Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Sativa, Indica, or Ruderalis... what's the difference?

First of all, all cannabis- be it Dank Afghani Indica or Soumi fiber hemp is considered technically to be the same species; Cannabis Sativa. Within the species however there are several recognizable 'strains' or 'varieties' which it can be categorized as.

Cannabis sativa plants typically grow taller than other varieties. They have long narrow leafs, and the buds tend to be fewer and more spaced out. Sativa often grows near the equator and as a result the flower time of these plants can be significantly longer than other varieties. Sativa is known for its high THC content however, and is often the best choice as a daytime medicine. It supplies energy, and an 'UP' feeling. Sometimes sativa can be very stimulating and cause anxiety in certain people. Some famous Sativa dominant strains include; Haze (there are many varieties of haze), Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Durban Poison, Kali Mist, and even OG Kush is technically a Sativa despite it's misleading name. Sativas are popular among connoisseurs and medical users alike. They often smell very pleasant, and despite their typically longer flower time, most Sativa growers would agree that it is worth the wait.

Cannabis indica is known for being a shorter, more 'stout' plant. It's buds are dense and it typically flowers faster than C. Sativa. Indica was a miracle plant during the 70's when Cannabis production had to be taken indoors due to the new 'War on Drugs'. Its smaller size and faster flower time made it ideal for hybridizing and growing n limited space. The buds are dense and close together, and the leafs are typically fatter. Though not as potent in THC, Indica presents its own unique benifits by being considerably higher in other cannabinoids such as CBD. CBD is great for treating body and nerve pain. It is relaxing and is also useful as an anti-inflamitory. CBD is responsible for giving certain strains of Cannabis their 'Couch locking' effect. It hybridizes easily with Sativa and together ther can produce some unbelievable hybrids. Some famous strains of Indica are: Hindu Kush (real kush), Blueberry (DJ Short), Hashplant, Northern Lights, Afghani, and God Bud.

Cannabis Ruderalis in the past was not a common sight in a grow room, though from time to time it could be found growing next to the road between B.C. and Ontario. On it's own this plant has little value medicinally, but it does possess one unique and amazing feature, it flowers without needing to be triggered by a change in light cycles. Thus it received the nick-name; 'Auto-flower'. Since it's discovery breeders everywhere have been trying to exploit it's unique 'Auto-flowering' characteristic by breading it into Indica and sativa strains. These days it is becoming more and more common to find 'Auto-flowering' seeds in shops or online. Breeders have found techniques to properly breed the 'auto-flowering' feature into plants, without losing very much potency or appeal. Some 'Auto-flower' strains complete their grow cycle in as little as 60 days! Though they do tend to produce less bud than Indica or Sativa, the speed in which they can be grown speaks for itself.

At this point in Cannabis culture upwards of 99% of strains have been hybridized in some form or other. Hybridizing is a natural process in which plants evolve and adapt. Though there is something to be said about preserving heirloom genetics, the best way to survive and grow stronger against bugs, diseases, and environmental changes is to hybridize.

Happy Grow season 2014! Hope to see you in the shops soon. :)


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