With more than 1,000 distinct strains of cannabis having been developed during the last several decades, patients should be aware of the many types of effectiveness available to them when using cannabis medicine. Some strains of cannabis are best suited for specific diseases and conditions, while others are not. It’s critical to choose the proper strain if you want patients to get the greatest therapy possible.
Cannabis is a type of flowering plant that consists of three subspecies: Indica, sativa, and ruderalis. Ruderalis plants are tiny and produce only a little medication; what they do provide is not strong enough and is generally unappealing to patients. Because of this, ruderalis strains are typically avoided by breeders and growers; the medical cannabis community’s attention has shifted to indica and sativa varieties.
Indica and sativa plants have different appearances as well as physiological effects. Indica crops are short and stocky, with large leaves that are broad and “chunky.” Sativa plants, on the other hand, tend to be taller and thinner, with slender pointed leaves.
The most significant difference between these two subspecies of cannabis is their medical effects and how they affect energy levels and productivity. Indicas are better suited for nighttime or evening usage because they decrease energy. Some patients may get “couchlock,” a state in which they become so relaxed that they can’t get up from the couch, due to potent indica strains.
Sativas, on the other hand, are uplifting and cerebral, improving creativity and productivity. Indicas provide a “body high,” while sativas provide a “mind high.” Unfortunately, indica plants take longer to mature and produce less medicine (flowers) than sativa types. This is why indica strains have long dominated those accessible on the black market because there’s no concern for patient need or profitability.
Because patients are not offered the option of selecting their own subspecies or strain when purchasing from the black market, it is highly advised that they avoid doing so. Patients should never trust cannabis therapy without knowing exactly what strain it is and whether it has been properly cultivated, dried, cured, and tested for purity and potential contamination.
For the sake of providing the appropriate medicine for a particular patient’s specific combination of illness, taste, and lifestyle, indoor cultivators of medical cannabis intentionally create and cultivate a broad range of strains in both indica and sativa categories. Patients frequently must continue working or family responsibilities that demand a specific level of energy and which they are unable to withstand the drowsiness effects of many indicas. Patients sometimes must obtain the most potent non-opiate painkiller feasible, depending on their circumstances. Chronic pain, on the other hand, is more often chosen over the sedative properties of many indicas with recognized medical benefits.
Hybrids are produced by combining two distinct types of plants to create a new strain with the best possible medical efficacy, which is sometimes for particular diseases such as lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and epilepsy. In an effort to develop a new strain that delivers the greatest possible medical benefit, breeders may cross any two strains they choose.
Any two strains may be combined to form a hybrid. While indica/sativa mixes are popular and known for their “alert mellowness” and productivity, medical cannabis breeders can also mix indicas with other indicas or use two sativas as parents.
Many hybrids, however, are a compromise that have the capacity to kill pain and reduce inflammation while not putting a patient to sleep in the middle of the day. In the mornings or mid-day for nausea and discomfort, patients frequently choose a sativa-dominant hybrid, but they will switch to indica-dominant strains at night and for maximum pain alleviation.
Hybrid strains with indica dominance are known as “indica-dom,” while sativa domination is referred to as “sativa-dom.” Strains are frequently labeled with a sativa/indica ratio, such as 60/40. Other times, a strain will simply show a percentage, such as “70% indica” or “80 percent sativa.”
Here’s how people typically generalize the potential effects of each:
- Sleep aid
- Recommended for nighttime use
- Recommended for daytime use
Hybrid cannabis strains are a combination of indica and sativa genes that provide a well-balanced high. Indica-leaning or sativa-leaning hybrids may be classified even more finely, since some blends have stronger aspects one way or the other.
Indica and Sativa. What do they mean?
Sativa and Indica are the latin names given to the subspecies of Cannabis, a flowering plant. Let’s look at some of the significant distinctions between them.
- Varieties of cannabis originating in mountainous regions
- Short, bushy stature
- Large, thick leaves
- Shorter flowering cycle
- Varieties of cannabis originating in tropical regions
- Tall, skinny stature
- Long, thin leaves
- Longer flowering cycle
What can these two types of cannabis have in common?
An early understanding of effects.
Because its prohibition has prevented it from receiving research, cannabis culture has suffered from lack of evidence since the invention of modern medicine. As a consequence, because the pioneers in the sector had to be scrappier and work with whatever anecdotal information was accessible, they were compelled to do so.
The most frequent early deductions were that sativas give a “heady buzz” with uplifting cerebral energy and are comparable to drinking a cup of coffee, which many people recommend for daytime usage. Indicas, on the other hand, generally gave off a deep relaxing “body high,” which was good for coping with discomfort and as a sleep aid.
There’s still a lot left to learn.
As more study on cannabis has emerged, we’ve learned that the way you feel is really a result of a more complicated mix of naturally occurring chemicals known as cannabinoids and terpenes found in a certain strain. Look for additional in-depth material here or go to one of the external sources listed here as more research becomes available.
The exciting news is that science is already uncovering new levels of understanding about the complicated world of cannabis. The indica-sativa binary can help those who are new to cannabis make sense of things without getting overly overwhelmed.
Do you have any more questions about indica and sativa? Stop by Sunnyside for a consultation with a Wellness Advisor. We’re here to assist you in selecting the best cannabis products to match your lifestyle.