There are three main distinct plant cannabis varieties: sativa, indica and ruderalis.  Hybrid species (cross between sativa and indica) are also produced and sold in many dispensaries which offer a fantastic combination of the two different benefits and effects each strain offers.

Generally speaking, Cannabis Sativa offers a more energizing experience where Cannabis Indica offers more of a deep body relaxation.

Let’s dive a bit deeper.

Sativa

Physical Characteristics

Growing tall and thin with narrow leaves, this varietal is distinguished by their structure as well as their light green color. Sativas mature at a slower pace and require a great deal of sunlight.

History

Discovered in Europe and western Eurasia, sativa was harvested primarily for its fiber and seeds for clothing, paper, rope, etc.

Today, this varietal is used industrially, medically and recreationally.

Benefits

Offering energizing properties, sativas are primarily utilized during the day-time as the mind and body complete relaxation factor isn’t as prominent as the indica varietal offers. Sativas include a higher CBD (cannabidiol) and lowerTHC (tetrahydrocannabinol) count. Some of the noted benefits from this strand are:

Energizing
Increases Sense of Well-Being, Focused, Creativity
Reduces Depression by way of Increased Serotonin
Relieves Headaches & Migraines
Decrease Nausea
Increases Appetite

Side effects can include: increased anxiety or paranoia.

Indica
Physical Characteristics

These plants are characterized by their short in stature, bushiness and wide leaves. They grow quite quickly, more so than sativas and yield more flowers from each plant.

History
Discovered in India, indicas were cultivated for their seeds, fiber and psychoactive properties for hashish production.

Benefits
Traditionally, medicine produced from these plants have a higher THC count with a lower CBD.

Indicas tend to offer a deep relaxing effect on the body and mind. Many individuals prefer consumption for night and evening hours as a result. Some of the noted benefits from this strand are:

Relaxation & Stress Reduction
Relaxes Muscles & Spasms
Reduces Pain & Inflammation
Relieves Headaches & Migraines
Helps Sleep or Insomnia
Reduces Anxiety
Reduces Nausea
Reduces Seizures

Side effects may include: tiredness and or “fuzzy” thinking.

Ruderalis
Physical Characteristics

These plants are characterized by their short and stalky stature. They are known to grow “weedy” meaning fairly shaggy and rugged with a light green hue. Typically ruderalises don’t grow taller than 2.5 feet tall. 

History

Originating from Central Russia, ruderalis can also be found in Central Eastern Europe. It was discovered in 1924 by Russian botanist, D.E. Janischewsky. 

Benefits

Ruderalis is known for its low THC levels and higher CBD counts. 

Traditionally, this variety is not sought after for recreational use, but rather medicinal. Many hybrid strains of cannabis are influenced by ruderalis.  

Due to the low level of THC, ruderalis is not known for is psychoactive properties but rather solely it’s health benefits associated with CBD.  Some of the noted benefits are: 

Anti-Inflammatory
Pain Management
Reduces Depression
Helps Sleep or Insomnia
Reduces Anxiety
Reduces Nausea
Kills Cancer Cells

Side effects may include: nausea, tiredness

Choosing the Right Varietal 
When purchasing a specific variety of cannabis, typically you will come across sativas, indicas or hybrids. It is rare to find the ruderalis variety marked for distribution as it’s mostly used in hybrids as well as for medical use. 

Each person will respond a bit differently to either a sativa, indica. The effects and benefits are dependent on an individuals’ biological make-up, tolerance, dosage, consumption method and the specific product chemical profile. 

When selecting your strain of plant varietal (indica or sativa); it should also be paired with the knowledge of how much THC or CBD content the product of choice includes; as these two compounds are the main drivers in body effects. Knowing a bit about what each of these will offer your body will finite tune the selection choice.  

This information should steer you into the right direction when faced numerous choices at your local dispensary. Get your geek on and study up on what makes you your best self.  

Source: https://www.safeaccessnow.org/using_medical_cannabis

Source: https://www.peacenaturals.com/indica-vs-sativa-understanding-the-differences-between-the-two-cannabis-plants/

Source: https://medicalmarijuana.ca/patients/cannabis-varieties-2/

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