How to Buy Cannabis: The Differences Between Sativa, Indica & Hybrid Strains
Seemingly uncontrollable feelings paranoia? Melting into the couch? I would venture to guess that nearly every cannabis user has experienced an uncomfortable feeling associated with being high. You can avoid this! Weed is like wine – every strain has a history, and the funny names you hear in the movies actually mean something. You may have heard the terms indica and sativa used in conjunction with cannabis. These terms are used to describe the two major species of the cannabis plant that induce markedly different effects. Most people never have the chance to choose, they get the bud that they are sold and hope for the best. However, legalization has created the opportunity for customers to make informed decisions about the strain they consume. Choosing the right strain can make all the difference when trying to calm down, spur your appetite, fall asleep, or find creative inspiration.
Cannabis plants of the indica variety grow short and bushy. Their leaves are short, wide, and deeply serrated. Cannabis indica plants typically mature in 6 to 8 weeks.
Commonly known as the 'nighttime' variety, the effect of cannabis indica is typically described as a body high. Indica strains have sedative properties and induce feelings of deep relaxation; making them a great natural sleep aid. Cannabis indica provides stress & anxiety relief as well as pain & nausea relief. Oh, and the munchies? Those come from cannabis indica.
Indicas slow you down and are categorized as 'relaxing weed'. Ask for:
Granddaddy Purple, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, Afghan Kush/Afghani/Afgoo, Hash Plant, Sensi Star, MK Ultra, Herijuana, Kosher Kush, Master Kush, Blackberry Kush, Shishkaberry
Cannabis plants of the sativa variety grow tall and lanky. Their leaves are long, narrow, and narrowly serrated. Cannabis sativa plants typically mature in 10 to 16 weeks.
Commonly known as the 'daytime' smoke, the effect of cannabis sativa is often described as a cerebral high. Sativa strains induce feelings alertness, creativity, focus, and increased energy. Unfortunately, these same characteristics can induce those racy feelings of paranoia in certain users (especially the less experienced). Cannabis sativa also aids in treating depression.
Sativas get your mind moving and are categorized as 'creative weed'. Ask for:
Sour Diesel, Green Crack, Jack Herer, Durban Poison, Super Silver Haze, Super Lemon Haze, Purple Haze, Island Sweet Skunk, Ghost Train Haze, Acapulco Gold, East Coast Sour Diesel, Strawberry Cough
I must clarify that the above descriptions address the extremes, i.e. 100% indica and 100% sativa strains. The majority of cannabis strains available today are really hybrids that can lean heavily in one direction (either indica or sativa). These ‘hybrid’ strains of cannabis combine elements of both the indica and sativa species through the breeding process. Hybrids are popular as they maintain the most favorable aspects associated with each of the parents. Hybrids can be sativa or indica dominant – or right in the middle. I recommend consulting with your local bud tender or caregiver for strain specifics.
The majority of cannabis strains available today are really hybrids that can lean heavily in one direction or the other.
How to Choose:
Choosing between indica and sativa varieties of cannabis (and the associated THC) is dependent on the users symptoms and desired effects. Those seeking an upbeat, focused, and creative experience, should select a sativa dominant strain. Alternatively, those looking for relaxing, appetite inducing, and sedative effects should choose an indica dominant strain. When using cannabis therapeutically, you can use the following chart to determine which variety of THC is best suited for your symptoms and needs. Follow my consumption and dosage guides for more on how to use cannabis safely and effectively.
What is CBD-rich cannabis?
THC can be combined with other non-psychoactive cannabinoids for maximum relief. Rising in popularity is the availability of cannabis strains high in CBD, a compound with a myriad of therapeutic benefits that doesn’t get you high. In fact, many athletes actually use CBD in place of Ibuprofen for athletic recovery.
- If you need to be productive all day and seek some extra creativity, try a sativa strain
- If you’re looking to settle down and relax for the evening, grab yourself an indica strain
- If you want a great anytime smoke and a balanced high, try a hybrid strain
- If you seek therapeutic benefits without the high, try a high-cbd strain