What exactly do we mean when we talk about cannabis sativa? Can hemp be considered cannabis sativa? What effects does this variety of cannabis have? Is outdoor or indoor cultivation preferable? With this article, which aims to be a simple and accessible mini guide on cannabis sativa, we will try to answer these and other questions to satisfy most of the curiosities relating to this strain of cannabis.
- Sativa: genetics
- Cannabis: diffusion and specifics
- Conformation of the plant
- Growing cannabis sativa
- Therapeutic properties of cannabis sativa
- Cannabis sativa Vs Cannabis indica
- Famous strains of Cannabis sativa
In 1753 , in Sweden, a botanist named Carl Linneus , after having personally cultivated cannabis seeds and having done numerous research, classified cannabis sativa for the first time, as a strain of the Cannabinaceae family, in a botany book specialist, entitled ' Species Plantarum ' .
Cannabis sativa was cultivated in the United States and Europe for mainly industrial purposes (hemp, textiles, fuel) and little was actually said about its psychoactive effects.
A few years later, another botanist named Jean Baptiste Lamarck identified another variety of cannabis, which was classified as cannabis indica .
Lamarck focused on differences in the structure of the shrub , in the width of the marijuana leaf, in the growth of the plant but also in the effects, arguing that there was a decidedly higher THC content in the indica compared to cannabis sativa.
In 1924 , therefore approximately two centuries later, a Russian botanist named Janichewsky identified a further variety of cannabis and proposed a classification into three main species:
- Cannabis sativa : up to five meters tall and pyramid-shaped, also called hemp.
- Cannabis indica : shorter and branched. Also called Indian hemp.
- Cannabis ruderalis : no more than half a meter tall and completely devoid of branches. Also called Russian hemp or American hemp
This classification did not take into consideration the psychoactive effect or the level of THC present in the three species. Just over thirty years later, two biologists, Small and Cronquist , proposed a new classification that highlighted the differences in the psychotropic effects of the three varieties, underlining that the indica had a slightly higher THC content and the presence of terpenes with higher sedative capacities than those contained in the terpenes of sativa or ruderalis.
Of course, in those same years, in the United States but also elsewhere, experiments began with the cultivation of marijuana. Very different varieties of cannabis were hybridized, hemp seeds were mixed with cannabis seeds and plants with different THC contents were mixed.
Today, despite the fact that there is a good idea that there are different strains of cannabis and that indica-dominant cannabis actually has a different structure and effects from sativa, when we talk about cannabis or hemp (also in terms legal) refers to a single species: cannabis sativa .
Cannabis: diffusion and specifics
As we have said, the term cannabis sativa refers to cannabis in general, but the same term also refers to hemp and cannabis light . However, it is necessary to make some clarifications, the only ones that make sense on a legal level, beyond the nomenclature.
Owning and growing industrial hemp seeds is perfectly legal as long as the THC content in cannabis plants does not exceed 0.6%, as established by law 242.
As regards the distribution of light cannabis in Italy, it is absolutely legal, as long as the THC content within the inflorescences does not exceed 0.2% . Any cannabis sativa with a THC content greater than 0.2% for distribution and 0.6% for cultivation is considered illegal cannabis.
If hemp has spread above all for the production of paper, fuel, sustainable fabrics, fibers and ropes, cannabis has spread for both recreational and therapeutic purposes . Finally, with the legalization of cannabis light, cannabis plants, previously known only to a few interested parties, have become an object of interest and curiosity, amazing for their beneficial and therapeutic properties.
Cannabis sativa contains more than two hundred cannabinoids . The best known are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which has numerous beneficial properties but also psychotropic effects, cannabidiol (CBD) completely devoid of psychoactive effects but capable of counteracting chronic pain, muscle tension and numerous other pathologies.
Finally, recently discovered and the subject of numerous studies, there is cannabigerol (CBG) . It is a non-psychotropic cannabinoid , responsible for the synthesis of all other cannabinoids and capable of counteracting the symptoms of numerous disorders. The reaction to the use of multiple cannabinoids at the same time gives rise to the so-called entourage effect.
Conformation of the plant
Cannabis sativa is an annual shrub plant, which in addition to being now cultivated all over the world, also grows spontaneously in areas with temperate and tropical climates. Cannabis plants have a long root and a stem that ranges from 80 centimeters to five meters in height . They can be more or less branched depending on whether they grow more or less in height.
The marijuana leaf of this variety is very fine and thin. The flowers are compact and rich in trichomes , the main containers of the active ingredient and terpenes, responsible not only for the aroma of cannabis varieties, but also for enhancing the therapeutic properties of the dominant cannabinoid.
Overall it is a very delicate plant, which requires particular and constant care both during the vegetative phase and during the flowering phase.
Therapeutic properties of cannabis sativa
Cannabis sativa with a high THC content causes a very energetic effect , which stimulates creativity and sociability and gives a sensation of widespread euphoria.
Due to its active effect , it can also be taken in the morning , unlike cannabis indica, which if it has a high THC content, is preferable to take only from late afternoon onwards and before going to sleep.
Sativa-dominant light cannabis, on the other hand, contains 0.2% THC as required by current law, is completely free of psychoactive effects, without side effects but on the contrary has various therapeutic properties. It is particularly suitable for stabilizing mood and alleviating symptoms of mild depression, helps fight stress and gives a dose of natural serotonin to anyone who takes it.
Medical cannabis, capable of activating our endocannabinoid system, is an excellent ally against panic attacks and gives a big hand in periods of excessive stress.
Some studies focus on its effectiveness in counteracting some symptoms of multiple sclerosis and some neurodegenerative and nervous system diseases.
If high in CBD, it is able to counteract chronic pain and muscle tension without envying cannabis indica.
Cannabis sativa Vs Cannabis indica
It is clear that there are differences between these two strains of cannabis, but it is not possible to indicate one is better than the other. It all depends on what we are looking for : for a more activating and energizing effect, it may be preferable to choose cannabis sativa. If, however, you are looking for a more soothing and relaxing variety, it is better to opt for cannabis indica.
If we are novice growers, it will be better for us to start experimenting with indica cannabis, which is more resistant and less delicate. However, if we are expert growers and are lucky enough to benefit from a mild, Mediterranean climate, we can also safely throw ourselves into cannabis sativa.
It may also be that you want to experiment by hybridizing the two varieties of cannabis, if you know how, it's possible.
In recent years, several varieties of cannabis and cannabis light have been created, there really are something for all tastes and many are perfectly balanced hybrids between cannabis indica and cannabis sativa.
Here is a list of the main characteristics of these two cannabis strains:
- It reaches up to five meters in height,
- It develops more in height than in width.
- The marijuana leaf is extremely fine.
- Cannabis sativa seeds take several weeks to germinate but then grow very quickly.
- The harvests are very abundant.
- It is a type of cannabis more suitable for outdoor cultivation, as long as there is a climate that is not too harsh.
- It is a delicate plant and should be grown when you are already a little expert.
- The effect of cannabis sativa with a high THC content is energizing and euphoric, it can also be taken in the morning.
- Any variety of light sativa cannabis has no psychotropic effects, but maintains energizing properties and is good for the mood.
- It doesn't reach three meters in height.
- It develops in very branched branches, almost taking the shape of a small bush.
- The marijuana leaf is wide and thick.
- Cannabis indica seeds take a few days to germinate, then grow regularly.
- The yields are a little less abundant than those obtained from cannabis sativa
- It is very suitable for indoor cultivation for which it seems made especially.
- It is quite resistant and suitable for first-time growers.
- The effect of cannabis indica with a high THC content is extremely relaxing, it is advisable to use it from late afternoon and before going to sleep.
- Indica-dominant light cannabis has no psychotropic effects, maintains relaxing and analgesic effects and is an excellent ally against insomnia and chronic pain.
Growing cannabis sativa
Sativa-dominant marijuana plants need many hours of light and heat , and tend to be a little more delicate than their indica-dominant sisters, perhaps due to the shrub and thinner leaves. They grow well in a tropical, humid climate but adapt to a Mediterranean climate.
Given the height they can reach, cannabis sativa plants appear to be better suited to outdoor cultivation . The height growth of a hemp plant can only be contained by expert growers, perhaps by placing a net on the plants and keeping the growth of the branches under control, which will be bent as they develop in order to optimize the space.
Flowering begins with the decrease in daylight hours , therefore towards the end of August, beginning of September (if not artificially induced indoors). During the first weeks of flowering the plants still grow very tall, stopping definitively around the third week.
It is important to change the biological nourishment between the vegetative and flowering phases, to protect the plants from possible rain, snow and hail as well as from the presence of parasites .
Famous strains of Cannabis sativa
In recent years, or rather in recent decades, dozens and dozens of cannabis sativa varieties have been created, which have definitely made history, winning numerous Cannabis Cups and inspiring growers all over the world. Let's see together some of the most famous strains:
Ak-47 is a legendary cannabis strain, whose intensity and potency can be easily understood from its name. It is one of the most stable cannabis sativa varieties that exists, among the simplest to grow and among the most satisfying in terms of yield.
It is a sativa-dominant strain but also has a percentage of indica cannabis within it. Ak 47 is the only variety to have won a Cannabis Cup for being perfectly balanced in terms of effects , precisely due to the skilful blend of sativa and indica.
Terre di Cannabis has created a completely legal version of the Ak-47. It's called Perla and is among the best light cannabis inflorescences in Italy.
This light marijuana, hybridized by the company's master hemp grower, has a very high concentration of CBD (20%) and is very rich in aromatic terpenes , which give it an unmistakable earthy scent with hints of sandalwood, cedar and pine. The flavor is intense and decisive with a pleasant aftertaste on the palate.
The buds are medium sized, compact , particularly resinous and a beautiful bright green . Its high percentage of CBD means that it is also formidable for combating mood disorders, anxiety attacks and states of depression. It is ideal for vaping at all hours of the day, it helps to quit smoking and relieves muscle pain and physical tension.
This cannabis variety has received numerous awards and won many Cannabis Cups both for its euphoric and relaxing effects and for its fruity flavor with spicy and pungent notes.
It is a cross that originates between different varieties of cannabis sativa from Mexico, Thailand, southern India and Colombia, with an extremely high THC content. Between the seventies and nineties it spread to Europe and was again hybridized with two other extremely popular cannabis strains, and perfected, becoming the famous Silver Haze , which most cannabis consumers know and appreciate.
Terre di Cannabis has created a completely legal version.
Volare is its name, it is one of the excellences of light cannabis grown in Italy. It retains the best characteristics of Silver Haze, while keeping the THC content below 0.2% .
The buds have a dark green color with clearly visible trichomes, the consistency is a little sticky due to the large quantity of active ingredient (18%).
Aroma and flavor are those of Silver Haze, with recognizable spicy and pungent notes. It is particularly suitable for relaxing the nerves, treating mild depression and panic attacks.
It is a very potent cannabis sativa, with a THC content of over 21%.
A cross between two super strong cannabis sativa strains: lemon skunk and amnesia haze . The effect is a cerebral, euphoric and psychedelic "high", which stimulates creativity and good mood. The aroma is citrus with notes of lemon, musk and wood. The flavor corresponds to the aroma and leaves a very sweet aftertaste on the palate.
This variety of cannabis also exists in a light marijuana version. The first inflorescence of Terre di Cannabis, grown at a height of approximately 500 meters above sea level, represents the ecotype of the company and remains faithful to its inspiration.
Its name is Riserva Opulenta , it has a full and earthy aroma, with citrus, mossy and spicy notes. It is able to give a pleasant feeling of calm and relaxation and sufficiently stimulate serotonin with its 12% CBD content.
If you wish to purchase light cannabis , take a look at our website , where you can find Volare, Riserva Opulenta and the highly prized Perla, a light cannabis variety with a high CBD content. All our inflorescences are grown in Italy in an organic and certified way, without the use of pesticides and heavy metals.
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