This is a fundamentally flawed question. If you’re looking to simply compare Indica versus Sativa, which we will do in this post, then you’re okay. As a general rule of thumb, sativas are known for their “mind high”, which can be invigorating and energizing. Indicas are more well-known for their deep relaxation effects and a less stimulating “body high”. Beyond that, if you want more relevant information, you need to get the specifics of the cannabinoids and terpenes in each strain. That’s where you get the information you need to choose one that’s right for you. Luckily, I’m working on a mini series that goes over these different cannabinoids in more detail. It starts here.
We will go over the basic comparison.
Sativas are known to originate primarily from hot, dry climates such as Africa, Central America and parts of Asia. They grow tall and thin, with finger-like leaves. These plants take longer to mature than other types of cannabis. They typically have a lower CBD percentage and a higher THC percentage. Sativa is induce a “mind high”, which some people prefer. It comes with feelings of reduced anxiety, productivity, or creativity. Because of it stimulating properties, it is best used in the daytime. Some popular strains of sativa include Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Durban Poison.
Indicas originated in Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. They have adapted to the harsh, dry, turbulent climate of the Hindu Kush mountains. They grow faster than the sativa plant and each plant produces more buds than the sativa does. They grow short and stocky with bushy greenery and chunky broad leaves. These plants usually have high levels of CBD. They offer intensely relaxing effects, producing a less stimulating “body high”. People use indicas to reduce nausea and pain and increase appetite. Because they’re so relaxing come other best used at night time. Popular strains include Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, and Granddaddy Purple.
Now I’ll describe hybrids, which is another classification. Hybrids are made from different combinations of parent plants often to target specific effects and increase THC levels. These are usually grown on farms or in greenhouses, and the appearance of the plant depends on what the parents look like. People create hybrids to use for many unique effects from reducing anxiety to easing the pain of radiation therapy. In fact, it could be that most of the strains of marijuana you come across in dispensaries are hybrids. They’re classified as indica dominant, sativa dominant, or balanced. Popular strains include Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, and Blue Dream.
As I mentioned before, if you are looking for a strain that will target a specific condition that you have, then you need to be at least sort of knowledgeable in the different kinds of cannabinoids and terpenes. For example, do you need a strain that has a high percentage of CBD? Or are you okay with the lower one? Are you just looking to get high? Then you want one with high THC content. There’s a whole list of cannabinoids that exist in the marijuana plant and have an effect on your body when you take them in.
When you go to a dispensary, the amount of information they have on the various cannabinoids will very depending on which dispensary you go to. The staff should be knowledgeable about what different type helps what different conditions, or which one has simply the highest THC content. If you are really interested in using marijuana to treat different conditions in your body, then do your own research and draw your own conclusions. In the end, you will just have to simply try something out. If it works, great! If it’s not really something you were looking for, then move on and try a different strain.
There’s a lot that goes into marijuana. It’s not the same landscape as it was 35 years ago when I was a teenager. It’s not just hide behind a building and sneak a toke of whatever comes along. It’s actually a booming industry now, with lots of choices and lots of information to absorb. Whether you use marijuana medically or recreationally, it’s best to be informed. Until next time,