Until last month, he was the top international anti-drug official in the U.S. Now he says it is likely that the federal government will have to reclassify marijuana as more states enact legalization.
“Let the experiment advance. Consider its positive and negative effects,” William Brownfield, who resigned only weeks ago as Assistant Secretary of State for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, said in a new interview.
“Let’s see how many other states advance in this direction because we are a democracy and for the moment we do not have a consensus position. In California, the most populous state, they voted for legalization, but in Texas, the second most populous state, they have not even wanted to consider it. When the conclusions are drawn, it is likely that substances may be reclassified.”
That’s a remarkable statement coming from someone who was in charge of representing the U.S.’s position in the global drug war for more than six years, as Brownfield was until a few weeks ago.
But even as he acknowledges it may soon be time for the government to remove marijuana from Schedule I — the most restrictive category in federal law, which is supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential abuse and no medical value — don’t mistake Brownfield for an anti-prohibition activist.
“I am not a fan of legalization,” he said in the new interview with Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
Brownfield did acknowledge, however, that legalization is an “experiment that allows us to observe and learn.”
Even while citing traffic accidents and emergency room visits allegedly associated with cannabis, and arguing that local governments’ desire to generate revenue from legal marijuana sales “doesn’t seem like anything healthy,” he clarifies that he’s “not saying that [legalization] is a failure.”
“But,” he says, “I insist that we must be able to adjust policies to ensure that they do the least possible harm.”
Brownfield, who previously served as U.S. ambassador to Colombia, Venezuela and Chile during the Bush administration, made headlines in recent years by shepherding along a new U.S. posture on drugs under President Obama. While the country historically pressured other nations into maintaining a prohibition approach, that became more difficult once U.S. states started legalizing marijuana.
“How could I, a representative of the government of the United States of America, be intolerant of a government that permits any experimentation with legalization of marijuana if two of the 50 states of the United States of America have chosen to walk down that road?” Brownfield asked in 2014, when Colorado and Washington were the only states to have ended prohibition. That number has since quadrupled.
Also in the new interview, Brownfield sharply criticized comments his former boss, President Trump, made about Colombia’s role in the war on drugs.
Trump threatened to “decertify” the country as a partner in drug policy last month, a move that could have harsh consequences for fiscal aid and trade between the two nations.
To decertify Colombia would have been “a fundamental error, counterproductive, false, and very stupid,” Brownfield said, adding that it would be “nonsense, an insult, an insult to the hundreds of Colombians who have given their lives” in the drug war.
All Brownfield quotes in this story were automatically translated by Google and then cleaned up with the help of a few fluent Spanish speakers.
Published 3 weeks ago on October 24, 2017 By Tom Angell
Photo courtesy of M a n u e l
Sourced from: marijuanamoment.net
The Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has created a website to keep the public updated on their process of preparing for the sale of legal cannabis by July 2018.
The website, lcbocannabisupdates.com, provides introductory information to the general public to help understand the steps the LCBO is taking to find the 40 initial cannabis store locations that the province has said they intend to have in place for legalization. The province intends to have 80 stores by 2019 and ‘up to’ 150 stores by 2020.
Although still short on specifics, the website contains a FAQ section that says the government plans to train all employees selling cannabis in the LCBO to know about the products and related safety information relating to them.
It also states that the Government of Ontario will be choosing locations for their first 40 stores with the goal of reducing the amount of illegal stores, “including dispensaries,” that are currently operating in Ontario.
Municipalities identified for a location will have an opportunity to have input in the process.
The age limit for consumption and possession in the province will be 19 and all cannabis sales will be through employees, not direct-to-customers sales, via traditional vending machines, for example.
Sourced from: Lift News – https://news.lift.co/lcbo-unveils-retail-cannabis-website/
So far, all the states that have legalized marijuana have done so through grassroots petitions and ballot initiatives meant to bypass risk-averse lawmakers in state houses.
California, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia have all followed Colorado and Washington either to legalize the sale and use of recreational marijuana or, at a minimum, to decriminalize possession and consumption of small amounts of the drug.
But 2018 may be a tipping point — the moment when the momentum of pot makes it impossible for state lawmakers to avoid. State legislatures are poised to begin passing marijuana reform laws next year. The taboos against smoking dope may go up in a cloud of narcotic smoke.
Lawmakers must still juggle serious public safety issues, even as they eye what they hope will be new revenue streams from pot that they don’t want flowing to neighboring states.
Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Jersey all devoted serious debate to this in 2017, and their state legislatures could send legislation to their governors next year to sign into law.
Vermont is the only state legislature to pass a legalization measure, although Democratic Gov. Phil Scott vetoed it.
With recreational use and sales opening within months in Canada and Massachusetts, neighboring states feel compelled to study and implement new public safety measures. Beyond that, however, lawmakers in these states are also emboldened by polls showing public support for recreational use.
Tom Gorman, director of the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Agency, believes 2018 could be a tipping point.
“What I was hoping was the rest of the states would say, ‘OK, we’ve got Washington, and we’ve got Colorado, let’s wait and see what happens so we can make an informed decision one way or the other,” said Gorman, whose Denver-based organization supports federal and local anti-drug policing. “Either it wasn’t as bad as the anti-marijuana folks said it was, or, ‘My God, this is disastrous, we don’t want this for our state.’”
But Gorman’s longtime adversary in the recreational legalization battle, Brian Vincente, an attorney who has been a leader in Colorado’s decades-long fight over legalization, thinks otherwise. “I think we’ve probably cleared the tipping point,” he told the Washington Examiner. “I think when California and Massachusetts came on board and legalized — I mean, California’s such a massively recognized global economy and Massachusetts, this puritanical, historic state — I think those two for me signaled that it’s the beginning of the end for prohibition.”
What develops next in pot policy is likely to be shaped by data from the early legalizers, Colorado and Washington, by how it is interpreted, by how legislatures respond to legalization as opposed to citizen ballot initiatives, and by whether the federal government will step in.
If Vermont, Rhode Island, and New Jersey make moves, and even if only one or two other voter-based initiatives passed, fewer states would remain that didn’t share border with a state with legal marijuana. Some people thought Colorado and Washington were “experiments” and would remain highly quarantined, but it was an illusion.
Getting a clear “before and after” picture of the effects of legalized marijuana isn’t easy. Some experts have suggested that a comprehensive picture could take 20 years or more to become clear because data can be affected by so many other sociological factors.
“What I hear from Colorado is that, they say, you need to wait a couple years. Because the data sets right now are very immature and we don’t really know as much as we’d like to know,” said Vermont State Rep. Scott Beck, a Republican.
Beck’s concerns about “immature” data are well-founded. For example, one of the first comprehensive studies on the effects of legalization was published by the Colorado Department of Public Safety in March, 2016. It began with a strong caution:
“It is too early to draw any conclusions about the potential effects of marijuana legalization or commercialization on public safety, public health, or youth outcomes, and this may always be difficult due to the lack of historical data. Furthermore, the information presented here should be interpreted with caution. The decreasing social stigma regarding marijuana use could lead individuals to be more likely to report use on surveys and to health workers in emergency department and poison control centers, making marijuana use appear to increase when perhaps is has not.
“Finally, law enforcement officials and prosecuting attorneys continue to struggle with enforcement of the complex and sometimes conflicting marijuana laws that remain. Thus, the lack of pre-commercialization data, the decreasing social stigma, and challenges to law enforcement combine to make it difficult to translate these early findings into definitive statements of outcomes.”
Just four months before pot sales began in Colorado, Dr. Larry Wolk became the executive director and chief medical officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. Wolk says he’s often in contact with officials from other states and other countries, and says the number one piece of advice he gives them is usually the same, and it is about data.
“Conceptually, stop thinking about this as a ‘starting from zero’ — you know, if it’s not legalized — to some dramatic number as a result of legalization,” Wolk said. “So recognizing, what’s the base use of marijuana amongst adults and kids.
In Colorado, public safety concerns have broken along two lines: Concerns about the effects on those underage, whether it’s direct use by teens or children being born with THC detectable in their systems, and concerns about public safety on the roads, mainly because of people driving while stoned.
Perhaps nothing has confounded policymakers more than the inability to measure impairment due to marijuana use quickly in the same way a breathalyzer gauges a driver’s blood alcohol level, which is a reliable measurement of impairment. Not only does the absence of a similar testing tool make roadside analysis difficult for law enforcement, it also makes studying the issue murky as well.
Complicating those factors is the notion, which many experts say is incorrect, that marijuana “impairment” on driving can be measured like alcohol.
“Peak impairment does not occur when THC concentration in the blood is at or near peak levels,” a 2017 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration noted. THC is the active compound in marijuana responsible for its psychoactive effects. “Peak THC level can occur when low impairment is measured, and high impairment can be measured when THC level is low.”
A January release by the Colorado Department of Transportation noted that traffic fatalities were up 24 percent since 2014, the first year that recreational pot was legal. But the word “marijuana” never appeared in that release, and officials never singled out any overriding factors for blame. The same release noted that those figures came during a population boom and also said, “The rise in fatalities is part of a national trend. Fatalities are up nationally by about 8 percent.”
Beck says legislators in that state have struggled with what to do about drugged driving, absent any test similar to a breathalyzer.
“Now we’re basically talking about having officers doing ‘driving under the influence’ tests roadside, which is kind of a throwback to the ’70s and ’80s, ‘walk the line, touch your nose,’” Beck said.
“It’s subjective. How’s it going to fare in a court of law? How does an officer determine whether it’s alcohol, or THC, or some other substance? We have trained many people in the state to be drug recognition experts. But I don’t think we have enough of them that people are confident that we can identify all these people.”
Especially concerning to Beck is that Vermont will have to deal with an increase in drugged drivers whether or not the state decriminalizes marijuana because tit has drivers on its roads from Massachusetts and Canada, where dope will be legal.
Effects on underage people
Supporters of legalization in Colorado have promoted a pair of studies they say show no increase in teen usage.
The state’s “Healthy Kids Colorado” survey polls 17,000 youth. From 2013 to 2015, the percentage of youth who said they had used marijuana once in the last month inched up from 20 percent to 21 percent, and that 21 percent is comparable to the national average.
Even though there was an uptick from 20 to 21 percent over two years, scientists have said this isn’t “statistically significant.”
“There’s some corridor of variability or error when you do any kind of study,” Wolk explained, “and so the reason why we say not to make much of the small increase that occurred the one year which then actually was followed by a small decrease is that, that’s within the corridor of variability that … researchers say is what’s attributed to chance.”
The other study on teen use of marijuana showed a similarly small increase, but relied on a much smaller sample.
Opponents of legalization, meanwhile, highlight statistics from a Pueblo-based hospital showing about a third of all babies tested have shown a presence of THC in their systems.
Tom Tancredo served as a congressman from Colorado for five terms, and ran for president in 2008 on a hardline immigration stance. But he lent his name and voice to pro-legalization radio ads in the run-up to the 2012 vote. He says he’s lost friends over this and says he would also support legalization again. Nevertheless, he acknowledges that lawmakers must consider secondary effects. Babies born with THC in their systems are a prime example, he says.
“I think that that should be dealt with legally,” he told the Washington Examiner. “Because I believe that’s child endangerment. And I think people should go to jail for that. Again, I don’t care what you do to yourself, as an adult, but I certainly care what you do to those who are not.”
Wolk says there is no data that proves that a mother passing THC to her baby is doing more harm, or as much harm, a mother using alcohol or tobacco during pregnancy. The studies are lacking in part because the federal government’s labeling marijuana as a “Schedule 1” drug has prevented many labs from getting the strict permissions needed to do marijuana testing.
“We know enough to say there’s not a lot in the way of short-term or acute harm if a baby is born to a THC-positive mom, but there’s likely the potential that it does affect or impact the developing brain,” Wolk said.
“So, obviously, our policy statement based on all available research we have says that pregnant mothers and breast-feeding mothers should not be using marijuana, period.”
Taxation and competition
Some state lawmakers in Vermont and Rhode Island who support either decriminalization or retail legalization often suggest that part of the “inevitability” they feel about the issue is something akin to the “domino theory” from the Cold War era. Once a single region “falls,” then so do neighboring regions. It sets off a chain reaction that can’t be stopped.
There’s also a “funding paradox” for states looking at decriminalization as opposed to full-on commercial sales and legalization. If a state decriminalizes pot rather than legalizes it and collects revenue from taxing it, it feels it’s missing out on money for road safety and education and prevention programs for youth.
“In general, our state has no taxing capacity left to run our programs, to educate our children,” said Republican Vermont State Rep. Heidi Scheuermann. “Even [former] Gov. [Peter] Shumlin said that a number of years ago, and that’s still a fact.
“So, if we’re going to create new needs, as a result of — whether it’s decrim or legalization of marijuana, we’re going to have to find some revenue somewhere to do that.
“I don’t know if it has to be done all at once, though,” she added, noting that she’s depending on a study commissioned by the governor to draw conclusions and find solutions.
Other lawmakers appear to be succumbing to the fear of missing out.
“When Massachusetts goes to a tax-and-regulate structure next year, anybody who’s interested in accessing marijuana can easily go to Massachusetts,” said Rhode Island State Sen. Joshua Miller, referring not only to the way Colorado taxes pot sales, but also oversees virtually every detail regarding cultivation and distribution, which includes tracking every plant grown with its own barcode. “Then it becomes more of, the revenue is either going to be Massachusetts’ revenue or Rhode Island’s revenue. And those that think it’s a good idea or a bad idea have a different reality to also consider.”
Miller, a Democrat, compared the potential for new tax revenues through a tax-and-regulate structure to the expansion of state lotteries in the ’80s, or casino gambling in the ’90s. When neighboring states adopt the new revenue, other states find it hard to resist.
Competitive pressures come back to Colorado. Its pot revenues, such as they are, could deflate as soon as other states legalize. So a state can be left with the costs of marijuana legalization, but see its revenue hopes dashed.
“There’s three times as many people in Los Angeles as there are in the state of Colorado. Now that California has legalized marijuana, I do think they’re going to be taking the helm in a lot of ways,” Vicente said.
Those who have opposed all movements toward new leniency with marijuana say the taxation lure will remain a Faustian bargain.
“There has been some extra [tax] money, no doubt about it,” Gorman said. “Where we missed the boat is, what is it costing us, what are the societal costs? And if you look at alcohol and tobacco, and you say ‘highly taxed products,’ the taxes only cover about 10 to 12 percent of societal costs, that’s probably not a good investment. And we don’t know that yet with marijuana. But we will down the road. And if we use illegal drugs as an example, we’d have to say the odds are it’s not going to be a good investment for us.”
The federal void
All of this state action comes in a broad federal void. Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ dislike of liberalizing of marijuana laws, little action has come from the Department of Justice to roll back activities by states.
Sessions sent a letter to Colorado’s Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in August asking him how the state was responding to a report of increases in traffic deaths, youth consumption, and emergency room visits.
The response came not only from the Colorado governor, but the state’s Republican Attorney General Cynthia Coffman (popular in her party for joining a lawsuit against the EPA’s Clean Power Plan). She and Hickenlooper vigorously defended the state’s marijuana laws, telling Sessions, “When abuses and unintended consequences materialize, the state has acted quickly to address any resulting harms.”
Don Murphy, director of conservative outreach for the Marijuana Policy Project, a lobbying organization dedicated to ending marijuana prohibition, says the quick adoption of recreational marijuana by other states is pushing the federal government into a corner.
“The states don’t care anymore what the federal government says or doesn’t say. And so, they’re just moving along doing their own thing,” Murphy said.
Elected officials at the federal level seem uninterested in diving into the issue. The Washington Examiner reached out to representatives on Capitol Hill from Rhode Island, Vermont, and Michigan (where a ballot issue could appear in 2018), and none would comment.
Still, the nation will get a clear preview of just how far legal pot may go, and how willing states are to continue to challenge federal laws, when voters cast ballots in New Jersey this November. Voters there will choose a successor to long-time marijuana foe Gov. Chris Christie. The candidates there have drawn a clear distinction between themselves. The Democratic candidate is ready to work on loosening the state’s marijuana laws, and the Republican candidate is firmly opposed.
The legislative hurdle appears to be the most comprehensive test for supporters of legalization. If elected representatives and senators in any of these states can find compromise on a bill, and if a governor of a state feels he or she can sign such a bill into law, then supporters of legalization believe the fight against marijuana prohibition will effectively be over.
“We’re at the precipice of actually legalizing it, I believe,” said New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Scutari, a leading advocate for adopting a retail structure based on Colorado’s. “So, we might as well be at the head of the pack instead of at the rear, like we have been on so many other issues.”
By GFarma News – October 23, 2017
The budding marijuana industry is spurring new research around cannabis that will have long-term effects on a variety of fields, from farming to new medicine, as companies look for solid scientific data on the substance.
With the looming legalization of recreational pot next summer, and the expansion of licensed medical marijuana producers, scientists at the University of Guelph say more organizations are turning to researchers for help growing better plants.
The Ontario university has a long horticultural research history and some of its staff and students are already deep into the study of medicinal marijuana.
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On Friday, a team of two environmental science professors and a graduate student published a research paper — one they called the first of its kind and the first of many to come — about optimizing the growth of medicinal cannabis indoors.
The study looked at the rate of organic fertilizer in soilless products holding cannabis before it flowered and the optimization of tetrahydrocannabinol — the primary psychoactive part of cannabis — and cannabidiol, which has been touted as a potential treatment for certain forms of epilepsy.
“There is hardly any scientific information on how to produce these plants and now there is so much interest in this area,” said Youbin Zheng, who led the study funded by a licensed medical marijuana producer as well the federal government.
Words such as “OG kush” and “grizzly” — types of marijuana strains — have now appeared in a scientific journal, this time in HortScience, and there’s more to come.
Zheng and fellow professor Mike Dixon have a series of studies in the pipeline that examine the effects of irrigation, lighting, fertilization and soilless technology on cannabis growth as they try to bring scientific rigour to marijuana research.
Building on anecdotal evidence
Dixon is blunt when reflecting on the current cannabis research landscape.
“Much of the work now is largely based on anecdotal bulls–t from people who think they have it all figured out and did all their research in their basements,” he said.
The idea now, he notes, is to take the medicinal marijuana world from the backwoods to pharmaceutical-grade production.
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Dixon has been part of pioneering research into the growth of plants in space and is using that knowledge and technology to help grow better medicinal marijuana. He plans to leverage the windfall of research money coming in from cannabis companies for his work.
“I’m shamelessly taking advantage of the cannabis industry sector’s investment,” he said.
“The bottom line is we’re developing technologies that will allow Canadians to exploit production systems in harsh environments.”
Marijuana production companies — there are more than 60 approved by Health Canada now — need a “huge number of trained scientists,” Zheng noted.
Then there are the potential medical applications associated with marijuana — there are more than 150 compounds found in cannabis that need to be explored, Dixon said.
Another big area is vertical farming — where crops are grown in stacks in vast warehouses with artificial lighting, either in solution or with soilless products — that can allow cold-climate countries to grow food year round, Dixon said.
The results of research on marijuana — driven by interest from the cannabis industry — could be applied to other areas, he explained.
“The funding isn’t coming from food, which has the lowest possible margin as a commodity, but pharmaceuticals,” Dixon said.
“But we can use this research to develop life-support technology, as in food, which can become an economic engine for a country like Canada that will carry us for the next 300 years.”
The dean of the Ontario Agricultural College, at the University of Guelph said the cannabis industry is also expected to help draw new students to the school’s programs.
“One of our greatest challenges is recruiting people into our programs because people typically don’t understand the fact that agriculture and food are high-tech, high-growth sectors and demand an awful lot of people for really interesting careers,” said Rene Van Acker.
“The cannabis industry is doing us a favour by drawing a lot of attention to the sector and drawing attention to the fact it is a high-skill, high-tech area.”
© The Canadian Press, 2017
The Canadian Press
Onerous regulations appear to be negatively impacting the cannabis business growth in Canada.
Specifically, current organizational structures may be too strict to allow production to meet demand for cannabis oils and extracts. While the number of applications for cannabis licensing continues to climb, many entrepreneurs are skipping the step of extraction, presumably in a move to limit potential liabilities by keeping initial operations to the basics of production and distribution.
Tyler Nvquvest of Business Vancouver cited a recent Health Canada report which shows a growth in the cannabis oil sector of more than 871% between April 2016 and March 2017, and pointed out the overall lack of cannabis oil production licenses – only 18 of the 51 licenses granted by Canadian authorities include a plan to produce and sell oil:
“The regulatory system is not structured to solely license companies exclusively focused on oil extraction, said Rosy Mondin, executive director at the Cannabis Trade Alliance of Canada. Oil extraction carries extra restrictions and regulations governing dosage and application.
“‘The way the system is set up is that it is a complete seed-to-sale license,’ said Mondin. ‘If you want to process oils, you are forced to cultivate [marijuana].’
“…’When you look at consumption trends in the U.S. and use [them] as predicators to Canada, the prediction is that consumption of extracted oil and oil-based products is going to increase 198,000% over the next five years,’ Mondin said.”
While Canada is currently losing out on the cannabis oil market due to regulatory hurdles, that will likely change in the near future. Over regulation and supply chain bottlenecks have temporarily plagued other marijuana markets, but the cannabis community is creative and persistent and elected officials like tax dollars. We can expect advocates and politicians to work out some common sense solutions, especially as legalization becomes more mainstream in Canada.
Keep up with the latest in Canada’s cannabis business development! Join the International Cannabis Business Conference in Kauai, Hawaii on December 1-3, 2017, and Vancouver, British Columbia in June 24 and 25, 2018.
Author: AMBER IRIS LANGSTON- Date: OCTOBER 3, 2017
Indica vs Sativa: What are the Differences?
If you’re looking for a quick answer, cannabis Indica is more of a sedating high, while cannabis sativa is more uplifting/energizing.
Or, so we’re told.
But then you have experts like, Jeffrey Raber P.h.d, that claim the difference between indica and sativa is simply morphology, and that there is no difference in the highs.
Well, which one is it?
Do the fancy names and classifications matter?
Let’s take a look at indica vs sativa vs hybrid to find out.
What Is Indica?
Indica plants are use to growing in much harsher environments than their sativa counterparts.
Having to adapt to the cold and turbulent conditions of the kush mountain regions, indica evolved to be dense, short and stubby.
They also evolved to produce thick THC resin to help protect itself from its environment.
Indicas also naturally have high levels of CBD, making them a favorite of many looking for a pain-killing cannabis strain.
What Is Sativa?
The scraggly cousin of indica, sativa, is different from indica, not only in appearance but also in the effects it has on your body, its THC to CBD ratios, cannabinoids and terpenes.
Sativa is often paired with coffee thanks to its naturally uplifting properties.
The plants grow to be tall and lean with leaves that have a thinner face, very much unlike the typical indica marijuana leaf you see plastered all over bongs and grinders at festivals.
The Difference Between Indica and Sativa
There are two camps when it comes to the differences between indica and sativa: those who boldly claim that all indica and sativa give you a certain high and those starting to test and see if it boils down to more than just the different species of the same genus.
After all, some sativa cannabis can give you the “indica” high, and the same goes vice versa.
But we’ll dive more into this research in just a bit.
For now, let’s take a look at the differences that we know.
First named in 1785 by, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, Indica was named after where the plants were collected—India.
I briefly mentioned earlier that indica evolved in the kush mountains.
More specifically, it grew wild in the areas between 30° and 50° latitudes.
This climate is susceptible to intense, cold winter and warm summers.
Sativa was named earlier than indica, 1753, and was first thought to be the only species of cannabis.
It originates from areas that are between 0° and 30° latitudes.
Namely, equatorial regions of Mexico, Colombia, Thailand and Southeast Asia.
Being subject to the harsh heat of these areas, sativa evolved to be long and lanky to conserve water.
Thankfully, you don’t have to do chemical composition tests to tell the species apart.
You can easily tell the difference between indica and sativa by their leaf shape.
Indica leaves are broad and thicker.
More akin to the prototypical marijuana leaf you see everywhere.
Sativa leaves, on the other hand, are skinny and scraggly like the rest of the plant.
You won’t have any luck using this method to identify a hybrid, though.
They can have a mix of the two or one or the other.
Sativa vs Indica High
The biggest reason we want to compare the two most important cannabis genus is to help get the kind of high or symptom relief we are looking for.
And, while the debate is still ongoing about whether it’s the species of the plant or the terpenes/cannabinoid make up of a plant that determines this, we can still look at the ways we commonly categorize the two different plants.
Cannabis indica will generally give you a more relaxed, body high.
The calm, sedating effects are ideal for when you’re looking to chill out after a long day, binge-watch Netflix or sleep.
It’s also known to enhance sensations such as sound, taste and touch.
Sativas tend to be more of a cerebral, energized high that can lead to an increase in creativity and a more psychedelic high.
This high is perfect for anyone looking to smoke early in the day without feeling like a zombie the rest of the day.
It’s also a great high for reading, writing and making art.
Just wanted to drop another disclaimer here before we look at the symptoms a particular genus can help with.
The result will vary from strain to strain, and this should just be used as a general guideline to help you in the right direction.
As a muscle relaxer
Headaches and migraines
As an energy boost
Mood disorders such as depression
Mild aches and pains
Which one has more THC?
Now, thanks to the advancement in breeding were able to achieve cannabis plants with up to 51% THC.
But what about when we just look at pure strains?
Well, one study has, and they found that, on average, indica strains tend to be significantly higher in not only THC but CBD as well.
The big flaw with this study is that it only looked at six different strains.
Leafy.com has over 720 indica strains and 1177 sativa strains as of 2017, and the number is only going to keep on growing.
We need a bigger picture and thanks to data that’s being collected by cannabis testing labs I’m sure we’ll get it.
The Differences in Growing
Where you are really able to tell the difference between indica and sativa is when you are growing them side by side.
Never will you be able to see such definitive differences.
Indica vs Sativa Buds
Indica buds are dense, and they also tend to condense themselves in clusters around the nodes.
The buds internodal gaps are almost non-existent.
Indica buds are known for being the buds with the strongest odor too.
With sativa buds, It’s pretty common to have a reddish hue when grown in warm environments and purple when grown in colder climates.
They also are far more spread out on the branches.
You can expect them to weigh less than indica after drying because they are less dense buds.
Indica strains are the best cannabis strains to grow indoors.
Commonly growing to be 3 to 6 feet tall they make the perfect plant for closets or grow tents that have a defined ceiling.
You can grow Sativa indoors, but be prepared to fight it and do some extensive plant training.
Believe it or not, sativa cannabis can grow up to 20 feet tall.
Many breeders like to mix indica into sativa strains to try and tame this height.
Flowering Time & Yield Size
Indica cannabis has a much faster flowering time than sativa coming in at between 8 to 9 weeks.
This is even faster than autoflowering plants that are usually around ten weeks.
It’s not just the fast flowering time that makes indica a favorite of many growers.
They also boast larger yields.
Sativa plants will usually flower between 12 to 14 weeks making them the longest flowering species of all.
The fact that most sativa plants take longer to grow and yields less has made breeders insert some of those traits into indica strains to get a better-growing plant while maintaining a sativa high.
And that brings us to our next topic—hybrids.
What is a Hybrid Strain?
Hybrid strains aren’t new to the cannabis scene.
As master breeders began the search for the perfect cannabis, they started to selectively pick traits from various indica and sativa strains creating hybrids of the two.
Hybrids can fall into any of three categories:
Hybrids can be the best of both worlds.
Let’s look at one of the most popular hybrid strains of all time—Blue Dream.
Blue Dream is a sativa-dominant strain forged from mixing Blueberry indica with sativa Haze.
This combination gives you a relaxed body while also giving you a light head high—creating a perfect, calm euphoria.
A hybrid strain like this can provide quick symptom relief all while avoiding the sedative side effects.
Popular Hybrid Strains
Hybrids are a lot of smokers favorite because you can blend the many effects from different cannabinoid profiles.
Here are some of the most popular hybrid strains:
Although there’s a lot of strains with no rhyme or reason to their names, a lot of indica strains take up the moniker, Kush, after the Kush Mountains from which they were born.
Here are a few of the popular Indica strains:
Sativa strains are all over the place with their names.
The only real common thread you’ll see is that a lot are named haze (I’m not sure why, if you do let me know!).
Here are a few of the most popular sativa strains:
Alaskan Thunder Fuck
What are Ruderalis?
Wait, there is a third species of cannabis?
Ruderalis is never talked about thanks to its low THC levels.
But, it’s thanks to them and breeding that we’ve made huge strides in growing cannabis.
First identified in 1924, cannabis ruderalis was discovered in southern Siberia by the botanist, Janiszewski.
While studying cannabis, he happened across these plants that showed a more weedy growth compared to other strains.
This new species was smaller than the others—hardly ever growing taller than two feet.
And it reached flowering much quicker than either indica or sativa—only 5-7 weeks after seed.
Sativa and indica lean on a photoperiod to determine when it starts flowering, while ruderalis depends solely on the maturity of the plant.
This means while you can keep an indica or sativa plant in vegetative stage indefinitely by keeping your grow lights on long cycles, ruderalis will ignore the light cycle completely and start flowering.
Master growers have taken advantage of this to create autoflowering seeds that dramatically reduce the time it takes to harvest a particular strain.
More weed in less time is never a bad thing.
It’s not just the flowering time breeders use ruderalis for.
They are hardy and shorter than the other species, so they are often used to help curb the crazy heights of sativa.
But, that’s not all ruderalis is good for.
While they may be low in THC, they make up for it in CBD.
Some medical cannabis users grow ruderalis for the CBD, and some breeders use this genetic trait to create CBD heavy strains.
When it comes to indica vs sativa a lot is still unknown.
We need more studies done on the different effects of the two, so we can provide a better experience for recreational users and better medical care for medical users.
Hopefully, with states legalizing marijuana, we will start to see real progress made that will tell us if it’s the strains or the cannabinoids and terpenes that we need to focus our attention on to make the best cannabis we can.
Did I miss any differences between indica and sativa?
Can you tell the difference in highs?
If so, let me know in the comments below!
Sourced from www.thcoverdose.com