Cannabis has the perfect alibi, it has so many different aliases that it’s been always a little difficult to decipher which name refers to what exactly. Hopefully this article will dispel all this nonsensical confusion.
Hemp VS. Marijuana
Hemp and marijuana are two very well known names for cannabis, however, not many know that hemp and marijuana are two distinctly different cannabis strains. They are not to be confused with the also commonly known names of marijuana: sativa and indica, which will be discussed a little further down. The two strains came about as selective breeding was used by early human civilizations to create distinct industrial and medical uses.
The larger and stronger plants were bred together creating oils, textiles, and foods (ie. hemp hearts). These sturdy plants are what created the cannabis breed known as hemp. The plants which were recognized as having effects on the mind when smoked were bred together creating what today would be considered as marijuana.
The biggest differentiator between the two are the most distinctive chemical components of cannabis known as CBD and THC. Hemp is legally grown in today’s market in many countries around the world when it yields a maximum of 0.3% THC. THC is the psychoactive component of cannabis which creates a lot of the effects associated with being “high”. CBD is associated with a lot of the effects associated with the medical benefits of cannabis and does not create any of the “high” effects. Marijuana contains different ratios of CBD and THC which have been associated with the two different strains known as sativa and indica.
Indica VS. Sativa
If you happen to live in a city where marijuana is legal for either medical or recreational use and you enter a dispensary you will most likely see variations of marijuana under the parent family indica or sativa. Though contradicting evidence has been reported on the distinct effects of the two, generally there seems to be a consensus in regards to how each affects the body and mind.
Indica is generally the plant with busher thick dark green leaves, and can be ideal for indoor growing as it typically does not get too tall. It has been associated with “body-highs” meaning it creates relaxing effects thus being normally recommend for night use. It has been a rule of thumb that indicas have higher CBD to THC ratios though this is not set in stone as strains due get mixed quite often.
Sativas as one might guess have the opposite attributes as indicas. They have long, thin leaves, are not as dark in colour and produce “head-high” effects. They are commonly referred to having higher THC to CBD ratios yet again this does vary.
What these differences mean
For someone looking for a plant leaf to smoke for mostly medical purposes, hemp flowers are the way to go. However hemp is generally not grown for smoking and thus simply looking for a strain that indicates higher CBD to THC is key, this does not mean that the strain will automatically be an indica. The best advice would be to try different types of both the sativa and indica family, since their components vary, you may never know which will be your favourite.