Is there really a difference in marijuana varieties?

Inspired by this thread,
Is it true that marijuana is stronger today than in the past?
I’m curious about the different blends that are available in marijuana.

Help me separate fact from fiction. What do the different blends actually provide the consumer?

Is it comparable to smoking different brands or types of cigarette? i.e. menthol -vs- non menthol? or possibly Marlboro -vs- Winston?

Are there different types of highs you get from the different varieties? What constitutes a different ‘type’ of high? (i.e. I hear people talk about tequila drunk being a different ‘type’ of drunk; but really it’s most likely the circumstances, not the type of booze that made the difference.)
Do different blends really help with a specific situation or condition?
From what I’ve seen they have blends that solve all sorts of maladies. Is this just hype?

First off, generally there’s no “blends”. Even a prerolled joint is probably going to all come from the same plant, unlike a tobacco cigarette.

The different strains of cannabis do have different ratios of the physiologically active chemicals (cannabinoids) and so will have slightly different effects. They will have different taste and smells too, much like different types of apples might.

And yes, much of the malady curing abilities are hype but not all.

No answer, but being in the midwest ive heard that ‘ditchweed’ is very low on THC. I wondered if maybe the CBD would be valiable and make the ‘ditchweed’ an actual wanted crop.

Indica strains tend to be more relaxing/blunting whereas sativa strains tend to increase energy and be a little psychedelic. Hybrids are in-between. I get more unpleasant times with indica than sativa but I’d expect it would be the other way around for most people. When doing something physical like jogging, I’d definitely go with sativa. I don’t quite get why people would put themselves into a stupor. Or at least, the only reasons I can think of aren’t flattering.

Edibles take longer to kick in, last longer and can be nearly as psychedelic as mushrooms or LSD at higher doses.

This is what I always hear, but I can tell little difference between the two. And sativas definitely don’t increase my energy - they still relax me greatly.

However, I am an extreme lightweight and only ingest/smoke a couple times a month. So, I might not be the best to tell the differences.

Drugs, especially ones as complex as pot, will involve variations as a function of dose, setting and mindset.

In addition, I’ve noticed differences within sativa; I’m particularly fond of the blue dream and delahaze strains. Maybe I’m being like one of those wine snobs who makes mountains out of molehills or it’s just the placebo effect or I’m misattributing to strain what was caused by other factors. All of that is possible. As a good empiricist, I suppose I’ll have to keep doing the science.

Here’s a roundup of information and opinion from a variety of sources. TL;DR there’s no meaningful distinction.

I am able to say that I first smoked pot over 50 years ago. And most recently yesterday.

I believe that the ‘feel’ of a strain, the effect it gives, changes even within one session. It’s like the weather where I used to live - Don’t like it? Wait 15 minutes.

ETA: Great link TSBG.

Can I be your lab partner?


From the grower’s standpoint, sativas and indicas are extremely different plants.

Indicas tend to be short/squat/bushy with straightforward ripening schedules. Their nutrient needs are usually also simple. Buds tend to be compact and hefty.

Sativas tend to be tall/lanky stretching to the sky, which can be problematic for an indoor grow. Their time to completion can be long and not always predictable. IME they are more likely to suffer from nutrient deficiencies during growth. Their buds can be airy/whispy.

Apples and Oranges.

And that right there is why there’s so much hybridization. Growers are trying to get sativa effects in an easier plant with tighter/heavier buds. So you cross a sturdy ass indica strain that ripens in 8 weeks with a wispy ass sativa strain that ripens in 14 weeks and hopefully you get a strain that goes 10 weeks in a shorter, sturdier plant with heavy tight buds that nonetheless gives you that ethereal and energizing sativa style effect. It’s always a tradeoff and everyone’s trying to find that perfect combination of ease and effect.

In my case it’s over 40 years ago and yesterday. Most of my stoner friends have a preference among strains but I can’t tell the difference. I find some weed stronger than others but I can’t tell an indica from a sativa.

Oh yes. What does border on meaningless, IMNSHO, is the differences in effect between Indica and Sativa plants. This quote, for instance, from an authoritative-sounding website, is bullshit:

[Quote “Sativas, on the other hand, are uplifting and cerebral, enhancing creativity and productivity. Indicas provide what has been called a “body high,” while sativas deliver more of a “mind high.” Unfortunately, sativa plants require longer to grow and yield less medicine (flowers) than indica varieties.”[/Quote]

The only actual, reality based sentence in this paragraph is the last one, and that only has relevance to the producers of the marijuana, because the different subspecies yield different amounts of sellable marijuana.

Marijuana retailers exploit this misleading bullshit to sell more weed. Pure and simple. Its all fucking weed, man. Some of it’s stronger, some of it’s weaker. Some of it has a certain flavor, while other strains might have a different taste and/or smell… But it all falls somewhere on the same linear path that is a marijuana high.

I have smoked marijuana for almost a quarter-century and i have never once had weed experiences that were in line with what is being portrayed as fact re very different, approaching fundamentally different effects of the two subspecies of plants that make up the Cannabis plant genus. They all just got me to varying levels of the same stoned.

So don’t fall for it. Its nonsense. If smoking Indica before bed knocks you out, chances are that Sativa will too. And vice versa. It just money making schemes with no one regulating these claims and telling them “prove ir shutup”

We may soon begin to have answers for the sceptics here (and I count myself leaning far into their camp). As legalization becomes more prevalent, meaningful research should become so, too.

I will look at any studies sponsored by cannabis pharma with a very sceptical eyes. On the other hand, I predict that academic centers will soon see an explosion in cannabis neurochemistry research. It is a terribly complex field (IMO) but holds the promise of all types of very intriguing applications.

Let’s not count the placebo effect. Your budtender tells you this eighth of Cold Fusion will spark creativity and energy, you’ll toke it and be creative and energetic. She tells you that that eighth of Stinky Pussy will relieve pain, you’ll toke it and experience pain relief.

I like to be relaxed, so if I buy, its Indica. And last month, I found what I was looking for - LA Confidential… I felt euphoric, felt pain relief, and I slept easier than usual that night. For two days, I thought I hit the jackpot, but I guess I built a tolerance for it. If I ever see it again, I’ll check it out.

Most of the time, I don’t notice a difference. I hardly ever smoke sativa. Sometimes it just feels weak, but I don’t remember getting energetic.

I still think the stuff in Amsterdam is the best.

The difference goes beyond indica vs sativa though. There are hundreds of strains and, to hear it from the proponents, they can have wildly different effects. Strawberry cough is not hindu kush is not charlottes web. The descriptions given on leafly sound like they are describing different drugs when you examine all the strains.

Granted I’m assuming a lot of it comes down to indica vs sativa or THC vs CBD. But I have no idea if there is such a wild difference in subjective effects on all these different strains available. It’d be interesting to see if there actually is a big difference

I do happen to think that both strains have somewhat different effects, and I was always someone that didn’t buy into that marketing…I just wanted to get stoned. But good Indicas are a “heavier” body buzz and good Sativas are a “head high” and “clearer-eyed” type of experience…to me.

Easy enough to find out. Buy a few grams of each, and have a friend put them into individual dose containers marked with a number. Your friend records the numbers and which varieties they represent. Then, for as long as the random samples last, when you smoke one mark the empty with an S or an I based on your experience with it. At the end of this blind experiment, compare your results with what your friend recorded.

Unless there is a taste difference between the two, I’m guessing your results will be pretty random. But maybe not! Just make sure you do the experiment blind if you are going to do it. Placebo effect is probably even higher in people who are stoned.

The strains are different but they don’t differ in the nature of the high, only in intensity. They also vary in taste, smell and appearance (factors important to the discerning smoker). The only way that the nature of the high changes is thru the method of delivery. Eating marijuana in the form of edibles definitely does result in more of a “body buzz” than smoking the same stuff, which will give you more of a “heady, stoned” high.

To you, right. I dont doubt it. The placebo effect is a strong one. I will need to search and find it but i will post a medical journal article that debunks the notion of a significant sativa/indica difference.