Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain For You
At most dispensaries, you’ll notice that the strains on the menu for the day are broken up into 3 main categories. Sativa strains are known for their uplifting impacts, while many other strains are labeled indica, a term used to describe cannabis that is very sedative or relaxing. Alternatively, hybrids serve as a happy medium, and often produce a very balanced experience. Medical and recreational users from every part of the world have been deliberating their opinions for decades, always expressing their preference and being selective as to which they smoke.
Regardless of your strain preference, the true indicators of the effects of each cannabis plant are its terpenes. Even veteran cannabis users may not be familiar with terpenes and how they fit in to the smoking experience.
What are Cannabis Terpenes?
Cannabinoids such as THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD (Cannabidiol), and CBN (Cannabinol) interact with terpenes when absorbed into the bloodstream to create an overall impact on a person’s physical, mental, and emotional state of mind. The way that we as a community classify these impacts is as sativa, indica, or hybrid.
Understanding Sativa Cannabis Strains
Sativa cannabis strains are known for their uplifting effects that bring focus and creativity to your day. The terpenes in this type of plant are classically limonene and pinene. Pinene comes in two forms, both of which are known to counteract the memory inhibition of THC. This comes in handy when you consider that the sativa plants are found to have a higher average THC/CBD ratio under the same conditions as the other two varieties. Sativas are also great for treating stress, depression, and anxiety. An important feature for sativas is that they are very low in Myrcene, which is highly sedative.
Genetically, sativa strains originated out of Sub-Saharan Africa, Jamaica, and parts of South America. The euphoria that this strain generates typically places you in a positive mindset, and is known to be great for stress, and treating low energy. During the growing process, sativa plants are known to achieve great height when space allows. The sugar leaves are longer and thinner, creating a plant that spreads itself out to collect surface area. The buds of the plant are often larger, but typically less dense than those of the other cannabis strains.
The next time you are looking to try a new sativa strain, consider purchasing Sour Diesel, Clementine, or Green Crack. They’ll be sure to give you the uplifting benefits that can change your day from dull to exciting in just a few puffs.
Understanding Indica Cannabis Strains
Indica strains are very commonly prized as the stoney, relaxed high that takes over the body. For this reason, cannabis users everywhere know the warning, “indica, in da couch.” Many cannabis connoisseurs seek these strains so that at the end of the day they can sit back, relax, and enjoy the evening, however indica flower is used much more commonly for medical patients.
The high myrcene and beta-caryophyllene in these strains account for the pain-reducing impacts that make indicas so medically beneficial. They serve as a muscle relaxant and an anti-inflammatory, creating a much more comfortable environment from those who suffer from ailments such as neuropathy. Indicas are also able to provide some relief from restlessness. It is suggested that patients who are seeking to increase these impacts eat mangos, which are also high in myrcene.
A thousand years in the past before traders are recorded bringing specific cannabis strains with them, you would find indica plants generating in the mountains of India and Central Asia. You could also have sourced these plants. When an indica plant grows it will stay relatively short, only growing to about 4 or 5 feet in height. The leaves are very broad, and the plant is wider at the base in proportion to the rest of it. Where the sativa plants seem to want to spread out, the indicas are more content taking advantage of the little space that they do have. This also results in small, tight buds that are very dense.
In today’s world, we see cultivators breeding plants using two different types of indicas to produce a new, unique strain that is also indica dominant. The most common indica strains that you’ll find today include Granddaddy Purple, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, and Grape Ape.
Understanding Hybrid Cannabis Strains
Hybrid plants are the best of both worlds. You’ll see a higher concentration of cannabinoids like CBD and THC, as well as a wide variety of interacting terpenes. For this reason, it is very important to be educated about what you’re smoking. Strains like Gorilla Glue, Blue Dream, and Pineapple Express are widely searched for because of specific impacts that they bring to the user. For example, Blue Dream is a hybrid that is very uplifting, and surprisingly also has a full body effect that helps treat chronic pain.
You may be thinking to yourself, “Where is the cutoff for each cannabis type? How can I tell just by the numbers?” The truth is, indica, sativa, and hybrid are all very relative terms. Depending on how you smoke, what time of day, and what you’ve been doing for the hours in advance, the same strain of cannabis can impact you or anyone else in vastly different ways. Dispensaries everywhere do their best to help you out, make sure to ask your budtender about the effects of each strain and how it might make you feel.
- How are Sativa and Indica strains different?
- Sativa strains are known to provide an uplifting feeling, while indica strains are very sedative. Terpenes commonly found in each cannabis type interact with cannabinoids to form different overall impacts. When compared side by side, sativa plants are taller, with thin sugar leaves whereas indica plants, on the other hand, are shorter and wider, with broad sugar leaves.
- What is the best cannabis strain for sleep?
- When sleep is avoiding you, your best bet is turning to an indica to see you off to slumber. indicas are high in myrcene, which is very sedative and also acts as a muscle relaxer. The impacts will help ease your mind to sleep or help ease physical pain so that you can get a few hours of comfortable rest. The best marijuana strains for sleep include Northern Lights, Afghan Kush, and 9 Pound Hammer.
- What type of high will I experience from smoking a hybrid cannabis strain?
- Hybrids are varied in effect, some create a very focused mental environment while others are known to stimulate appetite and reduce paranoia. It all comes down to the plant’s terpene content, presence or absence of key terpenes can indicate how the plant will impact any given individual. Hybrid plants are also special because when they are taken care of properly, certain strains can generate just as much CBD as THC, creating a very balanced, mild effect
- How do I know which cannabis strain is right for me?
- The only way to know what works for you is to try out a variety of cannabis products marked as indica, sativa, or hybrid. Consultants recommend that you keep a log of your consumption history, which helps to keep track of which you liked the best. Pay close attention to how much you smoke/ingest, the time of day, the effects (cerebral vs. full body), and taste of the product you are consuming. Don’t be afraid to branch out and try something new. Who knows, you might just find the perfect strain that you’ve been looking for!
Members of the cannabis community have been debating for decades about their favorite type of cannabis strains. Some prefer the uplifting sativas to keep them energized throughout the day, while others prefer to be sedated into a deep slumber by their indica flower. We at Weden are turning to YOU to let us know what you prefer to smoke, because who knows better than our customers? In the comments below, please tell us about your preferred cannabis strains and the effects you’ve experienced after smoking.