What are the Strains?
Sativa vs. Indica and the World in Between
Not all cannabis is the same. And even with particular types, say a THC-dominant one, there are dramatic differences in the effect. This has to do with the strains, of which there are three general categories: indica, sativa or hybrids. As mentioned in the section on the science of cannabis, the differences between the strains have mostly to do with the terpene content. It’s also important to know that the same strain name may not have the same chemical content/potency from batch to batch and store to store. It’s not an inexact science at this point and if anyone tells you it is, they’re misinformed – now you know.
Generally speaking, these strains tend to have physical effects that are felt more in the body. It’s perfect for those looking for relief from aches and pains or muscle spasms. Indica is relaxing and can help alleviate restless sleep or insomnia. It has aromas of earth and skunk (musky) as well as sweet or sugary fruit smells.
These strains tend to have stimulating mental effects. It’s for those looking for a more cerebral or upbeat experience. This energizing effect can benefit conditions like depression and fatigue. It can increase laughter and cause lights, music, and motion to appear more vibrant and intense. There is a pungent smell of pine and sometimes fruit or earthy aromas, often with an undertone reminiscent of diesel fuel.
These are the most common strains and take elements from both Indica and Sativa. Most hybrid strains are dominant in one or the other. Because the composition can vary, it is difficult to provide a general description of the effect. It’s useful to go to hybrids when you want the effects of cannabis without too much stimulation or sedation.
It is important to ask your health professional what strain will work best for you. Also, because of the complexity of the interaction between terpenes and cannabinoids, the effects can differ even within a particular strain. As with most things in the world of cannabis, you may have a try out a few strains to find what works best for you.