Whether it’s for medical benefits or social use, choosing the right strain of cannabis can be confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. When browsing through your local San Diego dispensary, you’re bound to encounter phrases such as “sativa,” “indica,” and “hybrid.” Understanding the differences between these two types will help you get the most out of your cannabis experience!
Sativa and Indica
Cannabis consists of compounds called cannabinoids that affect your body in different ways. The two main types, sativa and indica, get their names from the genus of the marijuana plant they are extracted from. Sativas tend to create a more creative “high,” while the indica variant induces more relaxed feelings. Both breeds are different from hemp, which has had all of the psychoactive compounds bred out. The most common feelings associated with intoxication are:
- Tall plant with narrow leaves and stalks
- Creates uplifting, invigorating “high”
- Induces sociability and creativity
- More clear-headed
- Great for daytime use
- Shorter plant with broader leaves
- Relaxed, sedative “couch-lock” feeling
- Ease anxiety and stress
- Helps with insomnia
- Excellent nighttime option
Hybrids are another common sight in San Diego dispensary locations. As the name suggests, these are cross-bred strains that take some benefits from both types of cannabis. These generally have a mix of characteristics, both physically and with their levels of intoxication. Check with your dispensary staff to determine what kind of experience you’re likely to have using a particular strain.
The Indica and Sativa labels have been long before experts fully understood what made the strains unique. The current data brings a more scientific approach to understanding how cannabis affects the brain and the difference between each type. Understanding these characteristics has helped doctors to link cannabis use to several medical treatments based on their plant profiles. The main compounds, or cannabinoids, that make cannabis useful in healthcare include:
- THC: Short for delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, is the primary intoxicant in marijuana. Not only does it affect the brain’s perception of experiences and events, but it can also reduce nausea and alleviate pain. It can also be used to lessen depression, anxiety, insomnia, and a wealth of other issues. However, some consumers find the psychoactive effects too strongly and may even become anxious as a result.
- CBD: Cannabinol is not an intoxicant, but research suggests it may ease a number of problems such as inflammation, anxiety and problems associated with epilepsy. Though not entirely devoid of THC, these strains generally create a much less powerful high which many medical users prefer.
- Terpenes: The smell that wafts into your nose as you sniff a delicate flower comes from the terpenes within the plant. Cannabis terpenes are produced in the same areas as THC and CBD. This gives each strain a particular scent and flavor and can stimulate the senses in the same ways essential oils do. For that reason, many people examine terpenes in their San Diego dispensary products to find strains that offer a complete sensory experience.
As medical marijuana becomes more popular, patients gravitate to specific strains that help relieve their symptoms best. Sativa strains are often suggested for appetite stimulation and as an antidepressant. Because patients tend to be more active on these strains, they are often suggested for those who need to remain alert and focused during the day. They can also help increase social tendencies, making people more talkative and likely to get involved.
Your doctor may suggest you pick up an indica from the San Diego dispensary if you need help sleeping or relaxing. Indicas may help calm your mind and relentless mental activity, while also reducing migraine intensity and increasing appetites. Many patients turn to indicas to relieve pain and reduce inflammation, excellent for dealing with arthritis. Some neurologists have even found luck using it to treat Parkinson’s disease and schizophrenia.
Seek the Experience
Before you decide on a specific strain, think about the effects you want cannabis to have on your body. Start with either an indica or sativa as a baseline, but don’t rely on it for your choice entirely. Look at the THC, CBD, and terpene levels to help determine how the strain may make you feel. It’s also a good idea to check out alternative methods of ingestion. Smoking generally causes effects to occur more quickly, but they don’t last long as a result. Edibles take longer to kick in but provide a much longer-lasting high as a result.
Remember, you probably aren’t going to find the best product on your first try, especially when there are so many options available! Consulting with a doctor or San Diego dispensary technician will also give you advice on which strains will offer you the effects you’re looking for. Both india can sativa strains are excellent options for dealing with a multitude of medical and social issues. With enough research and experimentation, you’ll find the cannabis product that best fits your lifestyle!