Whenever someone starts to say that they don’t like sativas, I want to interrupt them, “Shut up. Yes, you do.”
Too many people love to say they hate sativas and that it makes them anxious. Take a look:
But it’s time we add some true context to that conversation — or else people will continue writing off an entire third of the weed types out there. Probably more when you really get into genetics.
So gather round the fire, kiddos; it’s time to talk about sativas and why you probably do like them.
Sativa, indica, and hybrid refer to the morphology of a cannabis plant. Cannabis sativa plants grow tall and lanky with long, fluffy flowers, cannabis indica plants grow short and bulky with thick dense flowers, and hybrids fall somewhere in between. Though the cannabis industry uses these plant species as a one-to-one system between strains and effects, these are truly just classifications of plants based on the way they grow, where they grow, and the structure of their flowers.
Most modern sativas can be traced back to the original Haze and Skunk genetics, which can then be traced back to landrace strains from all over the world. Sativas grew in the Middle East, Mexico, Africa — sativas grew everywhere.
Those genetics went on to be crossed with all kinds of Afghani, Northern Lights, and other indica genetics from all over the globe, and that’s exactly why most of the cannabis strains on shelves today are some form of hybrid. We started crossing strains in the search for perfection and never stopped.
Chances are you’ve smoked plenty of sativas and enjoyed them. With most products being hybrids, it’s just impossible to avoid them. When you smoke with people at a social function, you don’t ask for strain names (much less a certificate of analysis), you just smoke the weed and go. I guarantee you’ve hit some strange sativa in the wild, and I bet, not once, have you ever regretted it.
OG Kush is a sativa-dominant hybrid, as are many Kush strains. Have you written off Kush? GSC is sometimes a sativa-dominant hybrid. Have you written off Cookies? To say that you don’t like sativas ignores how broad the world of cannabis can be.
The cannabis shopping experience is why so many people only think of sativas as upper, hyper strains that may make you feel racy and anxious. And indicas are deemed super sleepy strains that will be stronger and better because they pack the hardest punch. The shopping experience is all about getting customers in and out of the door in the fastest time possible, which leaves very little room to educate consumers on the nuance of sativa cannabis strains. From there, customers unwittingly move on with misinformation, and end up writing off the entire realm of sativa strains forever.
It’s silly to write off cannabis strains because the effects of cannabis do not solely come down to plant type. Nothing about this plant is 1:1. We love cannabis strains because you can walk into a store and choose whichever feeling you want to feel. Those feelings are exclusive to only a third of the products you see.
If you want to feel sleepy, there are sativa strains that can make you feel sleepy. If you want to feel relaxed, there are sativa strains that can make you feel relaxed. If you want to feel hungry, there are sativa strains that can make you feel hungry.
Sure, there are plenty of sativas out there like Jack Herer that may make you feel super energized, and if you’re a naturally anxious person, then their cerebral effects may be too much for you. But in the end, those effects are not to be blamed solely on a plant growing tall and fluffy. Instead, that all comes down to a plant’s genetics and chemical makeup i.e. a strain’s parents, cannabinoids, and terpenes. Educate yourself on these, and you’ll learn to shop past classification, opening your options to the entire world of weed.
Three common sativas that perfectly illustrate why you can’t shop for effects solely by plant type are: Tangie, Candyland, and Lemon G. They all provide various experiences, dependent mostly upon how much of them you smoke.
Tangie comes from a mix of California Orange and Skunk genetics. Skunk genetics are known for producing funky plants with heavy-hitting effects, so it’s easy to see why Tangie sometimes defies the one-size-fits-all nature of sativa classification.
Smoke it initially and you’ll feel euphoric and uplifted, ready for the world. Hit another sesh, and suddenly that energy will turn into a lazy, stoned feeling that makes you want to chill. Keep smoking it, and your eyelids are going to need a 1-2 hour break from work.
Candyland is another strain that can produce a wide spectrum of effects dependent on phenotype, consumption method, and dosage. Candyland was created by crossing the heavily sedative Granddaddy Purple with a Platinum GSC varietal, and the result gives us a plant that will absolutely lay you down if you smoke too much of it. Otherwise, it may bring you the perfect balance of relaxed euphoria and creative focus. Most consumers report the effects as happy, energetic, and relaxed. Realize that they mean all at once.
Lemon G is a third example of sativa cannabis strains that can provide a variety of effects. The name alone might be enough to scare off the no-thanks-sativas crowd, because many lemon strains and also strains high in limonene produce uplifting and energetic effects. Lemon G, however, can be very potent and provide a long-lasting euphoric sensation that pairs great with social activities.
Overall, the point is that you should not write-off cannabis strains because they’re on one side of a dispensary. It’s important to educate yourself on the types of cannabis strain and the genetics they come from. From there, you’ll be able to guide yourself towards the cannabis strains you’re supposed to be smoking. If you don’t, you’ll keep writing off thousands of weed strains that could ultimately provide the effects and experience you truly seek.
Find hundreds of strains and where to buy them on Weedmaps Strains.
Featured image by Dre Hudson/Weedmaps