Choosing from hundreds - if not thousands - of cannabis strains available in the market can be downright intimidating. For starters, though, one ought to ask what kind of experience the consumer is looking for because one way of making sense of the overwhelming choices is to categorize it according to its psychoactive effects. For instance, consumers seeking a stimulating euphoric experience should opt for Sativa strains.
Sativa is a Latin botanical adjective, which means "cultivated." This term is often associated with seed-grown plants that are cultivated because it promotes good health while procuring products like seed oil and fiber. So, as it turns out, Cannabis sativa was named after its versatile utility. Nowadays, though, when buds are labeled as "sativa," the general consensus is that it exerts energizing and stimulating effects.
Distinguishing Sativa strains from Indica varieties in terms of physical appearance is a breeze given its stark differences. For one, pure sativa plants tend to be ridiculously tall and lanky. It features slender stalks with widely spaced internodes. When grown outside, these plants can reach extraordinary heights of up to 20 feet. This towering height is precisely why cultivating sativas indoors is often a challenge. One solution, though, is to use the Screen of Green technique to coax the branches to grow laterally - thereby saving on vertical space.
Another way to quickly tell apart a Sativa plant from its closely related cousin is by inspecting its leaves and buds. Usually, Sativas have 9 to 13 long, slender leaf blades with jagged serrations. The coloration may range from light green to an emerald hue. Meanwhile, the buds tend to be small, elongated, and wispy with generous streaks of crimson pistils
Sativa varieties are short-day flowering plants that first sprung in the tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, South East Asia, Colombia, Mexico, as well as South and Central America. This is perhaps the reason why these plants thrive best in warm, equatorial climates.
Cultivating pure Sativa strains is downright troublesome. Managing its towering height is already difficult as it is, but the challenge does not stop there. These plants also have incredibly long flowering durations ranging from 10 to 20 weeks. When grown outdoors, pure Sativa plants can be ready for harvest in as late as December. This becomes a problem when the climate gets unbearably cold for the plant to survive. To avoid such scenarios, most growers opt for indoor cultivation. Another solution is cross pure sativas with indica strains to shorten its extended flowering duration.
Sativa plants have inherently stellar THC levels, which is precisely why even small quantities can have overwhelming cerebral effects. In moderate amounts, though, it delivers an invigorating, uplifting, creativity-boosting, and focus-enhancing head high that both recreational and medicinal users enjoy. Such stimulating effects pair well with doing productive work, physical activities, social gatherings, and creative projects. Simply put, sativa strains deliver the best cannabis experience. Otherwise, why would anyone bother cultivating it given its growing difficulties?
However, this potency that makes sativa strains so desirable could also be downright overwhelming for some people. When consumed by those with low THC tolerance, its typical mind-clearing effects could cause racing thoughts and anxiety. Hence, dosing in moderation is always vital.
Sativa strains are best known for its energizing psychoactive effects. As such, it is a common perception that it only offers recreational benefits. However, this is far from true as the synergistic effects between its cannabinoids and terpenes certainly deliver potent medicinal benefits. When dosed appropriately, one can benefit from the following health-giving properties:
When a strain is said to be a pure landrace sativa, this means that it has never been crossed with any other strains. Rather, it is inbred through many, many generations. As a result, it is highly stable and has little to no variations. However, given the fact that pure sativas are inherently hard to cultivate, not many seed banks offer these varieties - except for Homegrown Cannabis Co.
As an advocate of preserving the original roots of the sativa strains well-loved by many, this reputable seed bank continues to offer the following unadulterated strains:
In a market saturated by hybrids, pure Sativa strains are incredibly rare. Panama - a 100% sativa - is among the few remaining purebred. This strain is a three-way cross between Green Panama, Panama 74, and the Colombian landrace Punto Rojo. Given such prestigious lineage, it is only natural for the herb to exert hard-hitting effects that take the mind to an extraordinary euphoric journey. Just a few whiffs of its lemony and vanilla-flavored vapors is enough to send the senses into a cerebral overdrive - that is how potent this strain is. Moreover, this fast-acting and intense psychedelic kick inspires a trance-like high perfect for enlivening the spirits while socializing or pursuing creative endeavors. To top it off, it also proxies as a potent pain-reliever.
Cultivation-wise, feminized Panama seeds from Homegrown Cannabis Co. are a joy to grow despite some challenges it might pose. That is because apart from the fact that it sprouts an all-female batch, this strain is also mold-resistant and a guaranteed high-yielder. While it does flower at an extended period of 9 to 12 weeks, the wait is certainly worth it as every square meter under a Screen of Green setup produces 350 to 400 grams of gluey buds. Out in the open, one could expect more substantial yields - approximately 500 grams of fresh buds per plant. Just make sure to monitor the weather and ensure that it is comfortably warm. Otherwise, it might undermine the plant's survival.
Colombia has established a reputation for producing some of the best cannabis strains the world has ever known - including the classic and extremely elusive Colombian Gold. Best described as old but gold, this rare, pure Sativa strain boasts a potent, upbeat high without a trace of paranoia or anxiety. Relishing its earthy, hashy vapors will not immediately deliver a cerebral kick. Instead, the high builds up slowly, but steadily - thereby making it last longer. Hence, it is the best choice for productivity junkies who need to power through mountain-loads of tasks without feeling jittery or paranoid.
Homegrown Cannabis Co. is one of the few seedbanks still offering regular Colombian Gold seeds. Purchasing seeds from this reputable dispensary is guaranteed to be hassle-free. Hence, growers have one less thing to worry about. However, the cultivation will require tons of patience and attention. Typical of pure sativa strains, Colombian Gold reaches monstrous heights, especially when grown outdoors. While this vigorous growth is beneficial for increasing yields, this could be a problem in keeping the growing area inconspicuous. Hence, height management skills are essential when tending to this plant. Installing odor control mechanisms is also vital to contain its penetrating skunky scent.
Colombian Gold thrives best in a consistently warm climate - preferably with plenty of sunshine and partial humidity. When cultivated in an optimal environment, the plants offer higher than average yields of trichome encrusted buds by late November.
Widely regarded as the best and most popular Sativa of all time, Durban Poison originated from the port city of Durban in South Africa. Unlike other landrace strains that are hard to come by, it is more accessible - thanks to Ed Rosenthal, the man who brought and propagated Durban Poison seeds in the US.
Since its introduction in the 1970s, it continues to be a popular choice for Sativa lovers - and for good reasons. For one, given its 25% THC potency, this strain's psychoactive effects are comparable to several shots of espresso: it heightens creativity, focus, and productivity - all while uplifting the spirits to stellar heights of euphoria. Moreover, despite such potent effects, it lets the users stay cogent and sober. Its flavors and fragrances are also something to boast of. Staying true to its landrace sativa roots, Durban Poison's earthy, sweet, and slightly chemical flavor and aroma delight both the palate and the sense of olfaction.
This strain may not be as elusive as other landrace strains, but it does quickly sell out like hotcakes in dispensaries. Hence, a better way of obtaining constant supply is to cultivate it at home. Homegrown Cannabis Co. offers Durban Poison as feminized seeds that are guaranteed to produce an all-female batch. Given its time-tested genetics, it is resilient enough to withstand slight missteps of budding cannabis growers. Moreover, several generations of inbreeding and genetic engineering have prompted it to flower at an incredibly fast rate of 8 to 9 weeks - all while maintaining pure Sativa genetics and producing above-average yields.