Even if you are only vaguely aware of the ongoing debate among scientists regarding whether there is only one species of cannabis or several, you've probably heard the consensus that there are two basic strains of marijuana to choose from: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Experts agree that cannabis originates from central Asia, and there is no doubt in the differences of appearance and effects produced between sativa and indica varieties. Here we will examine the specific aspects that help us differentiate between sativa and indica species.

An annual plant of the Cannabaceae family, Cannabis sativa was classified in 1753 by biologist Carl Linnaeus. Cannabis sativa has been cultivated throughout our recorded history as a rich source of food, fiber, and medicine, with each part of this wonder-plant being harvested differently according to its use. Unlike Cannabis indica, sativa varieties typically produce high levels of Cannabidiol (CBD) rather than the psychoactive and intoxicating Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

Preliminary research has found the effects of CBD to be wide-ranging, including sedative, anti-anxiety, anti-psychotic, anti-arthritic, anti-nausea, and anti-convulsive properties. CBD-rich sativa strains are non-psychoactive and will typically give you a more stimulating, vivid, and energetic experience that makes them a fine choice for daytime use. You may want to choose a sativa strain if you want to avoid anxiety over the more psychoactive effects of THC-dominant indica varieties.

Any Cannabis sativa plants you grow yourself will do best outside as they can reach heights of up to 20 feet, and they prefer warm, tropical climates with a humid atmosphere. Prepare for taller, thinner plants that will take almost twice as long to mature as indica varieties. The leaves and flowers will also look different, with sativa strains featuring long, thin foliage and long, cylindrical buds in opposition to stocky, dense indica varieties.

You should remember that each variety will affect each consumer differently and that due to expansive cross-breeding practices, the levels of THC and CBD in any plant will differ not only by strain but also by the grower. Scientists warn us against such a simple division "sativa vs. indica" when the truth is so much more complex.

Cannabis Sativa Is Composed of Different Chemical Constituents

The chemical constituents of Cannabis represent almost all of the chemical classes, for example, hydrocarbons, sugars, terpenes, steroids, flavonoids, nitrogenous compounds and amino acids. In 1980, 423 natural compounds were identified in Cannabis sativa, 483 in 1995 and 489 in 2005. Out of 489 compounds, 70 were known as cannabinoids which are further classified into 100 categories, including Cannabigerol type (7), Cannabichromene type (5), Cannabidiol type (7), Δ9-trans-Tetrahydrocannabinol type (9), Δ8-trans-Tetrahydrocannabinol type (2), Cannabicyclol type (3), Cannabielsoin type (5), Cannabinol type (7),

In 1980, 423 natural compounds were identified in Cannabis sativa, 483 in 1995 and 489 in 2005. Out of 489 compounds, 70 were known as cannabinoids which are further classified into 100 categories, including Cannabigerol type (7), Cannabichromene type (5), Cannabidiol type (7), Δ9-trans-Tetrahydrocannabinol type (9), Δ8-trans-Tetrahydrocannabinol type (2), Cannabicyclol type (3), Cannabielsoin type (5), Cannabinol type (7), Cannabinodiol type (2), Cannabitriol type (9) and Miscellaneous types (14). Besides cannabinoids, the other constituents identified are proteins, enzymes, simple acids, fatty acids, simple esters, lactones, simple ketones, non-cannabinoid phenols, pigments, flavonoids, and vitamins. Considered to be the main biologically active constituents of the Cannabis plant, cannabinoids are said to trigger the majority of biological activities attributed to Cannabis.

Besides cannabinoids, the other constituents identified are proteins, enzymes, simple acids, fatty acids, simple esters, lactones, simple ketones, non-cannabinoid phenols, pigments, flavonoids, and vitamins. Considered to be the main biologically active constituents of the Cannabis plant, cannabinoids are said to trigger the majority of biological activities attributed to Cannabis.

The parts that are consumed include the leaf, shoot, and seed. It is used in the form of grain and in roasted mode. Seeds are sometimes used raw or cooked. It can also be dried and eaten as a condiment or made into cakes. The seed contains about 27.1% protein, 25.6% fat, 7.4% carbohydrate and 6.1% ash, while the leaves contain 0.215% carotene and used in soup.

Cannabis Sativa Is a Popular Plant Species

Commonly known as marijuana, cannabis sativa might just be the most famous plant species on the planet. Even though numerous people have ignored this mysterious, yet beneficial and beautiful plant, cannabis has received overwhelming attention from others. Richard E. Schultes, the founding father of ethnobotany, believes that cannabis has always deserved more recognition than it actually receives ever since humans have been using the plant for 10, 000 years or more. Of course, its importance and popularity vary across the different regions and countries of the world. Author Barney Warf describes in a report how the cannabis originated in Asia and eventually spread to the United States and America. Ever since it was found, this intoxicating resin has been subject to ambivalent opinions. While it is illegal in some countries, yet in other countries, the use of cannabis

Author Barney Warf describes in a report how the cannabis originated in Asia and eventually spread to the United States and America. Ever since it was found, this intoxicating resin has been subject to ambivalent opinions. While it is illegal in some countries, yet in other countries, the use of cannabis sativa is positively tolerated and welcomed. Countries like Canada, Belgium, Colombia, and Afghanistan among others prohibit the use and sale of cannabis. In Austria, it is legal to possess up to five grams of cannabis as of January 2016.

On the other hand, in South Africa, exciting developments are taking place concerning the legalization of cannabis lately. The Western Cape High Court has just ruled that Cannabis prohibition in South Africa is unconstitutional, thus legalizing the use, growth or possession of cannabis on private property. The South African government was allowed 24 months to amend the previous laws in favor of legalization. South Africa is one of the many examples that prove the growing scale and importance of cannabis in the world. After a roller-coaster ride through the ages, cannabis continues to attract increasing attention in the modern society. Marijuana, hemp, Mary Jane, chanvre, canamo, konopli, Kanf are all the different names give to Cannabis.

Cannabis Sativa Has Many Health Benefits

Marijuana is subject to numerous misconceptions and confusion. There is disagreement on some basic issues, such as how the cannabis plant grows, how it interacts with the body, where it comes from and how long it has been in use. No matter these delusions, the fact remains that cannabis has many health benefits and can be used to treat a range of illnesses and symptoms. Rich in THC, cannabis sativa is used for both medicinal and recreational consumption. Smoked, vaped, inhaled or ingested in foods or teas, marijuana engenders many long-term advantages that are beyond the scope of any research.

Cannabis Sativa Has Medicinal Properties

Marijuana has been the source of a medicinal drug for centuries. The plant was used as a medicine prior to the development of modern science. The same psychotropic properties (the famous THC) for which Cannabis was banned make the plant suitable to treat numerous diseases. Moreover, the potential benefits of Cannabis far outweigh its psychotropic properties. In the 1800s, Marijuana enjoyed a brief period of popularity as a medicinal herb in Europe and the United States. The magical plant was prescribed for treating various conditions such as menstrual cramps, asthma, cough, insomnia, birth labor, migraine, throat infection and withdrawal from opiate use. However, Cannabis was removed from the register of medicines in the early 20th century due to dosage problems, leading to no effect at all or adverse effects. In the last 20 years, the plant gained increasing international focus when traditional first line drugs proved to be ineffective.

Marijuana Treats Glaucoma

The idea that Marijuana helps in treating glaucoma dates back to the 1970s. Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that can result in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma affects nearly 5.5 million people each year. According to the America Glaucoma Society, the main way to treat glaucoma is to lower intraocular pressure (IOP). A research conducted by the National Eye Institute shows that when smoked, marijuana lowers intraocular pressure in people with normal pressure and with glaucoma. Isolated cannabinoids and synthetic cannabinoids can lower IOP when administered orally, intravenously or by smoking.

Cannabis Sativa Cures Epilepsy and Seizures

The researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University found that the ingredients in marijuana play a critical role in controlling spontaneous seizures in epilepsy. It is a condition of recurrent, unprovoked seizures that may have resulted from a hereditary tendency or an unknown brain injury. The use of cannabis for seizure control was described long ago by Arabic writer – al-Mayusi and medical practitioners in the 1800s. In a study by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, cannabis was reported to produce a marked improvement in seizure control in a 45-year-old cerebral palsy patient, epileptic since the latter was 18 years old. The patient's screaming seizures ceased, but with no change to conventional medication provided he smoked cannabis each evening at bed time. His daytime partial seizures and tonic-clonic convulsions were also significantly reduced.

Cannabis Is Used in the Treatment of Cancer

Recent studies demonstrate a number of therapeutic applications of cannabis as a potential anticancer agent. It is proven that the active components of Cannabis sativa, the cannabinoids mimic the effects of the endogenous cannabinoids, activating specific cannabinoid receptors notably CB1 and CB2 found in cells involved with the functioning of the immune system. Cannabinoids play an active role in regulating key cell signaling pathways that are involved in cell survival, invasion, angiogenesis and metastasis. As a matter of fact, Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, the main bio-active cannabinoid in the plant has been prescribed as an approved medication for treatment of cancer chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting and anorexia associated with the AIDS wasting syndrome.

Cannabis Is Prevalent in Therapeutic Arabic Medicine

Arab scientists were ahead of our current knowledge of the curative power of Cannabis sativa. The plant's medicinal use was adopted by these scientists from the cultures of the Ancient World, having been used for over thousand years as a textile and medicine in Arabia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, China, India and Europe. Used in the treatment of ear diseases, cannabis seed oil relieves earache caused by the cold and moisture in the organ. Traditional Arabic and Islamic Medicine (TAIM) is part of modern life in the Middle East and is acquiring worldwide respect and attention. TAIM has shown remarkable results in healing acute as well as chronic diseases and it is the first choice for many in dealing with ailments such as infertility, psychosomatic troubles, and depression.

Cannabis Sativa Will Stay

Cannabis plants can be found almost everywhere in the world, making global levels of cannabis cultivation and production difficult to estimate. It is by far one of the most widely used drugs. Despite the prohibitions and negative opinions towards the plant, it is here to stay, whether it is legal or illegal.