Cannabis had originated in Central Asia, but over the course of millennia, but with the passage of time conquest and exploration would carry the plant to virtually every continent. Cultivators bred their plants to suit the needs of their communities.
Over many generations, variations within cultivars began to develop in each pocket of the world where cannabis had taken root. These variations became known as landrace strains.
The native habitats which were brought to the west had collected from landrace strains where they were crossbred with one another by horticulturists seeking to explore the plant’s potential. This process of hybridization—breeding different males with different females—has given rise to the thousands of named varieties we consume today.
“indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” are three types primarily refer to the various plant shapes and structures, features that are important for growers. Consumers have long thought that indicas have sedating effects, sativas promote energy, and hybrid effects fall somewhere in between. However, research has largely debunked this effects-based classification.