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Thread: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

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    RABBI Haile SpikedLemonade's Avatar
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    Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?


    It's often reported the two species of cannabis plants produce different effects, but science says it's a little more complicated.


    By Jessica Wynne Lockhart

    Jun 27, 2019



    When British Columbia-based College of the Rockies launched its Cannabis Retail Specialist Program program in 2018, one of its biggest curriculum development challenges was figuring out how to best educate students on the differences between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica.

    It might be considered Stoner 101, but in case you’re not in the know, "sativa" and "indica" refer to two subspecies of the same plant:


    • Indica is a stout plant with wide leaves, said to have more of a calming or sedating effect.
    • Sativa is a taller cannabis plant with thinner leaves, thought to make consumers feel uplifted, euphoric and potentially more creative.


    “People who have been consuming cannabis over a long period do perceive a difference,” says Pat Angove, an instructor in the college's cannabis program. “When you’ve been involved in the industry, it’s a taken-for-granted thing that you talk about strains in those two major camps.”


    Indica vs. sativa origins


    So, why was it such a challenge for College of the Rockies?

    Because there’s no actual scientific proof that there’s any difference between the two strains. In fact, they might be one and the same.

    In 2015, Jonathan Page, a University of British Columbia botanist, and Sean Myles, a population geneticist at Dalhousie University, analyzed the genomes of 81 samples labelled as indica and sativa. They found there wasn’t any discernible genetic difference between the two; a Jamaican sativa, for example, was nearly identical to an indica strain from Afghanistan.

    In 2018, a UBC study published in Scientific Reports determined looking at CBD or THC content also wasn’t a reliable source for determining whether a cannabis was sativa or indica, with most commercial strains being nearly identical in THC-to-CBD ratios.

    “It is possible that different plants have different effects on people. Whether you can categorize that based on indica or sativa, though? I’m skeptical,” says Max Jones, a cannabis researcher at the University of Guelph.

    Yet this dichotomization is still what many users and retailers rely on to explain the possible effects of consumption.

    So how exactly did we get here?


    A tale of two cannabises


    Cannabis indica was first classified way back in 1785 by a French naturalist named Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. His goal was to differentiate an Indian plant from its European counterpart, good ol’ cannabis sativa. While the latter wasn’t known for having mind-altering effects, Larmarck wrotethat indica “[disrupts] the brain, where it produces a sort of drunkenness that makes one forget one’s sorrows, and produces a strong gaiety.”

    Now, while botany was fairly advanced as a science in the 18th century and Lamarck was certainly a clever fellow (he introduced some of the first evolutionary concepts; perhaps he came up with the idea while sampling the aforementioned cannabis?), it was still 1785.

    At this point in the game, the naming and taxonomy of plants was largely based on where they were discovered and any perceived physical differences — not on genetics. Even as early as 1843, physician William Brooke O'Shaughnessy — the man responsible for introducing the Western world to the therapeutic use of cannabis — argued that sativa and indica were, in fact, identical. Any differentiating physical qualities, he posited, could be attributed to the regions in which they were grown.


    Indica vs. sativa effects


    Unfortunately, we’ll likely never know the truth about the genetic origins of cannabis. Even if there were originally two species to start with, they’ve now been interbred to oblivion, owing partially to decades of black market conditions. Most believe that only hybrids exist now, which is why you’ll hear people throwing around the phrases “sativa dominant” or “indica dominant.”

    Yet, even that’s problematic.

    “People will market cannabis as 30% indica and 70% sativa. For the most part, they’re making those numbers up. That’s not based on any scientific data,” says Jones.

    That’s exactly why College of the Rockies' curriculum now focuses on the differences as being strictly anecdotal in nature. Lift & Co.’s CannSell Standard Certification course explains the indica-sativa distinction as being "much more of a spectrum," and that "producers are instead categorizing [strains] based on effects."

    However, the myth of indica versus sativa continues to be perpetuated in Canadian retail environments. Call it the placebo effect. Most provinces, with the exception of Ontario and B.C., even go so far as to break down difference between the two strains on their websites. (Cannabis Newfoundland, for example, has a whole section devoted to the topic under its cannabis education section.)

    This is poised to change, though. Whereas recreational users once had to rely on anecdotal referrals, they can now read labels to better understand the composition of what they’re buying. Further research into the biochemical components of plants and their effects will also change how we use cannabis according to our needs and make these labels more factually accurate.

    So far, over 200 terpenoids and 100 cannabinoids have a been identified, but most of the research has only been done on a handful, such as THC and CBD.

    “There are significantly more terpenes and cannabinoids than we currently understand and we’re very much learning about the plant as we’re going along,” says David Purcell, director of Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Cannabis Career Training program. “As we understand profiles and combinations better, over time we’ll be able to identify curated experiences for individuals.”



    https://lift.co/magazine/indica-vs-s...19WeeklyRM-710





    Last edited by Haile SpikedLemonade; 07-11-2019 at 08:50 AM.

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    The Meathead of Muslims! ticatfan's Avatar
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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    Yup there is a difference.
    Women experience interactions different than men”.

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    RABBI Haile SpikedLemonade's Avatar
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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by ticatfan View Post
    Yup there is a difference.
    I thought so too however this article suggests with all the different strains it isn't that clear cut.

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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    I remember when I used to be amused by weed. Then I discovered cocaine.
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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    I've found that the difference between sleepy and energetic has more to do with when it's harvested. Even 24 hours too late and the resin glands are completely cloudy, it tends to have a sleepier effect than if it was harvested 24 hours before that.
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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by Haile SpikedLemonade View Post
    I thought so too however this article suggests with all the different strains it isn't that clear cut.
    Go to a store buy 1 of each and see what you think.

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    RABBI Haile SpikedLemonade's Avatar
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    Re: Indica Vs. Sativa Cannabis: Is There Really A Difference?

    Quote Originally Posted by ticatfan View Post
    Go to a store buy 1 of each and see what you think.
    I have a medical license. I can order it on-line (oil) and I do.

    I find the indica gets you stoned and the sativa does not.

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