There’s been quite the research conducted on cannabis. And of the most recent findings, it is believed that the cannabis plant originated somewhere in Central Asia and get this: towards the end of the ice age! From there it kept on expending until it reached the Himalayan Mountains where cannabis encountered its first great divide. The landscape managed to separate the plant into two different crops as well as two distinct climates therefore allowing good old Mother Nature to separate the cannabis plant into the two distinctive strains we know today as sativa and indica.
Indica and Sativa
What is Indica?
Indica is believed to have developed in India (where its name is inspired from) it was mainly used for its sedative pain relieving qualities.
What is Sativa?
The word sativa believe it or is actually Latin for “cultivated”. The word was first meant to describe any narrow-leafleted and low THC plant and it was cultivated for hemp fibre or seeds.
Cannabis Ruderalis is the least used species of cannabis and is either the ancestor, or a hybrid of an ancient ancestor. The same as the word sativa, “ruderalis” is a word based on the Latin Rudera which meant “rubble” or “lump”. Ruderalis is a variety that grows in heavily disturbed soils.
However, enough history for one article!
Today’s research helps us paint a much clearer picture on how the cannabis strains evolved. A new system of taxonomy proposed by Robert C. Clarke and Mark D. Merlin employs archaeological findings, historical accounts, and DNA sequencing to tell a very compelling story.
Although we can’t decode the genetic history of cannabis with 100% accuracy, what we do know is the characteristics that make cannabis varieties unique to their climate. This is what’s known as “landrace strains” which refers to the closest approximation of ancestral cannabis native to a specific region.The popular Durbian Poision sativa strain is an example of a landrace strain that is considered to be a pure genetic representation of the original cannabis plants that began to propagate along the port of Durban Africa. This genetic purity allows us to better understand the differences between the three cannabis species. Today we classify cannabis by lineage but we define each species by a specific set of characteristics:
This strain is now believed to have originated in the warmer equatorial regions of Thailand, southern India, Jamaica, and Mexico. It’s long and scraggly with thin finger like fan leaves.
originates in the dryer climates of Central and Southern Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. It likes to grow broad, wide fan leaves and keep low and squat to the ground to protect itself from the cold mountain nights.
This species doesn’t grow reliably potent flowers and sort of gets the redheaded stepchild treatment if that’s a thing for plants. There’s not a whole lot of research out there about it, but it is Cannabis all the same.
Cannabis has been around for centuries, yet despite that fact we are only just now beginning to understand where it came from. While using terms like Indica and Sativa to describe a particular strain may not be historically or scientifically accurate it’s what we’ve been doing for generations and it’s unlikely to change anytime soon.