haze
Black Cherry Punch
You’ve maybe heard the idea that consuming indica leads to finding yourself “in-da-couch,” because indica is thought to produce more calming effects, while sativa is thought to be energizing. Because hybrids are a mix of the two, it’s not possible to generalize about their effects. Consumers are discovering, however, that the specific plant type may not be the most reliable indicator of potential effects.
Beyond referring to plant types like indica and sativa, you can take other plant characteristics into consideration when you’re choosing products. You’ll find this information on the product label or packaging, or on the Authorized Cannabis Store’s website. Consider these factors the next time you’re selecting a product.
Choosing the right cannabis product for you involves many factors, including the method of consumption, the amount consumed, the product’s intended effects and your own personal tolerance. Every individual reacts to cannabis differently, and the effects can vary even if you consume the same product twice.
How you consume cannabis — whether by inhalation, ingestion, oral absorption or topical application — will influence the experience you have, particularly in terms of the timing of the onset and duration of the effects. For example, inhaling smoke from a joint and ingesting an edible product will produce different effects because of the differences in the way the THC and other cannabinoids enter your bloodstream.
Ensure you read the product label and any information carefully to understand whether the Licensed Producer has formulated it in a way that is intended to produce specific effects. For instance, edibles and beverages may be labelled as “fast-acting” or “quick onset” if they have been created to produce effects more immediately — within five to 10 minutes, for example, instead of 30 minutes to two hours.
The biggest factor to consider when choosing a product is you: Your physiological makeup is unique, so your response to cannabis will be too. The endocannabinoid system is directly affected by the cannabinoids you consume in cannabis, and this interaction is different for everyone.
Personal factors that influence the potential effects of a strain may include your:
Tolerance is another individual factor to consider. Regular cannabis consumption may cause your body to become accustomed to a specific amount of cannabinoids like THC, so you may need to consume more to produce the same effects. Reducing your consumption may reduce your tolerance, so consider the amount of THC and CBD in the products you choose. You may also decide to stop consuming cannabis altogether and take a tolerance break, or T-break.
While Sativa, Indica and hybrid plant types are one way to choose products, other factors — terpenes, cannabinoid content and individual factors like genetics and tolerance — are also at play when it comes to the potential effects of cannabis. Read all the product information provided by Licensed Producers, visit an Authorized Cannabis Store and do your own research to find out which cultivars work for you.
Even though the world of cannabis has continued to experience changes every day, certain fundamental truths still hold. For example, decades ago (even when weed was illegal), people preferred getting their stash from one dealer they could trust and depend on, which is still the case today. Most marijuana enthusiasts, after trying out a new cannabis store and loving it, tend to stick by it for as long as possible.
In this digital world, where you can access hundreds of cannabis dispensaries from the comfort of your home, make sure your weed vendor is the best option you have.
A good dispensary provides a wide variety of products under the same roof while maintaining a sense of culture, style, and class. A good dispensary is also conveniently located and can facilitate delivery right to your doorstep.
At 6ix Cannabis, we pride ourselves in operating one of the best marijuana stores in the city and even the country. We are locally-owned and managed, which explains why you can feel the pulse of the city in everything we touch. If you’re looking for the best spot to buy weed in Ajax, look no further!