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How well do you know your Cannabis?
Cannabis is a species of flowering herb that is split into three distinct subspecies: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Each one has its own unique properties and characteristics, provides different effects, and has signature qualities which makes it easy to tell the difference between the three.
Indica strains are known for providing relaxation, pain relief, and appetite stimulation. As indica does decrease your energy level, this is a strain best served in the evening, once all of your daily responsibilities have been taken care of. When it comes to aroma, indica strains tend to emit musty, earthy, and skunky odors. It’s important to note that potent indica strains may give some people what is called “couchlock,” a not-so-rare condition in which the cannabis consumer becomes so relaxed that they’re physically unable to get up from the couch. An easy way to remember what an indica strain does is to remember that indica puts you “in-da-couch”.
Sativa strains provide invigorating, uplifting, and euphoric effects which happen to pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects. Sativas are also great for enhancing one’s creativity and productivity. When it comes to aroma, sativas tend to smell sweet, fruity, or spicy. As they’re known for providing energetic effects, this is a strain best served during the day.
Hybrid strains are thought to fall somewhere in between, offering a balance of indica and sativa. Did you know that any two strains can be mixed to create a hybrid? While indica/sativa mixes are most common, cannabis breeders can mix indicas with other indicas, and sativas with other sativas to make great hybrids. Hybrid strains that contain more indica than sativa traits are called indica-dominant. Those strains that have a higher sativa level are known as, you guessed it, sativa-dominant”. Often, strains are labeled with a sativa/indica ratio, for instance 60/40 sativa/indica. Other times a strain will indicate only a percentage, such as “80 percent indica” or “70 percent sativa”.
The unique differences between indicas, sativas, and hybrids have even influenced global cannabis culture. These days, budtenders won’t give out any advice or strain recommendations until you’ve answered this question…..“indica, sativa, or hybrid?”.
Which strain is best for me?
To find a strain that will provide the desired effect, it’s important to understand the chemical make-up of each strain you’re considering. Doing your research on the chemical ingredients of a strain (which takes all of 9 seconds) to guide your purchasing decisions will help ensure that you’re buying the types of strains which agree with your body most.
There’s no hard-and-fast rule that says how you’ll feel from one strain versus another; everyone’s body is different, and no two individuals will experience the same exact effects. This means that not all sativas will energize you, and not all indicas will sedate you. However, the general consensus has always been that sativas tend to be uplifting and indicas tend to be relaxing.
If indica and sativa aren’t predictive of effects, then what is?
The effects of any given cannabis strain depend on a number of different factors, including the product’s compound profile as it relates to terpenes and cannabinoids, your individual metabolic structure, your tolerance, the dose, and method of consumption. Once you’ve tried a bunch of different strains and you’ve experienced which are most succinct with you and the experience you’re looking to have, you’ll be a cannabis connoisseur.