Since the movement to bring medicinal and recreational marijuana into the mainstream, Cannabis has received an enormous amount of press circulating around political movement and social acceptance in the hopes of nationwide recreational legalization. A Lack of general education on the topic has, however, meant that the space has been widely inaccessible to those looking to legally dabble in the field with core information lacking to a majority of the population.
Indica Vs. Sativa
When looking to dip your foot into the word of cannabis one important understanding is that of the difference between Indica and Sativa strains. One a stimulant and one a depressant a user without a proper understanding could find themselves with a much different experience than initially expected. While cannabis can be grown in three forms, Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis, dispensaries and grow houses chose to focus on Indica and Sativa strains as they contain a high THC content and Ruderalis strains grow in a smaller quantity than their sister strains of Indica and Sativa. Due to a lack of potency and medicinal use, Ruderalis strains are very seldom grown and sold in dispensaries and will therefore not be included in this comparison.
The easiest way to identify an Indica vs a Sativa is in the leaf, the Indica being the thicker and fuller off the plant than the more slender and longer leafed brother Sativa. The most noticeable difference, however, can be experienced when feeling the effects of the high. An Indica is the easiest and fastest to grow and is what would be found in most black markets and most common on the street.
The effects of an Indica Strain are noticeably sedating and relaxing, encouraging the user to slow down and relax. The use of an Indica strain can also be used to aid in sleep and combined with a full body high is most commonly/ productively used in the evening once your day’s work is complete.
On the other hand, a Sativa strain is harder to grow, taking longer to flower and therefore being less popular in a black market. The experience of a Sativa is much different from that of an Indica. Being a stimulant, Sativa strains are more likely to make the user productive and creative, stimulating and the user with an isolated head rush instead of effecting the full body. These energy inducing strains are best used during the day as they offer no aid to relaxation and drowsiness, providing the opposite effect of uplifting and energizing the user.
Medicinal Uses for Indica Strains
Due to its higher CBD to THC ratio, Indica Strains have a more relaxing and full body effect and are commonly used to aid in sleep and to treat/ relieve many medical issues such as body pain, seizures, spasms, stress, and anxiety.[^1]
Medicinal Uses for Sativa Strains
Like Indica Strains, Sativa Strains effect and help treat certain medical issues. Using a Sativa will give the user a feeling of wellbeing and energy. Due to these properties, Sativa strains are most often used to treat mental disorders such as ADHD and Depression.
Hybrid Strains of Cannabis contain effects of both Indica and Sativa, leaning toward which parent strain they contain. Due to its nature of combination, Hybrid strains contain a balance of the sedated and energizing effects of both Indica and Sativa strains as well as producing both a head and body high rather than one or the other. While most strains are classified as either Indica or Sativa it is rare to find a strain which is pure Indica or Sativa and therefore one will often find Hybrids labeled as either Idica or Sativa dominant which will highlight its dominant strains effects. [^2]
[^1]: “Cannabis Indica vs Sativa.” Marijuana Doctors, www.marijuanadoctors.com/resources/cannabis-indica-vs-sativa/.
[^2]: Michaels, Dan. “What Is Hybrid Cannabis? And Is It Right for Me?” GreenState, 23 Feb. 2018, www.greenstate.com/explained/what-is-hybrid-marijuana-and-is-it-right-for-me/.