Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids: Which is Right for You
A large percentage of Americans now have access to medical marijuana. This natural medicine treats a multitude of different symptoms from a variety of illnesses. There are literally hundreds of different strains available to choose from. For many first time users, it can be hard to decipher which one can treat your symptoms. Dispensaries commonly separate strains into larger categories of either Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids. In order to help you understand the differences, we are going to compare & contrast these 3 larger categories.
As far as appearance goes, the Sativa plant is taller in stature with narrower leaves. It goes through a longer flowering cycle and is better suited for warmer climates that have a longer season.
Sativa generally has a greater effect on the mind. It is commonly used during the day due to it’s energizing and invigorating properties. Sativa pairs well with physical activity, creative projects and social gatherings. It typically is a mood and productivity booster. These effects are often caused by the higher concentration of THC.
The Indica plant is the exact opposite of Sativa in the way that it looks. Indica is shorter, with wider leaves. It has a shorter flowering cycle and is better off in a colder climate with a shorter season.
The effects of Indica are usually quite different than Sativa, as well. Indica has more effect on the physical body than the mind. Due to it’s relaxing and sedating properties, it is perfect for night time use. It can act as a natural sleep aid because of its calming effect.
Hybrids are a combination of Sativa and Indica so they can look like either one, depending on the concentration of strains used.
Again, hybrid plants can share the effects of both Sativa and Indica. Generally speaking, a hybrid strain can be a good balance of each, boosting your mood and then mellowing you out without making you too sleepy.
Which is Right for You?
It’s important to note that some studies have shown that there is no scientific proof that Sativas will always make you feel energized or Indicas will always produce sedating effects. Jeffrey Raber, Ph.D. is a chemist that has said we need to be more focused on cannabinoids and Terpenes.
The two most common cannabinoids are THC and CBD. THC produces the euphoric high. People suffering from chronic pain, nausea, migraines, depression and anxiety often choose strains with a higher THC concentration in order to treat their symptoms. CBD offers similar effects of THC, without the high. This is a common choice for people in need of relief that also need to maintain a clear mind for work or school. Mixing strains with THC and CBD offers a slight euphoric effect while still effectively treating symptoms. Terpenes play a large role in producing sedating and/or energizing effects, as well. They are also responsible for cannabis’ aroma, which has a surprising therapeutic effect.
Dr. Raber recommends focusing less on Sativa, Indica, or Hybrids and paying more attention to concentration of cannabinoids (THC & CBD) and aroma of strains. Understanding the effects of THC, CBD and Terpenes will enable you to choose a strain that will better treat your symptoms. Your best bet is to experiment with different strains until you figure out which one works best. Cannabis is a complicated subject. It is extremely diverse, which also happens to be why it is such an effective tool for such a wide variety of people. With so many combinations to choose from, it can help just about anyone.
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