It is important to know which strands of marijuana you want to smoke. There is quite a difference between smoking an “Indica” and a “Sativa”, and not just in how they smoke, but in appearance and smell as well. The scientific community has yet to agree whether indica and sativa represent two different species under the shared genus cannabis or whether they are simply subsets of the same species. Given the intense difference when smoking the two, I prefer to agree with the latter assertion. It also important to note there has been so much cross breeding of strains that determining which type of cannabis you are smoking can become a conundrum.
Cannabis Indica – This is the marijuana that typical users smoke to relax or sleep. It typically leads to “couch paralysis”, and scenes of movies where everyone is lying in the living room (think Half Baked) and dreaming of snacks and random stuff generalize stoners smoking Indica buds. Indicas tend produce thicker smoke inducing coughing and a generally less pleasant smoking experience. Indica is also commonly used to produce hashish because this cannabis is easier to grow and has a shorter flowering cycle due to its smaller plant size (roughly 3-6 feet). Regardless, the high is often euphoric and spiritual and lends creativity to those who smoke this “skunky” smelling weed. It also commonly used to treat pain, anxiety, sleep, and muscle spasms.
Cannabis Sativa – This plant tends to be categorized more as a stimulant when classifying marijuana. This is due in part to it having a higher THC [Tetrahydrocannabinol] content. Those who smoke Sativas are typically looking for that energetic, giggly high. It is the perfect cannabis to be used in social settings (begs for a hooka session), concerts, outdoor activities, etc. The buds typically smell minty, sometimes even fruity. Yields from Sativa strains are much lower than Indica. It is more difficult to grow indoors, typically flourishing with natural sunlight. Plants can also grow almost 10-12 feet high, making these difficult to cycle in grow rooms when you have to shift lights around. Sativas are more effective in appetite stimulation, relieving depression, and coping with pain and nausea.
Now you are probably wondering how you can determine which strain is which. Of course your local dispensary attendant should always have this knowledge. But in the case you obtain your marijuana by other means, here are a few pointers:
Sativa – Have narrower leaves, lighter in color, and taste ranges from earthy to sweet. Popular strains include Sour Diesel, skunk #1, Train Wreck, and Super Green Crack.
Indica – Short, dense, bushy buds. Darker in color, almost purple or blue at times. Flavors are mild to skunky. Popular strains are OG Kush, Afghani, Purple Erkle.
Hybrids or Cross Breeding – Too hard to define. Popular strains include norther lights (considered more of a Sativa), White Widow, and Green Dream.