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Common weed wisdom usually separates cannabis into two different kinds of high: the more cerebral, uplifting high of sativas, and the more sedating, body-centered high of indicas. While that categorization is rooted in some fact (as well as centuries of accumulated experience), scientific research points to it being a bit of an oversimplification. 

Is there really a difference between indica and sativa? Absolutely! 

Though it might not be the exact difference you think...

difference between indica and sativa marijuana

The Basics

Today, cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are regarded as the two main subspecies of the cannabis plant. However, that was not always the case.

One of the earlier writings on cannabis taxonomy, dating back to the 1500s in Germany, grouped hemp into two distinct categories — what the author, botanist, and physician Leonhart Fuchs, referred to as domesticated (or “sativa”) cannabis and wild cannabis

The classification of plants as either sativa or indica doesn’t begin until the late 1700’s when French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck allegedly coined the term “indica.” In 1785, his Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique proposed the existence of this new subspecies which he had identified from samples sent to him from India. In his entry on indica, he wrote:

“The principal effect of this plant consists of going to the head, disrupting the brain, where it produces a sort of drunkenness that makes one forget one’s sorrows, and produces a strong gaiety.” 

 

Modern understandings of the differences between sativa and indica haven’t evolved an enormous amount since Lamarck was writing. We know that physically, indica plants are typically shorter, with broad, dark green leaves while sativa plants are taller and have thin, pale green leaves. Genetically, indicas tend to have a higher amount of CBD, while sativas tend to have a higher amount of THC.

And that really sums up the major, scientifically accepted differences in the strains. Out of those differences have developed the more folksy (and less research-based wisdom) that sativas will get you ready for a deep conversation about the universe, while indicas are better for binging cartoons on the couch.

cbd bottle

CBD and THC

Lamarck’s categorization of indica vs. sativa was mainly based on the plant’s physical attributes (height, leaf size, etc.), but modern research tells us that predicting the high of a given strain is much more about a plant’s chemical makeup than its appearance. Neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher Dr Ethan Russo wrote on the subject, “one cannot in any way currently guess the biochemical content of a given cannabis plant-based on its height, branching, or leaf morphology.”

The amount and balance of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a given strain is a much better predictor for the kind of high you will get. A higher amount of CBD will more likely produce a mellow high, while a higher amount of THC will more likely produce a more energetic high.

Indicas do typically have more CBD, and sativas typically have more THC — but it is not a hard and fast rule.

In addition, while the interaction between THC and CBD is one of the main factors in predicting the effect of a given strain of cannabis, it is far from the only factor. There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in various strains of cannabis, of which CBD and THC are only two. These other cannabinoids also can have an effect on a strain’s high.

Is there really a difference between indica and sativa

Terpenes

Then there are terpenes — compounds that are largely responsible for a strain’s aroma but also thought to co-mingle with the other active compounds to affect the overall high of a strain. Terpenes may be one reason why two strains with the same amount of THC and CBD might have totally different effects when smoked. For example, a terpene called myrcene is known to have a sedative effect while another, called limonene is known for lifting mood and energy levels (as well as for having a citrus aroma). Another terpene, alpha-pinene, may be responsible for counteracting THC-induced short-term memory loss

These various interactions are often referred to as the “entourage effect” — a kind of compounding of effects that make predicting the high of given strains much harder than simply knowing if it is an indica or sativa.

Beyond that, the effect of a specific strain of cannabis will differ from person to person — the same way that alcohol and caffeine will affect different people in different ways. The same cup of coffee might give you the jitters or while someone else doesn’t feel the effects at all. Likewise, a user’s genetic profile will influence their reaction to THC, CBD, and cannabis in general.

There is still a long way to go to understanding cannabis and the different effects of various strains. 

Why don’t we have a better understanding of the different kinds of strains of cannabis and their potential effects? For one thing, both scientific and agricultural research into cannabis has been largely curtailed by the US government. Cannabis's long time classification by the government as a schedule 1 substance has made cannabis hard to study in a formal setting. Because of that, and the informal nature of the weed economy for most of its history, classifications and “research” have been left more to users, growers, and even dealers — to describe how a given strain affects someone.

In an interview with VICE, Sean Myles, a professor of agricultural genetic diversity at Dalhousie University and co-author of a 2015 study about cannabis genetics, summed up where modern science seems to leave the indica/sativa conversation:

“We may loosely call things "indica" or "sativa," and that's a fair rule of thumb for describing their physical traits and psychoactive effects. But since nobody was keeping track of marijuana with the methods of a modern agriculturist some 5,000 years ago, we don't know what a "pure" sativa or indica really is, DNA-wise, he said. Who's to say what the defining characteristics of a pure sativa or indica really are?”

So, the next time you find a strain you like, make note of the balance between THC and CBD and use that as a good starting point for choosing your next one. With that information in hand, don’t feel like you need to stay loyal to indica or sativa — feel free to branch out!


 

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CannaSaver Blog

Marijuana Strains Born in Colorado

Posted by CANNASaver on Wednesday, 04 January 2017 in Canna Blog

Marijuana Strains Originating in Colorado

With all the marijuana strains available at Colorado dispensaries, curiosity regarding weed genetics and origins is bound to kick in sooner or later. You can find marijuana strains from all over the world here, as well as a few really good strains from Colorado that have become world-famous. Some of the better known marijuana strains originating in Colorado include Colorado Cough (also known as Fort Collins Cough), G-6 also known as Jet Fuel, Aspen OG, and High Country Diesel. These strains have provided the genetics for many of the popular newer strains you see in dispensaries today.

Read on to learn more about these acclaimed marijuana strains that originated in Colorado.

Colorado Cough Genetics and Origins

Colorado Cough is a strain originating in Colorado in the 1990s. This strain was first grown in Colorado by two students from Colorado State University in Fort Collins who had the brilliant idea of crossing a Northern Lights #5 with a Haze #17. The result is a powerful sativa head high with an equally relaxing effect on the body. It has a very earthy scent and a bit of an odd flavor, almost like it has a hint of old orange peels. It’s definitely not the tastiest of buds, but the long-lasting high more than makes up for what it lacks in flavor.

G-6 Jet Fuel Strain Genetics and Origins

G-6, also known as Jet Fuel, is a strain that first originated in Colorado. This Colorado sativa dominant hybrid strain was developed by Denver-based 303 Seeds from Aspen OG and High Country Diesel, two other strains originating in Colorado. The genetic lineage of G-6 includes original Diesel, East coast Sour Diesel, G-13 Haze, and SFV OG Kush (San Fernando Valley OG Kush). It has a piney flavor with hints of diesel. The high you’ll get from G-6 is very uplifting and lighthearted, so it’s great after a long day or whenever you need a pick-me-up.

Colorado Strain Aspen OG Genetics and Origins

Aspen OG is another strain developed in Colorado by 303 Seeds. It’s a cross between SFV OG Kush and Sour Cream. Coated in crystals, this bud looks almost frosty. It has an earthy yet sweet flavor that’s reminiscent of forests and berries. A hybrid, Aspen OG provides a happy high that may also leave you with a serious case of the munchies.

High Country Diesel Strain Genetics and Origins

High Country Diesel is another of the widely acclaimed hybrid strains originating from Colorado. A cross between Loompa’s Underdog a.k.a. Headband and East Coast Sour Diesel, High Country Diesel has impressive genetics. Loompa’s Underdog is a cross between Amherst Super Skunk and Chemdog, while East Coast Sour Diesel is a powerful sativa with energizing and euphoric effects. This makes High Country Diesel a great hybrid strain for those seeking an undeniable high that’s long lasting without rendering you completely immobile.

How to find Colorado Marijuana Strains Near You

This is just a sampling of the many marijuana strains originating in Colorado. There are sativas, indicas, and hybrid strains first grown in Colorado that are now famous across the country. If you want to find a dispensary near you that carries High Country Diesel, Aspen OG, Jet Fuel, Colorado Cough or other Colorado weed strains, one good resource is Weedmaps. You can search for dispensaries in your area and see what strains they have currently available. Once you’ve found a dispensary, click over to CannaSaver where you can find some money-saving marijuana coupons for local dispensaries in your area. Colorado marijuana strains abound, and more are being developed every day. We can’t wait to try them all!

 

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CannaSaver Blog

Best Strain for Stress

Posted by CANNASaver on Friday, 30 April 2021 in Canna Blog

Everyone experiences stress throughout their lifetime, it comes with the challenges we face daily. Whether it’s from a hectic commute, an upcoming project, or the simple annoyances from the people surrounding you, it’s nothing a little toking up can’t fix.

A little stress can be healthy, but when it becomes too consuming - that’s when it becomes a  problem. Many people have turned to cannabis to help them reduce feelings of stress. For some, smoking a joint after a long day can help them unwind and release built-up tension accumulated from earlier in the day. 

When smoking to reduce stress, it’s important to know which strains are best for doing so. Choosing the right strain can elevate your experience, here are the best and widely available strains to reduce stress levels.

relieving stress

Best Strains for Stress

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is one of the most popular cannabis strains in America. It’s known for its balanced and full-body effect. The hybrid strain has a sweet aroma with a THC content high enough to provide relief to stress and body tension. 

Blue Dream is also known to provide relief from symptoms correlated with pain, nausea, and depression and has a minimal sedative effect, making it a great daytime strain.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a Sativa dominant hybrid that is known to give feelings of happiness, energy, and euphoria. This strain is great for reducing stress while keeping you productive, thanks to its adequate Sativa levels. The pungent smell of this strain is what gives this beloved strain its name. Many people turn to this strain to help alleviate symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. 

AK-47

AK-47 is a hybrid strain that is known for relaxing the mind and body. It’s said to produce a ‘mellow’ feeling despite its somewhat violent name. This strain is less potent than others, but it is enough to help the mind and body relax. AK-47 delivers a long-lasting high that’ll keep you alert and engaged while also producing feelings of relaxation and happiness.

You can expect to feel uplifted, at peace, and mellowed out with this strain. It is especially great for those who have trouble falling asleep. A couple of hits before bed can help induce the relaxation needed to help you fall asleep.

Jack Herrer

This Sativa dominant strain was originally a medical-grade strain. However, it rose to popularity with recreational users because it’s known to provide feelings of optimism and euphoria. It’s also known for provided adequate pain and stress relief. 

This strain is loved by many because it can relax you while keeping you focused. Some say it even promotes creativity. Other common usages for this strain include reducing symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite and anxiety. 

Grandaddy Purple

‘Grandaddy Purp’ is an Indica dominant strain. The strain is ideal for creating a calming effect on the body and mind. The buds of this very powerful Indica strain can sometimes look purple (hence its name) and is used to treat pain, muscle spasms, insomnia, and other symptoms related to stress.

Be careful when consuming this strain as it can produce a heavy body high and leave you couch-locked. We recommend using this strain at night or during days you have no plans or commitments to take care of. 

best strains for stress

Cannatonic

The high CBD content of this strain will relax you without too much of the psychoactive effects of THC. The strain produces a relatively short but powerfully relaxing high. Many medical marijuana patients choose this strain to alleviate pain, anxiety, migraines, and muscle pain. 

Strains with higher CBD content are great for those who tend to get more anxious when dealing with higher THC levels.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies or ‘GSC’ is loved by stoners everywhere. Additionally, it’s one of the most potent and popular strains available. The THC content is typically above 20% THC, so a little bit will do its job. It’s an Indica dominant strain that can make users feel powerful, happy and euphoric, and can help with stress and pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia

This strain can come with heavy body effects and can stimulate the appetite. So get comfortable and maybe keep a healthy snack handy.

smoking weed and relaxing

Reduce Stress with Cannasaver

Finding a good deal is now easier than ever with Cannasaver. We have teamed up with the best dispensaries in Colorado to provide you with the best deals on all types of products. Use our search bar to find deals for your favorite strains.

Make sure you check out Cannasaver for the latest daily deals on many kinds of stress-reducing strains before heading out to your local dispensary. 

Happy toking and remember, chill vibes only! 

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