As you begin browsing the different marijuana options on offer, you will likely notice that strains are typically broken up into three distinct groups: Sativa, Indica, and hybrid (man-made strains created by breeders that combine the former two).
The two naturally occurring subspecies have their own distinct traits, and each offers a unique kind of high. The high brought on by Sativas tends to be more psychoactive and uplifting. Contrastingly, Indica strains tend to create a more relaxing and sedating high situated in the body.
Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid
Though not all Sativa marijuana strains will energize you and create psychoactive effects, users frequently report that Sativa strains produce a “head high”—an uplifting and stimulating effect, with a more noticeably altered mental state. They also state that Sativas are helpful when it comes to sharpening focus and boosting creativity and motivation.
Similarly, not all Indica strains will make you feel relaxed and lethargic. Nonetheless, many consumers associate Indicas with full-body effects like heavy limbs or a tingly face. They also report Indicas to be beneficial in curbing insomnia and aiding relaxation.
Hybrids are bred from both Indica and Sativa plants. Hence, the effects of these strains generally depend on the hybrid you consume and the specific effects its “parent” strains are known to produce. Common effects include euphoria, relaxation, and a combination of mental and physical effects.
Typically, the effects of various strains depend on many factors and are primarily influenced by the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds present in the strain. THC and CBD are the main drivers of marijuana’s recreational and therapeutic effects. THC makes you feel hungry, is known to relieve symptoms like pain and nausea, and is responsible for the psychoactive effects associated with cannabis. Sativa strains are generally viewed as having higher levels of THC. CBD is non-psychoactive and is known to alleviate anxiety, pain, inflammation, and other medical ailments. Indica strains are generally viewed as having higher levels of CBD.
Is There Really a Difference?
Users typically consider physically-relaxing Indica strains to be perfect for Netflix binges or settling in for the night. Sativa strains are often the go-to for physical activity, creative projects, and social gatherings.
However, as research progresses and the world learns more about the cannabis plant, it has become increasingly clear that the chemical compounds present in the specific cannabis being consumed determine the effects you experience. These can vary widely, irrespective of whether it is an Indica or Sativa.
Nevertheless, the belief that Sativas, Indicas, and hybrids provide different effects is still deeply rooted in the marijuana culture even today. If you walk into the dispensary, chances are that the budtender will begin their recommendations by asking which of the three types you prefer.
Are All Strains Consumed the Same Way?
Marijuana is available for consumption in many forms, regardless of strain. In addition to dried flowers for smoking, you can purchase cannabis in the form of edibles, vapes, oils, tinctures, and gummies. Many licensed distributors are even accessible via the internet. Your options are ever-expanding, whether you want to pick up Sativa in person or buy Indica online.
Each method of consumption has its own benefits and drawbacks. If you smoke or vape cannabis, you will feel the effects quite quickly, but it can irritate your lungs and airways. Gummies, chewables, and other food-based products eliminate the adverse effects of smoking, but it will take longer for you to feel their effects, and human error and the uncertainty of recipes can make them unexpectedly potent.
Don’t Strain Yourself
When you are looking for the right marijuana product for you, the first thing you should do is decide what you are trying to achieve. Are you trying to treat pain or feel high? Answers to these questions will help you narrow your options. Consider talking with dispensary employees about your goals for marijuana use, whether they include reducing anxiety, treating insomnia, increasing energy, or other effects.
You should also understand your tolerance levels. Some strains are ideal for newer users because their effects are mild and more tolerable. Strains with higher levels of cannabinoids can be too potent for first-time users.
You should also consider your medical history. Though cannabis is a natural product, its effects can be quite intense. Before you try weed, you should consider its possible interaction with existing medical conditions and medications. You can consult a healthcare professional about your individual benefits and potential risks.
Explore Your Options
If you have experienced anxiety or have trouble with chronic pain or depression, you may have had Indica recommended to you. Perhaps you are just curious about how marijuana can help you in general. In either instance, you should consider speaking with a healthcare professional or a knowledgeable cannabis clinician. They will be able to tell you its potential positive and negative effects and help you find something that fits your requirements. Don’t forget to explore your options. Finding the right option will take time, but it can definitely be worth the efforts.