When it comes to growing cannabis choosing the right strain for you and your grow space is very important. Before deciding on a particular strain to grow one thing to figure out is if you are going to grow an indica or a sativa plant. This might not seem like a necessary decision to make but depending on you and your grow space it is a very important one.
Indicas are thought to have originated in the Hindu Kush region near Afghanistan, and in India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Due to the harsh weather conditions they developed a thick coat of resin for protection. Indica plants tend to be short and bushy usually between 3-6 feet tall. Indica plants have a firm stem and thin bark. They tend to have more darker green hues to them and sometimes even purple has been known to show thru on some strains. Indica strains have wide short leaves with short wide blades. The buds that are produced from an Indica strain typically are wide, dense, and bulky. All of this makes them a wonderful plant to use in an indoor garden because you won't have to worry about ceiling space.
Indica Smoke and Smell
Landrace Cannabis Indica tend to have a higher cannabidiol (CBD) content than Cannabis Sativa. A single definition of landrace can sometimes be hard to come by, but it generally refers to a strain that was never bred systematically. Instead, after years of isolation and inbreeding, the plants begin to exhibit the same characteristics. Indica plants are known to provide more of a body high. Some of the common benefits to indica strains can be muscle relaxation, pain-relieving effects, and full body sedating effects. You can expect to feel the effects more heavily concentrated in your body and legs when medicating with Indica dominant strains. Cannabis Indica is also known for its anti-panic and antianxiety properties along with being an effective treatment for insomnia.
The flavors and smells of Cannabis Indica include; pine, skunk, earth, hash, or a sweet and sugary fruit flavor. One of the most common terpenes in Indica strains is alpha-pinene, an organic compound found in the oils of rosemary and sage as well as many species of pine trees. Pinene is capable of increasing mental focus & energy, and has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine to retain and restore memory. The terpene can also work as an expectorant, bronchodilator, and a topical antiseptic.
Cannabis Indica produces less of a yield, about 1.5 to 2.5 ounces per plant and are typically have a higher THC level than sativa plants. Indica flowers much faster and can be influenced a lot easier by adjusting the light cycle to promote this phase. Indica plants typically flower between eight to twelve weeks and produce sticky, dense nugs that grow in clusters around the nodes of the plant. The buds and flowers on an Indica plant will usually grow very close to each other and are stickier to the touch than Sativa plants. Being that Indica is a short plant, generally growing between 3 to 6 feet tall, this one is perfect for indoor growing.
Cannabis Sativa is native to the warm climates of Mexico, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The natural equatorial habitat of sativas means that these plants love the heat and the outdoors. Sativa plants are much taller than indica plants and can grow upwards of 25 feet tall but most stay under 12 feet. Sativas are a bit sparse and thin with wider spaces in between branches than their indica relatives. Cannabis Sativa plants have long thin leaves with thin blades. Sativas grow long branches and sprout narrow leaves that are typically light green in color. Sativa buds are longer, thinner, with bud particles that almost look like wispy hairs. Though, while the bud itself may look larger than those from an indica plant, they tend to be a bit lighter when you actually weigh them out.
Sativa Smoke and Smell
A feeling of well-being and ease is often associated with sativas, making them ideal for social situations. The high from sativa strains is energizing, cerebral and well suited for daytime use. They are also said to promote deep conversation and enhance creativity. The high from sativa strains are often described as uplifting and energetic. A good sativa should be about as stimulating as a strong cup of coffee.
Cannabis Sativa strains are known to be extremely pungent smelling, with aromas ranging from sweet and fruity, to earthy with undertones of diesel fuel. You’re more likely to find fruity, tropical aromas in sativas.
A Cannabis Sativa plant in the vegetative growth phase of its life requires more than 12–13 hours of light per day to stay in vegetative stage. Flowering usually occurs when darkness equals at least 12 hours per day. Since vegetation periods are so long, sativas typically produce a much higher yield than indica strains at about 3 ounces to 1 pound per plant. Sativas contain a lower THC percentage on average and typically do not have large percentages of CBD either. The flowering cycle can last anywhere between nine and fifteen weeks, depending on the strain and environmental conditions. Sativas tend to grow in warmer climates, and they often express deep reddish or strong orange phenotypes. Because sativas are so large and accustomed to warm climates, these plants produce the best when they’re grown outside.
And then there are hybrids, which are crossbreeds between sativa and indica. Today, there is a wide range of strains available with characteristics from each species. Some hybrids contain a 50/50 mix, providing an all over, head and body high. Other hybrids are dominated by either sativa or indica. For instance, a sativa-dominant hybrid might provide a stimulating cerebral high while still relaxing the body. And an indica-dominant hybrid might provide a sedated high without actually putting you to sleep. Still, benefits and effect may vary according to the strain and each user’s biochemistry. When it comes to choosing to a hybrid it really comes down to the particular strain because they are all so different. Flowering time, height, smell, flavor, and yield can all be vastly different depending on which strain you choose.
When choosing what plants to grow it is important to do your research so you don't end up disappointed. Grow space, time, climate, and what you want your end result to look like are huge factors to take into consideration before rushing out to buy seeds or clones. Preparation and research is key, you will thank yourself for it later.