Why the Indica-Sativa Organizing Model May Become Obsolete

Industry Johnny Green 1/17/2018
There's a better way to categorize cannabis...

Do you know the genetic history of the cannabis that you consume?

For many years cannabis consumers had no idea what type of cannabis they were consuming. Prohibition made it hard to find cannabis, so most people were just happy to have something.

As time has gone on, we've learned more about the plant, and categorization has become more important.

Cannabis consumers have become more sophisticated, and an emerging industry has made it easier for us to know what they are consuming.

Knowing what is being consumed is important because different types of cannabis provide different effects and wellness benefits.

What is the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains?

Indica versus sativa? Not always what you think.

The traditional categorization has gone like this:

Indica strains are great for sleep, sativa strains are great for energy and creativity, and hybrid strains somewhere in between.

What these terms actually mean...

Indica cannabis strains come from plants that are short and squatty.

Compare that to sativa plants, which are taller and ganglier.

Hybrid strains are naturally a combination of the two. 

What's the big deal?

Indica, sativa, and hybrid strain titles can be deceiving

The indica, sativa, hybrid model should be used more as a guide than gospel.

Some proven sativa blends will be indistinguishable from other indica strains people consume.

Most of the time a pure indica and pure sativa will provide predictable effects, but not always.

Hybrids are even trickier to pin down.

Further complicating the matter is that every human's biology is different, and as such, different cannabis strains will affect consumers in different ways.

With so many people crossing strains, more and more finished product is becoming an equal-parts hybrid, making predictability of effect more difficult.

This situation is leading to a lot of veteran consumers demanding a categorization model that is more descriptive than the limited indica/sativa/hybrid model.

Here's the solution...

Strain profiles are the future of cannabis categorization

Pay attention to those terpene profiles in your cannabis.

Strain profiles will show you exactly what cannabinoids and terpenes are in a cannabis sample.

Terpene profiles especially are a much more helpful way for consumers to learn what type of effects to expect from the cannabis that they are consuming, and it's likely where the industry is headed as time goes by.

Terpenes, found in many other plants as well, are what give cannabis its aromatic diversity while also contritubting to the a strain's unique effects. 

Types of terpenes include:

  • Myrcene - naturally synergistic with THC, very sedative
  • Pinene - creates a hightened level of alterness
  • Limonene - reduces anxiety and depression
  • Caryophyllene - reduces anxiety and depression
  • Linalool - reduces stress, very calming
  • Terpinolene - sedative

Knowledge of Cannabis Fundamentals Is Important for Everybody

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