For cannabis newbies, finding the right strain of marijuana can be an overwhelming task. Even veteran connoisseurs can be confounded by the availability of options on the market.Â But an endless list of strain options is necessary to fulfill the endless needs of the thousands of consumers looking to treat medical conditions or elicit a great high.
So with the myriad of choices, how do you choose a strain most suitable for you? Gaining a basic understanding of the two main types of cannabis is a great place to start.
Stains can derive from two different types of plantsâ€”cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. Each plant offers unique properties and payoffs. Commonly, sativa strains contain higher amounts of THC which gives marijuana its psychoactive effects. Promoting more of a cerebral high, sativa strains are generally chosen for daytime use as their effects are found to increase energy, focus, alertness, and creativity. But while sativa strains are great mood enhancers, leaving you feeling uplifted, they’re not quite as potent and may not be the best therapeutic treatment for medical conditions and body pains.
Indica strains, on the other hand, tend to have the opposite effect and can cause drowsiness but are great as an overall pain killer, anti-nausea, and even anti-convulsant. Indica strains contain high levels of THC but also increased levels of CBDs. CBDs are non-psychoactive and can moderate the effects of THC. Indica strains are great for nighttime use since they provide a strong body high, inducing relaxation and sleep.
If you’re looking for more of a balance of effects, there’s actually a third optionâ€”hybrids. Out of the thousands of hybrids, typically they’re either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant with a few even blends in between. The goal of hybrids is to enhance the desired effects of one strain while minimizing unwanted effects of the other. Want the pain fighting powers of an indica but without the lethargic couch-lock? Need the alertness and focus proffered by sativas in addition to an anti-inflammatory? Hybrids can offer the best of both worlds.
Even with this short list of claimed attributes and effects, you can only estimate how your body will react to a strain. You won’t know the specific effects any strain will have on you until you try it. And while knowing what meets your demands for your recreational purposes doesn’t necessarily mean the same strain will be appropriate for treating your medical needs. It’s going to be a trial and error process and the foremost important questions you need to address are:
If using recreationally, what type of high are you looking for, body or head?
If treating medical conditions, what are your symptoms?
Knowing the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains can shorten your search, but a great marijuana provider can also point you in the right direction. Depending on a strain’s potency and your tolerance, a good “budtender” can also offer dosage advice.
Keep in mind each individual reacts differently to marijuana. Delivery methods can also affect your reaction. Take care when selecting strains and dosages as to reduce the risk of potential negative side-effects.