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Indica vs. Sativa

Indica vs. Sativa: Know Which Cannabis Is the Right 1 For You

If you're not familiar with the different types of cannabis, we are here to explain not only the different types but the results you'll get from each.

"Sativa and indica are different subspecies of the same plant, cannabis sativa," said Eli Scislowicz, general manager of NuLeaf Dispensary.

Years of selective breeding have created noticeable differences between the two subspecies in appearance, terpenes, and physiological effects. "Indicas are believed to originate from the Hindu Kush mountain range. The colder climate and northern latitude meant shorter plants with broad leaves survived more easily. Sativas thrived in equatorial regions where higher temperatures and humidity forced plants to stretch out to dissipate heat better.


Sativas tend to have terpene profiles rich with fruity, citrus, and piney flavors. Some common terpenes, which are the fragrant oils in cannabis, found in these strains are limonene and pinene. Indicas tend to have more earthy, floral, and spicy flavors. Common terpenes in these strains include myrcene, caryophyllene, and linalool," Scislowicz said.


"Indica induces a more relaxed-body effect — think of laying on the sofa eating pizza while playing Xbox; it is what you would take if you want to chill," said addiction specialist Dr. Cali Estes. It can also help alleviate body aches and pain for someone who has fibromyalgia or restless leg syndrome. "It can also help with addiction detox; it lowers anxiety, relieves nausea, and lowers stress. So for anybody with physical symptoms and experiencing nausea, indica will be the product for you," she said.

If someone is looking for that "Netflix and chill" mentality, this would be the cannabis choice for them.

Athena Taylor, Bud-Tender at The Herbal Connection in Eugene, OR, said indica will give you a full-body relaxing effect and can increase appetite and calm nerves.
It is "best for nighttime treatment of pain or insomnia," she said.


Sativa creates energy and focuses the mind. "If you are feeling depressed and you take sativa, you will be feeling uplifted and will be dancing around the room to music," Dr. Estes said. "Sativa also helps with mental clarity and focus. People who suffer from ADD or ADHD do really well on sativa because it focuses their brains. It also stimulates all your senses, colors are brighter, visually things are sharper, and people get very creative on sativa. Many creative types will use it to peak their medium of expression."

Sativa provides a more invigorating and uplifting cerebral affect, Taylor said. Sativa "goes well with any physical, social, and creative activities," she said and added that it can be used for treating fatigue.

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