There are thousands of different cannabis strains to choose from, each consisting of different percentages and variations of select cannabinoids and terpenes, producing different effects as a result . But when people are discussing cannabis strains, they are usually boiling their discussion down to cannabis sativa, cannabis indica, or hybrid varieties.
Cannabis – Indica Vs. Sativa
‘These are the distinctions used by most breeders and growers to try and indicate the effects you may feel from having one product versus another. People usually determine a strain is an indica or sativa based on a few factors: the look of the plant, the ratio of CBD to THC, or the effects felt after consumption. Cannabis sativa plants are typically taller and with narrower leaves than the shorter and bushier cannabis indica plants. Sativa strains also usually flower for longer and do well in warm climates, while indica strains can handle cooler outside temperatures .
If you walk into any cannabis dispensary, this is generally where your local budtenders will start in on explaining the differences between various cannabis strains to you. Theoretically, these different plants also produce different effects, with sativa strains being said to provide an energizing high while indica strains are said to be more sedating, creating a relaxing experience. Hybrids, of course, are said to be a combination of the two.
The Problem with Cannabis Classification
Essentially, pure sativa and indica strains don’t really exist anymore; every “indica” is a hybrid and every “sativa” is a hybrid. You can’t purchase an indica variety and be sure what you are getting or what you will feel. And most experts agree that while this classification system is convenient, it likely doesn’t have any scientific basis . In fact, some have called for abandoning this naming system entirely, and marking strains based solely on their chemical makeup. The cannabinoid and terpene content of a strain can be used as a much more accurate predictor of the affects you may experience . To make informed shopping decisions, be sure to ask about the chemical composition of the strain you intend to purchase.
Why Use Cannabis?
Cannabis users report a variety of reasons for partaking in cannabis. Everything from social enhancement to anxiety reduction and personal enjoyment might contribute to a person’s desire to try and continue using cannabis .
As a social lubricant, cannabis appears to be far less addictive and harmful than alcohol . Also, research has emerged identifying CBD as a potential treatment for a variety of anxiety disorders and epilepsy  . And cannabinoids have been found to be effective for treating chronic pain patients as well.
There are countless wellness purposes for giving cannabis a try, from treating nausea to just general relaxation. Every individual has different reasons for why they use cannabis. The key is determining what your goal may be and then finding a strain that can help.