It's the age old question.... Indica or Sativa?
Indica & Sativa are the two main types of Cannabis plants and they have contrasting effects on the user. For example Indica strains provide the user with a sense of calm and tranquility whereas Sativa has been known to make the user feel more energetic and active. For this reason it's important to consider which strain is right for you, especially when using Medical grade Cannabis to alleviate a particular ailment.
How to identify Indica or Sativa
First let's look into the key identifiers for Indica. An easy way to quickly identify the plant is to look at the leaf, if it is wide & large then you've got Indica! The plants are normally shorter in stature to their counterparts and have shorter flowering cycles making them ideal for someone who is interested in growing indoors. They are also more accommodating to lower temperatures and can be suitable for colder climates with shorter seasons.
Sativa on the other hand is easily identifiable by their small & slender leaves, however the plant itself will normally be tall and will tower over an Indica plant. These plants are better suited to warmer climates with longer seasons as they have a longer flowering cycle.
Since its inception and due to the illegality of the Cannabis industry, growers have always had to innovate. This has led to the introduction of the 'Hybrid Strain' where the genetics from both Indica & Sativa plants are combined to create popular strains such as Gelato, OG Kush & Wedding Cake.
Indica / Sativa / Hybrid Effects
When entering into the world of Cannabis there are so many options to choose from, different strains, products and methods for consumption all have differing effects on the user. Research has shown that ultimately the effects of Indica and Sativa are not as clear cut as once thought.
The real indicator is the Cannabinoid content and the Terpenes....
Cannabinoids are the core components of the Cannabis plant and are more commonly referred to by their abbreviated names, THC & CBD. Although these are normally the main chemical compounds found in Cannabis, there are hundreds more, hence why each strain can have a wholly different effect due to the complicated makeup of the plant.
THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) produces a 'high' in the user, a sense of euphoria. THC has been used to help people who are suffering from conditions such as insomnia, glaucoma, low appetite and numerous other afflictions.
CBD (Cannabidiol) on the other hand can potentially dampen the effects of the THC. However it has been well documented in easing the symptoms of a wide variety of medical conditions & diseases, such as seizures, inflammation, nausea, depression, anxiety and much more.
It is important for the user to consider whether they prefer or require a strain which is dominant in THC or CBD, or whether it might be better to use a strain where the two strains co-exist to create a more balanced experienced.
Terpenes are aromatic compounds that exist in a variety of things, but are very common in flowers. They have been found to have a major effect on the user's experience and it's easy to see why. Anyone who has ever smelt a particularly pleasant flower, Lavender for example, will seem to feel more relaxed as smell has a a huge effect on the brain. This has led to a a wider variety of strains becoming popular due to their smell, Berries, Citrus Fruits, Cheese, Diesel and so on.
Ultimately the decision is down to the user, some people feel comfortable with any strain, any time, any place however for others it can be crucial to having a positive experience with Cannabis so it's important to take into account all the information regarding the different varieties.