With the legalization of weed, the cannabis business comes out of the shadow and wins the stage. Whoopi Goldberg, Richard Branson, Snoop Dogg and many more open lines of products or invest actively in marijuana market, which is continually growing since ever. Researchers estimate that by 2020 it will reach $21.8 billion (ArcView) that is more than 300% increase in 5 years.
If you want to join the ranks of ganjapreneurs today, launching a home-growing marijuana business, you have to learn every fact about different types of weed. This plant belongs to the cannabis genus, branched into industrial hemp and marijuana as distinct species. The two differ in intended use and contents of psychedelic elements called cannabinoids. The latter is responsible for the big-name high effect. Their level is low in hemp (0.3%) and much higher in marijuana (10%).
The different types of marijuana vary in shape, size and THC contents, but have one trait to share: there are male and female organisms. However, being insufficient for ever-greedy growers, the two genders were mated to produce hermaphroditic and androgynous plants.
Whatever breed you choose, some basic knowledge about types of weed would be essential. In the article, we will touch upon the three strains of cannabis herbs, distinctions between genders and reasons for keeping them separate, and the specifications of hybrids.
The Historical Origins of Cannabis Herbs
The two most famous types of weed names are the Indica and Sativa. We lack evidence pointing that these two belong to biologically different kinds; therefore this division is conventionally agreed. The Indica strain also known as Cannabis Indica was singled out and classified by the famous French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1700s.
He determined the psychedelic qualities of the plant, that was opposite to non-toxic regular hemp grown in Europe. The agricultural role was different either: while grown for cloth production in Europe, it was cultivated for hashish producing in India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. To differentiate between two, Lammark gave the southerner species the name Cannabis Indica.
The new herb steam-rolled in the 19th-century Europe and quickly gained popularity for its medical qualities. Doctors of that time employed Cannabis Indica for treating disorders of the broadest sort: it was prescribed for a better appetite, deep sleep, relaxation, revealing pain and insanity. Among the weed-treated diseases, one could even find rheumatism and cholera.
And now let’s have a deeper look at the herb variations.
Morphological traits. Cannabis Sativa is perhaps the most popular strain. This plant is not thick but tall: it can reach up to 15 feet. It has long narrow leaves, which is natural considering its height.
Recommendations for planting. The plant is perfect for outdoor growing. It is common below a latitude of 30° N and inhabits countries like India, Thailand, Nigeria, Mexico, Colombia, etc. If you grow it from seeds, pay attention to their look: healthy plants have no spots on the even surface and feel soft to the touch. Sativa grows slow, and any growth-boosting actions aren’t recommended, as this plant is considerably capricious and doesn’t like the acceleration of any kind.
Effect. Sativa has no knock-down impact, but it helps to get high though. In comparison with Indica strain, which is more seductive, Sativa makes you vitalized and happy. All that magic occurs because of high THC to CBN ratio.
It can boost creativity and broaden your mind and is downright for the creative crowd, whose sort of activity requires out-of-the-box thinking and extraordinary ideas. The Sativa strain is higher in contents of THC cannabinoid, so scientists advise against using the plant for medical purposes, although widely prescribed in non-traditional medicine kinds, like Ayurveda. This herb is useful in combating the symptoms of depression fatigue, mood disorders, attention deficit (ADD), etc.
Morphological traits. Cannabis Indica is thicker and shorter than Sativa. The leaves are thicker and round, and the plant is rather bushy. It grows to 3-6 feet. The flowers grow close to each other and are sticky to the touch.
Recommendations for planting. Indica is perfect for indoor cultivation. The seeds are marble colored and soft like the ones of Sativa. It grows faster than Sativa and also gets well-adjusted to the intense light cycle. Indica is much faster to flower. In nature, it feels most comfortable above the 30° N latitude and inhabits countries like Afghanistan and Nepal in Asia and Morocco in Africa.
Effect. Cannabis Indica has a strong sedative effect and can send you into a deep relaxation, which outshines a common high effect. It is not void of healing qualities, from which you can benefit in cases of insomnia, pain, anxiety, muscles spasm, migraines, and headaches. This breed is right to make hashish, due to the high resin rate.
Morphological traits. This one is much shorter than the previous two types of marijuana, it has thick round leaves and doesn’t reach over 20-25 inches in height. The stem is thick and sturdy.
Recommendation for planting. In nature, it populates northern regions and has brief flowering periods. This is explained by the fact that the plant’s life cycle is adjacent to more severe weather conditions than that of the southerner species. Marijuana Ruderalis is an auto-flowering plant, meaning that it starts flowering on its own in 2-4 weeks after planting. In less than six weeks the flowering finishes automatically. The auto-flowering seeds of Ruderalis are favorite among breeders experimenting with Indica and Sativa strains, to improve desirable qualities, like quicker flowering period or adjusting to the severe climate. The green is ready for harvest in 70 to 100 days after seed.
Effect. Cannabis Ruderalis contains the high amount of cannabidiol (CBD) and comparatively small amount of TBC, so you can’t get stoned. It is preferred by medical patients who take advantage of healing benefits of the plant, but try to avoid intoxicating effects.
This one is produced for merely industrial purposes, as it has been used for fiber production for more than 10000 years already. It is widespread in the northern hemisphere and is a variety of Cannabis Sativa. Now it is one of the main raw materials for producing paper, textiles, animal feed, environment-friendly plastic, and biological fuel. It was widely cultivated in the USA before passing the Marihuana Tax Act in 1937. Being low on THC, it is not used for smoking.
In constant pursuit of better, humans never stop experimenting with breeds and species to improve desirable qualities of natural variations and create the best type of weed. The primary purpose of cross-breeding is to develop traits that have economic significance like weather resistance, immunity, shorter lifecycle or the optimal CBN to THC ratio. In many years of mixing, and selection we have a majority of hybrid varieties on the market, some even have become brands.
For example, the ganja father Snoop Dogg launched the Leafs by Snoop brand that includes specially bred flowers and cannabis oils. The famous actor Tony Chong, also known as a cannabis rights activist who goes by the motto “Get America Stoned Again” supplies clinics in California, Montana, and Alaska with medical marijuana. His line Chong’s Choice is one of the most popular, but not more than the one started by Whoopi Goldberg and Maya Elisabeth. They launched the Maya & Whoopi marijuana company that produces a cannabis-based remedy for women suffering menstrual cramps.
Like any other type of business, cannabis production is all about the competition that boosts cross-breeding. Usually, all the hybrid sub-spices are offsprings of Indica and Sativa strains having different levels of parent qualities.
A cross-breeder chooses strains that have complementary traits, for example, excellent weather resistance or a high level of THC and spends much time and effort sorting the exemplars with the necessary qualities. Many growers experiment with carrying elements of THC and CBD. The Indica strain has more CBD, while Sativa has a higher THC level.
The higher the latter, the more drugged you are. The cross-breeding produces varieties, distinguished by different levels of the mentioned chemicals, thus offering a whole array of satisfaction grades. Still, to become a breeder you will need to have some more profound knowledge about the difference between Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.
Cannabis: Male Gender
Though it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the genders, there are some general distinctions in all types of weed to help you. Male plants blossom at the end of maturation with tiny flowers spread all across the stalk. As the flowers open, the airborne pollen sticks to neighboring female plants. The male plants usually have earlier gender development.
Cannabis: Female Gender
Female cannabis plants produce flower clusters different from the male blossom. The racemens consist of pistils and calyces, which get fertilized in contact with pollen. Each of the calyces has some receptors for the powdery fertilizing grains. As they stick to a pistil, they get pushed into the calyx, and the fertilization process gets complete. Cannabis seeds are grown in the calyx. Each seed will have a mix of characteristics inherited from parent plants. The only time this isn’t the case, is when parent plants are identical, as in simple cloning or specific hybridization.
Having a plant that can fertilize itself is extremely convenient from breeding perspectives. That is why hermaphrodites, being rare in nature, are widely spread in the growers’ greenhouses. The hermaphrodites can be of three types: with mostly male flowers, with male and female flowers equaled and with female flowers prevailing. The first two are of hardly any use for a grower, while the third one should be preserved.
The interesting fact is that the pollen of two-gender flowers is always female and will produce female flowers, even if it grows in the male parts of the plant. Therefore, growers pay much attention to collect it, as it is useful for further fertilization. The history of hybridization in the US started in the 70’s when the first Indica samples arrived and inspired breeders to experiment with different types of marijuana.
Keep in mind that Indica and Sativa are the sub-spices. Therefore, when speaking about hybridization, we refer to the amalgamation of breeds not different species. It can be compared with breeding dogs when we see much of the differences within one biological species.
Marijuana Seeds Review
When planting marijuana, there are little things to know that are of bigger value than seeds. If skipping knowledge about other aspects is undesirable, here it is unforgivable. So let us have a deeper look at marijuana seeds variations.
It is the normal type of marijuana seeds which contains even amounts of male and female grains. If you are growing with regular seeds, you have to be careful to remove the male ones.
These are produced by female plants only. It is not possible to get them naturally, so we apply artificial selection. Planting from feminized seeds is most effective, so it is called every grower’s dream. We recommend buying feminized seeds when you decide to join the crowd of marijuana growers.
While you need special light regime for other seeds, the auto-flowering ones start blooming automatically, based on time passed after planting. They can be grown all year round. Still, indoor growers are already adapted and boost the flowering periods by setting special light mode.
There are reasons not to fertilize plants. If a plant is not fertilized the energy is spent on producing THC and valuable buds. In an opposite case, it is wasted on the development of reproductive organs and seeds. Therefore, it is recommended to have only unpollinated plants and keep the plants as far from male pollen as possible unless fertilizing is desirable for some purposes.
Unpollinated flowers have better yield and taste. They are proved to have more sugar and active ingredients, so they better suit medical needs.
What are THC and CBD?
The medical use, recreational high-effect and even smell and smoke of marijuana types depend on the levels of CBD and THC, the main active components making this species valuable. Here’s what we found out about them:
It is a chemical substance, called tetrahydrocannabinol, which has an impact on the human brain, changing the quality of mental processes. The similar substance, anandamide features the same characteristics. The positive effects of these count better memory, and higher cognitive processesmotorics. They are reported to have a positive impact on fertility, hunger, and depression, therefore except for the social psychological states, and people also address marijuana for medical purposes.
It is another psychoactive substance; the full name is cannabidiol. CBD influence THC by strengthening or weakening some of the traits of the latter. Therefore, what is important when planting and also cross-breeding cannabis is the CBD to THC ratio of your plants. CBD is widely used to limit psychedelic effects of marijuana in medicine.
Whether you decide to grow marijuana in-house for your personal use or selling, it’s better to make some investment in knowledge, which will always have a profitable return. We hope this article is helpful, yet remember that for future achievements in growing you need further education.