Cannabis flowers, or buds, are the “pretty” part of the plant, defined by their hairy, sticky and oftentimes sparkly crystals. While these flowers might not look like your traditional bouquet, once dried and harvested, they are used as medication. There are a variety of cannabis strains (estimates vary, but there are thousands of various, unique strains) which produce flower with different THC and CBD percentages. Different species of cannabis, such as indica, sativa, and hybrids, along with their associated terpenes, will produce different effects for the user.
- Indica is the less scientific name for the Cannabis indica species of cannabis. Generally these plants originated in the Middle East and Asia and include both of the famous kush and Afghan lineages. Compared to their sativa counterparts, the plants are shorter, bushier and have more compact flower structure. This species tends to produce more relaxing physical effects and can have a sedative quality.
- Sativa is the less scientific name for the cannabis sativa species of cannabis plant. In general, these plants originated outside of the Middle East and Asia and include strains that are from areas such as South America, the Caribbean, Africa, and Thailand. These strains tend to grow taller as plants (usually over 5 feet), are lighter in color and take longer to flower. When consumed, sativas tend to produce more cerebral effects as opposed to physical and sedative ones.
- Hybrid refers to a plant that is genetically a cross between one or more separate strains of cannabis. Hybrids can happen unintentionally, but they are usually bred specifically to combine desired traits of the original plants. Most marijuana on the market today is some form of a hybrid.
- Terpenes are what gives cannabis strains their distinctive flavors. They are the aromatic oils the plant produces that affect a strain’s flavor, aroma and it’s medicinal effects.