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  • The Autoflower Conversational

    Today's Topic:

    1. Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis - Is it all BS?

    Come give us your thoughts, we want to hear from you!
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Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis - Is it all BS?

Son of Hobbes

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The taxonomy of cannabis has been improperly classified for a long time apparently.


"Since the 1970s, cannabis has been divided into three sub-species (often confused as different species), C. indica, C. sativa, C. ruderalis, with ruderalis largely being considered ‘wild cannabis,’ not fit for medicinal or recreational uses. A common lay-persons distinction is between marijuana, which is bred for high cannabinoid content, and hemp, which is bred for industrial uses like fiber.

Any of the three subspecies can be bred as a hemp or marijuana plant. John McPartland, a researcher affiliated with GW Pharmaceuticals, presented a study at the 2014 meeting of the International Cannabis Research Society, proposing a new nomenclature for cannabis. The original report on O’Shaughnessy’s contains more information than I can reproduce here, and has a wonderful chart; it is definitely worth your time to read.

It seems Richard Evans Schultes, the man who created the original taxonomy for cannabis in the 1970s, misidentified a C. afghanica plant as a C. indica plant. That one mistake began 40 years of confusion which has only been dispelled by McPartland’s research this year.

McPartland was the first researcher to look at the genetic markers on the three subspecies of cannabis using the plant’s genome to conclusively identify where it originated. He also proved conclusively that they are all the same species, just different subspecies. As it turns out, C. sativa should have been identified as C. indica, because it originated in India (hence indica). C. indica should have been identified as C. afghanica, because it actually originated in Afghanistan. Finally, it seems that C. ruderalis is actually what people mean when they refer to C. sativa."



In Colorado, medical dispensaries are starting to focus on terpenes and cannabinoids versus "just THC." Cresco Labs (and there was a study done by a university in Spain as well, I have the link somewhere in my bookmarks) state the difference between sativa and indica is literally the presence/lack-of and concentration of the terpene Myrcene.

"Myrcene, the most common terpene in cannabis, is known to help patients sleep, battling conditions like anxiety and insomnia. If present in a specific strain in a volume greater than 0.5 percent, the strain is considered an indica. If the amount of myrcene is under one half of one percent, then the strain is deemed a sativa."

High myrcene? Couch lock.
Low myrcene? Less couch lock, more room for all the other crazy shit cannabinoids and other terpenes play part in.

Further, I've seen multiple lab techs in Colorado state that CONSUMING negates the notion of sativa/indica completely (basically consumption creates a universal-high feeling) because of the way it metabolizes in your liver. If that's true, there is no difference between a sativa edible versus an indica edible (other than marketing to sell the product.)

What do you think, AFN?
 

Archaic

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I've always felt like the distinction between indica and sativa was mostly artificial, having as much to do with regional distinction in soil and climate as any genetic varience.

Ruderalis probably is a separate subspecies based on a lot more differences in morphology and photo behavior.

There is more mythology among cannabis growers than any subculture I've ever seen.
 

oldnewbdude

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Considering how bad we butchered the taxonomy of many other species before DNA and genomics techniques were developed, I figured cannabis was probably the same. I've long suspected they were one species, especially since they are so easily interbred. The differences in cannabis varieties may appear quite significant at first but anatomically and morphologically they are pretty much identical. The differences observed between them is likely caused as much by human cultivation and artificial selection as it is from geographically different originations.
 

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You have the same kind of arguments with domestic dogs. Some say that canis familaris is a separate species that is kind of a cousin to the gray wolf and others say that the name should be canis lupus familiaris And that it and the gray wolf are actually either the same animal or sibling sub species. Now if that wasn’t confusing enough think about this. A Chihuahua and a great Dane are the same animal, be it species or sub species. Like with cannabis strains, over the last few hundred years, selective breeding has created hundreds of bizarre dog breeds. So if the dog world is any indication, we may never have any kind of agreement on this whole cannabis thing. LOL
 

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The breeding part Is interesting, but you have to make sure that plants of the same genus but not species can breed and be fertile as is the case with some of the animals like the various horse like species where you get a useful but sterile offspring like a mule or is he dunIs interesting, but you have to make sure that plants of the same genus but not species can’t breathe and be fertile leg is the case with some of the animals like the various horse like species where you get a useful or merely interesting, but sterile offspring like a mule or a zedonk
 
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slowandeasy

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The taxonomy of cannabis has been improperly classified for a long time apparently.


"Since the 1970s, cannabis has been divided into three sub-species (often confused as different species), C. indica, C. sativa, C. ruderalis, with ruderalis largely being considered ‘wild cannabis,’ not fit for medicinal or recreational uses. A common lay-persons distinction is between marijuana, which is bred for high cannabinoid content, and hemp, which is bred for industrial uses like fiber.

Any of the three subspecies can be bred as a hemp or marijuana plant. John McPartland, a researcher affiliated with GW Pharmaceuticals, presented a study at the 2014 meeting of the International Cannabis Research Society, proposing a new nomenclature for cannabis. The original report on O’Shaughnessy’s contains more information than I can reproduce here, and has a wonderful chart; it is definitely worth your time to read.

It seems Richard Evans Schultes, the man who created the original taxonomy for cannabis in the 1970s, misidentified a C. afghanica plant as a C. indica plant. That one mistake began 40 years of confusion which has only been dispelled by McPartland’s research this year.

McPartland was the first researcher to look at the genetic markers on the three subspecies of cannabis using the plant’s genome to conclusively identify where it originated. He also proved conclusively that they are all the same species, just different subspecies. As it turns out, C. sativa should have been identified as C. indica, because it originated in India (hence indica). C. indica should have been identified as C. afghanica, because it actually originated in Afghanistan. Finally, it seems that C. ruderalis is actually what people mean when they refer to C. sativa."



In Colorado, medical dispensaries are starting to focus on terpenes and cannabinoids versus "just THC." Cresco Labs (and there was a study done by a university in Spain as well, I have the link somewhere in my bookmarks) state the difference between sativa and indica is literally the presence/lack-of and concentration of the terpene Myrcene.

"Myrcene, the most common terpene in cannabis, is known to help patients sleep, battling conditions like anxiety and insomnia. If present in a specific strain in a volume greater than 0.5 percent, the strain is considered an indica. If the amount of myrcene is under one half of one percent, then the strain is deemed a sativa."

High myrcene? Couch lock.
Low myrcene? Less couch lock, more room for all the other crazy shit cannabinoids and other terpenes play part in.

Further, I've seen multiple lab techs in Colorado state that CONSUMING negates the notion of sativa/indica completely (basically consumption creates a universal-high feeling) because of the way it metabolizes in your liver. If that's true, there is no difference between a sativa edible versus an indica edible (other than marketing to sell the product.)

What do you think, AFN?
I have been saying for 20+ year that the major difference is Sativa vs Indica is Terpene based. Obviously if we look at the natural environment a True Sativa is mostly grown in more tropical like climates. The plants tend to adapt to the elements to survive. An Indica based strain would have higher chance of Mold in a Sativa like climate. Also, Sativa strains tend to have a more Citrus based Terpene profile vs a Musty or Earthy based Terpene profile. These Terpenes aid in the effects that we experience. Like Armoatherapy. Citrus based smells tend to make us feel more alert and energized. Earthy smells tend to calm us down. My body can tell the difference between a heavy Indica and a Heavy Sativa. A true Indica will make me feel tired most of the time at night, especially if consuming a decent amount. On the contrary true Sativas do tend to give me Insomia and energy. However we slso have to factor in Harvest times and Trichomes. I am a firm.believer that Autos Trichomes effect you differrntly than Photos. Meaning, Autos are at their peak potency for a shorter peiod of time thsn most Photos and degrade at a faster rate thsn most photos IMO. I believe Autos peak potency is when little to no Amber is visable, along with peak terpene levels. Once Amber starts on Autos, i feel the smells and effects change rspidly compared to Photos. Further promoting my theory that Terpenes play a key role in Effects and potency. Peace, slow
 

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In the 1970's everything I had access to was Mexican, Colombian and once Hawaiian I got direct from the island. Those were all considered Sativa. Except for the Hawaiian, all the weed I smoked in those days had seeds.

Now, every thing I have smoked or grown is seedless so far as I either used feminized seeds or destroyed the male plants when using regular seeds. Everything I have grown has been advertised as hybrids or indicas.

For the most part I get high by smoking very little. The plants I grow give me nice yields and frosty buds and sugar leaves and is some of the best looking and smelling weed I have ever had.

But....it never gives me the same high when smoked that I always experienced back in the 1970's and 1980's when I use to get the seedy Mexican and Colombian weed common in those days. The weed of those days was more psychoactive in its effects on me. I actually had hallucinations, paranoia, couch lock where you couldn't move at all, time lapses.

I don't experience any of that with medical dispensary weed I have been given or anything I have grown. Even when letting a plant grow longer than usual.

I have been able to get that effect when I have made edibles though. But since the marijuana has to be metabolized first when ingested as an edible, it takes 30 minutes to two hours before it hits me versus seconds or minutes by smoking where it goes directly into the bloodstream to the brain.

In my opinion, that gives me the feeling that the post above holds more than a grain of truth. Any weed I consume in edibles gives me the same effects that 1970's Sativas did. All those different types of weeds I smoked and liked in the 1970's and 1980's were grown under natural sunlight in Southern latitudes, warmer climates and even when full of seeds seemed more psychoactive than today's high THC strains.
 
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Son of Hobbes

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Here's another great article about myrcene and how it's being related to indica and sativa:
 

The^Dude

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I’ve got a strain from grower’s choice, AK, that is very happy and uplifting when you smoke it. I’ve also got some strains that are pretty sleepy. I made mct oil from the AK and the effects are the same: happy, uplifting, calming. The oil made using the same process from my GG for example is a lot like the buzz from smoking it: kinda heavy, sleepy, body buzz. Maybe if you took it another step and baked it into brownies the buzz would be the same, but in my experience smoked buzz reflects eaten buzz.
 

Son of Hobbes

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Conclusions

The main differences between terpene profiles of the evaluated strains belonging to the two principal biotypes were that ‘mostly indica’ strains were characterized by dominancy of β-myrcene, present in high relative contents, with limonene or α-pinene as second most abundant terpenoid, while ‘mostly sativa’ strains were characterized by more complex terpene profiles, with some strains having α-terpinolene or α-pinene as dominant terpenoid, and some strains having β-myrcene as dominant terpenoid with α-terpinolene or trans-β-ocimene as second most abundant terpenoid.


This wide variability in terpene composition can provide a potential tool for the characterization of Cannabis biotypes, and warrant further researches in order to evaluate the drug’s medical value and, at the same time, to select less susceptible chemotypes to the attack of herbivores and diseases. More detailed studies on the variability in monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes are needed. Breeding for specific terpenoids in plants is a fascinating research topic; in fact, the various biological activities of these compounds make the analysis of terpenoids a valuable tool for improving a considerable number of traits in pharmaceutical and industrial cultivars of Cannabis.


Terpenoids analysis, combined with cannabinoids and flavonoids analyses, are essential for the metabolic fingerprinting of pharmaceutical cultivars. Pharmaceutical cultivars of the two principal biotypes may exhibit distinctive medicinal properties due to significant differences in relative contents of terpenoids, thus the synergy between the various secondary metabolites must be investigated in deeper details in the future in order to better elucidate the phytocomplex of Cannabis and to allow selection of chemotypes with specific medical effects.
 
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