Cannabis strains are classed into three different groups, known as Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. Dispensaries that sell cannabis often label their strains with one of these three groups, so you understand what type of effects they may have.
The plants from each three cannabis groups have comparable properties, but the flowers themselves can have different characteristics (see also “What Is CBD Flower?“).
You’ll learn more about Indica’s effects in this post, including the effects Indica may have and some examples of common Indica strains. We’ll also cover the differences between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains.
Sativa, Indica, And Hybrid: What’s The Difference?
Indica strains taken from the cannabis plant look bushier than the Sativa plant. Indica is often used to promote relaxation, so it can be useful for anyone experiencing sleep problems, low appetite, or chronic conditions.
Sativa strains are sourced from hotter locations with a dry climate.
They look longer and thinner compared to Indica strains. Indica strains contain more CBD, while Sativa strains contain less, so they’re often used to promote energy and deliver invigorating effects.
Hybrid strains are a blend of Sativa and Indica strains, often grown inside greenhouses and farmland. The amount of CBD and THC within a Hybrid strain will differ based on the purpose the strain was grown for.
These strains usually have stress-relieving and anxiety-reducing effects.
Cannabis strains that are mainly Indica have relaxing or sleep-inducing effects, as they contain more cannabidiol (CBD) compared to different strains.
The amount of THC and CBD will differ depending on the strain, but fully Indica varieties contain less THC, so they have less energizing effects compared to pure Sativa strains.
Indica Strain Purposes
Cannabis strains will have different effects depending on the person using them. Still, Indica strains can have common effects, including the following:
Research looking at whether cannabis could encourage sleep discovered that Indica strains had the main sleep-promoting effects (see also “Best Strains For Sleep“).
A study looked at 409 participants living with insomnia, testing over a thousand different varieties of cannabis. The categories that were analyzed were how severe the insomnia was, cannabis intake, side effects, product features, and subtypes of cannabis.
They found that participants that took CBD experienced impressive improvements in their symptoms. Additionally, the participants displayed fewer side effects when using Indica strains.
Anxiety And Stress Relief
A 2013 study looked at cannabis agents to discover which ones were better for treating anxiety.
The research looked at five primary classes of anxiety disorders, which were:
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), which covers apprehension, anxiety attacks, and irritability
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), involves repetitive behaviors and thoughts intended to remove or minimize distress causes.
- Panic disorders involving unmanageable anxiety or fear
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is where an individual experiences intense effects after traumatic scenarios. They may feel fear, numbness, or anxiety when reminded of the event
- Social anxiety disorders where the individual feels panic or anxiety in social settings.
The findings were that strains that contained more CBD, like Indica, treated anxiety better than ones that contained less. The study also found that Indica encourages feelings of contentment, helping people relax after feeling anxious.
Strains that are higher in Indica often help reduce muscle spasms and relax tight or painful muscles.
Indica strains that are known for their muscle relaxation properties include Critical Kush, Nine Pound Hammer, and Northern Lights.
Pain Relief And Inflammation
The ASA (Americans For Safe Access) is an establishment committed to effective cannabis therapy research. The ASA states that Indica’s main purpose is to relieve inflammation and pain (see also “Best Strain For Inflammation“).
This may be because Indica strains contain more CBD, which is known for its relaxing, therapeutic, and soothing properties.
People living with painful conditions, like arthritis or neuropathy, may find Indica strains provide effective pain relief.
Common Indica Strains
There are many different types of Indica strains, though some are more well-known than others.
Here are the names of some popular Indica strains and their potential effects.
This is one of the most renowned pure Indica strains and has even won the Cannabis Cup several times. It’s often used for its sleep-promoting and relaxation effects.
Even though Northern Lights is lower in CBD compared to other Indica strains, it may also have properties that can aid tight muscles, poor sleep, and pain.
This Indica dominant strain contains roughly 65% Indica and 35% Sativa. The strain lets users feel relaxed and rested, both physically and mentally.
It also helps promote a decent night’s sleep, which can be ideal for anyone experiencing insomnia symptoms.
Grandaddy Purple, also called Granddaddy Purp, is known for promoting bliss sensations. It has a berry-like fragrance and can have strong effects, so beginners should take caution beforehand.
The strain is good for aiding painful muscles, stress relief, poor appetite, and poor sleep.
Purple Kush is a pure Indica strain that is best taken in smaller amounts. The cannabis flower has a vibrant hue, distinct fragrance, and satisfying flavor.
Purple Kush has properties that can aid pain, poor sleep, and tight/painful muscles.
Indica’s Potential Side Effects
Indica’s soothing effects may lead to some taking larger amounts than needed.
This may lead to the following side effects:
Inactivity ‘Couch Lock’
Indica’s effects are ideal for sleep problems and relieving pain, but they can promote drowsiness. If you take a larger amount than you’re used to, you may struggle to get yourself off of your couch, known as couch lock.
It’s best to take Indica when you’re finished with any tasks and want to settle down after work.
Indica can make your body feel heavy, so you may find it difficult to do seemingly easy tasks. You may start feeling lethargic and lose the will to carry out any tasks.
This can be useful if you’re using Indica to promote sleep, but it’s best to avoid these strains when you’re about to get on with your day.
Some people use Indica to soothe a poor appetite, but this isn’t an issue, you may feel hungrier than you wish.
Indica contains more THC, which can attach itself to receptors that handle hunger. Your brain may transmit signals to the body, making you feel hungry despite eating food (Also check out Why You Can’t Eat Without Weed?).
Indica is one of the three main cannabis strains. It contains more CBD and less THC than Sativa, which makes it have soothing, relaxing, and tranquilizing effects. People often take Indica strains to aid muscle pain, encourage sleep, and soothe anxiety.
Indica can have side effects, like couch lock, hunger, and coordination issues, but you can avoid these by avoiding large doses. It’s also best to take Indica when you’re settling down for the day, as you may struggle to perform easy everyday tasks.
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