For a while now I have been wondering, are there any pure indicas or pure sativas left in the world, or California more specifically? Dispensaries, co-workers, and friends have all claimed to have a good indica to help with sleep, or perhaps pain. Or they claim to have a killer sativa to give you that cerebral high or head buzz that your looking for. However every time upon further inspection, these strains are found to be hybridized children, and whatever pure sativa or indica qualities they once possessed have been bred out to attain a more potent overall strain.
Yes, people around here are tired of hearing me preach about the lack of true strains, but today I feel vindicated thanks in part to a new study from a pair of Canadian scientists. The duo recently published in a peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE that at one point sativas and indicas may have been very distinguishable from each other; very different genetics producing very different looks and effects for each side of the cannabis spectrum. But now the constant crossbreeding between the two over the years has led to a considerable merging of the two marijuana species.
For example, Jamaican Lambs Bread, which is almost always reported as a pure sativa, in reality is almost genetically identical to a pure indica strain from Afghanistan.
The Canadian study also points out the rise of the term “hybrid” as a genetic designation for newer strains. Within this, indica or sativa can be cited as dominant in a strain. This can be somewhat helpful, however it’s also likely that the strain has been crossed so many times that it is really a true hybrid.
“From an industry standpoint, there have been moves toward developing more consistency,” said Taylor West, the deputy director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “There’s no real centralized information, so it’s difficult for people to tell one strain of Strawberry Kush from the next.”
So next time someone claims to have a pure indica or a true sativa, let them down gently and tell them the story about a couple Canadian scientists…