Marijuana: What you need to know about the different types

Marijuana: What you need to know about the different types
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By Lana

The marijuana industry has been growing at an unprecedented rate in recent years. Owing to more nuanced public discussion and a series of landmark changes to legislation, the value industry has grown almost tenfold in the past decade. In the USA alone, almost one million employees owe their livelihood to the marijuana industry, and there are new products and uses coming onto the market all the time.

With the industry generating such a buzz, it's worth taking the time to get to know more about the plant at the heart of it all. This is a quick guide to take you through the must-know facts about the different strains of marijuana out there on the market.

What are different marijuana strains?

Anyone who's done a bit of basic research into marijuana will probably have come across the discussion of different "strains." These types of cannabis were traditionally discussed under the names Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. What differentiates these breeds from one another is their chemical make-up, and consequently, the effect they have on the human body when consumed.

However, more contemporary research has moved away from these three classifications, as it turns out the similarities and differences between them are somewhat more complex than we thought. The contemporary discussion instead chooses to focus directly on the chemical make-up of the plant, classifying them as high THC, hybrid, and high CBD.

The value of reframing the discussion surrounding marijuana strains in this way is that it allows us to more clearly focus on the chemical effects of the plant. THC and CBD are the two most notable chemical components of marijuana, known as cannabinoids. Pretty much every strain we encounter is a hybrid of some sort, but the ratio of cannabinoids they possess is what sets them apart from one another. When it comes to its effect on the human body, understanding the particulars of each one is crucial to picking the right strain.

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THC (tetrahydrocannabinol)

THC is one of the major cannabinoid components of the marijuana plant. It is a psychoactive chemical compound, and it's what's responsible for creating the euphoria, or "high", associated with marijuana use. Many breeds continue to grow higher in THC content as growers breed hybrids in an attempt to more highly concentrate the chemical and create a stronger high. Cannabis Sativa typically grows in hot, dry climates and its plants are recognisable for their long, thin leaves.

Breeds that are high in THC content have a reputation for producing energizing, euphoric effects. For this reason, many marijuana users opt to smoke more THC dominant strains during the daytime, as they are often reported to create a productive and creative "mind high."

Popular strains of THC-dominant cannabis include:

  • Sour Diesel: A THC-dominant strain known for its faint smell of gas and reputation for creating an energizing effect.
  • Jack Herer: Another reportedly energizing strain, named after the famed author and cannabis advocate Jack Herer.
  • Super Silver Haze: A popular strain heavy in THC. Users of Super Silver Haze often attest to its power to stimulate both creativity and productivity.
  • Lemon Haze: A well-known THC-dominant strain that is often reported to cause euphoria, energy, and creativity in those who use it.

CBD (cannabidiol)

CBD is the second of the most well-known cannabinoids present in marijuana. This chemical has reached unprecedented popularity in popular discussion, as its uses are being explored by sectors far beyond the marijuana industry. CBD has a non-psychoactive effect on the body and is associated with a relaxing effect that many people refer to as a "body high."

As it is a non-psychoactive chemical compound, CBD can be found in many different types of products beyond just marijuana itself. CBD products currently on the market range from oils and toiletries to toothpicks and socks. Indica breeds of marijuana are those most heavily associated with high CBD content. Cannabis Indica plants are often native to harsh, dry, and mountainous environments.

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Photo by Kym MacKinnon on Unsplash

Some of the most popular strains of CBD-heavy marijuana include:

  • Harlequin: Harlequin is one of the more well-known strains of marijuana, boasting a high ratio of CBD to THC, around 5:2.
  • Ringo's Gift: This is one of the most popular strains for those who prefer a higher CBD content in their cannabis, with exact ratios varying per grower. The reported effects are generally relaxation, calm, and lowered stress levels.
  • Sour Space Candy: Boasting a high CBD content of around 17 percent, this strain only has trace quantities of THC and is reported to have a faintly sour smell.
  • Sour Tsunami: Known for being one of the first breeds created specifically to have a high CBD content, users claim that this tried and test strain is reported to induce relaxation without laziness.

Hybrid strains

For those looking for a general balance between the "mind high" and "body high" effects, hybrid strains are often the way to go. These strains are cross-breeds designed to have specific ratios of THC to CBD. Each hybrid strain will have its own particular ratio, so it's always best to consult with your grower or vendor to understand the exact nature of the buds at hand.

Due to their well-rounded nature, hybrid breeds make for some of the most well-known and popular strains of marijuana out there, including:

  • White Widow: One of the most smoked strains around the world, White Widow has a reputation for being a "social" strain, as users say it induces feelings of being relaxed and carefree.
  • OG Kush: Another highly famous strain that since the 1990s has become synonymous with California cannabis culture. Kush is reputed to produce a strong, although not sleepy, high.
  • GSC (Girl Scout Cookies): One of the most popular strains to gain prominence in the past decade, GSC is known for its potency and has a high THC content that leaves users feeling its effects for hours.
  • Wedding Cake: A relatively new hybrid strain so named for the fact that some report it to have a slight taste of vanilla, Wedding Cake produces a long-lasting, and "euphoric" high.

Knowing these basic facts about the different marijuana strains is the foundation you need to start exploring the right strain for you!

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