What is Cannabis sativa, really? Commercially, C. sativa strains are marketed as producing a clear-headed, high functioning, creative high – known as a “cerebral rush”. The taxonomic framework for cannabis strains, however, is rooted in the biology and chemotype of the plant – not the effects that it elicits. C. sativa plants have longer flowering cycles and fare better in warm climates with long seasons. They usually grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves. They are indigenous to eastern Asia, but now of cosmopolitan distribution due to widespread cultivation.