STUFF STONERS LIKE have teamed-up with expert herb grower, Mel Thomas, author of Cannabis Cultivation: A Complete Grower’s Guide, 3rd Edition, published by Green Candy Press Mel is a world-renowned cannabis cultivator and at one time was the largest producer of marijuana in the UK…have a question for him, email us at stuffstonerslike[at]yahoo.com
Q: So, uh, what’s the difference between Indica and Sativa?
Mel Thomas: Cannabis sativa is an herbaceous annual, meaning that it is an herb-like flowering plant that completes its life cycle in one season and develops seeds to propagate the next generation. It grows from 3 to 9 feet high with a sturdy erect branched stem. The leaves are alternate or opposite, on long stalks (petioles), with linear serrated leaves tapering to a point. The flowers form in clusters. The seeds are rounding, ovate and slightly flattened. The plant is thought to originate from Central Asia but is naturalized in North America, Brazil, and Europe.
Although the botanical classification of cannabis is Cannabis sativa, there are actually three distinct varieties of cannabis grown for their psychoactive properties. These are:
Cannabis sativa plants are characterized by long, thin leaves and loose flower clusters. These plants originate from equatorial regions where the growing season has relatively even photoperiods, resulting in day and night cycles that are almost the same length year round. This means sativa varieties from these equatorial regions can complete their vegetative growth stage under a 12-hour light regime. The flowering is only triggered in the plant after it has thoroughly completed vegetative growth. However, this is impractical for indoor growers as growth is slower than under an 18-hour-day period and flower induction takes longer. Equatorial Cannabis sativa plants evolved in regions where the growing season is much hotter than Central Asian regions and as a consequence these plants are not as resistant to mold attacks. The buds of the Cannabis sativa plants give the user more of a high than those of indica strains.
Cannabis indica plants are characterized by broad maple-like leaves and tight bud formations. These plants originate from northern India and the area formally known as Persia. The growing conditions in the mountainous regions of Asia can be demanding for vegetation and Cannabis indica plants have evolved into a hardy variety that matures early and generally shows moderate resistance to mold. Mature plants yield heavy resinous flowers and are ideal for indoor cultivation due to their shorter size and high THC production. The buds of a Cannabis indica plant tend to have a more sedative effect on the user.
Cannabis ruderalis is a variety native to Russia and Eastern Europe. Its cold and harsh growing environment has produced a tough, hardy plant characterized by early flowering. Cannabis ruderalis plants tend to yield less than sativa or indica varieties. However, when hybridized with indica they produce a tough, mold-resisitant, early flowering outdoor plant.
Hybrid varieties have been developed that combine the best traits of all three varieties and are readily available for cultivators to choose from.
Have a questions? Just ask. email us at stuffstonerslike[at]yahoo.com