Cannabis sativa , is a tall plant, generally between 8 and 12 feet. The leaves have long thin fingers and are light
green. The more equatorial varieties have more yellow pigments to protect the plant from intense light. Sativa buds are long
and thin and turn red as they mature in a warm environment. In cooler environments the buds may be slightly purple. Sativa
plants smell sweet and fruity and the smoke is generally quite mild. It is a source of fiber for rope and other products and
it contains THC which gives smokers the psychic effects they seek. The leaves of this plant are smoked but the most highly
prized part of the plant is the top.
Cannabis indica, is plentiful in the Mideast, India, and Central Asia especially Afghanistan, Kashmire, and Pakistan.
It is a short plant, generally between 3 and 6 feet, and its leaves have short broad fingers. The leaves are generally dark
green sometimes tinged with purple. As they near maturity, the leaves may become significantly more purple. It is a strong
smelling plant with a "stinky" or "skunky" smell. The smoke of indicas is generally thick and more prone to cause coughing
when inhaled. Indicas are the traditional source of hashish.
Cannabis ruderalis is a debated third variety of cannabis found in Russia, Poland, and other eastern Europen countries.
Schultes classified cannabis as having three species: sativa, indica, and ruderalis based on the formation of the seed pods.
There is some debate as to whether there is justification for this third category. Some features of ruderalis are large seeds,
short weedy plants (4-6 feet tall) and a lower level of thc than sativas or indicas.