There are some generalizations about the way indica makes people feel. This may or may not reflect your personal experiences with indica. Before we go making blanket statements about how one strain of pot will make everyone feel the same way, it’s important to get into the nuances.
Many strains of indica will have a similar THC level, but their overall makeups are completely different. It would be silly to think that the experience they each provide would be the same. While there are some general rules about the way a particular strain might make you feel, there are more factors to consider than simply whether your cannabis is an indica or sativa.
What is indica cannabis?
From a scientific standpoint, all cannabis is the same. We’ve created labels for certain types of cannabis plants based on their unique properties, and generalized reputations come with those labels. Some plants simply look different from others depending on their unique chemistry. Indica plants are typically short, full, and bushy. The leaves are broad, fat, and stubby.
How is indica different from other cannabis strains?
There are four kinds of cannabis plants. There is hemp, which is legally grown for tons of things. Hemp is the cannabis we use to make things like rope, paper, skincare products, federally legal CBD wellness products, and biodiesel. Hemp is the official name for any cannabis plant that contains 0.30% THC or less.
There’s cannabis ruderalis, which grows in the wild. These plants are small, and their flowers naturally contain a very minimal amount of THC. Ruderalis is truly the “weed” of weed. It springs up everywhere in Russia and many parts of Europe. Growers aren’t very interested in it due to its lower potency and limited yield.
Then there’s sativa. Sativa strains are cannabis plants that grow very long and tall. The leaves are long, narrow, and pointy. Generally, sativa strains are regarded as the masters of the “head high,” where indica plants are known for causing a body high.
Most of the time, indica plants will have lower THC and higher CBD, and sativa plants will have lower CBD and higher THC. The preference of the average regular cannabis users has somewhat reshaped this distinction. People have developed preferences for higher THC in every plant, which changes its ratios.
Some indica strains barely have any CBD at all. This is usually the case for indica dominant hybrids. Read your lab reports for common strains before you assume the one you’re getting is actually the one you want. If you’re driven to indica for the promise of CBD, look for strains like Critical Mass. It has a generous amount of CBD and a modest but effective amount of THC.
Despite indica’s reputation as a CBD powerhouse, strains like Critical Mass are actually hard to find. Most indica doesn’t actually pack that much of a CBD punch. If it’s the benefits of the CBD you’re expecting from an indica, you’ll want to specifically seek a high CBD strain.
This means that the true difference between indica and sativa plants, other than their outward appearance, is their balance of other cannabinoids and their terpene profiles. Terpenes are the aromatic oils in the plant that lend aromatherapeutic properties. Cannabinoids refer to a group of over 113 naturally occurring chemicals that are unique to cannabis plants, including THC and CBD.
Terpenes and cannabinoids may change the way that certain strains of cannabis impact (or benefit) their users. These things are the true factors in contributing to indica’s purported relaxing or sedating effects.
The cannabinoids and terpenes in indica
Northern Lights, Blueberry, and Grape Ape are popular strains of indica. Every strain is going to be slightly different in its cannabinoid balance and terpene profile. There are also a lot of cases where indica strains will overlap.
It just so happens that all three of these strains have very similar terpene profiles. They each prominently feature myrcene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene as their primary aromatics. Myrcene is reminiscent of a spicy, floral, sour fruit. Some people compare myrcene to mango. Beta-caryophyllene is often described as having a natural peppery smell, like spicy cloves. Pinene smells like sweet pine needles.
The combination of these aromatics may lead to these strains’ reputation as relaxing and calming. The aromas may combine to soothe the senses, giving these indica strains a tranquil flavor and fragrance that help to soothe their users.
These strains also feature common cannabinoids. All three will usually contain between 16% and 20% THC, 0.1% to 0.2% CBD, less than 0.1% CBN, and 16% to 20% THC-A. They differ mostly in their minor cannabinoids. Blueberry has triple the amount of THCV, Grape Ape has much less CBG-A but significantly higher levels of CBC.
The effects of indica
Using Blueberry, Grape Ape, and Northern Lights as points of reference, you’ll see that indica strains seem to have a similar undercurrent.
The common opinion about all of these strains is that they’re relaxing. People who use Blueberry claim that it makes them feel less social and more introspective, making it a great strain for nighttime meditation or leisurely creative activities.
People who use Grape Ape call it a “couch-lock” experience, where the body high is so significant that they don’t want to stand up. They appreciate that couch-lock if they’re dealing with sore muscles after a long workout.
Users of Northern Lights say that it relaxes both the body and the mind, making it the perfect companion for gentle nighttime activities like watching movies or self-care routines.
When you use indica, you’re just going to have to chill out. There are no two ways about it. Nobody smokes an indica joint and decides it’s the best time to clean the upholstery or tackle the mildew problem in the bathroom.
If you want a milder high, choose an indica with a lower percentage of THC. A lot of people who think they don’t like indica are more than likely reacting to the THC level. If your body is sensitive to THC, choose a strain with less than 20% THC and take it easy. You can always go back for more, but you can’t take it away once you’ve used it.
When should I use indica?
It’s best to use indicate after you’ve already handled all of the important things you need to do. Make sure you have something to eat and drink. Prepare your space like you’re getting ready to go to bed. Indica and responsibilities don’t typically go hand in hand. There may be a few leisurely things you like to do that may pair well with indica, like easy self-care activities or snuggling with your pets.
The indica strain’s biggest targets are sleep and relaxation. Many people use indica because they’re having trouble sleeping or because they need to turn down their stress levels. Indica is the king of “do nothing” weed. When your mission is to move less, stay quiet, and accomplish as little as possible, indica is going to be your ride or die.
Some people use indica strains for their analgesic properties. For some people, indica’s body high lessens the sensations of pain. If you’re achy from a hard workout or a long day at work, drink some water and electrolytes, have a healthy protein-focused meal, give yourself a little massage, and get some indica.
Should I use sativa during the daytime?
That depends. Do you want to get high during the day? Do you want cleaning out the garage to be a little more fun? Do you have a creative project that could use a little bit of enhancement?
Sativa is a better day weed. If you want to keep yourself in a steady stream, use sativa during the day and indica at night.
What about hybrids?
In theory, it seems like hybrids should provide you with a perfectly balanced high. In a perfect world, this would be the case. Some hybrids pull a little more towards a sativa, while others pull a little more toward an indica.
If you want an indica that won’t render you completely “in-da-couch,” an indica dominant hybrid is your best bet. If you want a sativa that won’t get you wired, a sativa dominant hybrid is the answer.
Excited for some indica?
If indica sounds like exactly what you’re looking for, we have good news. We have lots of indica here at Emjay. We have it in flower, prerolls, gummies, cookies, distillates — really, just think of a form. We probably have it.
Best of all, you can have it, too. We’ll deliver it to you in 30 minutes. We also have supplies and accessories you might need to enjoy your indica. Do you need a lighter? What about papers or a new glass hand pipe? We’ve got you taken care of.
You never have to get off the couch, and that’s exactly what indica smokers love. Put your comfy pants on and order dinner. We’ll be there shortly.