There is such a wide variety of Cannabis strains available on the market, and knowing where to start off as a beginner grower or someone new to the Cannabis culture can be tricky. Having a good understanding of what to expect in terms of plant characteristics and effect will allow you to better decide which is best for you, and which effects are most preferable to your liking. Below is explained the different types of Cannabis from indica, sativa and hybrid covering all you need to know.
Indica Cannabis Plant Characteristics
Indicas are known for their low profile, easability to grow, short and squat nature and high resilience to challenging climates. They will grow with a thick fingered fan leaf that can grow with claw like characteristics. Full blooded indicas may need the leaves pruning in some cases to allow light to enter. Internodal spacing will be short and the plants during the 18/6 phase will stay very low and squat. Indicas are an excellent choice for growers who are limited with space and must be careful when flowering plants that stretch excessively tall.
There will be one main central cola with a large number of side branches, that can be described as a Christmas tree shape. Thanks to the uniform and homogenous nature of indica Cannabis, it is recommended to grow them closely together in a Sea of Green formation in order to maximise yields. Another great thing about Indica strains are they will flower around 7-8 weeks and may lean to 9 weeks in some cases. Growers who choose to rotate crops in a Sea of Green will find Indica cultivars to work best, because of their uniform growth pattern, high resistance to plant disease and low maintenance factor.
The flowers will be small, compact and shaped like golf balls. They will have a hard to squeeze biomass and will be light work when it comes to trimming. The terpene profile typically associated is pungent, earthy, musky, peppery spices. Of course some cultivars are extremely fruity, however generally the more old school original profiles will resemble the earthy scale.
When it comes to potency and physical effect, Indica varieties will certainly deliver. Fast acting and heavy bodied, indicas are well suited for relaxing after a long day, unwinding and for medical patients in search of therapeutic relief from aches, pains, insomnia and anxiety.
After smoking indica Cannabis, you may feel completely unmotivated, and extremely chilled out. A burning sensation will begin around the eyes making them feel heavy and sleepy. Not long after your legs and arms and entire upper body will go into a deeper state of heaviness.
Top Tips For Growing Indica Varieties
- Prune fan that are blocking lower growth leaves during the vegetative growth phase. By removing the stubborn fan leaves, you will improve light intensity, air flow and deter insects and pests from harbouring in that area.
- Indica work superbly in a Sea of Green set up, meaning grow a large number of plants closely together, provide a short vegetative period under 18/6 and flower a large number of smaller sized plants.
Sativa Cannabis Plant Characteristics
Known for growing the opposite of Indica, these tall, thin serrated leafy plants will grow vigorously and with large internodal spacing. Sativa varieties can be very demanding in terms of canopy control, plant height, flowering time and expense with nutrients and electricity. Best suited for growers with previous experience or hands on experience with a full blooded sativa that can exceed 2 metres tall and take up to 84 days before harvesting.
Growers can expect plants to grow much taller and wider than indica during the 18/6 cycle, so it is advised to train plants during the growth stage to enhance yields, as well as reduce plant height and support side branches prior to blooming commencing. Sativas are ideal for Screen of Green which can be a huge help in directing each branch to a certain area, ensuring that the entire plant receives full light intensity.
The bud structure can be described as elongated, with calyxes stacking up on one another. The flowers are very large in size and when dried will have incredible bag appeal due to their light but compact characteristics. The terpene profile typically associated with sativas can range from earthy, spiced old Haze to the modern day fruity, citrus and floral lines.
A totally cerebral experience that is long lasting and can keep you in a deep state of thought. There is no physical effect and some racey old school sativa land races are euphoric, energetic and can creep on with anxiety in some cases. Sativas work great for smoking from morning through the day without any sleepy effects or lack of focus or commitment. Medical patients will find Sativas useful at relieving feelings of nausea and sickness, low energy, lack of motivation and feeling of depression.
Top Tips For Growing Sativa Varieties
- Make sure that you have the grow space, nutrients, experience and most importantly patience to grow a long flowering sativa strain. It can be difficult to tame a vigorous sativa and easy to become disheartened along the way.
- Applying plant training during 18/6 such as low stress training and pruning will allow your plant to focus her energy on top heavy buds without any wispy lower buds. Working with a screen above the plant (SCROG) will improve canopy control much better.
Hybrid Cannabis Plant Characteristics
The result of crossing an indica and sativa together will be a strain that expresses the best traits of both parents. In some cases the outcome may be more expressive of indica or sativa dominance, however when the desired traits are enhanced this is what is known as hybrid vigour.
Hybrid Cannabis will usually flower between 8-10 weeks and will express a full range of terpenes, growth structure and bud appearance. Generally hybrids are best suited for plant training and will not be too much on the short side or tall and lanky like sativas. Hybrids will grow with medium sized internodal spacing and will stretch but not too aggressively once timers are switched to 12/12.
Hybrids can be enjoyed as a well balanced effect that is not too racey in the mind, or heavy bodies and narcotic. Users will find hybrids alert, focused and can be used from morning until night. Medical patients may find hybrids a good way to improve mood, appetite, motivation and are great for social scenarios.
Top Tips For Growing Hybrid Cannabis
- Well recommended for beginner growers, or those with intermediate level experience. Hybrids can often be the easiest to grow and will display a fine mix of indica and sativa heritage.
Autoflowering Cannabis Plant Characteristics
Growers can expect autoflowering hybrids to range between 70-140cm in height, depending on the variety, climate, pot size and time of year being grown. As the name suggests, these strains of Cannabis do not require a set photoperiod like indica, sativa or hybrid phototropic do, and will flower under whatever light regime they receive.
Breeding has allowed us to get to a point where it is not possible to grow the exact same genetic when in phototropic form, to now being to grow them outdoors for most of the year. Autoflowering strains require very little maintenance and are widely popular in South America and throughout Europe thanks to their high levels of practicality and stealth nature.
Top Tips For Growing Autoflowering Varieties
- Planting autoflowering seeds into large sized pots will encourage plants to grow taller. If you are growing on a terrace or balcony then it is a good idea to keep the plants low and growing closely together.
- Do not re-pot or transplant autos once they have begun growing. prefer to be left in the same pot and to spend the time producing roots and flowers. Transplanting will only cause growth to cease during a pinnacle time.