Marijuana can be used to treat a wide range of medical conditions. When looking at the different strains and their effects, you’ve probably noticed that strains are typically broken up into three distinct groups: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. Most patients have used these three cannabis types as a standard for choosing the strain that will best suit their needs. Understanding the differences in these types of marijuana can help you with your strain selection in the future.
Sativa plants are tall, loosely branched, and have longer, more narrow leaves than Indicas and tend to have a lighter shade of green to them. These plants can reach epic heights up to 20 feet tall and are typically used for outdoor cultivation. The effects can be much more cerebral and much more cognitive, whereas Indica plants grow a lot shorter, a lot wider, they have a much denser foliage, and they tend to be a darker shade of green. The effects of Indica are typically much heavier and tend to focus more on the body.
Sativa strains usually have a lighter, more uplifting and euphoric effect. They can be psychologically stimulating and promote a deeper analysis of things. Sativa strains can provide a very positive high, but at times can also be pretty intense and quite introspective. Now Sativa plants are really known for its ability to support the creative process and it’s often what is favored by people like artists and musicians for exactly that reason. Sativa strains also definitely heighten the senses and the are generally good for in the daytime because of their energizing and uplifting effects.
Indica strains have more of a relaxing, unwinding, and stress relieving kind of vibe to them, so they’re more of a sedative, really. They can help to reduce tension on every level whether it is mentally, emotionally, or physically. Indicas are really good for later in the day or after a hard day’s work or if you just need to take some time off and destress. Indica strains are generally more popular with people in the midst of stress and those who are suffering from insomnia. It is also a great choice for people dealing with panic attacks, anxiety, and chronic pain. People with eating disorders and neurological conditions, like MS, also respond very well to Indica strains.
It’s very interesting because Indica strains were originally native to the higher elevations of the Middle East and they tend to thrive in colder climates, so developing and evolving in this kind of climate forced them to produce more resins, in order to protect and insulate themselves from the very harsh and inhospitable environments that they were living in. When you look at the effects of Indica as a medicine, it is actually very similar because it provides the sensation of protection from the stress and pain that patients might be experiencing, so it provides an overall feeling of being shielded from the harsh and abrasive aspects of our own lives.
Sativa, on the other hand, is native to a number of different Equatorial regions and requires a much hotter and more humid climate in order to reach its full potential. It is a much taller and more noticeable plant with longer, more narrow leaves and it uses its energy to expand and reach further, rather than insulating itself closer to the ground, the way that Indica does.
Again, it is very interesting because we can see the behavioral characteristics of this plant, in its native habitats, do tell us a lot about the effects it has as a medicine. Because it’s a lot more energizing and expansive and stimulating to the mind. It can really allow us to reach further, just the same way it does in nature.
Now with all that being said, there can actually be quite a bit of variations between strains of either species because the THC content of Indica is generally higher to that of Sativa, but there are lower THC Indica strains, and higher THC Sativa strains as well, so this is more of a general guideline than a golden rule.
And then of course, we have Hybrids, which, as its name suggests, is a cross between the two species of Cannabis, Sativa and Indica. Now, there is a bit of a range on the Hybrid scale, but to put it simply, there are three main types of Hybrid strains. You have Hybrids that are Sativa dominant, Indica dominant, and finally Hybrids that are pretty much equally Sativa and Indica. Hybrids are nice because it is often the case that no single species or strain of marijuana is going to cater to all of your requirements, so Hybrids can provide you with the best of both worlds, if that’s what you are looking for. Potentially you can get the clear headed and uplifting mental effects, while you can still have tension and pain pacified in the body. So technically, Hybrids can be both psychologically invigorating and relaxing. It really all depends on the type of Hybrid that you go for because some are going to be more energizing and some are going to be more sedating and there will be others that are somewhere in the middle. It really all boils down to which parent strains were used to create the Hybrid in question.
Understanding these species, even just a little bit, gives patients a much broader perspective allowing us to make much better, more accurate choices that are tailored to our specific needs as individuals. So to conclude, people suffering from depression or exhaustion might find better results from Sativa strains, whereas people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, chronic pain, and insomnia might find more relief from using Indica strains. And of course, if you find yourself suffering from a range of conditions, finding a Hybrid strain might be more sufficient. This isn’t a complete and fool proof method for choosing the right medical cannabis for you, but it is a great way to start narrowing down your search for the right medicinal strains that are going to provide the most relief to you.