More Cannabis use is on the rise in many parts of the world. The industry is booming, ever since some medicinal cannabis strains became legal in Canada, some parts of the US and most countries in Europe.
This article will take you through the main types of Cannabis and the most popular cannabis strains used for medicinal and recreational purposes.
What Are Strains of Cannabis Flower?
There are two main species of cannabis; Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. They belong to the Cannabaceae family of plants. People generally refer to marijuana or cannabis strains as being Sativa, Indica or hybrid. Hybrid refers to a strain created by combining the Indica and Sativa strains.
Many cultivators breed different varieties of cannabis plants to have a specific look, taste, and effect on the user. They then brand it accordingly. Each cannabis strain contains a different concentration of cannabinoids such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) among other active compounds.
Cannabis strains: Cannabis Sativa
The term Sativa is derived from the biological categorisation of the species, based on its physical characteristics. Sativa is primarily known for its invigorating effect that can help soothe anxiety and boost focus and creativity.
Below is an in-depth description of the Cannabis Sativa plant:
- Origin: It is native to hot, dry climates with lots of sunshine. These include Southeast Asia, some western portions of Asia, Africa, and Central America.
- Physical description: Sativa plants are tall, with thin pale green finger-like leaves. They can grower taller than 12 feet in height. These plants also take longer than other types of cannabis to fully mature.
- THC to CBD ratio: Sativa generally has higher doses of THC and lower doses of CBD.
- Common effects: Sativa strains produce a stress-reducing, ‘mind high’ type of energizing effect. They make you feel creative and productive, rather than laid back and relaxed.
- When to use: It is preferable to use Sativa in the daytime due to its stimulating effect.
- Popular strains: Some of the popular Sativa strains are Durban Poison, Panama Red and Acapulco Gold.
Cannabis Strains: Cannabis Indica
The Cannabis Indica originates from the Hindu Kush mountains in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. It is believed to have a relaxing effect on the user.
Below is an in-depth description of the Cannabis Indica plant:
- Origin: Cannabis Indica is indigenous to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Turkey. The plants have adapted well to the dry, unpredictable climate of the Hindu Kush mountains.
- Physical description: Indica plants are short and broad with dark green leaves. The leaves are wide and chunky. The Indica plants produce more buds than Sativa plants and grow faster than them too.
- THC to CBD ratio: Indica strains generally have low levels of THC and higher levels of CBD.
- Common effects: Indica is popular for its strong relaxing effects. Also known to increase appetite and reduce nausea and pain.
- When to use: It is preferable to use Indica at night, given its deeply relaxing properties. It aids in dealing with insomnia.
- Popular strains: Some of the popular strains are Purple Punch, Ice Cream Cake, Bubba Kush, and Northern Light.
Cannabis Strains: Hybrid
Hybrid strains are created by combining both Sativa and Indica strains. Every year, cannabis growers try to produce new strains from different combinations of these parent plants. These unique cannabis hybrid strains are often created to target specific effects.
Below is an in-depth discussion of Cannabis hybrids:
- Origin: Hybrids are usually grown in greenhouses or farms from a unique combination of Sativa and Indica strains.
- Physical description: The physical appearance of hybrid strains depends on the particular mixture of the parent plants.
- THC to CBD ratio: Many hybrid cannabis plants are usually grown to raise the THC percentage. However, each hybrid type has a distinct ratio of CBD and THC.
- Common effects: Hybrid cannabis strains are usually produced for their unique effects. These can range from reducing stress and pain to alleviating symptoms of chemotherapy and radiation.
- When to use: Day time or night time use depends on the predominant effects of the hybrid cannabis strain.
- Popular strains: Hybrids are usually classified as Sativa-dominant, Indica -dominant or balanced. Popular hybrids include Pineapple Express, Girl Scout Cookies (GSC), Gorilla Glue and Wedding Cake.
Most Popular Cannabis Strains
By now, you would have a fairly good idea of what the three main categories of cannabis strains are. It is now interesting to explore what people might expect from some of the most popular strains of cannabis such as:
1) Gorilla Glue
Gorilla Glue, also known as Gorilla Glue Weed, Original Glue, Gorilla Glue #4 and GG4 is a potent hybrid cannabis strain. It is developed by GG Strains and is made from three equally famous parent strains, namely Chem’s Sister, Sour Dubb and Chocolate Diesel.
- Composition: The strain is an exact hybrid with 50% India and 50% Sativa. It thus strikes a perfect balance between an excitable high and euphoria with calming relaxation, leaving you feeling ‘glued’ to the sofa. The THC content is quite high and can reach anywhere between 25-30%.
- Colour and taste: Buds of Gorilla Glue tend to be chunky and light green in colour. They are covered in sticky resins and trichomes. It has a pungent, earthy, sweet, and sour aroma and flavour. Some people describe the taste as indistinguishable from other strains, while others describe it to have a bold, chocolate or coffee-like taste.
- Effects: Users of Gorilla Glue claim increased mental clarity, energy, and stimulation along with ultra-relaxing effects. However, some users note intense paranoia due to the hight THC strength of the strain. Due to the numbing quality of the high this strain produces; it is mainly used to reduce chronic pain or deal with depression and insomnia. Its effect is touted to be instantaneous, which can help manage widespread pain.
2) Wedding Cake
- Composition: A wedding cake cannabis strain is an Indica-dominant hybrid strain. It also goes by the name of Pink Cookies or Birthday Cake. This strain has an extremely high dose of THC content and must be used with care. Wedding Cake strain’s flavour is described as sour and tangy with peppery flavours and earthy undertones.
- Colour and taste: Large and colourful flowers are a prominent feature of the Wedding Cake. They are chunky and mimic the Indica bud structure with tightly curling leaves. The leaves range in colour from green to brown, threaded with orange hairy.
- Effects: This strain has a sticky texture. The strong content of THC means that the users find the strain’s high to set in quickly. They experience intense, fast-paced thoughts and are more attuned to their surroundings. Feeling of giddiness and euphoria accompany the warm and heavy sensations that spread through the body.
Wedding Cake may be of use to those suffering from attention deficit disorders since it makes the user more lucid and focused. It can also aid those suffering from stress and anxiety, helping them feel more relaxed and living’ at the moment’ The physical relaxation the strain brings about can help soothe chronic pains. Moreover, it acts a potent appetite stimulator for those who have lost their hunger to any disease.
- Composition: Formerly known as Girl Scout cookies, GSC is a hybrid strain made from OG Kush and Durban Poison hybrid. Its THC concentration is around 19%. The strain has a sweet and earthy aroma. It is visually appealing with its bright purple leaves interlaced with vivid orange hairs and twisting greenery.
- Effects: The GSC strain brings about a feeling of euphoria and tingling sensation throughout the body. Users experience giddiness and fits of giggles. The high might make users feel creative but glued to their seats, disorienting their perception of time and space.
GSC strain has been lauded in the medical cannabis community due to its powerful effects. It can help treat muscle tension, cramps, and chronic pain due to its highly sedative properties. It is also used as a stress reliever due to its powerful relaxing qualities.
- Composition: Pineapple Express is a flavourful hybrid strain. It made from the Trainwreck and Hawaiian parent strains. It has a THC content of around 17%. The strain has a fresh, fruity scent, likened to that of mango or apple. Users describe the taste as that of pine, cedar, and pineapple.
- Colour: Buds of Pineapple Express Strain tends to show signs of reddish-orange hairs amongst deep green leaves. The buds of this strain resemble jointly coiled leaves that stretch out in the typical Sativa fashion.
- Effects: Smoking this strain gives you a long-lasting energetic and uplifted buzz. This strain also boosts your creative drive. Therefore, it is best to use it in the morning. Users claim that pineapple Express strain relaxes the body and alleviates stress. It can also help stimulate the appetite.
People with anxiety or PTSD can particularly benefit from the upbeat and carefree attitude this strain brings about.
5) Bubba Kush
- Composition: Bubba Kush is an Indica strain with a THC content of around 17%. It has gained popularity due to its heavy tranquillizing effects. Users claim that it has a sweet flavour with subtle notes of chocolate and coffee.
The Bubba Kush has a prominent bulky bud structure, with shades that range from dark forest green to pale purple.
- Effects: Bubba Kush is a powerful relaxation and sleep-inducing strain. Users report deep muscle relaxation, stress and pain-relieving qualities of this strain. It is also ideal for those who have insomnia as it aids in sleep.
Key Takeaways of Cannabis Strains
Cannabis cultivators regularly cross-breed different cannabis plants. This is to create unique strains that have different levels of THC, CBD and other active compounds. It is important to get accurate information on the effects of different cannabis strains. Especially before using them for medical or recreational purposes.