How important is it for you to know about the cannabis you’re experiencing? It used to be that people knew little to nothing about the strains they acquired. They smoked what they had and were grateful to have it. As the legal cannabis landscape continues to expand, it has become more important over time for people to attempt to understand and classify their marijuana strains.
Marijuana Strain Classifications: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid
Historically, popular opinions and available research dictated that a sativa provides more of a cerebral high, an indica provides predominantly a body high, and a hybrid allows the user to enjoy some combination of the two. These definitions, although still generally true, have become somewhat outdated when describing the effects that particular cannabis strains will have on an individual’s body.
Most cannabis connoisseurs are acutely aware that sativa, indica, and hybrid are the most standard and familiar terms used for the classification of cannabis. People have also learned to characterize the plant visually: sativa strains commonly have leaves that are long and skinny, whereas indica strains are often short and stubby. This has also been used to identify the regional origin of a strain, determining if a plant came from a lush tropical environment or a cooler and drier region.
Even though this all can be true, for the purpose of pinpointing the plant’s general profile, the actual experiences an individual has will still vary greatly from strain to stain, and even batch to batch of the same strain!
For example, Headcheese is a favorite strain in the Vegas Valley. This strain is commonly classified as a sativa, normally testing very high in myrcene and low in limonene—providing a heavy high feeling to both the body and mind. We believe that classifying this strain as a true hybrid makes more logical sense than calling it a sativa.
Another similar but opposite example comes from the strain Lil Sebastian. Commonly referred to as an indica, recent test results indicate that this strain is high in limonene and low in myrcene, making it also have more of a true hybrid effect. This strain is much like the Headcheese, in the sense that it supplies the user with an all-around high for the body and the mind.
Hybrid strains and terpene profiling
Recent advancement in testing and research has revealed that a vast majority of the benefits we get from cannabis derive from the terpene profile of the strain. Due to the legal requirements here in Nevada for cannabis labeling, cultivations typically provide the dispensaries with both a standard sativa, indica or hybrid classification, and the lab tests, which include its terpene and cannabinoid profile.
Humans are creatures of habit, and as such, we seek a simplified classification (it feels familiar and provides comfort). Taking it to the next level by factoring in the terpenes will greatly increase one’s chance of maximizing the benefits each unique strain of cannabis can provide.
Strain Classification: A Summary of Cannabis Strains
In summary, selecting a strain based solely on its label may end up in unsatisfying results. One can purchase a strain according to which category it is classified under, but it could have the opposite than expected effects, dependent on the terpene profile it has. It’s always a good idea to talk to a cannabis consultant about how a particular strain may impact you.
Don’t ever hesitate to ask for test results on a strain at your Las Vegas dispensary. If you are seeking a specific benefit from cannabis, this will assuredly help you to figure out your personal preferred cannabinoid and terpene profiles, yielding the optimum end results.