Products derived from cannabis sativa plants are known to be energizing, while those derived from indica cannabis plants are known to be sedatives. First of all, we should point out that there are two main types of cannabis, sativa and indica. Both strains contain THC, the cannabinoid that produces a “high”. However, compared to Sativa, Indica has higher levels of CBD, which brings with it a number of health benefits.
But it is THC that is primarily responsible for inducing sleep. The chemical composition of Indica and Sativa is similar, but because Sativa tends to have more THC, while Indica tends to have more CBD or cannabidiol, they are known to produce different effects. Sativas give you a head high. They could make you feel happy and full of energy.
They make you more alert, focused and more productive. Meanwhile, Indicas give you a pleasant body high, despite their slightly lower THC content. High CBD content generally helps with anxiety, insomnia, or body pain. They could make you feel relaxed and lethargic, increase your appetite, and help you sleep.
The best-known Sativa varieties have a significant amount of limonene, which affects mood. Therefore, if you're looking for a strain that helps you sleep, it's best to choose an indica. Otherwise, a strongly Indica hybrid could provide a viable alternative. You'll want to stay away from sativas, as they are among the worst strains of cannabis that can be consumed before bed.
Indicas are generally thought to be relaxing, which can make you feel sleepy. Do Indicas give you a body high? For example, if you have more Indica in your lineage, you could have effects more associated with those strains, but this is not always the case. According to Americans for Safe Access, ASA, an organization dedicated to the regulation of research that uses cannabis as a therapeutic, one of the main effects of Indica strains is to reduce chronic pain and inflammation. Most strains called “indica” or “sativa” are, in fact, hybrids, with genetics inherited from both types.
However, while both Indica and Sativa have a multitude of benefits that can be very attractive, they also have some adverse side effects. Indicas are commonly known as night strains and are used to relax and disconnect at the end of the night. The third most common terpene in indica strains that cause sedation is terpinolene, a terpene that smells like pine and herbs. The main reason Indica-dominant cannabis provides a sleepy or relaxing effect is that it has a relatively higher amount of cannabidiol compared to other strains.
However, even today, the belief that indicas, sativas and hybrids produce distinct effects remains deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture. Indica strains are extracted from the cannabis plant and have a thicker outlook compared to the cannabis plant Sativa. Some researchers argue that the distinction between indica and sativa strains is less relevant than variety in the content of THC and other ingredients in a particular product. The reason one may feel hungry after consuming Indica is that the THC content it contains binds to the receptors that deal with hunger.
Fortunately, once you know the difference between sativas and indicas, you can easily choose the most suitable one to use. Experienced cannabis enthusiasts know that indica tends to make you sleepy, sometimes it even blocks your couch, making it your best friend for any marathon Sunday (Netflix). This is most likely due to the fact that indica cannabis contains a higher amount of CBD, a cannabinoid associated with these therapeutic effects. Most of the differences attributed to Sativa versus Indica strains are based on the subjective experiences of cannabis users.