There are a great number of marijuana varieties, and new ones are constantly being developed to cater to the preferences of different consumers. In order to make it easier for customers to choose from the thousands of strains available, cannabis is typically classified in various ways based on characteristics such as genetics, flowering, or sexing. In addition to these broader categories, cannabis also contains terpenes that determine the flavor and aroma of the plant, further complicating the choice of the best marijuana type as it will always depend on individual preferences, goals, and needs.

Classification of Cannabis Based on Genetics

In the past, cannabis strains were clearly differentiated into two main indigenous groups from remote regions. Sativa and Indica marijuana have distinct differences between them, but over time and through multiple crossbreeding, numerous varieties with combined characteristics and genetics have emerged, blurring the lines between the two.

Sativa Marijuana with Energizing Effects

Sativa marijuana strains originated from equatorial regions of the planet where the climate is warmer, such as America (Colombia, Jamaica, Mexico), Asia (Thailand, Nepal), and Africa. Sativa cannabis varieties are easily distinguishable from other types due to their plant structure, which is elongated, taller, and with larger internodal distances between the buds.

The flowering cycles of Sativa strains are longer than Indica varieties, and the effects are typically uplifting, providing psychoactive effects, energizing sensations, increased appetite, enhanced creativity, and overall social and active effects that are more suitable for daytime consumption. However, caution should be exercised with Sativa strains as they can also induce paranoia when consumed in excess.

Indica Marijuana with Relaxing Effects

Indica marijuana plants are native to India, Afghanistan, and Pakistan, and they have a smaller, bushier structure compared to Sativa strains due to shorter distances between the buds. The buds of Indica varieties are more compact and resinous than those of Sativa strains, making them more prone to mold and rot issues.

The flowering cycles of Indica strains are shorter, and they are more resistant to cold and humid climates compared to Sativas, making them easier to cultivate. The effects of Indica strains are often described as a “body high,” providing relaxing sensations that are especially suitable for relieving muscle pain or promoting sleep. The flavors of Indica strains can vary widely, ranging from fruity and sweet to woody or earthy.

Rudelaris Marijuana or Autoflowering Strains

Apart from Sativa and Indica, there is another category known as Rudelaris or autoflowering strains. These varieties have unique genetics that allow them to automatically transition from the vegetative growth phase to the flowering phase without relying on changes in light cycles. This genetic trait makes autoflowering strains more resilient and adaptable, with shorter flowering times compared to photoperiod-dependent strains.

Autoflowering strains are highly sought after by growers due to their ease of cultivation and the ability to harvest multiple crops in a year. They are also favored by outdoor growers as they can tolerate harsh environmental conditions and are less affected by pests and diseases.

Hybrid Marijuana Strains

In addition to the above-mentioned classifications, there are also hybrid marijuana strains that combine genetics from different varieties. These hybrids can be Sativa-dominant, Indica-dominant, or balanced, depending on the specific genetics involved. Hybrid strains allow breeders to create new combinations of desired characteristics, such as combining the energizing effects of Sativa with the relaxing effects of Indica or vice versa.

The popularity of hybrid strains has grown rapidly in recent years, as they offer a wide range of effects, flavors, and aromas that cater to different consumer preferences. Some hybrids are specifically developed for medicinal purposes, targeting specific ailments or conditions.

Classification of Cannabis Based on Flowering Time

Another way to classify cannabis is based on flowering time. Strains are often categorized as either photoperiod-dependent or autoflowering. Photoperiod-dependent strains require specific light conditions to trigger the transition from the vegetative growth phase to the flowering phase. These strains typically flower in response to a change in light cycles, usually when the days become shorter.

On the other hand, autoflowering strains, as mentioned earlier, do not rely on changes in light cycles to initiate flowering. They have a predetermined timeline for flowering, typically starting around two to four weeks from germination, regardless of the light conditions. Autoflowering strains offer the advantage of faster harvests and multiple crops in a year.

Classification of Cannabis Based on Sex

Sexing cannabis plants is another important factor in classifying them. Marijuana plants can be either male, female, or hermaphrodite. Female plants are the most sought after as they produce the resinous buds that contain the highest levels of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD. Male plants produce pollen for fertilization, which is necessary for reproduction but not for the production of consumable buds.

Hermaphrodite plants have both male and female reproductive organs and can self-pollinate, leading to the development of seeds. While hermaphrodite plants are not commonly desired for consumption, their use in breeding programs can be valuable in developing new varieties.


In conclusion, there are various ways to classify cannabis, including based on genetics, flowering time, and sex. Sativa and Indica are the two main genetic types, with Sativa strains providing energizing effects and Indica strains offering relaxing effects. Rudelaris or autoflowering strains have unique genetics that allow them to flower automatically, while hybrids combine characteristics from different varieties. Additionally, cannabis strains can be classified according to their flowering time and sex. The classification of cannabis helps consumers and growers understand the characteristics and effects of different strains, enabling them to make informed choices based on their preferences and needs.