What Are Marijuana Strains?
Marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes is made up of either one or both of the following plants: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Marijuana strains refer to all of the different varieties and combinations of these two cannabis plants. Some marijuana strains are pure and only consist of one type of cannabis. For instance, Northern Lights is a strain that is 100% C. indica, while other strains are made up exclusively of the C. sativa plant. Many marijuana strains are hybrids, meaning they contain a blend of sativa and indica. Hybrids are often specifically bred to obtain a combination of the traits associated with sativa and indica. Some hybrids are a 50:50 blend of sativa-indica, whereas other hybrids are sativa or indica dominant.
Each marijuana strain will have unique characteristics including smell, taste, colour, and the amount of cannabinoids present. Different strains also have different effects on mood and behavior. With hundreds of distinct strains available, marijuana users have many options and can select a strain based on the desired effects. For example, C.indica strains are often known for producing a “body high” and are great for those seeking relaxation, sleep, and pain relief. C. indica strains may be a good fit for medical marijuana users struggling with chronic pain or insomnia. On the other hand, C. sativa strains are thought to produce a more energetic and creative high. For therapeutic use, pure sativa or sativa dominant strains can be helpful in treating depression, nausea, loss of appetite, or fatigue. Hybrids are incredibly versatile and can have wide-ranging properties, depending on the different ratios of indica to sativa.
The ratio of cannabinoids present is one of the most important factors in determining the attributes of that particular strain. The two main cannabinoids in weed are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC and CBD exert very different effects on the body. THC causes the psychological experiences associated with weed, affecting mood, coordination, appetite, and memory. CBD is not psychoactive so it does not produce the feelings associated with getting high. However, CBD likely plays a role in modulating pain, inflammation, and anxiety. Over recent decades, marijuana has been selectively bred to produce strains with higher THC content. However, as researchers have come to learn of the many therapeutic applications of CBD, breeders have responded by focusing on breeding strains with higher CBD content. Breeders can specifically cultivate strains aiming for different THC:CBD ratios to ultimately create marijuana strains with desired properties and different therapeutic applications. In fact, many medical marijuana users prefer high-CBD strains for the therapeutic effects without the feeling of getting high.Back To FAQ