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June 13, 2023

What is a strain?

a photo of an indoor marijuana grow that shows big, healthy and ready for harvest cannabis plants.

Simply put, cannabis strains are varieties of the plant genus Cannabis, which encompasses the species Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, and Cannabis ruderalis. 

What is cannabis and where did it come from?

Cannabis originates from the Cannabaceae family of plants which were found originally in Central Asia but have migrated throughout the world. There are two main species of the plant: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica; both of which have long been cultivated for medicinal and spiritual purposes around the world. 

What is cannabis sativa?

Sativa is typically known for its uplifting effects. These can include: euphoria, increased energy and focus, mood uplift, and an increased sense of well being. Sativa is generally indicated for daytime use. However, this is not always the case. 

What is cannabis indica?

Indica is typically known for its relaxing effects. These can include: decreased pain, relaxed muscles, increased appetite and decreased nausea. Indica is generally used for nighttime but there are many exceptions. 

Is there a combination of sativa and indica?

Yes, absolutely! There is a hybrid plant combining the effects of both sativa and indica. In theory, it is the blended mix of the uplift associated with sativa and the relaxation associated with indica. 

How do I know which is right for me?

Everyone’s body is different and will respond differently to different strains. There are luckily hundreds of different strains to choose from to find the perfect one for you. The best way to do this is by tracking how your body reacts to each profile and noticing which works best for you.  We highly recommend keeping a journal.

Many dispensaries provide lab tests on each strain’s cannabinoid and terpene profiles. These tests provide essential information for you to use when keeping track of the effects you experience with different strains. It is all part of your cannabis as medicine journey. 

Although the descriptions above are a great starting point, they should not be the only thing to rely on when determining a strain’s specific effects on you. Not all sativas or indicas are going to act as uplifting or sedating, in fact they may even have the opposite effect on you. These effects depend greatly on the strain’s specific profile of cannabinoids and terpenes along with each individual’s unique physiology. 

For more in-depth information, please refer to our Discover Cannabis educational cards.


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