Imagine for a minute that cannabis is legal in New Zealand, you walk into your favorite dispensary and the bud-tender behind the counter presents you with the question “What kind of cannabis are you looking for?”. You look at them with a blank stare thinking that cannabis is simply cannabis and you ponder what he could possibly be trying to ask?
Cannabis is divided into two main sub-categories, sativa and indica. We will get into hybrid classifications later. Both of these types still provide the psychoactive effects that cannabis users strive for however they make you “feel” differently. In more common language, this is referred to the differences in the “high” that you would experience. Both types of cannabis originally come from different areas of the world, therefore very different growing environments, so when compared not only is the high different, but so is the structural growth of the plants too.
Sativa plants generally grow tall and slender, sometimes reaching heights of over six feet tall. This type of bud gives the user a more intense “head-high” than an indica strain would. Sativa strains leave your mind in a creative, energetic cloud that allows the user to stay active and engage in daily events or activates. Sativa’s are generally more suitable for day-time use because of this quality. Increased focus, creativity, energy, happiness, and calmness are the main traits of this type of marijuana. Activities that sativa use would be recommended for would be doing something artistic, working on a project where out of the box thinking is needed, camping and hiking, as well as general sightseeing or shopping. Popular sativa strains are Durban Poison, Cinderella99, Kali Mist, Green Crack, Strawberry Cough, and many many more.
Indica varieties of cannabis still get you “high” but they come with a very different set of key features. This type of high is considered to be more physically calming. Cannabis Indica plants are generally shorter and fatter than sativa strains making them great for indoor growing operations. After smoking an indica flower, the user generally feels very sleepy or tired. This is where the term “couch-lock” syndrome comes from. Becoming couch locked basically means that you want to get off the couch, but you determine that you can live without whatever you where thinking of trying to get. It is quite the dilemma. Indica strains relax your body, help to fight pain, reduce headaches and seizures, makes you sleepy, and helps to eliminate stress or anxiety. It is recommended to use this type of cannabis AFTER a long day at work, going to watch a movie, for medicinal pain killing effect or right before going to bed and whenever you are in a calm environment. Popular indica strains are Northern Lights, Afghani, and the many different Skunk and Kush varieties.
Hybrids - Crosses of Indica and Sativa
This brings us to the question, “What happens when you mix the two types?”. Let me introduce you to the wide world of hybrids. Hybrids are made by breeding specific sativa and indica strains in order to try and either accentuate their strengths, or to try and improve a quality within the other. Hybrid strains bring you the best of both worlds and allow you to expand your selection of different types of marijuana. It is nearly impossible to say which hybrid strain is the absolute “best” because each hybrid strain was created to try and achieve something different. Dabbling with hybrids is equivalent to walking the grey area between indica and sativa qualities. Growers like hybrid varieties because it gives them the ability to achieve the qualities that they want from their plants. This can come in many different areas such as harvest size, sativa/indica blend, overall plant size, taste, color and much more. Popular hybrid cannabis strains include: Girl Scout Cookies, Blue Dream, AK47, Jack Herer, Super Lemon Haze, Purple Urkle and many many more
Cannabis Ruderalis aka Autoflowering cannabis
The ruderalis hails from central and southeastern Russia, although it only results in poor yields and has a low THC content. Because of this, most people find the ruderalis variety invaluable for recreational use. The term “ruderalis” is derived from the word “ruderal”, a term in botany used to refer to hardy plants, including weeds. In fact, the ruderalis is so hardy that it can withstand the harsh conditions in Russia that neither indica nor sativa plants would be able to survive in.
Cannabis ruderalis grows short stalks, sitting between 1 and 2.5 feet at the time of harvest. The plant has wide, light green color with small and chunky buds. Ruderalis plants are harvested based on maturity, unlike the photoperiod cycle which dominates the harvest time for its sativa and indica cousins. Ruderalis plants typically flower 21 to 30 days after planting its seeds, no matter what the light cycle is. This makes most ruderalis plants autoflowering in nature, which protects it from seasonal changes and any dangers that harsh weather may bring.
Despite possessing low levels of THC, ruderalis plants do have some medicinal value because they contain CBD. These days, more people are discovering the value of cultivating ruderalis plants for its CBD content, which has proven effective in the treatment of epilepsy, seizures, and many other serious conditions without the psychoactive effects of THC.
Ruderalis strains are also used by professional cannabis cultivators to create hybrids that autoflower and grow fast. Since ruderalis plants are also short and more on the stocky side, they are ideal for discreet indoor grows. When hybrid strains with ruderalis are cultivated properly, these can result in excellent strains possessing the genetics of ruderalis while providing the best of a sativa or indica strain, and a potent amount of CBD. In other words, ruderalis plants can be used to create cannabis plants that are extremely therapeutic while also being fast in growing.
Ruderalis cannabis plants also help cultivators create auto-flowering seeds, which bloom no matter what the light cycle is. Both sativa and indica varieties only flower when exposed to specific kinds of light in the right amount. When grown outdoors, ruderalis plants flower throughout and can be expected to produce buds and colas by mid February (NZ) which marks the end of its traditional growing season, which is much shorter than other varieties. Unlike other varieties, ruderalis and hybrids that it’s crossed with produce buds that don’t ripen; what happens instead is that their stigmas will become brown although the ovary won’t swell. If any, the mild high that is produced by a ruderalis plant can be described as a foggy buzz, which can later on develop into a headache. There are only a few ruderalis hybrids known to deliver a good high.
While indica, sativa, and ruderalis strains are clearly 3 very different types of cannabis strains, it’s completely possible to interbreed them. Today there are many cannabis strains that possess qualities of each variety of cannabis strains.
Aslo check our other info pages: