Cannabis Sativa: Growth, Effects, And Best Strains

Humans have been cultivating Cannabis Sativa for millennia, using it as a source of food, fiber, and medicine. Research shows that consuming cannabis sativa is beneficial for our minds and bodies, and certain strains can deliver the best this plant has to offer with minimal side effects.

Cannabis Sativa: Key Takeaways

  • Cannabis sativa is used to treat various medical conditions
  • Sativa is used to provide the user with more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects
  • Cannabis Sativa is one-half of the major cannabis plants (Indica is the other half)
  • Hemp is a member of the Cannabis Sativa family
  • There are numerous strains of Cannabis Sativa

What Is Cannabis Sativa?

Cannabis sativa is an annual herbaceous flowering plant indigenous to eastern Asia but now is grown nearly everywhere on Earth.

It has been cultivated throughout our history as a rich source of food, fiber, and medicine, with each part of this wonder-plant being harvested differently according to its use.

Over the past few years, more people are using Sativa for medicinal purposes. Research continues to show that cannabis can be used to treat a wide variety of common conditions.

The two major types of cannabis plants are Indica and Sativa. Each strain has its own range of effects on the body and mind resulting in a wide range of medicinal benefits.

Indica provides users with a relaxing, soothing feeling. Oppositely, Sativa provides an individual with an upbeat, energizing type of effect.

Growing Cannabis Sativa

A lot of people confuse Indica and Sativa. While both come from the cannabis plant family, their physical appearance between the two plants are very distinct.

Sativa Indica spelled out marijuana leaf

Typically, cannabis Indica plants are short, bushy plants with wide leaves. Cannabis sativa plants are opposite of the Indica strains and grow tall and thin with narrow leaves.  Also, they are generally a lighter shade of green then the Indica strain.

Another difference between the two is how long it takes to grow. Sativa strains take longer to grow, mature and require more sunlight.

Designer Sativa hybrids like Amnesia Haze can take 12 weeks or more to bloom.

Cannabis Sativa Effects

Medicine produced from cannabis Sativa plants has lower CBD and higher THC counts. Thus, using this type of cannabis will likely make you experience psychoactive feelings.

The major qualities of sativa medicinal strains include:

  • anti-anxiety
  • anti-depressant
  • treats chronic pain
  • increases focus and creativity
  • increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of learning, mood, sleep, anxiety, and appetite)
  • for daytime use

However, not all sativa strains may make you feel upbeat and super focused. It depends on the dosage amount and how the strain reacts to your body in regards to how it will influence your behavior.

You may notice a tendency to expect sativa to make you feel energized. The truth of the matter is you don’t know how any type of strain will make you feel until you try it.

How Cannabinoids Ration Influences The Effects Of Weed

Marijuana leaf with CBD on one side THC on the other

The cannabis plant is comprised of hundreds of chemical compounds that create a unique harmony of effects, which is primarily led by cannabinoids and terpenes.

There are two main types of cannabinoids:

1. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) 

This is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana that produces the feeling of being high or increasing hunger.  But, THC also has other applications that include health benefits such as relieving chronic pain, nausea and vomiting.

2. CBD (Cannabidiol)

This is a chemical compound in cannabis that, unlike THC, does not make you feel high. Instead, CBD is widely used to alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and many other medical ailments.

Cannabis contains over 100 different types of these cannabinoids. When choosing a strain of cannabis sativa (or cannabis indica), it will be either:

  • THC-dominant – These types of strains are predominately chosen by individuals who want to experience a euphoric feeling while treating pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and other health issues
  • CBD-dominant – These types of strains are for people who don’t want to feel the “high” feelings of THC but alleviate all the same kind of health ailments.
  • Hybrid THC/CBD – These types of strains are a balanced amount of THC and CBD, offering mild euphoria while providing health benefits. This tends to be a good choice for beginning cannabis users who want to experience the “high” for the first time.

Both indica and sativa strains exhibit these different cannabinoid profiles.  So no particular kind of cannabis is exclusively CBD, THC, or balanced.

Best Cannabis Sativa Strains

There are 5 particular cannabis sativa strains that we are about to cover.

Remember, the effects of any given cannabis strain depend on a number of different factors, including the product’s chemical profile, your unique biology and tolerance, dose, and consumption method.

So regardless of the review, you don’t know how a particular strain affects you until you try it.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel strain Marijuana

Sour Diesel, sometimes called Sour D, is an invigorating sativa-dominant strain named after its pungent, diesel-like aroma.

This fast-acting strain delivers energizing, dreamy cerebral effects that have pushed Sour Diesel to become one of the most popular cannabis strains, especially amongst the medical cannabis crowd.

Sour Diesel has helped users overcome issues such as stress, pain, and depression. Its flavor can be described as earthy, pungent, and diesel.

Sour Diesel is super high in THC (around 20-25 percent) and has round, medium-sized buds with leaves that appear yellowish-green. It takes around 10 weeks to grow Sour Diesel indoors.

Durban Poison

This pure sativa originates from the South African port city of Durban. It has gained popularity worldwide for its sweet smell and energetic, uplifting effects.

Durban Poison is the perfect strain to help you stay productive through a busy day, when exploring the outdoors, or to lend a spark of creativity.

Durban Poison boasts a THC content of between 15 and 25 percent. Growers and concentrate enthusiasts will both enjoy the over-sized resin glands which make this strain a quality choice for concentrate extraction.

The buds are round and chunky, and leave a thick coating of trichomes on almost all areas of the plant. This cannabis strain provides the user with an earthy, sweet, pine flavor.

It usually takes around 7-9 weeks to grow Durban Poison.

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte’s Web is a medical strain high in CBD, a cannabis compound (or cannabinoid) that has a range of medical applications.

Charlotte’s Web is a cultivar with less than 0.3 percent THC that has gained popularity as an option for treating seizures as well as a range of other medical conditions.

In 2014, Colorado growers the Stanley Brothers created this strain specifically for Charlotte Figi — a young epilepsy patient and medical cannabis user — by crossing an unspecified strain with industrial hemp.

This event put medical marijuana on the map and the momentum has been going ever since.

Charlotte’s Web is bred specifically for a high CBD to THC ratio. Because of this ratio, Charlotte’s Web can be useful for casual edible bakers who want to avoid an intense high.

Contrary to popular belief, Charlotte’s Web is a hemp-derived product with little to no psychoactive effects, making it great for those who don’t want their medication to affect their daily tasks.

Overall, this strain of cannabis will help you feel relaxed and focused. The taste is earthy, pine, and citrus.

Silver Haze

Silver Haze strain marijuana

Silver Haze is a 50/50 hybrid strain with reported THC levels of up to 14 percent. Silver Haze was the first seed strain to deliver the full-strength Haze experience in a fatter, faster, more compact form.

The strain is named for the frosty trichome covered buds it produces that can give the buds a silver hue.

A great morning and day time strain, Silver Haze is often used for its cerebral effects that can reduce stress and anxiety. Thus, it help elevates mood and causes users to feel rather happy.

Silver Haze’s taste is earthy, pine, and citrus.

Harlequin

Harlequin is a CBD-rich strain whose popularity predated the recent wave of non-psychoactive medical CBD strains like Charlotte’s Web.

A descendant of Colombian Gold, a Nepali indica, and Thai and Swiss landrace strains, you can depend on Harlequin to provide clear-headed, alert sativa effects.

The standard ratio of CBD to THC in Harlequin is 5:2. Cannabis lab Analytics 360 has measured samples of this strain at between 4 to 10 percent THC  and 6 to 15 percent CBD.

Harlequin is approximately 75 percent sativa, although it lacks the characteristically strong cerebral sativa high due to the mitigating presence of CBD. The aroma of Harlequin is a woody, earthy scent and taste of mango and citrus fruits when inhaled.

The Benefits Of Consuming Cannabis Sativa

Depending on the strain, cannabis sativa will provide the user with mental and physical benefits.

Whether you want to be more alert and focused or upbeat and happy, cannabis sativa has a strain to suit your needs. As more research gets done, there is a strong possibility that more health benefits of using sativa will be uncovered.

Farma Health Desk Editor