Cannabis , or marijuana , is the term assigned to a type of plant that has been cultivated and used by man for at least a thousand years. But, did you know that there are different types of cannabis? What is Sativa cannabis and what is Indica cannabis?
Originally cultivated in different parts of the world, Sativa cannabis and Indica cannabis are generally distinguished by the effects they cause and the properties they have. Such differentiation, however, is met with reluctance among experts who argue that both types are chemically rich and can be used for both recreational and medicinal purposes.
Next, you will learn a little more about these two types of cannabis, understand the origin of these fascinating plants and understand what differentiates one type from the other. Come on?
Types of Cannabis: A Brief History of Sativa and Indica Cannabis
Strictly speaking, cannabis plants originating in Europe and the westernmost parts of Asia are usually called Sativa cannabis, while Indica cannabis was that originating from India, the Middle East and the entire southern continental region of Asia.
The term cannabis Sativa was first used by renowned Swedish biologist Carl Linnaeus. In one of his many studies on plant taxonomy, back in the mid-eighteenth century (1753), Linnaeus gave the name Sativa to the variety of cannabis grown in Europe.
At the time, people's great interest in Sativa cannabis was the extraction of the plant's fibers and the production of seeds, and the plant was not associated with recreational use for psychoactive purposes (at least not in that time frame).
The term cannabis Indica was first used by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, also in the 8th century (in 1785). Lamarck called the strain of cannabis produced in India and the Middle East an Indica.
Unlike commercial cannabis exploitation in Europe at that time, Indica cannabis was directly related to recreational and religious use . During this period, the extraction of the plant for the production and consumption of hashish stands out.
Recent studies point out that the Sativa variety originates from the Indica variety, with Indica cannabis being the “mother” of marijuana varieties.
📌 Also Read: What is a Marijuana Strain?
What is the difference between Sativa cannabis and Indica cannabis?
The main differences between the types of Cannabis Sativa and Indica are:
Cannabis Sativa : These are tall plants (which can easily reach more than 3 meters in height), with thin, elongated leaves. They are also known as hemp, have a slower flowering (60 to 90 days), develop well in a tropical climate and are the most used by the industry both for fiber extraction and for medicinal and cosmetic use . Hemp has higher amounts of THC (psychoactive cannabinoid), and is the preferred variety for medicinal use.
Some of the most popular strains of Sativa cannabis are Sour Diesel, Purple Haze and Jack Herer.
Cannabis Indica : These are smaller plants than Cannabis Sativa, more branched, with wider leaves and darker shades of green. They develop well in milder climates and flowering is shorter (between 45 and 60 days) . Indica cannabis is rich in CBD (cannabidiol) and to this day is widely used in Asia and the Middle East for the production of hashish (a compound extracted from the resin of cannabis leaves that can be smoked or even ingested).
Some of the most popular Indica cannabis strains are Grandaddy Purple, Northern Lights and Bubba Kush.
In terms of smoking effect, Sativa cannabis tends to produce a more energetic effect and a more intense breeze. On the other hand, Indica cannabis is more relaxing and tends to calm , stimulate sleep.
Controversy involving types of cannabis
Although it has been popular for centuries that Cannabis Sativa is higher in THC and cannabis Indica is rich in CBD, recent studies discourage such claims. The Doctor. Ethan Russo, a leading cannabis researcher, explained:
“The way Sativa and Indica are labeled is nonsense. The clinical effects of the chemical makeup of cannabis have nothing to do with whether the plant is tall and sparse versus short and bushy, or whether the leaves are narrow or wide.”
Adding to this controversy is the fact that both types of cannabis have been crossed generically for decades, producing hybrid varieties . So much so that, in an article on the subject, Sechat says that “these species were crossed so often that, effectively, all strains today are hybrids of some kind . They lean more to one side or the other.”
In short, studies indicate that what can really determine the amount of cannabinoids in a cannabis plant are scientific tests and not guesswork based on the types of cannabis. In this way, both varieties can be used for medicinal purposes and both can arouse both euphoria and relaxation.