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Indica, Sativa or Hybrid? The Origin and End of Cannabis Categorizing

When purchasing bud, sometimes you are asked, "Are you looking for an Indica, Sativa or hybrid?". Other times you are asked, "How do you want to feel?". So, what's the deal? How do you find the perfect strain? Do you specifically look for an Indica dominate hybrid to mostly chill you out but keep you alert? Or perhaps a pure Sativa strain to get that energy going because you've got a lot of stuff to do? Here’s the thing, whether it is "Indica" or "Sativa", it doesn't truly state what effects you will experience after consumption.

The difference between Indica and Sativa

The difference between Indica and Sativa is based on what has been fed to consumers’ minds for years and years, that Indica strains will give you that "couch lock", chilled, relaxed feeling whereas a Sativa strain is going to give you more of an alert, energizing and uplifting feeling. Indica plants are visually shorter and fatter. Sativa plants are found to be taller and thin in appearance. So, I am sure you are wondering where the hell the terms even came from then?

Where and why did Indica and Sativa really come from?

These terms actually came from the Europeans of the 17th Century who consumed mostly Sativa plants. As all plants were then considered Sativa plants since the Latin term meant cultivated fruit or flowering from seed. Indica simply put means "cannabis from India" and is shorter and bushier. They also found that Indica plants not only differed in size and height but smelled different and produced more resin than the Europeans were used to at the time. Studies suggest that the cannabis plant originated from the Asian continent, where it grew in mostly wet places and nearby bodies of water. This is where Nomads of the 17th century discovered beautiful cannabis. The term "Sativa" was created in 1753 by a Swedish botanist named Carl Linnaeus and meant cultivated" and would describe the hemp plant growing in Europe at the time. In 1785 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, proposed that there were two different types of cannabis species. Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a naturalist, adopted the categorization of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. It stated that Cannabis Sativa was cultivated in the western continents while Cannabis Indica was a wild species that grew in India (as stated above).

How do you find the perfect strain?

Pay attention to that terpene profile! Instead of focusing on how high the THC percentage is or whether a strain is more Indica or Sativa derived, figure out exactly how you want to feel. As budtenders, we pay close attention to terpenes. Terpenes are the beautiful scents you smell on those yummy crystallized buds. Similar to essential oils, terpene profiles are what create specific feelings. Take lavender for example; Lavender is known to help ease stress and help you relax.

Common Terpenes and Their Functions

Myrcene - This terpene is found to be one of the more dominant of the terp family. Its aromas include earthy, clove, and musky. It brings about feelings of relaxation and also has anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly found in mangos and hops.

Strains: White Widow, Special Kush, Skunk XL

Limonene - Also very abundantly found in cannabis but not found in all strains. You will smell citrus fruits when you break open the flower. Because of its great smell, aroma-therapeutically it helps ease stress and put you in a good mood or uplift your spirit. It also has powerful anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties!

Strains: Sour Diesel, OG Kush, Lemon Haze

Pinene - Pinene is pretty self-explanatory as it signals strong scents of pine. There are two different types of pinene: Alpha-pinene, which is that strong pine scent and Beta-pinene, which gives out scents like rosemary or dill. Pinene is also found to have strong anti-inflammatory and antiseptic type properties.

Strains: Strawberry Cough, Blue Dream, Dutch Treat

Linalool - Linalool is the terpene that is also found in lavender, and in the aromatherapy world, lavender is known to help ease stress and help you relax. Its strong aromas give off a spicy floral scent. Linalool can also be found in citrus fruits, laurel and birch. It is known mostly for its anti-anxiety, anti-depressant and stress relieving effects.

Strains: Headband, AK47, Amnesia Haze

Caryophyllene - This particular terpene has been studied and found to be capable of treating anxiety and depression. When you smell this terpene, you will pick scents of pepper and spice and is also found in black pepper, cinnamon, and rosemary.

Strains: Girl Scout Cookies, Sunset Sherbet, Pineapple Express

Humulene - Those hoppy aromas you smell on your weed sometimes comes from the terpene humulene. Humulene, similar to the other terpenes, is also known to be an antioxidant. It can also be found in evergreen trees, ginger and tobacco. Like the other terpenes above, humulene is also found to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Strains: Durban Poison, Grand Daddy Purple, Death Star

A good terpene profile will give you a better understanding of what you are consuming. However, consumption method also plays a big factor. Vaporizing flower tends to bring out terpenes more than smoking it, and certain extraction methods bring out terpenes more than others. For example, because Live Resin is made with fresh frozen bud, it tends to retain terpene content better than C02 oil or BHO. Some companies use food grade terpenes in cartridges to give their oil a similar effect and taste as cannabis terpenes, but it is not quite the same as a creating a full spectrum based cartridge that retains original the natural terpenes.

Should strain purchasing be based on feeling or what it's listed under?

Each strain is its own individual and gives off its own effects. If you were looking to purchase something that was going to give you that relaxed feeling you have been looking for all day, then why would you base it solely on whether its Indica or Sativa? Remember those terms were solely created as origin identification and its physical appearance, not how it makes you feel. Some strains are stronger than others, some

create a body high, some more cerebral. Determining your purchase based on what feeling you are wanting is far better than just picking something that is simply generalized to make it easier for the sellers of the past.

The truth about flower

Over the years, we have consistently hybridized the cannabis plant, that a large amount of the strains you see these days are inaccurately categorized as Sativa or Indica strains. Sometimes you will find a strain that is labeled as a Sativa dominant hybrid, when in fact you feel a lot lazier than you were expecting. Strains over time have lost their initial labels and have become just hybrids. How the flower is grown and its environment are equally as important to know. Whether it’s indoor or outdoor grown, is valuable information, as is the strain genotype (its genetic code or "blueprint" for growth). This is what dictates its phenotype or the physical expression of a genotype (the physical properties you can see such as its shape, development or behavior). This is one more reason we should focus on taking off the labels of what is Indica and Sativa and focus more on the terpene profile (what feeling you are looking for). Basing your next cannabis purchase solely on one factor may not be wise. It is better to consider all the different factors such as its terpene profile, who grows it, and whether it is indoor or outdoor grown. At that point you may have a better idea of what you are purchasing and what terpenes

you are consuming.

The entourage effect and cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds produced by the cannabis plant that give us the relief from pain, anxiety, depression and inflammation. The crystals you find on your sticky buds is called resin and its full of cannabinoids. The reaction between terpenes and cannabinoids creates what is called "the entourage effect". When you are smoking/dabbing/vaporizing, the taste and aroma is coming from the terpenes but the

cerebral and physiological effects are the result of the "entourage effect". When you are shopping it's good to take into consideration whether you are buying full spectrum flower or isolated compounds taken from the plant. When you have full spectrum, you have better odds of enjoying a full body high versus taking one part of the plant and isolating it with THC and not receiving the same effects or high as you were wanting. When the cannabinoids and terpenes are mixed together, you create the "entourage effect".

Your high is dependent on the terpenes that are present in the strain that you've chosen and the cannabinoid content. Read the label to see the percentage of THC, the other cannabinoids found in that particular bud and in some cases, it will state what terpenes are found in that strain. In the end, the lineage of a strain doesn't come to play as much as all the factors above, so be sure to consider those when you make your final purchase.

So, what's the future of Sativa and Indica?

Until there is more education and the industry itself starts using the correct terminology of cannabis, the usage of Indica, Sativa, & even Hybrid will continue. Challenge the knowledgeable staff at 2020 Solutions to help find the perfect vibe/feeling you are looking for! It is our job as Budtenders to share our experience and knowledge with our guests to ensure their best cannabis experience begins here!


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