Cannabis: What Is the Difference Between Sativa and Indica?

cannabis infographic

By Steven Maxwell

Now that cannabis appears poised to be legalized in Canada, Mexico, and many more US states, you probably don’t want to be completely clueless when walking into a pot shop for the first time. It is important to do a little research on different strands of the substance before engaging in recreational marijuana usage.

Sativa and Indica are the two major strands of marijuana in circulation today, and can be used separately or combined to produce a series of hybrid strains. Sativa and Indica have different effects on the human body, which is something important to consider when visiting your local, newly-opened marijuana shop in town.

When stereotyped, marijuana is thought of as a “downer” drug that leaves its user couch-ridden, but in reality, they are only referring to the Indica strain, which leaves the body in a relaxed state. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the Sativa strand which leaves its user feeling active and more energetic. Both can be used medicinally and provide healing attributes to their users such as an ease in anxiety and stress, as well as increased energy and productivity.

Sativa and Indica strains are also able to be mixed safely in different amounts to produce a desired effect on their user. These mixtures are referred to as “hybrids” and vary in amounts of Sativa and Indica depending on the user’s desired effect.

While perusing through your local marijuana shop, be aware of what kind of effect you are looking for with your purchase. As stated before, if you are having issues with anxiety, stress, or even head and body aches, purchasing Indica, or a blend with mostly Indica, will give you such effects. With all of these relaxing and relieving effects, it is suggested that Indica usage be done more so at night than the day to ensure that it does inhibit productivity.

If you are looking more for something to use during the day in order to upkeep productivity, Sativa is what you should be asking your marijuana retailer about. By giving positive effects such as energy stimulation, increased focus, and lessened depression, Sativa would be a strand that users would suggest to use to keep you motivated throughout the day. If your daily routine is something that you must keep consistent in order to maintain a productive lifestyle, consider these facts about Sativa and Indica when deciding what to purchase and use.

The way that you ingest marijuana is also something to consider if you’re new to recreational cannabis. There are many different options when it comes to preparing marijuana. The most commonly used methods are blunts/joints which are rolled from paper, or the use of a pipe or bong, which are blown glass pieces. Upon research, professionals are regarding the “vaping” method as the least damaging to ones health.

With the potency that can come with marijuana (depending on your purchase) it is hard sometimes to determine when enough is enough. By vaping, the user is able to smoke more slowly and let the effects sink in, which gives them more control over the level of high that they’re looking for and would like to stay at. More than anything, it is important to only smoke what you need and to not overdo it. While there are no recorded deaths from “marijuana overdose”, it is important to ease into the substance, especially if you are a person who is newer to the world of marijuana.

In all, the safety precautions behind purchasing Sativa and Indica marijuana are low. When proper research is done and the customer knows what kind of effects they are looking for, then the process is made much easier on both sides. Know your body, know what it needs, and buy the strain that benefits you the most.

Update: In a major drug policy shift, it appears Congress ended the federal ban on medical marijuana this week.

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