Cannabis Sativa: Your GYO Seedbank Guide.
Everything you need to know about cannabis sativa, the cannabis sativa plant, the differences between sativa vs indica, and an overview of different types of weed.
Cannabis sativa is a herbaceous plant in the Cannabis genus, a species of the Cannabaceae family (where you will also find hops and hackweed). It is part of a larger group of species that includes cannabis indica and cannabis ruderalis, and the three form the basis of all the different types of weed available today.
Pure sativa and sativa-dominant cannabis plants grow taller and thinner than their indica cousins. They were first recorded in equatorial countries such as Columbia and Thailand and they thrive in warmer weather. Cannabis sativa leaves are narrower and they show much lighter shades of green than their indica counterparts, providing them with higher levels of resistance to excess moisture and mould.
When looking for height, cannabis sativa plants will rarely disappoint, with varieties that have been known to stretch to up to 20 feet, albeit with longer vegetative periods than other, different types of weed. Following the onset of flowering, a cannabis sativa plant will typically take anywhere from ten to sixteen weeks to fully mature. With vegetation periods that are so long, relatively speaking, they will produce a much higher yield on average, but often with a lower level of THC than indicas (around 12-16%).
When looking at aspects of the sativa vs indica question, many growers champion the cannabis sativa reputation for fantastic aromas, pointing to the wide variety of pungent noses: sweet, sugary fruit to sharp, chemmy diesel. In fact, an easy way to distinguish sativa cannabis from indica is with the variations in aroma, or what is also known as the terpene profile. Once one is acquainted with the myriad terpenes present in cannabis plants, it becomes possible to identify different strains based on their scent profile alone.
Cannabis sativa strains are well-known and well-loved for a high that is characterised by laughter and profound thought. They typically cause one to analyse what it is to be human and to think creatively, and this certainly explains why cannabis sativa plants are so popular among writers and musicians! Some sativa cannabis plants also produce quite ‘trippy’ effects, heightening the senses and enhancing colour, music and sound.
Medically, when looking at indica vs sativa cannabis strains, the sativa-dominant plants tend to be used to treat mental and behavioural issues such as depression and ADHD, and they are also extremely effective as an appetite stimulant, whereas indicas are much more helpful with physical conditions.
When looking for large yields, great aromas and trippy, cerebral highs, cannabis sativa plants are the way to go. They may take a little longer to flower and the larger plants can be a bit tricky to manage, but the extra effort is rewarded with bumper crops and a magical, multi-sensory experience that makes it all worthwhile.