Slurpee is the name of a flavored ice slush drink, not a strain of cannabis. Slurpee is a registered trademark for frozen carbonated beverages sold at 7-Eleven convenience stores. So Slurpee itself does not have any indica or sativa classifications. However, there are some cannabis strains with names that reference Slurpee, like Purple Slurpee and Slurricane, that do fall into traditional indica or sativa categories.
What is Slurpee?
Slurpee is the brand name for a slushy frozen carbonated beverage sold by the 7-Eleven convenience store chain. Slurpees come in a wide array of fruit and soda flavors and are made by partially freezing a liquid beverage and adding carbon dioxide to make it frothy and bubbly.
The original Slurpee drink was invented in the late 1950s by Omar Knedlik, the owner of a Dairy Queen franchise in Kansas. Knedlik had a broken soda fountain that would dispense semi-frozen bottled sodas. Customers loved the slushy consistency, so he worked to replicate the effect with a custom machine that would stir flavored syrup with ice and carbon dioxide.
The drink became popular and 7-Eleven licensed the technology to sell Slurpees at their convenience stores in 1966. The name “Slurpee” was coined for the sound made sipping the slushy beverages. Over the next decades, Slurpees became a signature item for 7-Eleven stores, with a wide range of novelty flavors and collectible promotional cups.
Today Slurpee drinks are sold across the United States and Canada at over 5,800 7-Eleven locations. Popular Slurpee flavors include Coke, Cherry, and Pina Colada, though stores frequently introduce special limited-edition seasonal or regional flavors. Over 7 million Slurpees are sold each month, making it the top-selling frozen carbonated beverage in the country.
So in summary, Slurpee is just a brand name and flavor category, not a specific cannabis strain. 7-Eleven’s website makes no mention of any association with cannabis or indica/sativa classifications. Slurpee is simply a trademarked name for 7-Eleven’s line of frozen carbonated drinks.
Cannabis Strains Named After Slurpee
While the Slurpee drink itself contains no cannabis, there are some marijuana strains that reference the popular frozen beverage in their names. Two examples are:
Purple Slurpee is a hybrid marijuana strain made by crossing Girl Scout Cookies and Grand Daddy Purp genetics. It typically has a balanced cannabinoid profile with moderate THC levels around 15-20%. The flavor and aroma are described as sweet and fruity, befitting its Slurpee-inspired name.
The high from Purple Slurpee starts relatively mellow before building to a more potent buzz. It provides both cerebral effects to enhance mood along with full-body relaxation. This makes Purple Slurpee appropriate for both daytime and nighttime use.
Given its balanced effects and lineage, this strain would likely be classified closer to a hybrid than a pure indica or sativa. The purple coloration also comes from its Grand Daddy Purp genetics, rather than any relation to actual Slurpee flavors.
Slurricane is another hybrid strain with Slurpee-inspired naming. It is a cross between Do-Si-Dos and Purple Punch. With THC levels reaching up to 25%, it is a relatively potent strain with pronounced intoxicating effects.
Slurricane plants produce dense bud with a spade-shaped appearance in shades of deep purple. The flavor has sweet and earthy notes, with a pungent aroma.
The high from Slurricane starts with an uplifted euphoria but progresses to relaxing indica effects like couchlock and munchies. So while it has some initial sativa-like properties, it ends up demonstrating more indica dominance in its effects profile.
Indica vs. Sativa Cannabis Types
While names like Purple Slurpee and Slurricane pay homage to the frozen beverage, these strains still fall into the traditional categories used to classify different types of cannabis:
Sativa strains tend to produce uplifting, energizing effects. They are often recommended for daytime use when concentration and creativity are desired. Sativas have a taller, wispier physical structure and leaf morphology. They take longer to mature and have higher levels of THC compared to CBD.
Pure sativa varieties include strains like Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison. Sativa effects are stimulating and can help treat things like depression, fatigue, and anxiety in some individuals. The cerebral head high may also enhance focus and spark creativity.
Indica strains tend to provide more sedative, narcotic effects. They induce full-body relaxation and may help with sleep, pain, and muscle spasms. They are often better suited for evening and nighttime use.
Indica plants are shorter and bushier in structure. They have shorter maturation times and often higher CBD to balance the THC effects. Classic indica strains include Granddaddy Purple, Northern Lights, and G13.
Indicas are known for providing a “couchlock” sensation, along with stress relief and reduced insomnia for some users. They affect the body more than the mind.
Most modern cannabis strains are hybrids combining both sativa and indica genetics. By crossing different ratios of the two types, hybrids exhibit effects along a spectrum between their sativa and indica parents. This allows developing strains tailored for different uses and benefits.
For example, a sativa-dominant hybrid can provide more balanced cerebral and physical effects, making it suitable for daytime activities. Indica-dominant hybrids conversely relax the body while still providing some mental stimulation.
Popular balanced hybrids include OG Kush, Blue Dream, and Girl Scout Cookies. The endless combinations allow breeding custom strains with desired characteristics.
Factors that Determine Indica vs Sativa Effects
While indica and sativa classification provides a general guide to a strain’s effects, the reality is more complex. Several factors beyond just taxonomy determine the nuanced symptoms produced by different cannabis varieties:
The amounts of key cannabinoids like THC and CBD have a major impact on effects. Higher THC will increase intoxication, while higher CBD tends to be more relaxing and medically beneficial. Modern lab testing provides cannabinoid profiles down to the single percentage point to see exact potency and ratios.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that provide distinct flavors, scents, and physiological effects. Common cannabis terpenes include limonene, pinene, and linalool. The terpene profile can differentiate effects between strains with similar cannabinoid content.
Individual Body Chemistry
The same strain can produce greatly different experiences in different people. Things like metabolism, tolerance, weight, and medical conditions influence how cannabinoids affect you. Set and setting also impact perceived effects. So classifying a strain as inherently indica or sativa does not guarantee universal effects across all users.
Variations also exist within strains. Plant phenotypes are the physical expressions of genetics that depend on precise growing conditions. Plants of the same strain can take on slightly different structures and chemistries. This results in variations between batches, crops, and growers. So samples of the same strain are not always identical.
The Entourage Effect
Scientists now recognize cannabis has compounding effects beyond just THC and CBD content. Terpenes and other trace cannabinoids seem to act synergistically with the main active ingredients.
This “entourage effect” accounts for differences in action between isolated cannabinoids and whole-plant products. All the components work together to generate the overall experience. This further demonstrates why indica and sativa labels provide limited information – the true response depends on the full chemical profile.
Considering Cannabis as a Spectrum
Given all the variables, rigid indica and sativa categories only go so far in informing effects. Many experts advocate viewing cannabis characteristics as a spectrum instead.
For example, measuring the exact cannabinoid percentages and terpene content provides objective data for determining if a strain leans more energizing or sedating. Analyzing those chemical profiles provides better insights than simply labeling something as indica or sativa-derived.
Under this paradigm, it may be more useful to classify strains along a continuum instead of trying to slot them into one of two buckets. The spectrum better captures the range and nuance of possible effects and chemotypes expressed by the amazing plant diversity that exists.
Cannabis Testing Methodologies
Modern analytical methods allow quantifying active compounds within cannabis to an unprecedented degree. Lab techniques like gas and liquid chromatography paired with mass spectrometry (GC-MS, LC-MS) identify and measure cannabinoids, terpenes, and other constituents down to parts per million sensitivity.
Sophisticated testing provides objective data on potency, purity, solvents, pesticides, and microbes. Patients and consumers can see exactly what levels of components like THC and CBD are present. This takes the guesswork out of what a marijuana strain actually contains versus relying on subjective or anecdotal descriptions.
Testing labs also classify strains according to their observed effects rather than reported ancestry or breeder marketing. Chemometric analysis considers the entire chemical fingerprint of a sample relative to reference strains with known effects. This allows scientifically categorizing varieties along a multidimensional effects continuum without inherent bias.
As legalization spreads, cannabis testing becomes more robust and mandatory. States establish thresholds for potency labeling, contaminants, and consistency between batches. This raises product standards and gives consumers confidence in what they are purchasing, beyond the limitations of indica/sativa/hybrid labeling.
Cannabis Industry Marketing
Marijuana strains marketed as either sativa or indica dominate the commercial market and dispensaries. However, these classifications are not always accurate or consistent.
Labels get applied for marketing and branding purposes, not because of rigorous testing or verification. Seed companies also proliferate myths around sativas and indicas to hype their products. This results in misinformation where the claimed effects for a strain do not necessarily match real-world results.
Regulations for recreational and medical cannabis do not typically mandate rigorous effect testing, only monitoring for public health issues like heavy metals or pesticides. So producers are free to classify strains however they choose without scrutiny. And they often select names and descriptions that sound appealing to consumers, even if unsubstantiated.
So in an unregulated environment, sativa/indica/hybrid labels primarily serve as marketing. Consumers should view them skeptically without verified lab data on actual composition. Objective third-party testing provides more credible guidance on expected effects and potency for a given sample.
Origins of Indica vs. Sativa Classification
The categorization of cannabis plants into indica and sativa types originated from the plant’s taxonomy and morphology:
– Sativa strains were identified fromEuropean and Central Asian hemp plants with narrow, light green leaves and tall, slender growth habits optimized for fiber production.
– Indica strains were identified fromshorter, bushier plants with broad, dark green leaves found in the hash-producing varieties of India and the Hindu Kush mountains.
These landrace strains expressed different physical traits adapted to their native latitudes and environments over generations. Early taxonomists used these conspicuous differences to classify cannabis as either sativa or indica species separate from each other.
However, with globalization and breeding, these geographic-linked traits do not reliably correspond to effects for modern hybrid strains. Short bushy plants can have energizing effects, while some tall sativa-looking plants provide relaxation. Still, the terms persist as popular classifications.
Most experts today consider both to be subspecies of the single plant species Cannabis sativa L. Taxonomically there is only one cannabis species, although legal definitions differ. Potency and effects are driven by chemistry, not morphology. Still, the outdated associations with appearance and country of origin influence perceptions and marketing of strains.
Typically, fibers strains lean more sativa by ancestry, while drug strains lean more indica. But extensive crossbreeding means most cultivars no longer represent pure indica or sativa genetics. The only meaningful distinction comes from measurable cannabinoid and terpene data.
Challenges to Rigid Indica vs. Sativa Classification
Several factors challenge the accuracy and usefulness of simplistic indica and sativa categories:
– Most strains today are hybrids of the two types, exhibiting complex mixed effects.
– Focusing only on reported ancestry ignores actual chemical composition.
– Identical genetics produce varying effects depending on environment and phenotype expression.
– Individual differences in body chemistry alter effects from person to person.
– Reported ancestry and taxonomy often lack credibility or proof in unregulated markets.
– Recreational consumers often misperceive or misreport subjective effects.
– Clear-cut categorization fails to capture the spectrum of hybrid expressions.
– Few strains have been analyzed genetically to confirm heritage or chemotype.
For these reasons, cannabis science is moving beyond these binary classifications. New analysis methods allow profiling strains based on tested cannabinoid and terpene content correlated to experienced outcomes. This provides clearer guidance than legacy sativa/indica labels.
– Slurpee is a frozen carbonated beverage sold by 7-Eleven, not a type of cannabis. Its effects are refreshing, not intoxicating.
– Some strains use Slurpee in their names, but still classify as indicas, sativas, or hybrids based on their properties.
– Indica and sativa categories provide limited guidance on effects for modern hybrid strains.
– Chemotypes determined by testing for cannabinoids and terpenes better predicts effects than reported ancestry alone.
– Strains can be classified along a multidimensional continuum of characteristics better than discrete sativa/indica/hybrid groupings.
– Observed effects will vary based on an individual’s biochemistry even for the same chemotype.
– For reliable insights, lab testing on potency and composition provides objective data rather than subjective descriptions.
While the terms sativa and indica remain embedded in cannabis culture, they provide an oversimplified view of a complex plant. Slurpee itself contains no cannabis, only coming to represent a flavor profile. Modern strains marketed as indica or sativa may not have consistent chemotypes or effects.
As cannabis science and testing advances, a model of strains as points along a spectrum defined by their measured cannabinoid and terpene profiles gives a more accurate picture. This quantification better accounts for the myriad factors that shape subjective effects between individuals.
In the end, beyond the hype and assumptions, analytics divorced from taxonomy or biased perceptions are required. Only evidence-based chemical characterization and bioassay testing correlating experiences can classify strains reliably based on their actual constituents. This allows consumers to select varieties suited to their needs and desires while ignoring dubious marketing claims and folk wisdom.
So is Slurpee indica or sativa? It makes no difference, since that distinction has no bearing for the frozen beverage itself. And for strains referencing the flavor profile, verified chemical data provides the only definitive answer, not the name. As always, scientific investigation outpaces folklore and mythology.