Different Types of Cannabis Genetics

The effects of cannabis genetics can vary greatly depending on which sub-species or strain you medicate with. The plant species Cannabis Sativa L has two main sub-species used for medicinal purposes: Indica and Sativa. There are many noted differences between the two.

Indica strains are sedatives or relaxants and are effective for treating the symptoms of medical conditions such as anxiety, chronic pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and tremors. Common strains include: White WidowNorthern LightsPurple KushChemo and Afghani. Indicas genetics have a higher level of CBD than sativas, which results in a sedated body type effect. They may cause feelings of sleepiness and heaviness so many medicinal cannabis users prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis at night.

Sativa on the other hand are more of a stimulant, and are effective in appetite stimulation, relieving depression, migraines, chronic pain and nausea. Common strains include: Durban PoisonLemon SkunkBlue Hawaiian and Big Bud.

They have a higher level of THC than indicas, which results in a psychoactive and energetic mind high. They may cause feelings of alertness and optimism so many patients prefer to medicate with this type of cannabis during the day.

There are also hybrids genetics which is a cross breed of indica and sativa strains that produce plants with some characteristics of each parent. For example, adding sativa to indica strains adds mental clarity and decreases sedation effects. And adding indica to sativa strains can decrease or even eliminate the sativa tendency to stimulate anxiety. Common strains include OG Kush, Jack Herer, Blue Dream, Girl Scout Cookies and Blue Widow.

Hybrids are often referred to based upon the dominant sub-species inherited from their lineage, eg: pure indica, mostly indica, pure sativa or mostly sativa. Instead of using pure indica or pure sativa, many patients can benefit from the use of hybrid strains. There are a vast number of strains available for medicinal cannabis patients, each with a different cannabinoid profile and effects.

Pure Indica

Pure indica seeds come from dry, hot parts of the world, including Tibet, Afghanistan, Morocco and Kashmir. They are easily recognised as the greenest and the densest of cannabis genetics, especially when compared to the pure sativa strain.

The leaves are characterised by their broad, rounded shape. Sometimes the colour of the plant goes past being green and sometimes has a dark blue-green or purple hue, which can change and progress to a deeper purple as the plant gets older.

The buds are massive, and they weigh a lot, despite the fact that their growing season is shorter than their counterpart, the sativa. People like to grow it outdoors in a climate in the north (or the south, if you’re located in the Southern Hemisphere), since the growing season is shorter and therefore is more suitable to this type of strain.

You might like to smoke or consume it if you prefer a very physically relaxed type of high. The high affects the body more than the brain, and it is not uncommon for medicinal cannabis users to describe the resulting feeling as a type of “hypnosis”.

Pure Sativa

Pure sativa seeds are well known for being difficult to grow, whether they are being grown indoors or in a northern outdoor location. They originate in more tropical areas of the world, including Mexico, South America, and Thailand. Despite this fact, they grow quite well in cold temperatures.

They are mainly identified by their height, the very tallest reaching 20 feet and the fact that they are not as wide or bushy as indicas. Their leaves are equally slender and pointy, generally a much lighter green color than found in indicas. When the flowers of a sativa plant get older, they often start to get red and then purple in color. If it’s the right type of strain it will even become yellowish or gold in color.

Because they grow taller than indicas, it's better to germinate them outdoor rather than indoor. Furthermore, they are hard to grow in the northern regions because once they begin to flower, they likely need between 10 and 16 weeks just to reach maturity.

Generally speaking, this strain is far rarer than others, but they are prized by growers looking to create effective hybrids. When you smoke a pure sativa, you can expect a flavour and smell that is sweet, fruity, and spicy. People who particularly enjoy a high that gives them energy will prefer sativas over other strains because the feeling is more uplifting. Marijuana from sativa strains are often recommended for the treatment of depression, ADD, mood disorders, or fatigue.

Mostly Indica

Mostly indica is a type of hybrid variety, but whose genetics consist mostly of indica genes. The main difference between a mostly indica and a pure indica is the fact that you will see certain genetic traits in varying degrees in the hybrids, while they are much more predictable in a pure indica.

For the most part, hybrids will be fairly short and sturdy, and they will have dense flowers and a good yield at the end of their shorter growing season. These traits may be less extreme in a hybrid than in a pure indica, depending on their specific genetic makeup.

If you are interested in growing marijuana, indica hybrids might be a good choice for you because they are generally seen as a strain that is easier to grow than other varieties. Because indica hybrids have a shorter growing season and reach their flowering phase faster than other strains, and because they don’t grow vertically the way many sativas or sativa hybrids do during that flowering phase, they make for good plants to be grown indoors.

Smoking it could make you extremely sleepy, so to combat this, many growers combine the indica genes with some sativa, which cause a more energetic high. This makes for a relaxing but not inhibiting type of high that many prefer over the pure indica variety.

Mostly Sativa

Mostly sativa seeds are somewhat like the pure sativa plant. They will be on the taller and more slender side, with skinny leaves and a lighter green shade. Because sativas naturally have their origins in the tropical regions of the world, they thrive with a longer growing season. Hybrids that have mostly sativa genes are generally the same, so harsh climates are not ideal for outdoor growing.

One of the greatest aspects of combining mostly sativa genes with partial indica is the fact that the plant will be a bit stockier and bushier and will have a shorter flowering time than a pure sativa. Better yet, since the typical pure sativa yield isn’t particularly high, a combination with some indica genes also leads to a higher yield when it’s time to harvest. In other words, you get the effects of the sativa with some of the ease of growing an indica.

Because the high achieved with a pure sativa can sometimes include an irregular heartbeat or the unpleasant feeling of paranoia, smoking pure sativas is not as popular as other types of marijuana. That being said, they mix well with other strains to create a more perfect combination.

Because properly bred hybrids will exhibit the positive effects on the user without the negative ones, these strains are often preferred by those using it for medical purposes. They are particularly beloved for fighting depression and stimulating appetite. Many people choose to use sativa hybrids in order to take advantage of the very cerebral high. This type of feeling includes more energy and often a better flow of creativity.