Cannabis strains have been found all over the world and have been used for thousands of years as plant based medicine and for religious, ritualistic and ceremonial purposes. Different strains of cannabis contain individual cannabinoid profiles which can lend themselves to different purposes.
Because of cannabis' popularity, present-day genetic diversity is quite literally unbelievable. Expert geneticists are working on new strains with genetic differences each day to produce products that are tailored to serve a specific purpose, produce a specific high and also smell and taste different. The product ranges available are very diverse and include things like :
- Tinctures, balms and extracts
- Cannabis flower
Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid cannabis strains
Let us begin by first determining the difference between a cannabis Sativa plant and a cannabis Indica plant. Sativa and Indica are different species of cannabis plants that are said to produce different effects for the user. Many in the cannabis industry have turned to a different system of classification which looks like:
- Type 1: High THC
- Type 2: THC and CBD combined
- Type 3: High CBD
This method of categorisation proves to be efficient in countries where cannabis is legal, as cannabis products (including seeds* and CBD) can be labelled by strength and not by species. This helps people to better regulate or tailor their dosage.
Now it is possible to find thousands of different chemical variations, each coming with its own cannabinoid and terpene profiles and usually boasting its own unique flavours, scents and effects.
As the cannabis industry grows, different strains are often referred to as 'chemovars' and this basically means chemical variation. A cannabis strain can include both Sativa and Indica genetics meaning that it is possible to make hybrid strains. Expert growers combine plants renowned for specific physical or psychological effects as well as scent and flavour together with another specially selected strain in order to create a unique and tailored cannabis experience.
Many medicinal cannabis and recreational cannabis users claim that Indica strains and Sativa strains provide different effects. However, what we are learning as cannabis science progresses is that there is no simple rule of thumb or obvious distinction for the effects felt from either cannabis Sativa plants or Cannabis Indica plants. There are thousands of variables that can alter the cannabis experience for the user including personal, environmental and chemical, here are a few examples:
- Strength of product - Levels of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids and chemical constituents
- Setting - The direct environment as well as social factors
- Personal health - For example, if someone is taking other medicine or suffers mental illness, it may trigger adverse reactions
- Product quality - Origin, growing conditions, genetics etc. when shopping for things like seeds* and CBD always use a trusted retailer or manufacturer
To the untrained eye, both the seeds*, growing plants and the end-products of cannabis Sativa and cannabis Indica can look very much the same.
Cannabis indica versus sativa
The differences between Sativa and Indica are in a sense measured in a botanical way, the notable points of difference are in things like the height of the plant, its leaf shapes, growth rate and branching patterns. Indica plants have a woody stalk whereas Sativa had a fibrous stalk.
Some researchers suggest that these traits are the result of things like:
- Geographical isolation
- Selective breeding using genetic markers and farming
- Evolutionary adaptations
- Environmental factors - weather patterns, terrain etc.
It has been for many years thought that Sativa provides a heady, uplifting, energising and creative high while Indica provides a relaxing and chronic pain relieving high. What we now know is that this is not necessarily the case.
The main points of difference for the user include the individual cannabinoid profile, method of growth as well as product choice to name a few. It has been found that different effects can be experienced from varying strains (or as they are often called, chemovars) within the same species of plant.
About cannabis strains
Cannabis strains are distinguished from one another by their very own cannabinoid and terpene profiles.
The outcome of the chemical variations found within the individual plants come as a result of the combination of genetics from their parent plants. Most reputable seeds banks provide information regarding the cannabinoid profile of their seeds* so that you can best select the seeds* that fulfil your requirements.
New strains can be made by cross pollinating different strains to create new and interesting variations with unique flavours, aromas and effects.
What is responsible for the different aromas, flavours and effects?
Cannabis plants can contain over a hundred different cannabinoids that we know of but modern science still doesn't understand what all of them are responsible for. We do however know that cannabis and CBD products prove more effective when they contain all of the plant's cannabinoids. The name given to this is 'the entourage effect' and we have a dedicated blog for further reading.
As we mentioned before, it is the terpenes found within individual strains that give us notably different scents and aromas.
There are a few cannabinoids that we know much more about and these are:
- THC - Probably the most well-known cannabinoid, this is the cannabinoid that is known for causing a 'high' or sense of euphoria, some research suggests THC can help to ease pain
- CBD - This interesting cannabinoid is used for a multitude of things including, relief from pain, anti-anxiety, sports recovery, self care and treating symptoms of stress to name a few.
- CBG - Cannabigerol is known as 'the mother of all cannabinoids' because all of the other cannabinoids are derived from cannabigerolic acid - CBGA (this is CBG in an acidic form). CBG is found in much smaller quantities than cannabinoids like THC and CBD, consequently, it can be quite expensive although many people choose to use CBG because of its potential benefits.
There are also 8 major cannabinoid acids produced by the cannabis plant which are:
- THCA - Tetrahyrdocannabinolic acid
- CBDA - Cannabidiolic acid
- CBGA - Cannabigerolic acid
- CBCA - Cannabicromenenic acid
- THCVA -Tetrahydrocanabivarinic acid
- CBGVA - Cannabigerovarinic acid
- CBCVA - Cannabichromevarinic acid
- CBDVA - Cannabidivarinic acid
Many of these cannabinoid acids have interesting antibiotic or insecticidal properties primarily for the plants defence system, now we are finding applications for humans too.
Cannabis seeds and strains
Take a look at some of our favourite genetics in cannabis seeds*.
Remember, it is illegal to grow cannabis plants in the UK. The seeds* we sell are for collection and souvenir purposes only.
Northern Light Automatic
Northern lights is one of the original strains to have been taken to Holland during the Sacred seeds* bust. This feminised, automatic flowering strain pays homage to its legendary predecessor. These simple-to-use seeds* are the perfect addition to any cannabis seeds* collection.
00 Kush Seeds
Kush is thought to be an original strain from the Hindu Kush mountains and possibly Afghanistan. Its powerful medicinal applications, as well as skinny aroma, make it a firm favourite among enthusiasts the world over.
Auto Pineapple Express 5
This strain has somewhat of a cult following, either from the movie or its genetics. Pineapple Express has a tropical and fruity aroma reminiscent of the OG strain. This auto flower variety can reach flowering in just 65 days and provides a fruitful harvest. Don't miss out on the chance of owning these little beauties.
White widow seeds
A true legendary strain enjoyed medicinally and recreationally worldwide. White widow is renowned for its strong effects and sweet and spicy flavour. Don't let your cannabis seed* collection go without this incredible and well-renowned strain.
Shop CBD and cannabis seeds
If you would like to find the right seeds* for your collection then don't hesitate to GET IN TOUCH with our team of experts that have over a decade of industry experience. Our experts are ready to help 24/7/365.
*Disclaimer: Germination of seeds brought from ICE is not permitted, our seeds are sold for collection purposes only.
Disclaimer: Please note that you must be 18 years or older to purchase CBD products. All claims and effects of CBD have been regulated by the MHRA since 2016 and distributors require a license from the MHRA to make any medical claims. Claims are opinion based and non-scientific, and while we may discuss the opinions people share, they are not our own. Our CBD is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease. Although we can advocate its calming & healthy properties it is in no way intended for medicinal use.