If you’re just getting started with cannabis, you might have heard the terms ‘Indica’, ‘Sativa’, and ‘Hybrid’ and wondered what they mean. These terms are ubiquitous in the cannabis space, and refer to different categories or strains of cannabis. But what do these distinctions really mean and how can you utilize them to better navigate the world of cannabis?

Well, cannabis isn’t just one kind of plant. It comes in many different varieties, which all have a different balance of cannabinoids and terpenes, and thus different effects. This is partly because different types of cannabis were developed in different parts of the world.

Indicas were first cultivated in or near the Kush Mountains in areas like India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan.

Sativas, on the other hand, were cultivated near the equator in places like Thailand, Colombia, and Mexico.

But as the world became more global, and cannabis was brought to other places, these varieties of cannabis were bred together – creating hybrids. 

These days we primarily have hybrids – because few of the original sativas and indicas remain in circulation. But we continue to use the terms indica, sativa and hybrid to indicate how the strain is likely to affect the consumer.

Take for example, these three cannabis strains from popular B.C. cultivators:

Nuken from Whistler Medical is labeled as an indica dominant strain. This means it has an effect profile similar to the old indica varieties. Indicas are usually recommended for night-time as they are more sedative and relaxing. They also tend to provide strong pain and tension relief throughout the body, with less of a cerebral high.

WonderQwest (a.k.a. Sour Diesel) from Qwest, on the other hand, is a sativa dominant strain. Similar to old sativas, which are recommended for daytime use, it is likely to produce an energetic, euphoric and cerebral high.

Finally, Keats (a.k.a. White Walker Kush) from Broken Coast is a well-balanced hybrid strain. This means it blends the effects of sativas and indicas producing something in between. Balanced hybrids are usually known for having both a strong body and cerebral high, and keeping energy levels relatively neutral (rather than energizing or sedating). This makes it a great option for daytime or night-time use. 

Part of what makes these strains so unique is the different chemical compounds they contain, such as terpenes. When you begin to become familiar with these different terpenes you can start to notice the subtle differences in taste, flavour and effect that they produce.

While this can be complicated at first, Kantoka was built to fill this knowledge gap for new consumers. If you are new to cannabis or the legal cannabis industry, check out the peer reviewed products on our platform. We’ve designed everything to help consumers make safe and informed decisions about their cannabis use.

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