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Choosing a cannabis strain can feel like a daunting task, especially when you’re at a dispensary that carries dozens of strains.

To help you out, most retailers categorize their products into three main categories:

  • indica
  • sativa
  • hybrid

Indica strains come from the cannabis indica plant, which is generally shorter and bushier than their sativa counterpart.

Traditionally, indica strains are associated with more of a body high that makes you feel relaxed. They’re often recommended for people seeking strains to help with pain, insomnia, nausea, or poor appetite.

While plenty of indica strains might produce these effects, strains aren’t an exact science.

Things like terpenes, different cannabinoids (like THC and CBD), and even your history with cannabis can influence how you experience certain products.

That said, the indica versus sativa distinction can still be a useful tool to guide you toward what you’re looking for in a cannabis product.

Effects associated with indica strains

Cannabis indica strains are often said to have the following effects:

  • Relaxing. People say cannabis indica strains help their muscles relax and their brains slow down.
  • Sedating. Many find that the strains make them sleepy, which may be a good thing for people with insomnia.
  • Pain-relieving. Indica strains are often recommended for people looking to use cannabis for chronic or acute pain.
  • Appetite-inducing. Yep, “the munchies” aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a low appetite due to a medical condition or treatment.
  • Nausea-soothing. Many find that indica strains also help with nausea and keeping food down.
A quick note about strains

As you read about strains, keep in mind that their effects aren’t always consistent. A strain from one company might feel very different than another company’s version of that same strain.

If you find a strain that works really well for you, try to research its other properties. What are the main terpenes in it? What’s the THC to CBD ratio? Does the label mention any other cannabinoids, like CBG or CBN?

It’s also worth mentioning that everyone’s experience with cannabis differs. This is based on their physiology and prior experience.

If you frequently consume cannabis, for example, you’ll likely have a higher tolerance for THC. If you’re in a familiar environment with friends, your experience might be different from if you were consuming alone in a new, unfamiliar place.