Do you prefer sativa or indica? These two types of marijuana strains have been crossbred in so many ways over the years that most strains today are some sort of a mix between the two. The effects of marijuana on the body can vary greatly depending on the specific strain you have chosen for your late-night movie session or mid-afternoon toke. Thankfully, there is so much research out there that rather than having to guess how one specific strain of flower or deliciously-baked edible will make you feel, you can get a good estimate from your budtender, or weed delivery service, and find a product that is right for you.
Sativa or Indica: The History Behind the Mystery
Most people will tell you that there are two different types of marijuana strains: sativa and indica. While historically these plants have roots in different climatic regions, many growers have opted to crossbreed these plants to give users the intoxicatingly beneficial effects of both strains. Since research could not always be done openly due to the federal prohibition on marijuana in the United States, many strains’ origins can’t be fully known and most are considered hybrid strains containing various amounts of indica and sativa qualities. Therefore, we consider strains to be either indica-dominant or sativa-dominant.
Indica-dominant strains are known to put you “in-da-couch” and are associated with inducing deep, full-body relaxation highs that mellow the user out and can reduce anxiety and sleeplessness. These are the types of marijuana strains people typically seek out when looking to unwind after a long day or curl up on the couch with good people or for a good movie.
Sativas, on the other hand, are known for invigorating highs. When smoking a sativa-dominant strain, a user may expect to feel uplifted and euphorically “head-high” which is perfect for creativity and a general boost in mental stimulation. While, generally speaking, these statements are true, the discussion between the effects of the different types of marijuana strains is much more nuanced and actually relies on the balance of THC and CBD within the specific strain.
THC and CBD
The main cannabinoids of THC and CBD found in all types of marijuana are responsible for the psychoactive effects of marijuana on the body. According to Healthline, both compounds are molecularly similar, but their anatomical arrangement actually determines how they affect your body. The way THC binds with your body produces many medicinal effects along with that “high” sensation that is commonly associated with marijuana use while CBD provides many of the same helpful benefits without that euphoric sensation.
That being said, depending on the type of marijuana you consume, you will feel some combination of these euphoric and medical benefits based on the ratio of CBD to THC found in the specific strain you are looking to consume.
The Desired Effects
The best cannabis consumer is the informed one, so we believe everyone should know what kind of effects you want to feel and determine what strains produce those effects. Since most types of marijuana strains are not purely indica or sativa, it is best to know the ratio of THC to CBD of the strain you are considering purchasing and which effects each will produce before consuming.
If you are tired, lacking inspiration, or wish to feel euphorically uplifted, you may want to opt for a sativa-dominant strain that is higher in THC content to get your brain juices flowing and help with nausea, low appetite, and even anxiety. If, on the other hand, you are stressed out, sleepless, and just need to take a chill pill, you may want to opt for a type of marijuana strain that is indica-dominant and has more of a balance between CBD to THC, so you can feel more of the medicinal benefits such as relief from inflammation, pain, and depression, without too much of that typical “high” sensation.
The Side Effects
Most strains of cannabis tend to have some negative side effects – the symptoms of which can be lessened by carefully choosing the best strains for your wants. Anyone consuming cannabis must be aware that certain strains higher in THC can cause increased heart rate, dry mouth, and even sometimes anxiety while other strains lower in THC may be more effective at treating anxiety. This is why it is so important to know what you are smoking, vaping, or eating beforehand, so you can be prepared for, or altogether avoid, certain side effects that some types of marijuana strains tend to produce.
CBD, while more commonly known for its medicinal benefits and lack of many undesired side-effects associated with strains higher in THC, can still cause unwanted dizziness and fatigue. By understanding the effects of different marijuana strains on the body, you can maximize the positive effects while effectively reducing the unwanted side effects.
Well… Where Should I Start?
If you are new to the wonderful world of cannabis and just beginning to see the upsides of a nice joint here and there or a gummy edible on the weekends, you should start with self-reflection. Just as you would before taking a sip of alcohol or a Tylenol for a headache, read about the types of marijuana available and understand the different effects of marijuana on your body.
If your goal is to have a lively game night with friends and family and that one cousin who wants to stay up and chat for hours on end, then maybe that indica-dominant, sleep-inducing strain of flower is not the best fit for the night. However, if you’ve just worked for 12+ hours and would like to unwind after a particularly stressful day of work, then maybe that high-CBD, indica-dominant strain is just what you need.
Either way, we are always here to help. Visit our FAQ page if you have any more questions, and if you are in one of the six counties we service in the Southern California area, consider typing in your address here and unlocking access to speedy, discreet delivery of the many high-quality types of marijuana products you love.