Open Access

Quick Cannabis Overview

Cannabis has 32 Varieties
(with 100's of Strains)

There are three distinctly different kinds of cannabis

Cannabis Sativa
Cannabis Indica
Cannabis Ruderalis

Through extensive cross breeding there are now hunreds of different strains of cannabis available to enlighten any connoisseur.

The question now is.... Which cannabis strain is best suited for your medical condition?


Sativas and Indicas are very different, like night and day. They are tall, thin plants, with much narrower leaves and grow a lighter green in color. They grow very quickly and can reach heights of 20 feet in a single season. They originally come from Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Once flowering has begun, they can take anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks to fully mature. Flavors range from earthy to sweet and fruity. The high of a Sativa is cerebral, up and energetic. Sativa's offer more of a "head buzz".

This type of high is the one most associated with hilarious fits of laughter, long discussions about nothing, enhanced audio and visual senses. You hear things in songs you've never heard before, see things in movies you've watched a dozen times but never noticed before.

A brightly-lit malls becomes a whole new and exciting adventure. Therefore, smoking a pure Sativa or mostly Sativa hybrid will make you feel great! Energetic and social and ready for fun! And depending on the particular strain of Sativa-Indica cross you smoke, you may get a good measure of pain relief in the deal as well.

Consuming (eating) either strain or hybrid of the two results in a stronger, longer-lasting high. But it does not feel as good as smoking the herb does to many who have tried it. It's a matter of experience and personal taste. It really depends on what effect you are looking for when making your selection and choosing a way to ingest it for your condition.


Indicas originally come from the hash producing countries of the world like Afghanistan, Morocco, and Tibet. They are short dense plants, with broad leaves and often grow a darker green. After flowering starts they will be mature in 6 to 8 weeks. The buds will be thick and dense, with flavors and aromas ranging from pungent skunk to sweet and fruity. The smoke from an Indica is generally a body type high, relaxing and laid back.

The "high" a person experiences when smoking a sufficient amount of pure or mostly pure Indica, such as Medicine Man or Warlock is more of a heavy "body buzz".

You may feel lethargic, tired, unwilling to attend to reality tasks. Very laid back, lazy. You may just want left alone to sit and think deep, intellectual thoughts as you enjoy the pain relief.

You may find it very hard to stay awake as well, so this sort of strain would be good for those having trouble sleeping. This is the best sort of "high" for easing pain and most of the other symptoms these conditions.

A good Indica/Sativa cross can also offer the best of both worlds. There are many breeders who work hard to develop strains that will accomplish just that to give you a great head high coupled with a relaxing and definitely medically beneficial strong body stone.

Combining different indicas, different sativas or a combination thereof creates hybrids. The resulting hybrid strains will grow, mature and smoke in relationship to the indica-sativa percentages they end up containing.


Cannabis Ruderalis is a type that grows wild in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia.

It's occasionally used in hybrids (an intentional crossing of two different types of cannabis) to help the resulting plants be better able to cope with the cold weather. It flowers earlier than C. indica or C. sativa, does not grow as tall, and can withstand much harsher climates than either of them. Cannabis ruderalis will produce flowers based on its age, rather than light cycle (photoperiod) changes which govern flowering in C. sativa and C. indica varieties. This kind of flowering is also known as "autoflowering".

Leaving us with 2 main cannabis strains, and that is Sativa and Indica. With hundreds of variety's and flavors. (Terpenes)

All Strains are Potent

The success of the eventual outcome will depend on your personal tastes and the conditions in which they are grown. Tests of THC percentages of most strains is rare and we are not really sure what the numbers mean when disclosed.

THC is found in the resin glands that form on the plant during the maturation process. These glands act as a shield to protect the seed from the searing heat of the sun. From our experience this is needed more in a hot, dry atmosphere, than a hot humid one.

To maximize resin production drop the humidity in the room for the flowering stage, the lower the better. But no matter how much resin you induce on an indica it's still not going to give you the stone of a sativa, so it does have a lot to do with your personal tastes and expectations.

All of the yields for the strains are approximate and depends a lot on how they are grown and the quality of the environment. Indoor lights don't penetrate down very far so it is better to grow a larger number of smaller plants to achieve the highest yield of top quality bud. Maximum yields indoors are coming from indicas and mostly indica hybrids, while the more sativa in the mix, the lower the yields tend to be.

The yield indoors is really limited only by the amount of light available, not the strain you choose. Given that it is a good growing environment, you can expect the yield to be about the same from any strain in relationship to its indica/sativa content. It is up to your designated marijuana grower to maximize the plant's potential in his space.

The most desirable strains for medical use are ones that have been genetically developed by experts to have an extremely low CBN concentration while maintaining an available range of THC concentrates.

Effects of Indica (lower THC, higher CBN/CBD):

Indica generally more physical than cerebral (however, the relief of physical symptoms can have a positive psychological effect)
Benefits of Indica (lower THC, higher CBN/CBD):

sativa-indica hybrid

Effects of Sativa (high THC, low CBN/CBD):
  • More stimulating and uplifting
  • Energizing and thought provoking
  • Increases focus and creativity
  • Supports immune system
  • Best for use in daytime

Benefits of Sativa (high THC, low CBN/CBD):
Selecting the Best Strain and Dosage

The efficacy of cannabis is directly related to strain selection. Care should be taken when selecting strains that will benefit you. Potency and dosage vary with different strains, conditions and individuals. The idea is to consume as little as possible of the most appropiately potent strains available in order to reduce costs and potential side effects.

Hybrid Stain Crosses:

Most cannabis seeds and medicine available today are from hybrids - crosses of Sativa and Indica varieties. This allows cultivators to enjoy and select for various desired characteristics of growth, appearance and effect.

The genetics and hence the effects of one lineage will usually be dominant. For example: Indica-dominant crosses are for pain relief, with the sativa component helping with energy and activity levels.

Sativa-dominant crosses are good for stimulating appetite, with the indica component helping to reduce body pain and increase relaxation.

Cannabis has been proven helpful in relieving the symptoms of thousands of conditions, including:

There is no such plant that is actually named marijuana

Yahoo Answers
Doing a web search, I've found several articles that say "marijuana" is derived from the "Mexican" word "maraguanquo," which is said to mean "intoxicating plant." For example, here:
"Maraguanquo" sounds enough like the Spanish name "Marijuana" that you can see how the second name is just a Spanish version of the first.

I'm not very satisfied with this, though. For one thing, I can't find any source that identifies which "Mexican" language includes the vocabulary word "maraguanquo." My guess is that it would be one of the indigenous languages, such as Nauhuatl, Otomi, Yaqui, or Tarahumara, but without the language being named it's hard to investigate this. There are scores of different indigenous languages spoken in Mexico.
All of the mentions I've found of "maraguanquo" use exactly the same phrasing, so I think they are all quoting to the same source (without attribution). That means whatever the original source may have been could have been in error, and they could all be repeating the same misinformation.

In the U.S., the spelling "marihuana" seems to have been more common than "marijuana" until about the 1950s. In Spanish, there is very little difference in pronunciation between "marihuana" and "marijuana." It would be interesting to know why the standard English spelling apparently shifted to "marijuana" in the 1950s or 60s, but I don't have any information on that, either.

Here's an interesting, but inconclusive, discussion of the word origin of "marijuana," covering a variety of theories:

Cannabis Varieties