If you’ve been reading wellness blogs (or the news in general) you’ve likely heard some mention of cannabis. And despite the rise of accepted cannabis conversation, some confusion and misunderstanding surrounding the different offshoots of the plant. Let’s take a closer look at the specific products that exist under the cannabis umbrella.
Cannabis is a plant with two primary offshoots: Sativa and Indica. Cannabis sativa is associated with a tangible, psychoactive high. Effects include creativity, focus, euphoria, and increased energy. Because of the stimulating effects, sativa-primary strains are great for daytime use. Cannabis indica is related to a more visceral, embodied experience. As a general rule, feelings of relaxation, calmness and even reduced insomnia are aftereffects of using indicas. Nighttime use is recommended because of the strong relaxation effects.
It is easy to assign specific properties to define each plant. However, the effects are not as black and white as applying a blanket rule of thumb. What is more important than type is individual strain properties. Strains are identified predominantly by cannabinoid content, or active chemical compounds.
THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) is the most recognized cannabinoid. THC is the psychoactive part of the drug; the main player behind the euphoria of “getting high” with recreational intent. CBD (cannabidiol) is the second most recognized cannabinoid and the source of medicinal properties. Medicinally speaking, CBD is associated with reduced anxiety, schizophrenia, epilepsy, and chronic pain. The positive outcomes and ongoing potential of CBD as a medical tool are able to be safely tested because the psychoactive properties are far less present.
Cannabis sativa usually contains lower doses of CBD and higher doses of THC, and indicas are the reverse. Alongside the positive benefits associated with cannabis consumption, there are some outcomes to be wary of. Things like paranoia, anxiety, dizziness, etc., most of which are attributed to high THC rather than CBD, but not exclusively.
There is a third family member of the cannabis lineage: Cannabis ruderalis. Due to its lack of potency, this ineffective little brother is rarely looked to as a viable source of recreational or medicinal purposes. One positive of ruderalis is the plant’s rapid growth, and occasional hybrid blends are created between ruderalis and sativa or indica.