Indica or Sativa? This is often the first questions that budtenders ask customers. Most experienced consumers know exactly what they want but not always. What are the differences between the two predominant cannabis strains? Why do people tend to prefer one over the other? And let’s not forget about Hybrids!
A common expression used to explain the effects of Indica is “in da’ couch”. This is because Indica’s effects are associated as calming and can create a “couch-lock” feeling of not wanting to move. The full-bodied effect of Indica can be great for deep relaxation and meditation. Many Indica strains also increase appetite and can help promote sleep. Although, these effects may not always be desired for someone who is trying to lose weight or sleeps too much already.
Contrary to Indica’s calming properties, Sativa is often classified as the “day-time” strain because of it’s energizing effects. Sativa is often more associated to a “head-high” rather than a “body buzz”. As a result, it may promote creativity or open the mind to new ideas. However, some people may find that Sativa leads to increased anxiety and mind racing thoughts.
The truth is that all cannabis strains are hybrids of some kind, just that some lean heavily towards Indica or Sativa. True hybrid strains are most often a cross between an Indica and Sativa dominant phenotype. In a perfect cross, you’d get the best benefits from both; though, many hybrids tend to lean slightly one way or the other. Finding the right combination for each your individual taste and preference is the key.
Does strain really matter when it comes to consuming edibles and beverages? The short answer is probably not, and here’s why. When THC is extracted from the cannabis plant to be used for edibles, the terpenes are lost. Terpenes are often the driving force of the cannabis effects while the cannabinoids themselves are just hanging out in the background. As a result, it’s likely that most people will not be able to tell the difference between a Sativa edible and an Indica edible. However, more research is needed to determine conclusively if strain matters when consuming edibles.
Personally, I prefer Indica strains because I use cannabis to relax after a long day and don’t typically consume until the evening. For me, Indica helps the stress melt away and set my mind at ease. But don’t get me wrong, I consume Sativa strains when going out with friends or doing something fun in the evening with my partner. There are definitely times and places for both strains and hybrids, it’s really all about finding what suits you best in any given situation. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong and just listen to your body. Eventually, you’ll find what suits you best!