Even if you’re new to cannabis, you’ve probably heard the terms “indica” and “sativa” used to describe different kinds of cannabis. What do those terms really mean, and what are the best indica strains to try right now? Hang on tight as we dive into the wonderful world of indicas!
Indica: A Primer
Although Chinese physicians were already prescribing cannabis some 4700 years ago, it wasn’t until the 1700s that European botanists formally classified the cannabis plant.
In those days, researchers were arguably more concerned with describing the plants’ physical characteristics than their psychoactive ones. “Indica” plants were dense, squat and bushy, while “sativa” ones were tall, treelike and sparser. More to the point, those sativas were, for the most part, the cannabis plant’s non-psychoactive cousin, hemp. The indicas were typically psychoactive, and perhaps described the prototypical kush strains of lore.
In this country, from the earliest Colonial days and into the 20th century, hemp was a critical commercial crop, prized for its fiber and seeds. After it was outlawed here in the US in 1937 and cannabis went underground, the terms “indica” and “sativa” became ways to characterize not only the cannabis plant’s appearance, but more importantly, its effects on our bodies and our minds.
What Makes an Indica…an Indica?
Indica plants often called bushes owing to their short, squat profiles; they typically reach a height between 3 – 6 feet. Compared with sativa plants, their leaves are broader and often darker and more closely spaced.
Indicas also tend to have a very different effect on us than do sativas. The high produced by an indica is best described as “body-centered,” “heavy” or “sedating.” By comparison, sativas tend to impart “cerebral,” “buzzy” or “energizing” effects Note that both sativas and indicas contain the same cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. It’s just that due to their overall cannabinoid and terpene profiles—in particular their myrcene content—they tend to exhibit very different effects on our bodies.
These days, some people in the cannabis industry are moving away from the sativa / indica distinction, arguing that most plants are hybrids of the two, and that a plant’s physical appearance has little to do with its chemical properties.
That’s a fair point. But we still use that nomenclature for one important reason: Because cannabis is a complicated and sometimes confusing topic, we feel that anything we can do to help describe and classify it is probably worth it!
Where to Begin? The Best Indica Strains
If you’re curious about experiencing the best indica strains, here’s a starter list. As always, check our live menu first to make sure we’ve got what you want in stock!
A smile-inducing indica-dominant hybrid, this strain exhibits earthy, hashlike and floral scents and flavors. It’s known for its gentle, full-body high and a relaxed, even giggly effect.
Another sweet ride on both the palate and the mind, this heavy-hitting indica can really knock you out if you’re not careful. That’s one reason we like using it to microdose, as we’ve written about previously. However you use it, you’ll love the floral and berrylike flavors and aromas from this popular strain.
Producing sweet, sticky and appealing buds, this popular indica strain can boast a very high THC content. It’s popular both for its sour and tangy flavor and for the typical indica effects: Warmth, heaviness, and an enduring cerebral stimulation.
Want to check these strains out? Find your closest Have a Heart below.
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