Marijuana Strains: A Brief Guide

A reported 4.6 million Canadians over the age of 15 have disclosed using cannabis over recent months, according to a report from Statistics Canada. The same report anticipates that cannabis use will continue to rise amongst Canadians over the coming months, with usage amongst Canadians reaching as high as 19%. With cannabis usage becoming increasingly widespread across Canada, we thought it would be useful to discuss the different strains of cannabis available. Understanding how different strains of marijuana affect the body is very important considering the variance between each strain is quite significant. Whether you already consume cannabis products, or intend to in the future, you should be aware that cannabis is typically divided into three main categories: Indica, Sativa and Hybrid.

Cannabis Indica

Indica originates from the highlands of the Middle East and Asia, where the climate is quite harsh. Indica plants therefore are shorter, bushier, and wider than sativa plants. The indica plant is best suited for indoor growing and it flowers quicker than its sativa counterpart. On average, indica strains tend to have lower levels of THC compared to CBD. This differs from sativa strains which tend to have higher levels of THC to CBD.

 While it is not necessarily the case for everyone, Indica consumers have reported that the effects leave you with more of a ‘stoned’ feel than the ‘high’ feel in comparison to sativa. Due to the higher relative levels of CBD in indica products, it is commonly used to achieve the following benefits:

Cannabis Sativa

Sativa plants typically thrive in the tropical climates of Mexico, Colombia, the Caribbean, Thailand and South East Asia. The defining characteristics of a sativa plant include a taller and skinnier structure, as well as a lighter shade of green colour relative to indica plants. Sativa plants also take a longer amount of time to grow in comparison to indica plants. Throughout human history, sativa plants have been used as a source of seed oil, food and medicine. The seeds of the plant are very commonly used to make hempseed oil, which can be used for cooking or even to make paints. The flowers and the fruits of the plant are what contain the psychoactive compound know as cannabinoids, which is what people consume for both recreational and medicinal purposes. Some of the reported benefits of sativa include:

Users of sativa tend to report the high as being more ‘cerebral’, which is to say that it gives you more of a ‘head high’ than a ‘body high’. This can be attributed to the higher levels of THC typically found in sativa plants relative to indica plants, and the direct impact that THC has on the brain. The science behind how THC affects the brain is outside the scope of this post but for more information on how it works, check out this brief guide.

Cannabis Hybrid

The third and final most common category of cannabis that we will mention today is hybrids. As you might have guessed, hybrids are a mix of indica and sativa. Hybrids often provide you with a  more balanced combination of the two plants and thus, a more balanced combination of the side effects. Hybrid strains generally impact both the mind and body and as a result of extensive cross-breeding programs globally, most of the strains found in stores these days are hybrids.

In consideration of the balanced effects brought on by hybrid strains, hybrids are often a great choice for beginners who do not yet know much about the side effects of cannabis. Hybrid strains are also great for medicinal usage. Those who take cannabis products medicinally on a regular basis benefit from the more balanced effects of a hybrid product that enable them to continue on with their day relatively normally.

While there are many hybrid products that are evenly mixed, you may also come across some hybrid products labeled as ‘sativa-dominant’ or ‘hybrid-dominant’. These labels simply indicate which strain is the dominant parent within the mix. A sativa-dominant product will cause side effects more closely associated with sativa products and vice versa.

Choosing A Strain

The side effects of each strain outlined above are quite typical, but it is important to note that an individual’s reaction to cannabis is very personal. Everyone is going to react differently to cannabis products based on their pre-existing usage, tolerance levels and body composition. It is important to be aware of this and experiment first to determine how your body reacts to different products.

Strains to try as a beginner

Amnesia Haze

Earthy flavours of lemon and citrus. Reported feelings include happy, euphoric and uplifted. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes, paranoia.

Bubble Gum

A characteristic sweet smell and euphoric high. Reported feelings include happy, euphoric and relaxed. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes and dizziness.

Bubble Kush

An indica strain know for its tranquilizing effects. Reported feelings include relaxed, sleepy and happy. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes and dizziness.

Stronger strains for the more experienced

Sour Diesel

Fast-acting and known for delivering energizing, dreamy cerebral effects. Reported feelings include happy, euphoric and uplifted. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes, paranoia.

Kosher Kush

Produces staggering levels of THC and considered by many to be one of the tastiest smokes around. Reported feelings include relaxed, sleepy and happy. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes and dizziness.

Bruce Banner

A powerful strain whose effects come on quickly and strong before settling into a euphoric and creative buzz. Reported feelings include happy, euphoric and buzzed. Side effects include dry mouth, dry eyes and dizziness.

As always, when in doubt, feel free to ask our highly knowledgeable staff for advice. At Queen of Bud, we are more than happy to answer any questions! Come in and visit us!