Monday, March 27, 2023

How Sativa Became The Energy Queen Of Cannabis

The sativa strain you see in your favorite dispensary is pretty much a human engineered phenomenon created over thousands of years of human breeding and cross breeding, and is still being tweaked today.

The common wisdom about cannabis enthusiasts is that they don’t have any common wisdom. The stereotype of the drooling guy “on” cannabis sitting in his parent’s basement playing video games for hours or Instagrammig nonstop is what many of the “straights” still imagine to be true.


In fact, smoking or vaping or eating cannabis—especially certain sativa strains—has quickly become the best way to energize getting chores done. Every busy chore hustler knows that choosing the right CBD/THC sativa combination, with the right terpene profile, can do the trick.

The cannabis connoisseur knows to go for certain strains that fire up their chores jets, such as Strawberry Diesel, Lemon Meringue, AK47, Panama Punch, Mountain Thunder, and Silver Haze, just to name a few.

These strains are generally carefully cultivated for their energizing effects.

For example, according to Humboldt County Emerald Farms, there are four strains used to create AK-47: Colombia (sativa), Mexico (sativa), Thai (sativa) and Afghanistan (indica). The strain has a strong skunky sour, earthy scent, peppered with hints of pine, sage, sandalwood, and some light citrus. Smoking the bud creates an energizing type of euphoria.

The sativa-dominant Silver Haze began with the Haze variety that was popular in the early 1980s. Since then, Haze characteristics have been prized by cannabis users and growers around the world. Silver Haze was the first to create a space-efficient Haze variety that can grow fast and produce a high yield.

Amsterdam-based Sensi Seeds, the world’s largest cannabis seedbank with over 500 varieties, crossed Haze and Northern Lights strains to produce this high potency Sativa strain.

RELATED: How To Choose The Best Cannabis Strain

Other strains featuring Silver Haze genetics include Lemon Haze (Silver Haze plus Lemon Skunk); and Silver Dog (Silver Haze plus Chemdog).

Sativa cannabis strains are relatively easy to pick out in cultivation operations. They are characterized by a taller stature, slender-bladed leaves, a more open bud structure which often grows in a distinct spiral formation around the branches, and a lighter green color. All sativa cannabis strains are native to the tropical regions, where the long hot summers caused them to develop a longer flowering time than varieties from harsher climates.

Why you didn't get the cannabis strain you think you did
Photo by Zummolo/Getty Images

The scientific name cannabis sativa was first published in 1753 by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus who is known today as the father of modern taxonomy, which is the science of classifying organisms. The term sativa simply means “cultivated” and describes the common hemp plant grown widely across Europe in his time.

But how it got to mean a version of the cannabis plant that gets you energized is one of those head-scratching botanical genetics mysteries that always surround this wonderful and complex plant.

In fact, studies show that the sativa strain of cannabis, which is really low-THC hemp, is more similar to cannabis indica—and that, even though there is a “moderate correlation between the genetic structure of marijuana strains and their reported C. Sativa and C. Indica ancestry,” cannabis strain names often do not reflect a “meaningful genetic identity.”

How Sativa Became The Energy Queen Of Cannabis
Photo by Jed Villejo via Unsplash

The sativa strain you see in your favorite dispensary is pretty much a human engineered phenomenon—or mutant, if you like—created over thousands of years of human breeding and cross breeding, and still being tweaked today.

RELATED: Why You Didn’t Get The Cannabis Strain You Think You Did

Okay, so all that science-y stuff probably elicits a simple shoulder shrug pause of reflection for most cannabis enthusiasts, who just want to know what they should consume before attacking their to-do list.

Your best bet? Ask your budtender. They get that question all the time because, well, there is no perfect answer. And if you stress out about it, chill with a kinder, gentler, indica strain—which gives you the so-called “in the couch” effect of cannabis strains—and doesn’t have all of sativa’s annoying lineage and genetics baggage.

Sheesh! What a drama queen.



Does Consuming Marijuana Help You Lose Or Gain Weight?

THC has been shown to be an effective treatment for anorexia in animal studies, as well as severe weight loss in humans suffering from AIDS, but more work needs to be done.

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