Cannabis Sativa vs Cannabis Indica

Cannabis Information South Africa

People across South Africa are looking for more information on Cannabis.

Many have heard that Cannabis/Marijuana/Dagga has medicinal properties and they are now searching online for more Cannabis information.

Here at Khanya medicinals we want to help clear the smoke and provide you with a better understanding of the Cannabis plant and how it can be used medicinally with products such as CBD oil, Cannabis Tinctures, Cannabis Vape Juice and Cannabis creams etc.

Cannabis is divide in two main types: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. There is also a third species, Cannabis Ruderalis, but in the article we will be discussing mainly the first two types.

Indica is the classical Greek and Latin word for India, the region of Earth where resin-heavy, psychotropic cannabis originated from. “Sativa” simply means “cultivated.” Today’s Cannabis sativa is a species of cannabis grown for not only hemp fiber and hemp seeds across parts of Europe and North America, but also for the recreational and medical cannabis markets.

We’ve all heard that “indica” has broad leaves and sativa is “tall” and “lanky,” and indica makes you “relaxed” while sativa gives you “energy.” This is borderline urban legend. The exact opposite can hold true, and overall, it’s too simplistic a classification for a plant with at least a 12,000-year history spent evolving alongside humankind. If we’re going to legalize it, it’s best we completely understand what it is.

Cannabis is one of the oldest crops known to mankind, with records of its cultivation dating back thousands of years. The first written record of the plant in South Africa is by Jan van Riebeeck, who ordered officers of the Voorman to purchase “dacha” in Natal for trade with the Khoikhoi. Cannabis was wholly criminalised in South Africa in 1928 under the Medical, Dental, and Pharmacy Act, for political and moral reasons. But in March 2017 the Western Cape High Court passed a ruling that allowed for the possession, cultivation and private use of marijuana at home and now South Africa waits for Cannabis to be made legal by Government removing and amending the old archaic dagga laws.

Indica and sativa strains are thought to have different effects, and people often use them for different purposes. Let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of cannabis. Bot Indica or sativa will get you high. But Cannabis connoisseurs distinguish between the two because sativa vs indica effects can be extremely different. This largely has to do with their origin stories. Indica strains originated in colder, mountainous climates (think Afghanistan and northern India) and Sativas originated in more sweltering equatorial zones.

However, with the rise of modern cannabis breeding and the discovery that genetics are important to marijuana potency, thousands of hybrid strains have also come onto the scene. These hybrids combine the effects of indicas and sativas. And in the modern world, we now distinguish between indica vs sativa vs hybrid strains.

  • Indica strains are believed to be physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
  • Sativas tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.
  • Hybrids are thought to fall somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains.

This belief that indicas, sativas, and hybrids deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders typically begin their strain recommendations by asking you which of these three types you prefer.

But no matter which strain you choose the key point to mention is that all no matter which of the species you choose, they all contain something called Cannabinoids. And it’s the varying amounts of Cannabinoids which offer different solutions.

A cannabinoid is one of a class of diverse chemical compounds that acts on cannabinoid receptors in cells that alter neurotransmitter release in the brain. Ligands for these receptor proteins include the endocannabinoids (produced naturally in the body by animals), the phytocannabinoids (found in cannabis and some other plants), and synthetic cannabinoids (manufactured artificially). The most notable cannabinoid is the phytocannabinoid tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis. Cannabidiol (CBD) is another major constituent of the plant. There are at least 113 different cannabinoids isolated from cannabis, exhibiting varied effects.

The cannabis plant is comprised of hundreds of chemical compounds that create a unique harmony of effects, which is primarily led by cannabinoids and terpenes. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD (the two most common) are the main drivers of cannabis’ therapeutic and recreational effects:

  • THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) makes us feel hungry and high, and relieves symptoms like pain and nausea.
  • CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-intoxicating compound known to alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and many other medical ailments. For more information on CBD, read more here.

Cannabis contains over a hundred different types of these cannabinoids, but start by familiarizing yourself with these two first. Instead of choosing a strain based on its indica/sativa/hybrid classification, consider basing your selection on these three points instead:

  • THC-dominant strains are primarily chosen by consumers seeking a potent euphoric experience. These strains are also selected by patients treating pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. If you tend to feel anxious with THC-dominant strains or dislike other side effects associated with THC, try a strain with higher levels of CBD.
  • CBD-dominant strains contain only small amounts of THC, and are widely used by those highly sensitive to THC or patients needing clear-headed symptom relief.
  • Balanced THC/CBD strains contain balanced levels of THC, offering mild euphoria alongside symptom relief. These tend to be a good choice for novice consumers seeking an introduction to cannabis’ signature high.

Hopefully the Cannabis information above has now provided you with a better understanding of what effects the different types of Cannabis/Dagga may produce.

Remember this is only a guideline and it’s not cast in stone. We always recommend that if you are using Cannabis for the first time that you “Start low and go slow” until you have a better understanding of what your tolerance level is. For more suggestion on Cannabis dosing please click here.

If you are wanting to buy CBD oil tinctures, Cannabis Vape Juice or Canna cream in South Africa please take a moment to browse our online SHOP.


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