Need to Knows

What is a Sativa?

Cannabis Sativa

  • Cannabis sativa is the tallest variety of cannabis. All other varieties most likely evolved from the sativa plant. Most hemp is actually sativa. Sativa varieties are thin and wispy, most likely from evolving in hotter regions of the world where adequate airflow between branches was necessary to remain disease free. 100% sativa strains take up to six months to flower and can grow extremely tall making true sativa unsuitable for indoor and commercial medical marijuana production. 
  • The sativa strains commonly grown for medicine are actually hybrids that have been bred with Indica varieties to shorten both their height and flowering time. 
  • Sativa produces a cerebral effect that can be energizing, followed by an increase in appetite. Sativa hybrids are very helpful for any medical marijuana patient experiencing loss of appetite such as those undergoing chemotherapy or patients with HIV/AIDS. 

What is an Indica?

Cannabis Indica

  • Cannabis Indica is short and bushy with thick stems. Most likely evolving in the cooler regions of Asia and Afghanistan, cannabis Indica has a short flowering time, most likely to complete its reproductive cycle prior to freezing conditions. 
  • Most medicinal varieties of cannabis are a derived form of Indica, and its cannabinoid profiles are well-balanced producing significant levels of THC, CBD, and CBN. 
  • Indicas produce a body-centered effect that allows relaxation, quality rest, and pain relief for patients. 

Cannabis Hybrids and Why

Hybrids are a cross between Sativa and Indica strains. They can be Indica dominant or Sativa dominant based on lineage. Most Maine medical marijuana Caregivers grow hybrids over Pure Indica or Sativa strains. One reason being, pure Indica and pure Sativa plants are hard to come by and typically landraces. Another reason hybrids are preferred is the well-rounded plant structure, flowering time, cannabinoid profile and terpene profile.  

For many decades growers and marijuana enthusiasts have specifically bred phenotypes (inherent traits) to get the most out of particular strains and have cross bred different strains for certain effects and genetic variations. Many medical cannabis growers breed for favorable traits (i.e. high THC content, higher yields, or terpenes).  Expert breeders create top of the line marijuana that grows well and has consistent structure to the buds. 

What are Cannabinoids, CBD, THC, and Terpenes?

Scientists are aware of many different types of cannabinoids.

Endocannabinoids (found within the human body), phytocannabinoids (found in plants such as cannabis), and synthetic cannabinoids (created in a laboratory)

There are over 480 natural components found within the cannabis plant, of which at least 85 have been determined to be cannabinoids.

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most well-known of the cannabinoids, which provide significant health benefits and are responsible for producing many of the effects of cannabis use (depending on the strain).  Cannabinoids affect the user by binding with receptors within the cells of the body and different parts of the central nervous system. 
  • There are at least two kinds of cannabinoid receptors found to date, termed CB1 and CB2. Anandamide is a cannabinoid-like substance found within the brain commonly referred to as the “Bliss Molecule.” Naturally occurring anandamide binds to CB1 receptors. Other naturally occurring substances that bind to CB1 have recently been discovered, and these, together with the receptors, have been termed the endogenous cannabinoid system or endocannabinoid system. 
  • The effects of THC are heavily influenced by the other components of the plant, most particularly, other cannabinoids. Differences between the cannabinoids found within the cannabis plant are determined by the extent to which they are psychologically active and the other medicinal benefits they correspond with. For example, CBG, CBC and CBD are not known to have a psychological effect, however they have been proven to have multiple medicinal benefits, while THC and CBN are cannabinoids often associated with the psychological effect of cannabis.


Most cannabinoids are multifaceted with a wide array of effects and benefits.

Test results for every batch will enclose the varying cannabinoid profiles.  Having various strains and batches allows Tops Farm to properly and accurately provide medicines to treat multiple patients with different needs. By combining different cannabinoids and different terpene profiles, the possibilities for medicinal healing are vast. Learn more about Tops Farm Medical Marijuana quality and safety here.

The following cannabinoids are all known to provide different effects and medicinal benefits:

  • THC – Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol is the cannabinoid that gives cannabis the majority of its psychoactive effects. Cannabis has been bred for high levels of THC, and we are only now starting to breed for complimentary cannabinoids. THC can be used to treat pain, nausea, tumors, and ADHD. 
  • THC-A -THC-A is the most common cannabinoid found in cannabis. It is not psychoactive and has an array of medicinal effects including anti-tumor, anti-insomnia, anti- inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic. THC-A turns into Delta 9 Tetrahydrocannabinol when decarboxylated.  Heat removes the acid group from the THC molecule changing the molecular structures so that it can be received by the CB1 receptors in the Endocannabinoid System 
  • CBN – (Cannabinol) As THC oxidizes from exposure to heat and light, it turns into CBN. CBN is only mildly psychoactive and highly sedative. 
  • CBG – Cannabigerol is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that stimulates brain cell development and bone growth. It is also antibacterial, anti-insomnia, and anti- tumor. 
  • CBC – Cannabichromene has been shown to be 10 times more effective than CBD for treating anxiety. CBC also potentially helps with dementia and Alzheimers. It is non-psychoactive. 
  • CBD – Highly effective in treating epilepsy and MS, cannabidiol is non-psychoactive. CBD is as effective at treating tumors and pain as THC, however very useful for children and to others whom do not wish for the psychoactive effects of THC. CBD can treat diabetes by lowering blood sugar and is very effective in treating stress and insomnia. 
  • CBD-A – CBD-A is more commonly found in the ruderalis varieties, which are often bred with sativa and Indica varieties for their auto flowering abilities. CBDA has been linked to anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory effects.

Synergies between Terpenes and Cannabinoids 

Terpene and cannabinoid profiles of strains need to be considered in order to provide the most effective and desirable medicine for patients.   

Terpenes are another naturally occurring compound secreted from trichomes in the cannabis plant.   Terpenes directly affect the plant’s smell and may influence the effects produced by specific strains.


  •  Chamomile and tea tree oil
  •  Is thought to reduce inflammation and irritation, may also have microbial and pain-reducing effects


  • Rich spicy, sweet, woody, clove, camphor, pepper 
  • Anti-septic, anti- tumor, anti- inflammatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial


  • Similar aroma to lavender
  • Treats anxiety and acts as a sedative 


  • Clove, earthy, citrus, mango, mint 
  • Antiseptic, anti-tumor, analgesic, anti- depressant, muscle relaxant. Most common terpene in cannabis, found in higher levels in Indicas. Makes cell walls more permeable thus increasing the effect of cannabinoids


  • Basil, mango, and parsley. 
  • Its primary effects may include easing congestion and warding off viruses and bacteria. 


  • Pine, rosemary, dill, basil.  
  • Mental focus, energy, bronchodilator, anti- inflammatory


  • Apples, cumin, and conifers. 
  • It may have sedative, antibacterial, and antifungal properties.


  • Citrus, rosemary, juniper, peppermint. 
  • Increased circulation, pain relief. 


  • Hoppy, coriander. 
  • Common in sativa. Anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, anti-bacterial
  • Spicy, camphor, minty, with notes of eucalyptus and tea tree oil. 
  • It may also reduce inflammation, increase circulation, and fight bacteria.



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