If you’re new to cannabis you’ve probably heard the words “indica” and “sativa” in relation to strains and that the high you feel from one can differ considerably from the other.
Effects of Indica
Indica plants are believed to make you feel relaxed or even sedated. Sativa strains are thought to be stimulants which offer more of a head-high. Hybrids are crossbreeds that, as expected, carry some characteristics of each.
Indicas have a higher level of cannabinoids than sativas, which may result in a sedated body-type kind of high. Because of this, many patients prefer to medicate at night when they don’t need to focus on physical tasks.
Are These Categorizations Enough?
If you’re trying to manage a condition, it may not be enough to consider the strain type. There’s a lot of variability between strains of the same strain type, which makes the categorization less than helpful
While the strains look different on the surface—sativas are tall and narrow-leafed, and indicas are short and broad-leafed—there’s little evidence to suggest one is always sedating and the other always energizing. Cannabis is classified this way because it’s convenient, especially when there are so many strains, products, and new customers.
Base your selection on levels of the most important cannabinoids:
- THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol)-dominant strains will get you high or alter your mental state. THC can treat pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. It can also cause anxiety. It’s not ideal if you need to be clear-headed.
- CBD (cannabidiol)-dominant strains often reduce anxiety and improve mental clarity. But CBD also may have less medicinal value than THC, according to a 2019 study at the University of New Mexico.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that are produced in many plants and fruits, including cannabis. Terpenes make cannabis smell like berries, citrus, pine, fuel, etc. Find the aromas that you like and give them a try.
What’s Right for You?
Bottom line, cannabis is a complex plant. Keep it simple and figure out the following:
- What do you want to feel? Mellow, energetic, happy, focused? Let your budtender know and he or she will suggest products that have the appropriate potency and cannabinoid composition.
- What methods of consumption are best for you? Do you want the effects to last a long time? Consider edibles. Do you want a short-term experience? Inhalants or a tincture may work best.
It may be hit or miss the first few times. Always write down what you took, how much, and what it felt like. That tracking will help you when you come back to Haven to buy more. Eventually, you’ll find strains and methods you like.