Indica and Sativa are the two most common cannabis plants and are used to classify cannabis to give the buyer a choice in their experience. This is because for a long time Indica and Sativa have been thought to produce distinctly different effects from one another.
Indica’s are generally tied to body experience that is relaxing and sleep-inducing, and produces what is referred to as “couch-lock”. Whereas, Sativa is known for producing a mind experience that is stimulating and promotes productivity. These ideas have been formed and promoted through years of anecdotal evidence.
There is also the classification of hybrid, which is much more common nowadays due to the increase in legal access allowing for an increase in investment and research. Hybrid cannabis are strains that have been cross-bred between both a Sativa and Indica, producing effects that are either a mix of both Sativa and Indica, or that lean more towards either classification.
While the belief that Sativa and Indica produce different effects has been well-regarded for a long time, it is becoming a less effective method of classifying cannabis due to the mass amount of cross-breeding strains. The practice of creating hybrid strains has become the norm, making more potent strains, but is making it harder for users to distinguish the feelings of Sativa and Indica. The original Sativa and Indica strains, more commonly referred to as “landrace strains” are less often to come across due to the mass amount of cross-breeding.
How does it make the user feel?
Indica’s are most often known for producing effects that affect the body by relaxing it. Cannabis users may prefer Indica strains and products to use as a way of unwinding after a physically stressful day to ease any tenseness or pain, and to fall asleep.
How does it look?
While growing, Indica’s are known to be the shorter plant in comparison to Sativa plants. Despite being short, they grow wide and grow faster than Sativa. Indica plants are also usually darker greens and purples than Sativa’s.
What are popular Indica strains?
Hindu Kush and Pure Afghan, are some of the most popular landrace Indica strains.
How Does It Make The User Feel?
Sativa strains are reported to produce uplifting and energizing effects that are felt more in the user’s head rather than the body. Due to these effects, Sativa’s can pair well with social gatherings, being physically active, or partaking in creative activities.
How Does It Look?
Growing much taller than Indica plants, Sativa plants can grow up to 25 feet. The leaves are long and narrow, and usually have much lighter tones compared to Indica plants.
What Are Popular Sativa Strains?
Thai, Durban Poison, Acapulco gold, Lamb’s Bread, and Panama Red are some of the most popular sativa landrace strains
(The Result of Crossbreeding Sativa & Indica Strains)
How Does It Make The User Feel?
The feeling of hybrid strains is dependent on the genetics crossed to make the hybrid flower. A hybrid flower can provide an experience that produces mixed effects of both Indica and Sativa, or it can lean heavier on either Sativa or Indica effects producing an experience closer to that of a landrace strain.
How Does It Look?
This depends again on the genetics used to create the hybrid plant. Hybrid plants can adopt looks from both Indica and Sativa plants, sometimes leaning more towards one of these than the other.
What Are Popular Hybrid Strains?
Because hybrid strains are constantly being made, keeping up with relevant and new popular hybrid strains can be challenging. Some of the most famous hybrids are strains like OG Kush, Blue Dream, White Widow, Gorilla Glue, and Granddaddy Purple.
Understanding The Effects
With the science of cannabis evolving and allowing for the creation of such advanced Hybrid flowers, using Sativa and Indica to label products based on their experience is becoming more difficult to do. With Hybrid flowers containing genetics of other crossed strains, most Hybrids are not just an extract 50/50 split of effects but are made of much more complex factors that affect the experience produced from ingesting the product.
Today, the two most looked at factors how the effects cannabis products produce are the terpenes and cannabinoids that the plant contains. These are much more complex and are being researched to be understood better, and to provide a better insight into the types of feelings they produce.
Cannabinoids are the compounds cannabis is made up of, with the most common being THC and CBD. Other cannabinoids that are being researched to understand the effects of cannabis produces are ones such as THC V and THC A, CBN, and CBG. SNCC licensed products contain tested levels of THC and CBD, at a minimum.
Terpenes are compounds found in all plants and produce the unique aromas plants give off. Different terpenes produce different effects, for example, caryophyllene is found in cinnamon and is the reason it is known to have strong anti-inflammatory effects. Common terpenes found in cannabis are limonene, Beta-caryophyllene, linalool, myrcene, and Humulene.
With cannabinoids and terpene compounds making up the plant, they work in harmony to produce unique effects that may be too advanced to generalize simply as Sativa and Indica in the future as cannabis evolves.
Getting the effect you want
To find a cannabis product that produces the exact kind of effect you’re looking for, it is always best to start by looking at whether it is a Sativa or Indica. Second, review the levels of cannabinoids to understand the potency. Lastly, if possible review the terpenes to understand the type of effects that may be produced. It will most likely be a trial and error for users when trying to find the product that produces the effect they’re seeking.
Remember to always ask an SNCC-licensed budtender for clarification on what these levels mean when purchasing cannabis products. They can help you better understand the product’s effects before purchasing, and may be able to point you in the direction of a product that matches your desired effects.