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Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid: How to Choose the Best Strain?

With more than a thousand different cannabis strains available today, it is easy for anyone to get confused when it comes to buying one. If you are a beginner, you might have heard of the words sativa, indica and hybrid being thrown around. But what do these words mean? What is the right strain if I am looking to use weed for pain relief? What about if I am looking for an energetic high for hiking? Read on as we learn more about what each of these strains mean and how their effects differ from one another.

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

  • Indica. A native to the Middle East, these plants are short and wide with bushy and dense leaves. They grow faster than sativa because of their years of cultivation in the dry and mountainous region of the Hindu Kush. Indica plants usually have higher levels of CBD than THC, and offers a more relaxing and sedated high. They also tend to focus on the body high instead of the head. Because of this, this strain is best used during nighttime.
  • Sativa. Originating in hot and dry climates, sativa plants are thin and tall with less dense foliage compared to indica. They tend to take longer to cultivate and mature. Sativa produces a head or mind high compared to indica, giving anxiety-mitigating and energizing effects. The creative high they produce makes them very popular among artists for creative boosts. Because of its stimulating effects, these are best for daytime use.
  • Hybrid. Unlike indica and sativa, this strain has no historical origins. Rather, they are cross-sections of various parent strains that create a new and unique strain with its own unique effects. Hybrids are modern inventions and are usually found in commercially-licensed greenhouses and farms, as well as in some hobbyists. Most cannabis strains are a mixture of both, with only a few being true indica and sativa strains. Thus, a hybrid is either sativa-dominant or indica-dominant.

Choosing the Best Strain

Listed below are a few guidelines on how to enjoy cannabis depending on various factors. Keep in mind that there are always exceptions so if you are unsure of something, ask for clarification from a specialized grower or your health care provider. These professionals are great sources of information, but be wary of sensational claims that are too good to be true.

  • Getting the right strain mainly depends on the effect you are aiming for. Generally, to feel awake and energized, use sativa. If you want to sleep or feel relaxed, get indica. A hybrid can help you get a little bit of each; you just have to find one that is well balanced and matches your body chemistry.
  • Consider drug interactions with medications you are currently taking. Cannabinoids are complex chemicals so augmenting the naturally-occurring cannabinoids in your body can get tricky. THC and CBD are known to interact with drugs, particularly blood thinners and those that affect neurochemicals like antidepressants. Be cautious and make sure that you do not put yourself at risk taking and maintaining cannabinoids.
  • Know your tolerance for THC. Concentrations of THC in marijuana have significantly increased in the last few years. Be conscious of your tolerance because you might end up getting more than you bargained for.
  • Decide on how you intend to consume cannabis. Vaping and smoking bring hard and fast effects, but these usually do not last longer than a few hours. On the other hand, edibles have slower effects and are easily tolerable, but they give a longer lasting high.

There are lots of ways to get a good experience with cannabis, including using glass pipes and bongs, all of which can give you good results. Now that you have earned some knowledge on the main marijuana strains, it should be easier for you to pick one, light up and enjoy its numerous health benefits.

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