We May Be Wrong About Cannabis Strains

February 18, 2015 | Backdoor Pharmacist

A report by a leading cannabis researcher says DNA testing has revealed that we’re all wrong and stupid. What we call sativa is actually indica; what we call indica is actually afghanica; and what we call ruderalis is actually sativa.

McPartland’s paper argues that in the 1970s, botanist of psychoactive plants Richard Evans Schultes mistakenly classified an afghanica plant as an indica. But in the 1970s, cannabis became illegal in the US and scientific research was suppressed. Dr. McPartland suggests that the mistake was never noticed in this repressive atmosphere. With modern science, he wants to correct the common vernacular.

Sativa should be renamed indica because it comes from India. What used to be called indica should be named afghanica, as it is from Afghanistan. Ruderalis, usually called “ditchweed,” is actually just escaped sativa.


However, this isn’t without controversy from other scientists. Biologist Ryan Lee argues that “sativa” stands for “cultivated” in Latin, and has various sub-varieties. Therefore reclassifying “ruderalis” — a name that means “wild” — as sativa would be inappropriate.

Dr. McPartland responded by arguing that after many generations, domesticated plants physically resembled wild types so well that without genetic analysis, there’s no way to tell. McPartland also doubts whether there are any wild plants left in significant numbers. Indica is actually stimulating with a greater ratio of THC to CBD. Afghanica has a relatively equal balance of THC to CBD, chill and stoning. Finally, sativa has greater ratio of CBD to THC, meaning it doesn’t feel like it’s getting you high. However, the effects are there, perfect for medical needs.

Is this the toking world’s Pluto moment? While scientists reclassify and debate, average people will still think that Pluto is a planet. Especially the newly legal cannabis industry, which wouldn’t want to confuse consumers. What’s an afghanica? Are you telling me my sativa is really indica? It’d be chaos until people learn.

Maybe in the future, we’ll be ordering afghanica when we want a chill time. And when we want to party hard, we’ll be smoking indica.

(Photo: Prensa 420)