Cannabis Strains: Effects, Species, History and Growing

Cannabis Strains: Effects, Species, History and Growing

Learn about the history of marijuana strains, medical cannabis strains have CBD and THC to treat epilepsy, depression, anxiety and grow in Australia.

The Supreme Guide to the Best Cannabis Strains for Medical Use Medicinal marijuana is legal, and people can grow cannabis in the ACT, but how do you know the difference between types of plants? What makes each marijuana plant different than the other?

Cannabis strains are different genetic subsets of the plant, such as hemp and marijuana. The different strains of marijuana produce varying levels of CBD (medical effects) and THC (high intoxicating effects). The hemp strains are made to produce taller growth with less flowering. Knowing your cannabis strain is importing when buying marijuana seeds.

Read about the difference between hemp and marijuana click here.

Table of Contents.

What are cannabis strains?

Cannabis strains
Cannabis strains

Cannabis comes in various different forms, but the most commonly known types are hemp and marijuana. Different genetic strains of cannabis will produce different results.

A strain of cannabis used for hemp may grow taller and faster, but not produce much tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that has the ‘high’ effect marijuana is famous for.

Cannabis strains for marijuana used for medical and recreational use may be rich in THC and Cannabidiol (CBD).

Cannabis has been used as a natural treatment for several thousand years; it is one of the oldest plants in our pharmacopeia.

It was commonly bought in Australian chemists and pharmacies until the 1950s/1960s. It was used to treat and effectively relieve many ailments:

  • Pain
  • Nausea
  • Spasms
  • Glaucoma
  • Asthma
  • Epilepsy
  • Depression
  • Sleep disorders

In recent years, more and more patients around the world are again using therapeutic strains of cannabis as an alternative or complement to traditional medicines.

In some Australia, a doctor (GP) will be able to give you a simple prescription to buy medical marijuana in pharmacies or cannabis clinics.

Medical marijuana also shows some effectiveness in the treatment of nausea caused by chemotherapy, to reduce seizures with epilepsy, or for the treatment of pain associated with multiple sclerosis.

Whether you are a cannabis enthusiast or legally allowed to grow cannabis, finding the right strain of marijuana that suits you is essential. We are going to dive into the history of cannabis strains that influence the hemp and marijuana plants we use today! Then we will go through the most popular strains for medical and recreational use.

Cannabis Species

From a botanical point of view, cannabis is an incredibly exciting plant that has adapted over centuries to develop a variety of use.

There are thousands of strains of marijuana available today. The different characteristics between strains include:

  • Flavours
  • Aromas
  • Growth attributes
  • THC levels
  • CBD levels
  • Ability to grow in different environments

Don’t worry if the very thought of having thousands of different varieties, each with its nuances, seems to make choosing a strain more challenging.

By taking a step back in the spectrum of cannabis varieties, we can simply identify and classify these varieties into three (four including hybrids) species:

  • Sativa
  • Indica
  • Ruderalis
  • Hybrids

The characteristics of Sativa

Cannabis Sativa Leaf
Cannabis Sativa Leaf

The Sativa is the tallest and most well known member of the cannabis family. Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics of the Sativa and the properties associated with the plant.

Known as Sativa
Origin South America, Thailand
Leaf shape Large and thin leaves with serrated edges
Plant appearance Tall and thin
Average height 10 to 20 feet (3 metres)
Medicinal uses Depression, anxiety, bipolar, ADHD, anorexia etc.
High effects Uplifting head-high for creativity, focus, social and energy
Best time used Daytime
THC content Medium to high
CBD content low to medium
Growth time (maturity) 10 to 18 weeks
Indoors / outdoors Outdoors
Climate Humid and tropical
Flowering Light cycle 12 hours / 12 hours

The characteristics of Indica

Cannabis Indica Leaf
Cannabis Indica Leaf

The Indica is the medical member of the cannabis family. Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics of the Indica and the properties associated with the plant.

Known as Indica
Origin Afghanistan, India, Pakistan
Leaf shape Wide
Plant appearance Bushy and short
Average height 5 feet
Medicinal uses Epilepsy, MS, Parkison’s, Sleep Apnea, Chronic Pain etc.
High effects Medium-to-heavy body high and light head high
Best time used Nighttime
THC content Low to medium
CBD content Medium to high
Growth time (maturity) 6 to 8 weeks
Indoors / outdoors Indoors
Climate Sunny, humid and tropical
Flowering Light cycle 12 hours / 12 hours

The characteristics of Ruderalis

Cannabis Ruderalis Leaf
Cannabis Ruderalis Leaf

The Ruderalis is a unique member of the cannabis family. Here’s a breakdown of the characteristics of the Ruderalis and the properties associated with the plant.

Growth height 1 to 2 feet tall
Leaves colour Light green shade
Appearance Small vegetable plant or flower
Bud (flower) size Small and plump
Flowering cycles 21 to 30 days
Light cycle Light cycle has no effect on flowering
Growing difficulty Easy with minimal maintenance
Growing environment Any weather, outdoors and indoors


Cannabis Dry Bud
Cannabis Dry Bud

All psychotropic cannabis contains the active components known as cannabinoids.

The cannabinoids that have the most significant effect on our mind and body are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol) and CBN (Cannabinol). Varying levels of these and other cannabinoids will deliver a unique mental and physical experience when consumed

The well-known THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which has a stimulating and euphoric effect, and the much less well-known CBD (Cannabidiol), which partially cancels out the effects of THC, and has a relaxing or even sedative effect.

The most common medicinal cannabis oil formulas include either 10% CBD and 10% THC or 20% CBD and 20% THC. The majority of Australian medicinal cannabis oils includes:

  • THC (0-30%)
  • CBD (0-20%)
  • CBN (0-5%)

A potent Sativa cannabis plant may contain 15% or even 19% THC, but will generally contain less than 1% CBD. But the CBD percentage will still have played a part in the overall experience.

While CBD is not considered psychotropic in itself, it can transmit many of the medicinal benefits of cannabis and can also moderate the effects of THC. A CBD content of about 1% should be considered relatively high, while a variety with a low CBD content would contain 0.6% or less.

And even for those who have done so, knowing which cannabis is most suitable for recreational purposes does not necessarily mean knowing which variety is best suited to specific medical needs. When choosing a strain of medicinal cannabis, it is useful to have a basic knowledge of the differences between the Hybrid, Indica and Sativa strains in terms of medical applications.

Medicinal Cannabis Strains Effects and Uses

Cannabis Dry Bud
Cannabis Dry Bud

In Australia the medicinal cannabis is typically in the form of oil and is tailored to the illness or disorder it is treating. The cannabis strain where this oil is extracted from determines the effects you will experience: be it a head high, relaxed body high or a focused and alert high.

Sativa strains

The Sativa cannabis strains often contain a lot of THC and very little CBD, so they will be more suitable in the following cases:

  • Improving mood, combating fatigue and depression.
  • Reduce nausea and stimulate appetite
  • Relieving Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Increase in concentration
  • Reducing intraocular pressure (glaucoma treatment)

While Indica is rich in CBD and THC, Sativa plants are primarily rich in THC. This gives them a strong head-high that is more popular for recreational use. The Sativa strains definitely have medicinal benefits for treating diseases and disorders related more with the mind and head.

What are the main medical benefits from Sativa cannabis strains?

Illnesses and Diseases Symptons Relief
Bipolar Mood Swings
Chronic Fatigue Fatigue
HIV/AIDS Physical Pain, Fatigue and Nausea
ADHD Increased Concentration
Depression Mood Swings, Fatigue and Stress Relief
Glaucoma Physical Pain
Alzheimer’s Disease Increased Concentration

Indica strains

The Indica marijuana strains often contain less THC but more CBD. They Will therefore mainly have the Following therapeutic effects :

  • Relieve pain, migraines, arthritis, menstrual pain etc.
  • Relax muscles, reduce spasms and impatience
  • Fight against anxiety, stress, and sleep problems (insomnia, sleep apnea etc.)
  • Dilate bronchial tubes (Asthma control)

Each individual reacts differently to cannabis, and cannabinoid levels can vary significantly from plant to plant. We advise you to read up, receive professional medical advice and to try as many varieties as possible to find the one that suits you best.

Indica strains of marijuana are used for pain relief (similar to medical analgesics), muscle relaxation, anti-anxiety and includes a light sedative effect. This is mainly due to the higher levels of CBD found in strains of Indica. This gives you a beautiful body high and light-medium head high.

What are the leading medical benefits from Indica cannabis strains?

Illnesses and Diseases Symptons Relief
Cancer Nausea and Anxiety
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Muscle Spasms, Physical Pain and Seizures
Fibromyalgia Physical pain
Lupus Physical Pain and Headaches
Sleep Apnea Insomnia
Anxiety disorders Anxiety
Parkinsons Disease Muscle Spasms and Seizures
Arthritis Physical Pain
PMS Physical Pain
Inflammation Physical Pain and Anti Inflammation
Crohn’s Disease Physical Pain
Epilepsy Seizures and Muscle Spasms

CBD Rich Cannabis Strains

Cannabis Plant Flowers
Cannabis Plant Flowers

CBD, or Cannabidiol, is the main non-toxicant compound in the Cannabis plant that is most well known for its medical and therapeutic benefits. CBD has been the subject of many discoveries in Australia and is the primary prescribed cannabinoid by medical clinics and General Practitioners (GP).

With a range of therapeutic benefits, cannabis strains rich in CBD and the various oils derived from these plants are often referred to as “medical cannabis without the high effect”.

The majority of Australian medicinal marijuana manufacturers are focused on producing CBD rich oils and other forms of cannabis.

Patients mainly use CBD to treat:

  • Depression
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Pain
  • Arthritis
  • Inflammation

Some Australian cannabis companies have specialized in the development of high-dose CBD cannabis strains for direct use by the medical cannabis industry, both for scientific research and to meet the needs of patients.

Read on about Australian Cannabis companies here.

The origins of famous cannabis strains

Modern cannabis strains are much more potent and more interesting than their traditional counterparts. I am going to walk you through the origins of some of the world’s most famous marijuana strains, their effects, flavours and how to cultivate them.

Cheese: an explosion of flavour

Cheese strain
Cheese strain

Cheese is a legendary strain from the United Kingdom, although its origin is not very clear. While some claim that it arrived in the United States in the late 1980s, others argue that a group of pioneers created it in England in the 1990s.

In any case, it is now one of the most widely consumed strains in Europe and has given rise to many other variations with the Cheese trademark, such as Blue Cheese, Sweet Cheese or Critical Cheese.

For fans of the Cheese strain, its greatness lies in its unique Indica flavour, the sweet, intense and long-lasting taste will remind you of good cheese, something truly revolutionary when it began to spread in the across Europe and America.

As far as cultivation is concerned, with the right care, you will obtain a robust and super-productive plant. With it, it will be easy to get good harvests without too much effort. Its effects are euphoric and long-lasting, and for medicinal use, it will generally be ideal for soothing pain, whet the appetite and restore sleep. It shows all its greatness as a descendant of Skunk.

White Widow: for beginners and big production

White Widow strain
White Widow strain

Some say it’s one of the best Indica strains ever seen on Earth. It was created in 1994 by the Australian breeder Shantibaba, then working for Greenhouse Seeds Bank.

He had crossed a pure Brazilian Sativa strain with a variety from South India. Shantibaba tested the plant’s ability to adapt to different environments in India, America and Australia.

The White Widow’s success leads to most seed banks to resell the cannabis strain across the world. Shantibaba, to differentiate itself in terms of purity, changed its name to Black Widow.

The White Widow has sedative effects and a sweet, floral aroma, with some nuances of fruity and spicy flavours.

As for its production, it is also authentic, since many people say that it is above average and has large buds, most of them dense and resinous. This strain doesn’t need much attention, which is why it will be the right choice for beginners.

With all this, this great variety has also given birth to other celebrities strains, such as Blue Widow, White Siberian or Moby Dick.

Sour Diesel: the most unique flavour

Sour Diesel strain
Sour Diesel strain

It’s hard to find a person in the cannabis world who doesn’t know of the Sour Diesel strain. Its penetrating aroma of essence characterizes it, but that’s not the only thing that sets this famous variety apart.

This smell goes perfectly with the citric touches, among which the orange easily stands out, and which will have swift effects. The sour diesel is recommended for morning use because of its pleasant mental sensations and the sudden appearance of a good mood.

This euphoric psychological effect, which will also awaken your creativity, will be joined by a feeling of relaxation throughout the body. For this reason, Sour Diesel and its variants are ideal for relieving depression, stress or anxiety.

It originated on the west coast of the United States between the 80s and 90s. There are also doubts about its ancestors because while some people defend that it is a mix between a Northern Lights and a Chemdawg, others think that there is no trace of the latter or that it is even a product of the two mentioned strains and Skunk.

Although it doesn’t offer as many production guarantees as White Widow, many growers use this as their primary crop on it and are getting great results.

You can see the popularity of Sour Diesel has spun off Sour White and Sour Kush within it.

The AK-47: for high yield and new crops

AK-47 strain
AK-47 strain

This variety originated in 1992 in the Netherlands thanks to Simon, a breeder of the Serious Seeds bank.

Its history is the result of a lot of hard work. At that time, the breeder was looking for a high-quality hybrid, especially Sativa (with at least 65%) and he didn’t stop until he found it. And even after introducing the Ak-47, he continued to work hard at improving it.

But, indeed, its parents are still unknown, although some connoisseurs believe that behind it lies Colombian, Mexican, Thai and Afghani varieties. The result is cannabis with a strong, sweet and fruity aroma that will be present from the start of cultivation.

When grown naturally in the outdoors, it will have high bud yields. You can obtain between 350 and 500 grams per m2, both indoors and outdoors. However, where it will feel at ease is in hydroponic crops, with exceptional results.

As for its effects, it will produce an attentive mental state, but without excessive stimulation. Its recommended for nighttime use.

The Original Haze: the best crossbreeding cannabis

Original Haze strain
Original Haze strain

The variety of Haze strains in the cannabis industry makes it one of the most popular for crossbreeding.

To trace their origins, we have to travel to the Santa Cruz area of California. It is there that in the 1970s, two brothers known as the Haze Brothers cultivated and crossbred seeds from other regions given to them by their friend Sam, nicknamed The SkunkMan.

After many crossbreeding attempts by the Haze Brothers to create the ultimate cannabis strains, they struct green gold with the Original Haze.

They started by crossing a Mexican Sativa with a Colombian Sativa and then passed it with a variety from South India. This hybrid was again mixed with a Thai and resulted in what we know today as Original Haze.

Although at their origins they were not very stable, this variety was the mother of Silver Haze, Amnesia Haze, Mango Haze and of course the whole Haze family.

Besides, it will stand out with a range of aromas and flavours. When you taste it, you’ll experience a robust spicy smell that combines with slight hints of incense and wood with a citrus aftertaste.

It will also surprise you with its effects, as the high is guaranteed for a long time. If you need extra energy, these are the varieties that will suit you best.

These strains are not the only ones that are widely used in current crosses. Names like Acapulco Gold, Durban Poison or Skunk among many others, have been added to this list. Thanks to them, we can enjoy the quality of our current cannabis.

Classical strains that have influenced modern cannabis

Cannabis has been with us for over 10,000 years. With such a long history, it’s hard to know which were the first cannabis strains. However, we can identify hundreds of strains that have emerged recently.

Like going through our family history, this will give us some insight into where our favourite strains come from.

Cannabis is one of the oldest cultivated plants. The earliest records of its existence date back to 2600 B.C. However, there is evidence that cannabis was already among us, especially in Europe and East Asia.

At Around 8000 B.C., it is likely that cannabis plants were already in existence.

The first seeds were not cultivated for their potency. They were chosen and refined based on their flavours and the effects the cannabis plant produced.

Research has shown that the oldest known strains of the cannabis plants existed in the Hindu Kush region between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

From there the cannabis plant spread to parts of South America, Asia, Jamaica, Africa, and later Europe. Australia received its first known cannabis seeds in 1788 on the First Fleet at the request of Sir Joseph Banks, who marked the cargo “For Commerce”.

Cannabis was then cultivated for its potency and used for both recreational and medical use across the world until the 1950s. In recent years, older cannabis strains, such as Afghani and Skunk, have been used for breeding new generations of marijuana strains.

Modern strains have much higher potency and are uniquely rich in both CBD and THC for medical use.


Many people choose to treat themselves with a mixture of different strains. The psychotropic effects of Sativa strains make them a better choice during the daytime when you need to stay awake, while the relaxing effects of Indica strains make them more suitable for use in the evening and at night.

The type of condition to be treated is a good indication of whether it is more appropriate to use an Indica or Sativa strain.

Determining the type of symptoms that the patient wishes to relieve is usually the best starting point for selecting the kind of medicinal cannabis that best suits his or her situation.

It is also essential to keep in mind that just as each individual’s physiological build differs slightly, so does the subjective experience when using medicinal cannabis vary from one individual to another.

The information provided here is intended to serve as a practical guide, and it is recommended that anyone wishing to use cannabis for medicinal purposes should first consult a qualified health professional.

Modern breeding has created an infinite number of new cannabis strains. But many strains from Africa, the Middle East or Southeast Asia are now in danger of extinction due to genetic mixing or hybridization.

Many old strains from the 60s to 80s have already vanished.

Disclaimer: Cannabis Place are not doctors and we recommend consulting health professionals for accurate information. This site may contain information regarding drugs. This medicinal cannabis content is designed for an 18+ audience. Click here for our full disclaimer