Deciding on how to utilize Cannabis? BITD, It was as easy as lighting up a joint and kicking back, but with so much information online and different varieties of marijuana around these days, what to include in your daily regimen can be a bit confusing and/or overwhelming.
Don’t worry though, we got you.
With the exciting news of the legalization of Cannabis in different states within the Union and full legalization throughout our neighbors to the North in Canada and South in Mexico, it follows that there’s a lot of information you may need clarification on in order to make the right choices for your Cannabinoid selections. This article offers an outline of the differences between several Cannabinaceae Family varieties: From Cannabis; Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid, and from Hemp; Rosales and Humulus. Each has some pros and cons.
After this short read, you can pick up the steamroller pipe and return to lighting up that joint and kicking back like BITD!
Indica is a strain for those who prefer a ‘body high’ that induces deep relaxation. Because of this, it’s advisable to use it at night so that you can shut down, tune out and get restful sleep.
You’ll have to be sure that you won’t need to be awake for some duration after consuming Indica because of the aforementioned relaxation it causes; it might lull you to sleep at a time you need to be awake. Whether you prefer a ‘body high’ or just want to take advantage of its higher levels of CBD, you can expect to experience reduced anxiety, pain relief, eased nausea, and increased appetite.
Indica is typically chosen for high density THC palliative dosing in alternative/homeopathic medical applications like Rick Simpson Oil (RSO) where patients have limited response to rediative or chemical based remedies. Read a bit more under Hybrids…
Climate they Grow in:
This strain grows in hot, harsh climates and is characterized by broad, dark green leaves, however the plant itself is short and bushy. It grows faster than Sativa and has denser buds, so it is ideal for farmers who need to harvest often and increase their planting cycles.
Five popular strains of Cannabis Indica:
- Granddaddy Purple (Purps)
- Northern Lights
- Hindu Kush (most Kush varietals are Indica, although there are some hybridized strains that are referred to as Kush, which should be Indica dominant…check the label from your local Dispo)
- Blue Cheese
- Bubba Kush
Use Sativa to fight fatigue, lethargy, depression, mental fog, headaches and nausea because it has been shown to have a positive effect on these symptoms. Like Indica, Sativa does contain CBD, however, its ratio of CBD to THC is lower than Indica. Cannabis Sativa gives users a ‘mind high’ that energizes and activates parts of the brain associated with creativity. This strain is better used during the day as it leaves one feeling creative and productive. Depending on your tasks, Sativa can be an excellent mellowing agent to maintain focus in late afternoons as a substitute for the fifth cup of coffee, but like coffee, using it at night can induce insomnia. That said, if you are staying up late for ‘activities’, Sativa up until about two hours prior to shutting it down for the night is definitely the way to go.
Climate they Grow in
The Sativa strain of cannabis commonly grows in warmer areas with high humidity. It grows tall and thin with narrow leaves and takes longer to mature than other varieties of cannabis.
Five popular strains of Cannabis Sativa:
- Panama Red
- Acapulco Gold
- Lemon Haze
- Durban Poison
- Jack Herer
Hybrids, as the name suggests, is a combination of Indica and Sativa. With hybrids, the potency of the effects may be subdued or heightened, but many hybrids are grown with the aim of increasing the THC content or creating a plant that thrives in a microclimate. Trainwreck was bred from Thai Sativas and Afghani Indicas to have signature Indica effects, but retain the ability to thrive in Sativa climatology.
They have a wide range of impacts; from reduction of stress and anxiety to easing the side effects of chemo without inducing the stupor associated with opiates. Hybrid application differs from Indica (RSO) because the application of Hybrids is ‘in addition to’ the remedy versus ‘instead of’ a remedy.
Whether they will give a relaxing or stimulating effect is dependent on the dominant strain in the combination, as Hybrid can be Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant so the effects depend on the combination of strains used to produce it.
Climate they Grow in
Hybrids tend to be hardier than pure Indicas or pure Sativas and are typically grown in greenhouses and farms. They thrive well in cooler climates.
Five popular hybrid strains are:
- Blue Dream
- Pineapple Express
- White Widow
- OG Kush
Hemp Rosales and Humulus
While it is slang from days gone past, the term ‘Smoking Rope’ comes from the very real fact that Hemp Rosales does in fact offer trace amounts of psychoactive THC. Hemp fiber is often used in the production of rope and twine for its tensile strength when woven and in a pinch, you could always smoke some rope to relax after a hard day’s work. Hemp is far more CBD dominant than THC and has far more commercial applications than Cannabis, which has led to the Hemp Plant being re-legalized in many states where Cannabis is still prohibited.
However, the trace amount of THC in Hemp has caught the eye of some ganjapreneurs and a process (isomerization) to extract and concentrate that trace THC has been created. The THC we are most familiar with; Delta 9 TetraHydroCannabinol has a very close cousin from the Hemp Plant that provides similar activation of the human endo-cannabinoid system (yes folks, we are hard wired to have cannabinoids in our system). Hemp based THC is referred to as Delta 8 TetraHydroCannabinol, or simply Delta8.
Delta8 has a wide range of impacts, but is most similar in effect to Cannabis Indica. While the jury is still out, most people who have compared Delta8 to Delta9 observe a more ‘reserved’ endocrine system response and refer to an ‘everyday’ or ‘maintenance’ high versus a ‘couch-lock’ (Indica) or ‘party’ (Sativa) high.
Personally, I like Delta8 itself, but do NOT like the remnants of the extraction methods currently being utilized to derive the Delta8 from Hemp. I am definitely in the ‘more research required’ camp at the time of this writing. Solvents and Phthalates have no business inside my body. As most of you know, I am not a huge fan of extracted oils right now because the process often requires solvents. When an extraction process like Live Rosin (no, not Resin) is created for Hemp, I’m on board, but not before.
Hemp Humulus, also known as Hops, is a key ingredient in the production of fermented beverages like Beer! While Humulus does not have direct THC, leave it to enterprising ganjapreneurs to figure it out the way some craft brewers are now using Cannabis in place of Hops for the production of Beer.
Climate they Grow in
Hemp grows everywhere, but lower humidity (non-subtropical and non-tropical) climates offer best yield and lower bug and fungus issues. You can bet that when the Tobacco companies (who will ultimately roll out commercial Hemp and Cannabis after federal legalization), in those ‘tobacco states’ that are chock full of fallow hectarage from the decline in popularity of Tobacco like Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina will be the climates where most of growing occurs.
How to Pick the Strain that’s Right for You
Following are some guidelines on how to enjoy cannabis depending on different factors. Remember that there are always exceptions and if you’re unsure of anything, you should seek clarification from your attending care giver or specialized grower. Well informed professional Budtenders are also an excellent source of information, but be careful of sensational claims or anything that sounds like a list is being read from memory.
- Getting the right strain depends primarily on the effect you’re aiming for. In general, to feel energized and awake, use a Sativa. If you want to relax and sleep, then use an Indica. A hybrid could help you get a little bit of each if you find one that’s evenly balanced and matches your body chemistry.
- Consider interactions with other drugs you may be using. Cannabinoids are complex chemicals, and while our bodies are hard wired to utilize our own self-produced versions, augmenting those naturally occurring Cannabinoids endemic to our specific body chemistry can be tricky. Both CBD and THC are known to interact with some drugs, especially those that thin the blood (CBD) or impact neurochemicals like anti-depressants (THC). Take the necessary precautions to make sure you don’t put yourself at risk trying or maintaining Cannabinoids. It is always better to have more information when it comes to interactions between common prescriptions and cannabis.
- Know your THC tolerance because you might end up getting more than you bargained for. Concentrations of THC in cannabis have risen significantly lately. Todays smoke is not the old man’s smoke of yesteryear.
- Finally, decide on how you will consume the cannabis because different techniques have different results. Smoking and vaping bring the effects hard and fast, and they generally don’t last longer than a few hours. Edibles on the other hand cause slower effects but while easier to tolerate, the end result is a longer lasting high.
As highlighted above, there are many ways to get a good result from cannabis and they include using glass pipes like a Gandalf Pipe, a Terrestrial Bong or a Hookah pipe, all of which are both high-quality and expertly made to give you the best experience. Now that you are informed on some details of these four varieties of cannabis and some of their popular strains, pick one and light it up; your research should be rewarded!