The 4 types of marijuana: cannabis and its characteristics

Cannabis is the most widely used illegal drug in the world, Being its most famous and popular form of marijuana. Used for millennia as a medicinal element, it is currently mainly used as a recreational drug or as an auxiliary method in combating the effects of certain diseases.

But we must keep in mind that there is not just one type of marijuana, but nature and human action have led to the existence of hundreds of varieties. In this article, we will learn about some of the types of marijuana that exist, along with their basic characteristics.

Cannabis as a psychoactive substance

Cannabis is a substance with psychoactive properties. With its derivatives, including marijuana, belongs to the group of psychodyseptics. It is a type of substance that causes alterations in psychic activity and perception.

Cannabis consumption tends to produce an increase in activation and a feeling of euphoria at first and then leave the user with a relaxing effect (used by many users to reduce feelings of anxiety and stress). It also causes a feeling of hunger and has antiemetic and anticonvulsant effects and even reduces the feeling of pain having analgesic effects. Disorientation and disturbances in consciousness can occur, and in some cases hallucinations can even occur.


Cannabinoids are extracted from the cannabis plant, which has different varieties. In practice, the derivatives of this plant receive a different name depending on the part of the vegetable from which they come, or the way in which the product consumed is obtained.

We speak of marijuana when the element consumed is the leaves and the stem of the plant, being generally consumed in a smoked way, although sometimes it is also ingested orally, as with so-called “mary cakes” or as an infusion).

Main types of marijuana

As we said, there is a large amount of variants of marijuana, depending on the plant from which the leaves and stem are obtained. Regardless of its origin, there are other factors that can alter existing types of marijuana, such as how much light the plant needs, what type of flowering it has (it could be a plant regular, feminized or autoflowering) or the time of flowering. year in which it is obtained. An example is when it is harvested or how much each variety needs. For example, purple marijuana is produced due to the build-up of certain substances during sudden changes in temperature.

Then we indicate the three main types that can be found naturally, From which the hundreds of extant varieties have been hybridized and developed by means of artificial selection.

1. Cannabis sativa

Native to countries with a tropical climate, cannabis sativa is one of the most well-known cannabis plant strains. In fact, the typical leaf that people usually imagine when talking about marijuana is usually of this variety. We are dealing with one of the most widely consumed types of marijuana, usually from South America or Asia. They are generally tall plants, the most common to see in outdoor plantings.

The psychoactive effects of the marijuana extracted from this strain tend to be activating and psychoactive. for its large amount of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol or THC. It stimulates appetite and physical and social activity, causing feelings of euphoria. In many cases, its consumption is also associated with the presence of hallucinations, which can increase the possibility of triggering psychotic episodes and even contribute to the manifestation of disorders such as schizophrenia.

2. Indian cannabis

Of Asian origin, it is one of the types of marijuana that is found naturally, especially in countries like India or Pakistan. This variety has an intermediate size, also having much wider leaves than the other varieties.

As for the type of effects, the indica strain generally has a mildly narcotic effect more closely related to physical relaxation and analgesia, Having a high cannabidiol or CBD content and low in THC. This variety is generally indicated medically and is often used in the treatment of pain caused by various diseases, as well as for its anticonvulsant and relaxing effects.

3. Cannabis Ruderalis

In countries like Russia and Siberia, a third natural variety can be found, cannabis Ruderalis. This plant, although sometimes considered a variety of cannabis sativa, has the distinction of having great resistance and the ability to flower regardless of the level of light. It is generally used in hybridization to create other varieties because of this.

Small in size, low in THC and rich in CBD, its effects are therefore more relaxing than activators and is sometimes used medicinally.

4. Hybrids

All three varieties of cannabis and marijuana above can be found naturally. However, Based on them, humans have created different varieties in order to achieve different effects or to increase resistance or proliferation., By artificial selection in nurseries and plantations.

The type of effect obtained in each case depends on the type of hybrid created and the provenance. This is why this category is much more heterogeneous than the previous ones, because the combinations and the intersection of the genes make the variety of products obtained very wide.

Uses and risks of marijuana

As mentioned above, the use of marijuana has very different uses. Its effects, along with the social perception that it does not cause as many side effects as other drugs, mean that despite being an illegal drug, it is used very frequently by a large part of the population.

Recreational use of different types of marijuana can be harmful, Especially when consumption is high and frequent. It is often used as an element that helps to relax or achieve a feeling of well-being. Although dependence on this substance is not common, requiring almost daily consumption, and withdrawal syndromes have not generally been described, it is not uncommon for situations of intoxication and abuse to occur. produce.

Delusions and hallucinations (especially in the case of the sativa strain), disorientation, flashbacks or even reactions opposite to those which should produce the substance depression and inhibition in the case of sativa and restlessness and anxiety in indica) are phenomena that can occur after prolonged consumption and / or in large quantities. The so-called amotivational syndrome has also been described, in which extreme passivity, decreased judgment, apathy and demotivation appear.

However, if used medicinally, this substance is also a relief for many people with different disorders. Because it stimulates the appetite, it has sometimes been used to fight anorexia and weight loss secondary to other diseases (such as AIDS), as well as to relieve problems such as fibromyalgia or pain. caused by cancer or the discomfort associated with some of its treatments. Its anticonvulsant effects are also interesting and can be used to regulate different types of seizures. You can even visualize some cases of individuals with Parkinson’s tremors that were reduced and even temporarily eliminated during the action of the drug.

Bibliographical references:

  • Moore, THM; Zammit, S .; Lingford-Hughes, A .; Barnes, THREE; Jones, PB; Burke, M. and Lewis, G. (2007). Cannabis use and the risk of psychotic or emotional consequences in mental health: a systematic review. The Lancet. vol 370, 9584; pp. 319-328.
  • Sants, JL; Garcia, LI; Calderon, MA; Sanz, LJ; of rivers, P .; Left, S .; Román, P .; Hernangómez, L .; Navas, E .; Lladre, A and Álvarez-Cienfuegos, L. (2012). Clinical Psychology. CEDE PIR preparation manual, 02. CEDE. Madrid.

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