Marijuana comes in two basic types – Sativas and indicas. Which type you choose will determine the effects you feel. Each type has its own set of characteristics.

Cannabis Sativa

Plant Characteristics
The sativa strain of marijuana is the complete opposite of the indica strain. Sativa medical marijuana plants are tall, thin plants, with narrow leaves, and generally are a lighter shade of green then their counterpart, the indica strain. Sativa strains take longer to grow, mature, and require more light. Medicine produced from cannabis sativa plants have lower CBD and higher THC counts which produces a more clear headed, energetic type of high. The flowering stage lasts between 10 to 16 weeks.

Plant Origins

Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Southeast Asia.

Plant physiology

The flowers of the female plant are arranged in racemes and can produce hundreds of seeds. Male plants shed their pollen and die several weeks prior to seed ripening on the female plants. Although genetic factors dispose a plant to become male or female, environmental factors including the diurnal light cycle can alter sexual expression.[citation needed] Naturally occurring monoecious plants, with both male and female parts, are either sterile or fertile but artificially induced “hermaphrodites” (a commonly used misnomer) can have fully functional reproductive organs. “Feminized” seed sold by many commercial seed suppliers are derived from artificially “hermaphrodytic” females that lack the male gene, or by treating the seeds with hormones or silver thiosulfate.

A Cannabis plant in the vegetative growth phase of its life requires more than 12–13 hours of light per day to stay vegetative. Flowering usually occurs when darkness equals at least 12 hours per day. The flowering cycle can last anywhere between nine to fifteen weeks, depending on the strain and environmental conditions.

In soil, the optimum pH for the plant is 6.3 to 6.8. In hydroponic growing, the nutrient solution is best at 5.2 to 5.8, making Cannabis well-suited to hydroponics because this pH range is hostile to most bacteria and fungi.

Cultivars primarily cultivated for their fiber, characterized by long stems and little branching.
Cultivars grown for seed from which hemp oil is extracted.
Cultivars grown for medicinal or recreational purposes. A nominal if not legal distinction is often made between industrial hemp, with concentrations of psychoactive compounds far too low to be useful for that purpose, and it is also known as marijuana.

Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

Although the main psychoactive chemical compound in Cannabis is Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the plant is known to contain about sixty cannabinoids; however, most of these “minor” cannabinoids are only produced in trace amounts. Besides THC, another cannabinoid produced in high concentrations by some plants is cannabidiol (CBD), which is not psychoactive but has recently been shown to block the effect of THC in the nervous system.[1] Differences in the chemical composition of Cannabis varieties may produce different effects in humans. Synthetic THC, called dronabinol, does not contain CBD, CBN, or other cannabinoids, which is one reason why its pharmacological effects may differ significantly from those of natural Cannabis preparations.


Here is a List of known Sativa strains

Big Fatty
Blue Heaven
Coral Reef
Durban Poison
Hawaiian Sativa
Kali Mist
Lamb’s Bread
Shark Shock
Silver Haze
Train Wreck
White Widow

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Compounds found in Cannabis Sativa

(-)-[delta 1]-3,4-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol (most active cannabinoid)
(-)-[delta 6]-3,4-trans-tetrahydrocannabinol
tetrahydrocannabitriol (aka cannabitriol)
cannabidiolic acid
cannabinol (forms after plant dies)
THC acids A and B (inactive unless smoked)

Minor constituents:

cannabigerolic acid
cannabichromenic acid
cannabicyclol (aka cannabipinol)
cannabicyclolic acid
cannabielsoic acids A and B
cannabinolic acid (neutral cannabinoid)
2-oxo-[delta 3]-tetrahydrocannabinol
cannabigerol monomethyl ether
cannabidiol monomethyl ether
cannabinol methyl ether
propylcannabidiol (aka cannabidivarol & cannabidivarin)
propylcannabinol (aka cannabivarol & cannabivarin)
propyl-[delta 1]-THC (aka [delta 1]-tetrahydrocannabivarol & tetrahydrocannabivarin)
methylcannabidiol (aka cannabidiorcol)
methylcannabinol (aka cannabiorcol)
methyl-[delta 1]-THC (aka [delta 1]-tetrahydrocannabiorcol)
[delta 1]-tetrahydrocannabivarolic acid

Nitrogen-containing compounds:

L-isoleucine betaine
cannabisativine (alkaloid found in the roots)

[compiled from “The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens” by Schultes & Hofmann]