With the increase in popularity of using cannabis for medical and recreational purposes by now, most of us know that there are two strains of the drug. The two strains Sativa and Indica, both are purchased in dispensaries for medical and recreational purposes.
The cannabis industry is actually moving away from classifying cannabis using the word “strain” and instead classifying cannabis using the term “chemovars”. Since the term strain is used in the medical field to refer to viruses and bacteria the cannabis community is slowly shifting the label of Type 1: high THC, type 2: combined THC and CBD and type 3: high CBD. However, because this is still quite a new conversion, in this article the classification of cannabis will be using the strain names Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid.
Cannabis sativa grows primarily in hot and dry climates that have long sunny days. Climates in Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and some places in Western Asia. Sativa plants grow taller than Indica plants, they have thin “finger-like” leaves. They take a lot longer to mature than the other strains of cannabis but can grow taller than 12 feet.
Sativa has a lower dose of CBD and a higher dose of THC. THC is the main compound that creates the “high” effect and state of euphoria. CBD is the compound that doesn’t cause a high but has more physical benefits such as reducing pain, nausea and easing migraines. Sativa creates a strong “head high” which means that the effects of this strain are mostly perceived in the brain instead of the body. This strain makes you more energized and may have anxiety-reducing or hallucinogenic effects. Sativa strains don’t make you feel relaxed or lethargic but rather productive and creative. Therefore, its stimulating effects make it more suitable for usage during the daytime. The most popular Sativa strains are Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Durban Poison.
People who buy Sativa are people who want to feel uplifted, alert, and creative. You may want to choose a Sativa strain if you are:
- Going to do chores around the house
- Going to a party or a fun outing
- Doing artwork or working on a project
- Need to stay up late to catch up on work and be productive
This strain is best for people who struggle with ADHA or depression.
This strain is native to India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Cannabis indica has adapted to grow in the harsh, dry climates of the Hindu Kush mountains. Indica plants are shorter than Sativa. They are stocky and the bushy, chunky leaves grow wide and broad. They mature much faster than Sativa and Indica plants produce more buds.
Cannabis indica has higher levels of CBD but most of the time the THC content isn’t less than what is in Sativa either. This means the strain still provides the same level of high but the extra CBD in the plant provides a soothing “body high” instead of a “head high” provided by Cannabis sativa. This “body high” provided by Indica strains may induce a feeling that’s called “couch-lock” which is the sensation that keeps you glued to your seat and not moving. This comes from the relaxed and sedated effects your body experiences, it may lead to feelings of intense high and dizziness that don’t allow you to move around with confidence.
These effects of the Indica strains can be undesirable for some people during certain times in the day. You wouldn’t want to take an Indica strain in the middle of the day when you are trying to be productive and get things done. For this reason, Indica strains are used for nighttime smoking as a tool to relax and unwind.
Cannabis indica is often recommended for people who suffer from anxiety and muscle pain or spasm
Hybrid cannabis strains are a combination of Indica and Sativa. Most cannabis found today are not pure Indica or Sativa usually they will be Indica dominant or Sativa dominant, sometimes an equal mix of both. The effects of Hybrid is a mix of characteristics from both Indica and Sativa strains. The effects of a hybrid strain can include a boost or energy that is followed by a relaxed, drowsy feeling and euphoric temporary happiness.
Most hybrid strains do not have an equal distribution of Indica and Sativa. A Sativa dominant will have more effects of Sativa and Indica effects. You’ll feel the uplifting and euphoric effects provided by the Sativa however the Indica effect of body high will make sure you aren’t overwhelmed. The same goes for Indica dominant cannabis, these are best for people who want to experience euphoria while medicating. A truly hybrid strain with a 1:2 ratio balance of Indica and Sativa is difficult to find. Hybrid strains are great for people who want to experience a balanced high.