Marijuana characteristics

As with any flowering plant, the cannabis sativa “marijuana” plant is described by various characteristics of appearance, smell, behavior, and general qualities.  To outline the basic areas of characteristics, and the specific trait(s) that comprise these characteristics, the following lists have been compiled.


  • THC cannabinoid content
  • THCV cannabinoid content
  • CBD cannabinoid content
  • CBN cannabinoid content
  • CBC cannabinoid content
  • CBL cannabinoid content

The general potency potential of a type of weed will be a outlined by the marijuana strain’s genetics.  The care provided to the individual plants producing the weed will determine where within this range of potential potency the final product will crop.  For instance two cloned marijuana plants, although genetically identical, will produce weed of vastly differing potency in the flower buds if one plant receives optimal light and water while the other plant receives too much or little of these.  The nutrients that are fed to the plants, along with the growing medium and water quality (including pH, hardness, etc.) also have a direct effect on the potency of the weed.  The chemicals listed above are produced in proportions that are directly affected by not only the genetics of the plant but its environment and care as well.


  • Psychoactive effect
  • Physiological effect
  • Sedative effect
  • Energizing effect
  • Analgesic effect (Pain relief)
  • Euphoric effect
  • Anti-anxiety effect

The effects of using a particular type of weed are certainly linked to the genetics of the plant, but again as with potency, the growing conditions and fertilizers used will play a part in the effects of each individual plant’s crop.  However, in general, any type of marijuana should produce a similar effect if grown in similar conditions, preferrably optimal for the particular type of weed being grown.  The effects of the marijuana are altered by the method of ingestion, so smoking will likely produce a different effect or intensity as compared to vaporizing the marijuana would.  In addition it should be noted that effects and their intensity vary between patients, meaning that one patient may experience different effects from another, so the effects listed and assigned for the types of weed here are based upon experience, and are not necessarily a guarantee of your realized experience.

Flavor and Aroma

Indeed, one of the most distinguishing characteristics of the different strains of weed (especially for most people who smoke more-so than grow) is the aroma of the cured marijuana medicine and the flavor of the smoked weed.  Some strains have no discernible unique flavor beyond that of harsh plant smoke, while other strains may treat the patient to a pungent and exotic flavor.  It should be noted that the flavor one experiences with burning weed will differ from the flavor when vaporizing weed.  A vaporizer tends to deliver a more palatable and aromatic flavor, while burning the weed results in a more hashy and of course smoky flavor, however some types of marijuana have a flavor so strong that it can completely mute the smoke flavor.

  • Sweet
  • Fruit
  • Hash
  • Lemon
  • Blueberry
  • Strawberry
  • Bubblegum
  • Skunk
  • Earth
  • Cherry
  • Mango
  • Juicy Fruit gum
  • Cotton candy
  • Black pepper
  • Grapefruit
  • Chocolate
  • Pine

In addition to these naturally occurring flavors and aromas any additive flavor, such as tobacco flavoring, can be added to weed to make it taste a certain way.

Dominant Subspecies

The cannabis plant that we use for medicinal purposes is the species named “Sativa” of the genus “Cannabis”, so the common term cannabis sativa generally refers to all types of weed used by medicinal patients.  A location-specific subspecies named Cannabis Sativa Indica is a unique genetic branch of the sativa species that developed in Afghanistan.  The other medical marijuana strains that are not indica subspecies are simply referred to as sativa.  There are many hybrids of the pure indica and pure sativa subspecies, resulting in strains that are a percntage of each indica and sativa (e.g. 75% sativa / 25% indica).

Sativa-dominant types of marijuana tend to have a more energetic and clear high with less body effect, making them typically more effective for mood and appetite while less effective for pain and insomnia, for examples.  These strains, when growing, typically have leaves that are “skinnier” and more of a spring-green color.

Indica-dominant types of marijuana tend to have a more sedative and narcotic-like high, with the body effect being usually more pronounced and prolonged, generally making them more effective for pain relief and insomnia etc.   These plants have broader, “fatter” leaves that are a darker, more olive-green color.

Looks (a.k.a. Bag Appeal)

When dispensed for patient use as an inhalant medication, marijuana is most commonly given in the form of dried and cured flower buds.  These marijuana buds have a characteristic color in the green chlorophyll-laden areas of the buds and remaining leaf bases, as well as a color in the flower pistils which are usually reddish-brown, green or white.  Some plants develop other unique colors such as purple leaves or yellow pistil. These colors may increase the attractiveness of the buds to the prospective patient buyer dramatically, as may larger fatter buds, and a pleasant aroma.  In general, bag appeal refers to how enticing the looks of the cured nugs are on initial inspection.

Expected Yield

Maximum yield of any particular strain of weed is dictated by the genetics of the plant, and it cannot be forced to produce more than what optimal conditions and nutrients allow for, without genetic changes through random genetic mutation if individual specimens from seed or crossbreeding. This being said, the yield of any particular plant can be expected to fall within a reasonably narrow range of weight, assuming that the recommended growing medium, location, light, nutrient, water, and general care are followed. Experienced growers typically crop more than beginners simply because they are able to keep the plants “happier”  and know from experience the things that work, and what does not work, to enhance the growth and vigor.  Expected yield is measured in weight per area, usually ounces-per-square-yard in the US and grams-per-square-meter in other locales. It refers to the weight of usable medical marijuana buds that can be produced my the amount of light that is shed upon a square yard (or meter), which requires the same area of floor space for the plant(s) in that square yard to live upon.

Time to Yield

The amount of time passed from germination to maturation of the buds varies between the types of weed, some maturing much faster than others. Outdoor grown plants will typically yield at a certain calendar date, while indoor grown plants can be made to flower at any date by using manipulation of the daily light allowances.