Scientists Say ‘Sativa’, ‘Indica’ & ‘Ruderalis’ Wrong Terminology

“An ambitious call to standardize the names used by non-scientists in reference to Cannabis plants —to create an accurate vernacular nomenclature— was made by Dr. John McPartland at the 2014 meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society and will be published in O’Shaughnessy’s upcoming print edition. McPartland’s ICRS paper, co-authored by Dr. Geoffrey Guy, used “DNA barcodes” to determine whether or not Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa are separate species. The answer was not. C. indica and C. sativa are subspecies —separate varieties of one Cannabis species.

McPartland traced the confusion that prevails today among plant breeders and the pot-loving masses to the 1970s, when a C. afghanica plant collected by botanist Richard Evans Schultes was incorrectly identified as C. indica.” – An excerpt from

As far as we understand these name changes would look like this:


Sativa                   Indica            –     High THC

Indica                   Afghanica     –     More Balanced THC:CBD Ratio

Ruderalis             Sativa            –     Industrial Use / Very Low


At first glance these changes don’t seem necessary but they could clear up a lot of the confusion surrounding cannabis and terms used to described its different variations.


In the UK fear propaganda is still commonly practised in the mainstream media. Recently so called authoritative figures have referred to cannabis strain ‘Skunk’ as a dangerous drug in the British press even though it’s still less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and always will be.

If all strains with a high THC content go into the ‘Indica’ section then it could be easier to identify types of cannabis which could put an end to the media singling out strains like skunk and demonizing them.

Afghanica cannabis plants would have a slightly lower THC than ‘Indica’ but have a more balanced THC to CBD ratio. Less THC means less psycho-active properties and the high CBD content make Afghanica more medicinal.

Finally Ruderalis would be known as Sativa like Cannabis Sativa, just like ‘hemp’ was originally known. Like a variant of short growing hemp – Cannabis Sativa would be known for its industrial properties given the miniscule amount of THC:CBD content.

How do you feel about the proposed ‘corrections’ ?

Read the full published chart by Dr. John McPartland at: