Indica vs SativaAnyone who has done any reading about marijuana - medical or recreational - knows that there are two basic strains of cannabis: indica and sativa. What is still being studied, however, is which strain is better for medicinal purposes. As of now, most such information is purely anecdotal, but there are characteristics of each type that may point potential users in the right direction. Of the two strains, indica is the smaller, more compact weed, though individual plants do sometimes reach a fairly moderate height. Generally speaking, their growth tends toward short, bushy plants that have a lot of smaller side colas, and look very like a small shrub. Sativa, on the other hand, is known for being tall leggy leaves that are often fairly sparse. While they can be both tall and round, the "classic" sativa is spindly and lanky, with long, slender leaves. Of course, no one selects their pot based on how the plant looks, right? They choose it based on the likely reaction they'll get after smoking it, or otherwise ingesting it. Indica strains tend to be the choice of patients looking for full-body pain relief, as well as a sleep aid. The high has been described as pleasant buzz that encompasses the entire body, and offers a sense of calm and serenity as well as providing a source of stress release and relaxation. Some very pure indicas are extremely potent in THC, which relates in the effect known as "couchlock," which is an almost trance-like experience. If indicas are calming, sativas are on the other end of the scale. Some have described the sativa high as "cerebral," providing a sense of well-being and optimism. In addition, smoking this weed makes you feel energetic, even uplifted. This makes sativa a good choice for pain relief for specific symptoms, rather than an all-over effect. Like pure indica, pure sativa strains are high in THC content, which can cause hallucinogenic responses. Generally speaking, indicas are recommended for night-time use, while sativas are a better choice if you need to function during the day, but still take the edge off pain. Of course, most of the medical marijuana people get from dispensaries is neither pure indica nor pure sativa, but a hybrid of both. Some lean more toward the indica part of the scale, others toward the sativa, while still others are nearly 50%-50% hybrids. How should a medical marijuana patient choose their strain? First, read about the strains you're likely to find in your area, then, if your state has dispensaries, consider asking the people who operate them. Most dispensary owners are either medical marijuana patients themselves, or are caregivers, and they're likely to know the latest trends. Depending on where you live, there are often marijuana expos and fairs that allow people with medical authorizations to try samples of different strains. The fact of the matter is that there is no One True Strain of marijuana that suits every patient, but with research and experimentation, you can find the strain or hybrid that works best for you.
Guest | Oct 6, 2012
Dude, enough of this nonsense, i can't find the answers that i need anywhere on this forum. All this talk of Indica's and Sativa's, yet no indication as to how to tell. --Am i missing something? How does one tell, based on looking/feeling/smelling the bud, if it is an Indica dominant or Sativa dominant? I have no way of finding out the names of the buds that i have. At the same time, i have to work in the morning, so i can't take that chance on testing a strain to see what it is, it's already too late, i'll be up for hours if i accidentally just hit a sativa. Also, contrary to popular belief on determing based on density, i have had some DENSE Sativa dominants, and some FLUFFY Indica dominants (i'm very sensitive, so i can tell). Can anyone help me out?? --Thank you very much.
chronic sufferer | Jun 10, 2011
Never been that big a fan of sativas always prefer the indica lines if they are available to me. Sativas bring me down too much. I need the extreme help of an indica for all my pain.
Guest | May 25, 2011
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Heman31 | May 23, 2011
Indica the only way to go!!!! I like sleep at night with it, a little keef on top
Medicator | May 23, 2011
I used to only smoke Sativas because I liked the energetic burst I would get right after smoking. As I get old I still like that early in the afternoon but now like Indicas so I can get a good nights sleep like many others have suggested. I enjoy the variety of many strains, Hybrids as well and all for different reasons.
| May 2, 2011
i use t be a heavy indica man. But i slwly started becoming attracted to the fruity smells and tasete that sativas give.
Herb Lady | Apr 26, 2011
Ir ia important to have the right meds for the right ailment. I wanted to add that last week I was really sick and couldn't smoke due to a terrible cough. I was so lucky to have the edibles instead and highly recommend them for anyone suffering a bad cold or flu.
SkillitHits247 | Apr 25, 2011
I agree that most patients should and need to find what strains work best for their needs and ailments, because when it comes to pain management some people look for the heavier indicas for the extra strength because they have built a tolerance or have serious pain. I like to have sativa and sativa dominant hybrids to smoke on during the day and have my indica flowers for night time to help relax more and sleep better. But each strain does have their own benefits that some do not work as well for; which is why the strain list of variations on CannabisSearch is so helpful because it gives you these details, it is like reading fine wine tasting reviews but for marijuana...
lindzzz | Apr 24, 2011
I think that most patients know the basic differences between the two, but when it gets into the actual symptoms each strain is best to treat, it is hard to know what is right for you. I think that most people prefer heavy indicas.
Kushie Q | Apr 23, 2011
I find that for my own personal needs the indicas are what I need. For Fibro pain which is an all over pain I have to have that effect, but they also work really well for the bipolar needs that I also deal with. But there are days when depression hits me that makes me search for a good sativa for an upbeat feeling.
sbsdewb | Apr 23, 2011
I have to say that both have their own very useful and needed qualities. Each and every person has their own that they prefer and that works best for them. So really I say both are great and needed.
Guest | Apr 22, 2011
What do you mean there is no pure Indica or sativa?
Herb Lady | Apr 18, 2011
It's important to get the strain that is best suited towards a patients needs. Many don't know the right one to get for their personal ailment and this article may help bring some enlightenment. Most dispensaries are helpful in this manner, but having the strain descriptions on this site is helpful as well. You can find a lot of data right here at cannabissearch.com before making a donation at your local clinic.