For many years (regardless of origin) all cannabis was classified as Cannabis Sativa and still remains so under international law. Thanks to the work of scientists who have studied cannabis over the past 30+ years we know that cannabis can be further classified into 4 distinct categories or species;
- Cannabis Sativa
- Cannabis Indica
- Cannabis Ruderalis
- Cannabis Afghanica
Each has it’s own distinct characteristics relating to size, terpenes and growth patterns. These varieties originate from different parts of the world and the conditions in which they thrive can be attributed to years of adaption by the plants and selective breeding by humans.
Cannabis Sativa is originated in parts of Asia, the Americas and Africa and has the following characteristics:
- Tall plants with spacious internodal growth
- Large narrow leaves
- A large and strong root system
- Longer flowering time than Indicas
- growing up to 4.5 metres tall or more
- Require plant training methods in order to control their size
These characteristics can be found in many strains originating in Mexico, Columbia, Jamaica or Thailand and many will feature the energising Sativa type high.
Sativas found in Central Africa have similar characteristics, growing tall with well spaced internodes. South Africa on the other hand benefits from years of travelling cannabis sativa, imported by sailors via the many ports and onward to the cannabis fields. This has led to great diversity amongst the strains seen in South Africa with a variety of origins, THC content (from low to high) and growth patterns (from short and bushy to long and leggy).
Hemp strains all fall within the category Cannabis Sativa despite their low or negligible levels of the psychoactive compound THC. For hundreds of years hemp has been used for it’s fibre content, in clothing and rope, for food and oil production and is now being used to create high CBD content (very low THC) cannabis varieties which are gaining popularity across the world.
Cannabis Indica has it’s origins in India and Pakistan and is extremely popular with indoor growers due to it’s short stocky nature, broad leaves and high THC content. There is however variety, with some indicas displaying narrow leaves and pale green foliage. In general the THC:CBD content of Indicas is more balanced, featuring a higher CBD content which gives the ‘couchlock’ effect we attribute to many Indica varieties.
Cannabis Indica varieties have a range of aromas from the distinctive ‘cat-piss’ to more sweet, fruity and tropical smells. Thanks to 100s of years of selective breeding and their high resin production, Indica varieties are highly resistant to pests and mold. On the other hand, their compact, tightly spaced buds can be susceptible to bud mold…keep a watchful eye in the final stages of flowering.
Cannabis Ruderalis was first brought to Europe by Dutch seed banks looking to diversify their offer and bring desirable Ruderalis traits into their breeding programmes. Although short in nature, with low yields and low THC values Cannabis Ruderalis does not rely on changes in light patterns to begin flowering. Instead, flowering is determined by the plant itself and will begin after a short growth period of up to 4 weeks. Cannabis Ruderalis has been used by breeders to create Automatic strains, which have a shorter growth period – THC content and plant structures have been improved through selective breeding with Indica and Sativa varieties.
Anesia Seeds have incorporated these beneficial Ruderalis traits into our Automatic strains alongside early flowering Sativa, Indica and Afghanica genetics to create fast flowering automatic strains with high THC content, mold and pest resistance and awesome growth characteristics.
Named through origin, this cannabis variety originated in Afghanistan. A short and distinctive plant, cannabis Afghanica features broad, deep-green leaves, short internodes and dense branches. There are many Afghani strains. Grown exclusively for the production of hashish, these varieties are well known for resin production and are high in THC content. Some breeders choose not to differentiate between Afghanica and Indica strains, and place Afghanica strains alongside Indicas, although they do share some traits they differ greatly and should be considered close relatives, but not equals.