Strains: A Basic F.A.B Guide

Confused on where to start with cannabis strains? Ready to experiment, but unsure as to which strain is right for you? Unable to identify what weed you’re even smoking? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of those questions, this article is for you!


The majority of cannabis users in Australia are mostly left in the dark as to what species their buds are, let alone as to what specific strains they may be. Breeding methods and the whole growing process are generally kept secretive. Business practices remain opaque to Australian cannabis consumers, primarily because they have no choice but to deal with shifty and inefficient black markets in order to get what they’re looking for. Australians are uneducated when it comes to the cannabis they smoke, which is a serious risk to our public health. As usual, outmoded legislation and a broader misapprehension of our social reality is to blame. [1]

It’s about time that potheads from all across this great southern land informed themselves as to what strains they’re smoking on. Furthermore, it’s time we asked the question: which strain is really suitable to our psychology, and under what contexts? If your dealer can’t answer you, the following article might help you identify some telltale signs.

(First: Maybe it’s worth checking that your buds weren’t sprayed with Plant Growth Regulators… Don’t know what to look for? Check out our article on PGR weed here).[2]

- Advertisement -

So, what is a strain? Put simply, the various ‘strains’ of cannabis are genetic differentiations of the plant, which occur both organically and under the influence of crafty human breeders.

Recommended For You
The FAB Guide to Edibles

You don’t need to possess an expert knowledge of marijuana to establish that strains generally fall into one of three categories:

  1. Sativas
  2. Indicas
  3. Hybrids

Sativas and Indicas are the two primary naturally occurring species of cannabis, whereas hybrids are simply a particular mixture of these two species. Hybrid strains allow for endless possibilities when it comes to crossbreeding and developing altogether new strains.


The physical appearance of a Sativa is a light, elongated, leafy bud. Often described as the ‘daytime’ species of sativa, its high THC content stimulates the mind and induces a state of altered sensation and awareness that can include non-linear thought processes and energetic euphoria. If you are a person looking to develop their creative, social or intellectual proficiencies, and can handle your anxiety, then sativa may be right for you. On the other hand, if you or your family has a history of schizophrenia or induced psychosis, perhaps it’s better to stick with the other dominant strain. I am of course talking about…

Recommended For You
The FAB Guide to Edibles


Indicas are the couchlock bud. They are the night to Sativa’s day. Short, wide and bushy, with a deeper, darker colour, a toke of CBD rich Indica will induce a state of relaxation and calm which can lead to deep meditation, or even sleep…

The relatively high CBD content in Indica strains is actually a major asset, as CBD has been shown to possess a myriad of medicinal properties. There is evidence to suggest that CBD is anti-carcinogenic[3]; also, it is hypothesised that the CBD content in Indica buds balances out the psychotic tendencies that can be potentiated through the consumption of THC.[4] If you or your family have a history of mental illness, or you find it is a struggle to calm your body and mind, then maybe Indica is for you.

Recommended For You
The Science of 'Crossfading': Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis


Hybrids are quite remarkable due to the unique effect they provide. This effect is determined by the lineage of the particular strain/s in question. Hybrids are diverse; either the plant will reach some sort of equilibrium between the Indica and Sativa genes, or else one parent will express its dominance in the characteristics of the child over the other.

Indica dominant hybrids usually provide a strong body high without fatigue or tiredness; Sativa dominant hybrids might instead induce a wakefulness and sociability alongside a blissful tranquillity and calm.

Alternatively, Sativas and Indicas have been bred with Ruderalis plants, which are full of CBD, but tend to lack in THC. These breeding efforts have led to the development of auto-flowering buds, which do not depend on light cycles to flower. These modifications are especially crucial for indoor hydroponic growers.

Works Cited

[1] Friendly Aussie Buds – The Case for Recreational Marijuana in Australia (June 2018):

[2] Friendly Aussie Buds – PGR: The Toxic Chemicals in Your Marijuana (June 2018):

[3] G. Velasco, C. Sánchez and M. Guzmán – Anticancer mechanisms of cannabinoids (March 2016):

[4] Zuardi AW et. al – A critical review of the antipsychotic effects of cannabidiol: 30 years of a translational investigation (2012)

Photos from GREEN: A Field Guide to Marijuana

Recommended For You
A Friendly Aussie Guide to Cannabis Concentrates




Author: Mitch

Mitch Keys is a young writer from Brisbane, Australia unfolding in a dynamic process of becoming (like everyone else, so don’t go thinking he’s special or anything). He likes being alive.

Mitch Keys is a young writer from Brisbane, Australia unfolding in a dynamic process of becoming (like everyone else, so don’t go thinking he’s special or anything). He likes being alive.


Notify of
1 Comment
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
SmokeWeapon Online Headshop
SmokeWeapon Online Headshop
2 years ago

great article Mitch, very instructional!


[…] headaches. This can be attributed to how the cannabis plant contains the natural ingredients Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Cannabidiol (CBD), and others. With thanks to these chemicals and the ways they interact […]


[…] you need to be highly conscious of two or three main things. Cannabis has three primary varieties: Indicas, Sativas and Hybrids. Additionally, CBD-rich medicinal marijuana and auto-flowering hybrids are also commonly grown. […]


[…] specific to Australia. It possesses structural and growth characteristics distinctive from any other known variants of cannabis. Indeed, these qualities actually mitigate some of the risks associated with growing […]


[…] balance, and one which can be carefully and intentionally tread by gaining an understanding of the strains you are smoking on. However, if you’re finding that you pass out more often than not, and […]


[…] has three primary varieties: Indicas, Sativas and Hybrids. Additionally, CBD-rich medicinal marijuana and auto-flowering hybrids are also commonly grown. […]


[…] Strains (in general) have made a massive splash in cannabis communities across the globe; and how could they not capture the imagination of stoners everywhere? It’s no surprise, with the diversity of effects, colours, flavours and names – like Bruce Banner, and Thunder Bloody Mary. […]

Recommended For You
The Science of 'Crossfading': Mixing Alcohol and Cannabis

[…] are many different varieties to choose from. Seeds can be placed into a few primary categories: Indicas, Sativas and Hybrids. CBD-rich Ruderalis genetics are another favourite amongst growers. Ruderalis genes are often used […]

Oi! Give Us A Follow, Mate!


Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with Australia's leading Cannabis Publication subscribe to our monthly newsletter!
(We promise not to spam you!)

Latest Podcast Episode!

Must Read

PGR: The Toxic Chemicals in Your Marijuana

When we first published this article (June 25th, 2018),...

Buying Cannabis Seeds in Australia: A How-To Guide

This article is part of a series. You can catch...

The FAB Guide to Growing Cannabis Indoors in Australia: 2020 Edition

A True-Blue Indoor Grow So you want to grow some...

Latest Posts

APTUS Nutrients Dazzle Aussie Growers With Dank Yields

FIRE BUDS: APTUS Plant Tech Nutrients Making Shockwaves 'Down Under'The mass-importation of APTUS Plant Tech Nutrients to Australian markets...

Contrasting ‘Aussie Cannabis Culture’ With Legal Schemes Feat. Bec | Friendly Aussie Podcast – Episode 24

Our Friend Bec on the Big Differences Separating the 'Scenes' in Australia, the United States and Canada Let's face it... we may...

The Pro-Legalisation Pollies You Should Vote For in the 2020 Queensland State Election

Who Should Legalisation Advocates Vote For in the Upcoming Queensland State Election?With a particularly spooky general election occurring all...

Make It Legal, New Zealand! Feat. Sandra Murray | Friendly Aussie Podcast – Episode 23

If you are a New Zealand national... Make It Legal!VOTE YES in the Upcoming NZ Cannabis Referendum! In our conversation...
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x