Cannabis 101 – Indicas, Sativas, & Hybrids Explained

January 18, 2022

Cannabis 101 – Indicas, Sativas, & Hybrids Explained

Cannabis, weed, herb, pot, trees, nuggets, ganja, grass, reefer, chronic, Mary Jane, the sticky-icky, and the left-handed cigarette, has long been a stigmatized plant under any of its countless names. As a result of the social stereotypes and subsequent legal restrictions placed upon the cultivation, study, and use of the plant, little empirical evidence has ever been available.  Researchers are only now, at the height of successful legalization campaigns across the world, starting to understand the intricacies of cannabis. As we learn more, the cliché descriptions the culture has become accustomed to are beginning to fall short of the emergent science. 


Here at Nickel City Delivery (NiCD), we differentiate the selections in our strain library by the three socially accepted categories, Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids. These groupings offer the end-user a general idea of what they’re getting with crazy names like Hippie Crippler, Blue City Diesel, or William Shatter. But in all honesty, there’s a lot more to understanding a strain than just assigning it into a category thereby assuming its effect. So, let’s take a closer look at the three main categories that we use to differentiate strains and later, check out how modern science is painting a new picture of the how’s and why’s of their effect on the body and mind.

18th Century Origins of Cannabis Classification


The classifications “Indica” and “Sativa” find their origins in the European taxonomic endeavors of the 1700s when a western species (now known as hemp) was labeled Cannabis Sativa. Though not a species that offered much if any euphoric effect, Cannabis Sativa, with its long thinner leaves, was found to be extremely utilitarian with strong fibrous qualities as well as nutritional value in its seeds. Exploration and expansion into South Asia later found the second species, Cannabis Indica, a more stout, wide-leaved plant that offered a strong euphoric effect.


As the years passed, “new” species were discovered across the world and initially were individually named as unique species within the Genus Cannabis. However, as studies continued the waters got muddied, and differentiating between the slightest anomalies in a cannabis plant’s profile became senseless. Enter the mid 20th Century. As special interests led to growing political pressure, the study of Cannabis all but died and was essentially relegated to the shadows where growers and users alike were left to build out the culture of cannabis we have today.  

Next Up:

Indicas Don’t Always Put You “In-da-couch”


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