When you think of the effects of cannabis, you may think about that “couch-locked,” relaxed feeling and the “munchies” (an intense desire to snack), but cannabis actually produces a wide variety of effects depending on which type you choose. If you have ever been inside a dispensary, you have probably noticed labels that put cannabis in one of three categories: indica, sativa, or hybrid. These plants are different in shape, height, flowering time, yield size, and flavor, but most importantly, the effects they offer. While the effects vary from strain to strain, in general, indicas are associated with deep relaxation, while sativas provide a more energetic high. Hybrids are a marriage of the two, which cannabis growers use to bring different properties together into one plant.
This information is particularly relevant to medical marijuana patients because it helps them choose the strain that is best for their particular condition and symptoms, but recreational marijuana users can also benefit from knowing more about the effects of different types of strains. The type of marijuana you want to consume before you go on a hike is different than one you would choose before bed, for example. In this blog, we will go over the primary differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis.
The indica plant can be distinguished from a sativa plant by its leaf shape and plant height. Indica leaves are wider, and the plants themselves are quite short and stubby, only growing to three or four feet tall. While the plant may look diminutive, the cannabinoid-dense resin that protects it from its natural harsh, mountainous climate packs a punch. Indicas often have high level of THC, making them quite potent.
It is believed that indicas were first grown near Afghanistan in the Hindu Kush region, hence why many indica strains are named “Kush.” They are able to withstand harsh conditions, and do well in areas between 30 to 50 degrees latitude.
While the flavor and odor vary according to the specific strain, in general, indicas are sweeter and more fruity than sativas. You will often see them come in berry flavors such as blueberry, strawberry, and blackberry, as well as tropical fruits such as pineapple or mango.
Indicas are well-known for their sedating properties. They tend to produce more of a “body high,” meaning that the effects can be felt physically, manifesting in a heavy feeling in your body and encourages you to relax. Because of this, it is generally recommended that you consume indicas when you are winding down at night or participating in an activity that doesn’t require much energy, such as watching a movie or taking a nap.
Due to their sedative-like effects, indicas are particularly beneficial to people with chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, and/or muscle spasms. Because they promote relaxation, so they are ideal for conditions that make relaxing or sleeping difficult.
- Northern Lights: One of the most famous indica strains, Northern Lights is a great cannabis choice for stress relief and muscle relaxation. With a sweet and pungent aroma, it averages around 18% THC content and produces a euphoric, dream-like state.
- Purple OG Kush: Famous for its distinctive purple leaves, this potent strain is great for a relaxing night in. At 27.7% THC content, this strain is known for producing both a great body and head high, as well as great pain relief properties.
- Grape Ape: With a delicious grape aroma and taste, this strain is wonderfully sweet. Despite tasting like candy, with THC content ranging from 15 to 23%, it produces a potent high that’s perfect for popping in a movie and not moving from the couch.
In contrast to indicas, sativa plant leaves are long and slender with a wispy quality. Sativa plants are quite a bit taller than indica plants, growing up to 20 feet tall. This means that sativa plants tend to thrive better in outdoor growing environments, where their height doesn’t have to be restricted.
The sativa cannabis plant originated near the equator in countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand. This means they thrive most in tropical, hot climates between 0 and 30 degrees latitude.
Again, flavor is dependent on the specific strain, but typically, sativas have an earthier flavor and odor than indicas. They tend to be piney, smelling a bit like a skunky Christmas tree.
Sativas tend to produce more energized and uplifted “head high,” meaning that you feel it more mentally than physically. This makes it a better choice for when you are planning on doing something active, like going to a party, taking a hike, or even doing chores around the house.
While indicas are best for promoting body relaxation for people with difficulty sleeping and anxiety, sativas are generally too energizing for these problems. Instead, sativas are best for mood disorders, as they provide an uplifted mood. Additionally, because of their energizing properties, sativas are the best choice for people with chronic fatigue.
- Sour Diesel: Sour Diesel, also known as Sour D, is one of the most popular sativas. It is known for its pungent fragrance and dreamy, cerebral high. Sour Diesel is a great treatment for stress, pain, or depression, and is known for its ability to cure writer’s block.
- Maui Waui: If you are looking for cannabis to consume before tackling a creative project, this is a great strain for it. With its euphoric properties and pungent pineapple scent, this memorable strain is well-liked among cannabis enthusiasts.
- Super Lemon Haze: Though most sativas are strictly a head high, Super Lemon Haze offers a bit of a body high. While it gives you the mental stimulation of a sativa, this strain tends to add a body heaviness as well. It is well-known for its earthy flavors paired with the acidity of lemon and is ideal for chores around the house.
Now that you are better informed about the differences between indicas and sativas, you can choose between our relaxing (indica-dominant) blunts and our energizing (sativa-dominant) blunts according to your needs. The District 8 offers a selection of high-quality, naturally grown marijuana. Shop our cannabis brand today!