Know Your Cannabis Subspecies
With more than 1,000 strains of cannabis having been bred during the past several decades, it is critical that patients are aware of the different types of efficacy available to them in terms of cannabis medicine. Some varieties of cannabis are most appropriate for particular diseases and ailments, but not others. Choosing the right strain is critical to ensuring that patients receive the best therapy possible.
Cannabis is a species of flowering herb that is split into three subspecies: Indica, sativa, and ruderalis. Ruderalis plants are small and yield relatively little medicine; what they do provide lacks potency and is generally not appealing to patients. Because of this, ruderalis strains are typically avoided by breeders and cultivators; the focus of the medical cannabis community is on indica and sativa strains.
Indica and sativa plants differ not only in their physiological effects, but also in their appearance. Indica plants are short and stocky, featuring leaves that are broad and “chunky.” Sativa plants tend to be taller and skinnier and may even be lanky in appearance, with leaves that are thin and pointed.
Naturally, the similarities between the types of strains are significant. For example, all three are associated with a sense of altered perception and euphoria. All three have medical applications for people suffering from a variety of different symptoms including pain, anxiety, chronic diseases, insomnia and so much more.
Indica plants have shorter growth cycles, produce more buds for harvest and grow faster than sativas. The flowers appear most prominently near the nodes of the plant, where leaves separate from the stems on the plants, and bud in a 6-10 week cycle.
Both indica and sativa grow through the same vegetation cycle. If grown outside, the vegetation cycle is dictated by the amount of sunlight shining from late-spring to early summer. But when grown indoors, a grower can decide how short or long they want to make this cycle. Their flowering cycles are what make them different.
THC / CBD Ratio
Indica buds typically have a higher CBD to THC ratio compared to sativa plants. But it’s important to note, that this isn’t always the case because of cross-genetics. For instance, Charlotte’s Web, the high CBD strain was created by the Stanley Brothers and is classified as a sativa. So you’ll never really know whether you’re smoking indica or sativa based on the cannabinoid percentage, that is only determined by the strain’s genetics.