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For ten years since the cannabis prohibition started in 1937 makes its use by humans to be naturally and largely misunderstood as a result of lack of funding research and legality. This has resulted in people guessing why some species or different strains of the same plant cause different effects when used. Several studies have come up with varying hypothesis centering on either differences between cannabinoid content or species (i.e. sativa vs. indica) and ratios.

Terpenoids vs. Cannabinoids

Almost every users of cannabis pretty much have heard the term cannabinoid. At this point, over 85 different cannabinoids identified from the plant to which the common is THC and CBD. CBD is non-psychoactive and accountable for several of the calming and medicinal properties related to medical marijuana. 

sativa chart

Terpenes or Terpenoids are organic chemical compounds produced by several plants and generally carry flavonoids or aromatic properties. Terpenes are an important components of resin and are a key factor in the essential oils produced by a plant. Terpenes in cannabis are in charge of flavors and smells that users enjoy in their different kinds of strains. Studies also shows that it may actually be these terpenes that are accountable for the variation of effects people feel from one strain of indica to a sativa.

The Confusion of Taxonomy

Describing the varying effects of cannabis using the sativa and indica is indeed misleading and inaccurate. These words should be used to describe growth patterns, development, lineage and climatic regions of origin or geographic. Today, 95% of cannabis strains are hybrids with only one handful strains qualifying as pure indica, sativa, or ruderalis.

What then, if not Sativa or Indica?

Unfortunately, the words sativa and indica have come to be definitive effects of cannabis within culture’s naming. Indica indicates feelings of sedation and being stoned while sativa mean more of energetic, cerebral and uplifting high. However, the fact is both can function in those capacity interchangeably. The term indica should only be used by breeders, planters and scientists who are in the knowledge and business of articulating species origin, genetic lineage, growth patterns or flowering times.

What We Know

Now, people have little knowledge about how cannabinoids and terpenes work to produce the high effect they enjoy. For instance, it is established that THC in itself is energetic naturally. Also, some indicas have higher THC contents than numerous sativas yet indicas are producing opposed effects i.e. couch-locked stone.  This therefore signifies that sativas producing different high that is higher in level of THC is false. Some indica that produce stoned effects contain Myrcene, a terpene in high concentrations. Myrcene is found in hops and is often recognized with producing the warm feeling gotten when hoppy beer such as IPAs is consumed. Terpinolene, Limonene and Pinene are other terpenes that contributes to flavor, aroma, and some others also contribute to different mental or physical effects. Interestingly when in separate levels and also when combined in ratios i.e. CBD, THC, THCV have different effects.

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