Walk into most cannabis shops and you’re likely to find three types of weed: indica, sativa and hybrid. But what’s the difference between indica and sativa, and do they offer different types of high?
Generally speaking, indica strains put you ‘in-da-couch.’ They’re more relaxing, calming, and often have more of a “body high.” Many people use indica marijuana as a sleep aid, or to wind down at the end of the night.
If indica slows you down, sativa perks you up. Again, these effects will change depending on other characteristics of the weed strain and your body’s individual reaction, but in general sativa strains are energizing, stimulating and more of a ‘head high.’ Many people use sativas to help focus, boost creativity, or do a deep house clean.
Since hybrid cannabis is a mix of indica and sativa, its effects can be either uplifting or relaxing. How can you tell? Look at the hybrid strain’s lineage — if the ‘parent’ strains are more heavy and relaxing, the hybrid will be too.
Other factors to consider
Indica vs. sativa is only the beginning. Many factors within a cannabis strain will influence the high you’ll feel. Start with cannabinoids like THC and CBD: high levels of THC can mean more psychedelic effects, while CBD is often used for medicinal purposes when users don’t want that ‘high’ feeling.
Many people focus on THC content, but it’s believed terpenes have a significant role to play in marijuana’s psychedelic effects and medicinal uses. There are hundreds of terpenes, including limonene, myrcene and more. Some have a pleasant aroma, as well as effects from pain relief to mood boosting.
Ask your budtender
Learning about cannabis is fun, but the best way to find the perfect strain for you is to ask an expert. Talk to your doctor or budtender about your goals, consider different consumption methods, be patient, and once you’ve chosen a cannabis product, take it slow!