Top Shelf CBD Flower : CBD Indica, CBD Sativa, Or Hybrid?
How To Buy Top Shelf CBD Flower
If you've been looking for smokable hemp flowers, you've probably come across terms like "sativa-dominant," "indica-leaning," or "hybrid," but you might be unsure what they imply. How can a newbie to the smokable flower scene figure out which CBD flowers are best for them? How can you find top shelf CBD flower?
You're not the only one who was stumped by the term "strain." However, we've put together this comprehensive guide to help you learn more about cannabis genetics and select your next batch of hemp buds like an "OG". Pun intended.
All hemp and cannabis plants historically came from landrace strains, which were developed over thousands of years.Landrace strains developed over many hundreds of years and have adapted to environmental factors unique to where the plants were grown, resulting in numerous variations. Cannabis landrace strains are grouped into three categories by botanists: indicas, sativas, and ruderalis.
It is important to note that technically all cannabis began as cannabis indica, originating from the foothills of the Hindu Kush mountain range. In other words, cannabis did not naturally grow all over the world, as it does today. It is only when the cannabis indica plant was taken to warmer, more tropical climates, that cannabis sativa was born.
And likewise after cannabis indica was brought to parts of what is now Russia, that cannabis ruderalis was developed. We will get more in to those variations in a moment.
The Sativa landrace strains originated in Central and South America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Sativa plants, which reach up to 10 feet tall, have thin-fingered leaves with big gaps between nodes. They also typically take much longer to flower than their indica counterparts, as the daylight times in tropical regions are a lot longer than in more northern or southern latitudes.
SATIVA LANDRACE STRAINS:
- Acapulco Gold: Mexico's legendary landrace strain is produced by the state of Guerrero in Mexico, where it hails from. It produces tight nuggets of golden flowers that shimmer with resin. The flavor is sweet and quite unique as far as hemp terpenes are concerned.
- Durban Poison: Durban Poison, a Durbanese strain (South Africa), has a strong herbal scent and spicy flavor owing to its high content of terpinolene.
- Chocolate Thai: In the 1960s counterculture, Southeast Asia's legendary landrace strain was commonly wrapped with bamboo sticks to create a "Thai Stick".
- Lamb’s Bread: One of Bob Marley's favorite strains, this Jamaican landrace is still well-known today, as it is the parent of many hybrid strains like TGA seeds, "Jack The Ripper".
- Panama Red: Early cannabis growers prized the uplifting mood and pine scent of Central American's most beloved landrace strain. Cannabis comedy duo, Cheech and Chong, brought this strain to pop culture.
Indica landrace strains began in the Hindu Kush mountains around Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Nepal. This was where cannabis originated as local plant variety. before traveling the globe. Indica strains are well-known for producing short, bushy plants with broad, dark-green leaves. 'Indica' marijuana plants are shorter and more resinous than 'Sativa,' making them ideal for indoor cultivation and hash production. The famed Nepalese hash is made from locally growing indica plants.
INDICA LANDRACE STRAINS:
- Afghani: The Afghan breed of landrace indicas produces sticky, enormous flower buds that have been used to make traditional "charas" hash for millennia. Fun Fact: It is said that cannabis was found in King Solomons tomb. I wonder what he was smoking on?
- Hindu Kush: Hindu Kush is a popular indica strain because of its soothing effects, earthy flavor, and strong sandalwood scent. It's also known as the "giant" version of Afghani.
- Mazar: Mazar has a sedative effect, the terpenes are of a pine and citrus scent. This variety is native to the wilderness of northern Afghanistan.
- Lashkar Gah: Southern Afghanistan's landrace indica is known for its strong euphoric and sedating effects.
Ruderalis strains thrive in challenging urban environments, particularly in northern Russia and eastern Europe. Because ruderalis plants are typically low in cannabinoids, you won't find them in a hemp flower dispensary. However, breeders will occasionally use ruderalis genes in order to create autoflower strains, cannabis plants which flower regardless of the lighting cycle.
WHAT ARE HYBRID STRAINS?
The word "hybrid" has two meanings in the context of hemp and cannabis. A hybrid is the result of crossing two distinct plant species. Any plant that isn't a landrace in the cannabis world is technically referred to as a hybrid. Hybrids account for the vast majority of hemp flowers available in local or online stores.
Sometimes, when members of the hemp and cannabis industries use the term "hybrid," they typically mean a strain with a near 50:50 balance of indica and sativa genes. This type of hemp flower, sometimes called a "balanced hybrid," is often marketed as such.
SATIVA-DOMINANT, INDICA-LEANING, AND HYBRID STRAINS DIFFERENT? WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE?
There are several significant distinctions between the effects of the three types of hemp flowers, but each one has its own unique characteristics.
CBD SATIVA-DOMINANT HEMP FLOWER STRAINS
Sativa-dominant strains are thought of as energetic, uplifting, artistic, and sociable by most people. Sativa-dominant hemp flowers are excellent for productivity, creativity, and festive celebrations. These hemp strains are ideal "day smokes". Sativa-dominant strains are frequently recommended by cannabis doctors and coaches to assist with conditions including:
- Fatigue/ Low Energy: Sativa-dominant strains have been shown in clinical studies to increase energy levels and accelerate the metabolism.
- Mental Imbalance/Depression: Cannabinol (a component of Cannabis sativa) has antidepressant-like effects, according to a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior.
- ADHD: Many individuals with ADHD reported substantial symptom reduction from moderate cannabis usage, according to studies on the effects of cannabis on people with ADHD.
POPULAR SATIVA-DOMINANT HEMP STRAINS:
- Lifter: One of the first superstar hemp strains, Lifter enhances energy levels and promotes a positive mental outlook.
- Sour Space Candy: The combination of sativa genetics with sweet-tart berry and citrus notes give Sour Space Candy an energetic punch and out-of-this-world flavor.
- Elektra: Hemp flower fans often compare Elektra’s dark chocolate and ripe cherry flavors to a fine red wine.
- Eden: A funky floral/ citrus aroma and uplifting effects characterize this sativa dominant hemp flower.
CBD INDICA-DOMINANT HEMP FLOWER STRAINS
Frequently recommended for evening use, indica-leaning hemp flowers are prized for their potent relaxing and calming effects. The flowers of indica strains are rich sources of myrcene, a terpene renowned for producing feelings of a body buzz, appetite enhancement, and a flushed, warm feeling. Cannabis coaches and Medical Marijauna doctors usually suggest indica strains for conditions such as:
- Stress & Anxiety: The Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine published the results of a study in 2019 that found cannabis use decreased anxiety symptoms for 92%.
- Inflammation/Pain: Rutgers University in New Jersey found that 163 medical marijuana smokers with chronic pain preferred indica strains over all other varieties.
- Digestive issues: HIV and chemotherapy patients have been successfully treated with cannabis for nausea and to increase appetite for years. Indica-dominant strains have been shown to have a strong effect on relieving stomach issues and stimulating the so-called “munchies.”
- Insomnia: A survey revealed that 95 medical cannabis users preferred indica strains for pain management, sedation, and sleep in 2014.
SOME INDICA-DOMINANT HEMP STRAINS
- Bubba Kush: The unique Bubba Kush flower is one of the best after-dinner strains of hemp flower due to its intense notes of chocolate and coffee flavors.
- Northern Lights: Respectively, Northern Lights is an excellent option if you want to drift off to dreamland or simply switch off the lights.
- Wedding Cake: Wedding Cake, a popular cannabis strain that is noted for its lemon notes and subtle vanilla taste, supplements a wonderful aroma.
- Immortal: This unique phenotype bred by Dreamland Organics has a grape jam terpene profile and relaxing effects.
CHARACTERISTICS OF BALANCED HYBRIDS
The specific genetic makeup of the strain, whether it is a balanced hybrid or not, will determine if the strain is energizing or relaxing.
POPULAR BALANCED HEMP HYBRIDS
- Special Sauce: Special Sauce is an excellent strain for individuals looking for high levels of THC and CBD, balanced genetics, and a strong terpenes profile.
- Girl Scout Cookies: Girl Scout Cookies are packed with an abundance of flavor derived from pure landrace sativa mixed with OG Kush genetics.
- Pineapple Express: With its hardy, well-rounded hybrid traits, famed Pineapple Express is an all-purpose strain of cannabis that is well-suited to any stress..
OTHER FACTORS FOR SELECTING CANNABIS STRAINS
You should consider the balance between indica and sativa genetics when you shop for hemp, where indicas will often be a bit more sedative. There are a few other factors that may be even more helpful in determining the effects of a particular strain.
The primary active compounds derived from cannabis or hemp plants are the chemicals known as cannabinoids.
To date, researchers have isolated over 120 cannabinoids with a host of unique properties.
Traditional cannabis culture has primarily focused on the main psychoactive cannabinoid, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Conversely, plants of legal industrial hemp have naturally high levels of cannabidiol [CBD] and fewer than .3% tetrahydrocannabinol [THC].
CBD flower farms have successfully bred strains of hemp with high levels of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid, CBG ( cannabigerol) . The “Mother Cannabinoid,” CBG, is considered a building block to other cannabinoids and possesses unique therapeutic properties.
Delta-8 is one of the many cannabinoids which is becoming more popular and sought after lately. It is a mildly psychoactive isomer of regular THC. Hemp flower artificially sprayed with the micro cannabinoid, delta 8, does not produce overwhelming side effects like paranoia.
It does however pose a serious health risk, as it is extracted with carcinogenic acids. That is why we do not sell any delta 8 products, as we are an organic hemp farm. We are one of the few CBD brands that actually cares about the health of our customers. If you see a company selling anything delta 8, you know what they are concerned with, strictly profits.
Newbies to smokable CBD flower may opt for hemp strains with lower CBD levels, while OG smokers may go for high-CBD strains or even varieties featuring alternate cannabinoids. Again, we do NOT recommend D8 (Delta 8 THC)!
The flavor and aroma of hemp flowers is made up of the terpenes, which determine the taste and smell of each variety.
Plants produce fragrant compounds that attract pollinators and ward off pests. Over 20,000 terpenes have been found in nature and at least 150 unique terpenes have been identified in cannabis plants.
Botanists researching plants and essential oils have discovered a number of promising therapeutic uses for terpenes. These include, but are not limited to:
- Antibacterial and antimicrobial
- Decreased inflammation
- Digestive issues
- Anti aging
- Brain health
- Antidepressant/ PTSD treatments
The profiles of terpenes are rarely listed on lab reports, but many hemp strains are consistently high in specific terpenes. Including:
- Myrcene: The terpene most abundant in cannabis plants, myrcene, offers calming effects and sweet, earthy flavors. Many indica-dominant strains, like Kimbo Kush feature a high amount of myrcene in their terpene profiles.
- Limonene: Responsible for the smell in citrus peels, limonene causes the potent lemon and gas aromas of strains like Eden and Sour Diesel.
- Pinene: Having memory-enhancing properties, pinene can be found in herbs like rosemary and parsley as well as in hemp strains like Blue Dream and Dream Fuel.
- Beta-caryophyllene: Beta-caryophyllene is found in spices like cinnamon and black pepper and can directly stimulate the CB2 receptors in the immune system.
- Linalool: Also known as the “spa terpene,” this terpene provides calming effects and subtle floral aromas. It is also responsible for the floral scent in lavender.
- Terpinolene: The Jack Herer strain boasts of an herbal sandalwood aroma thanks to the slightly rare terpene.
- Caryophyllene: This is another terpene routinely found in cannabis and hemp plants. It's thought to mostly affect the endocannabinoid system's CB2 receptor.
- Humulene: has a pungent, dank odor that might be described as earthy and woody. In addition to hops and cannabis, humulene is also found in coriander, cloves, and basil. It is great for pain relief and inflammation
As we can see there are many factors going on that are going to determine how you select a hemp flower. Let’s give a quick recap for all the considerations that must be made to select the hemp bud that’s right for you.
- Type Of Strain: Indica, Sativa, Or Ruderalis
- Cannabinoids: CBD, CBG, THCA, Delta 8 (not recommended)
- Terpenes: Mycrene, Limonene, Linalool, Pinene?
Now here comes the fun part! You have to try out several strains to find out what you prefer. All of our hemp buds are top shelf CBD flower. May we suggest a 5 gram hemp flower sampler pack? Happy Smoking!