Written by Jim Hole, Atlas Growers VP of Cultivation.
It seems like an easy question to answer but when one dives into the genetics of the plant, the answer is much more complicated. Although there is still some debate, it appears that the ancient ancestor of all cannabis is a species called ‘Cannabis ruderalis’ that was indigenous to Central Asia.
The evolution of cannabis continued both through natural selection and selection and propagation by humankind. Eventually two fairly distinct ‘species’ of cannabis emerged: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.
Cannabis Indica tends to have more of the psychoactive compounds (THC) while C. Sativa has a lower concentration. But today, many geneticists would argue that there is little to distinguish between Indica and Sativa due to extensive interbreeding.
So, the bottom line is that you can call cannabis whatever ‘species’ you like and not be incorrect!