Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids: What’s the Difference?
You might have dabbled in smoking marijuana before it became legal in Oklahoma (but we really hope you haven't). In an unregulated environment, there is a risk that you don't really know what you're buying, how it's grown, what pesticides are used, and more. You are essentially left in the dark unless the person you were purchasing it from was fairly forthcoming.
But if you're new to purchasing marijuana legally (or at all) from a dispensary, you may have noticed the myriad of strains, with catchy names like "Blue Dream" or "Bubba Kush." You may have also noticed that many of the strains available are broken down into 3 categories, Indica, Sativa, and hybrids. In this article, we are going to break down what these categories mean and how to find the right strain for you.
Indica vs. Sativa
Indica is a classification given to strains that grow short and stubby. The common conception is that they have sedating and relaxing effects. Indica plants can grow in colder climates with shorter, more mild seasons. Sativa plants are tall and narrow and are thought to give a more uplifting cerebral feeling (1).
Now that you know the difference you might be wondering, do these strain categories really determine the sort of "high" you can get from cannabis? Well, the research has shown that whether a strand is an "Indica" or "Sativa" might not be much of a factor. Instead, the combination of cannabinoids and terpenes might be what creates the vast variety of strains that the cannabis industry has to offer. But when confronted with the thousands of strains on the market, putting them into three categories for easy digestion is meant to help consumers shop for marijuana. But these categories are probably more arbitrary and not a great indicator of how that specific strain will make you feel (1).
So how do you know where to start when looking at a dozen or more strains with all their funky names and know what to try? The internet has a great number of resources and lists of common strains and the kind of medicinal uses they are known for, so doing some research and seeing what dispensaries offer the strains you are looking to try might be better. It's also really important to try and find a dispensary you trust. Having a candid conversation with a budtender is also a great way to determine how different strains might affect you.
Not only will having a grasp of the different strains and the effects they give you turn you into a more informed consumer, but you can plan your day a lot better if you know what to expect from your medical marijuana. For example, if you need to get things done, like clean house or study for a test, and you want pain relief while still able to focus, you might be better off with a strain like Sour Diesel. Strains like LA confidential are better known for helping with insomnia or loss of appetite, so it would be more suitable before dinner or bed (2).
Want more help with selecting the right strain? Read our article on strains that are great for pain relief.