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Choosing a cannabis strain can be confusing. With hundreds of types of cannabis available on the market, retailers are still trying to figure out the best way to break down strains into helpful categories.

That’s why most cannabis menus break strains — or cultivars, if you want to get technical — into three categories: sativa, indica, and hybrid.

Sativas are often associated with more of a head high than a body high, meaning they stimulate your mind but don’t leave you feeling heavy or sleepy.

These associations are carried over from the unregulated cannabis market, though, and aren’t necessarily accurate.

Still, as researchers continue to look closer at the factors — like cannabinoids and terpenes — that change the effects of different kinds of cannabis, the sativa versus indica distinction can still be a helpful tool for finding the right product.

Instead of thinking strictly in terms of sativas versus indicas, it might be more helpful to think along the lines of sativa-like strains and indica-like strains.

Here’s a closer look at the main effects linked to sativas and a list of strains to consider.

Effects commonly associated with sativa strains

Broadly, cannabis sativa strains are said to have the following effects:

  • Energizing. This is a sought-after effect for daytime consumers or for those who want to consume before doing an activity or being social.
  • Uplifting. Many people report that their mood is altered and improves after consuming sativa strains.
  • Increased creativity. For some, consuming a cannabis sativa product can help shift or unblock creativity, or generate new ideas.
  • Mind-expanding. Not limited to creativity, cannabis sativa strains are often thought to direct attention inward for reflection.
  • Sharper focus. Some report that cannabis sativa strains can help ease a distracted mind and concentrate on the task at hand.

As a result of these effects, some report that cannabis sativa products offer some relief from symptoms of:

  • Depression. With their reported energizing, mood-uplifting, and creativity-inducing effects, sativas may help combat feelings of lethargy and apathy.
  • Anxiety. Similarly, some people report that cannabis sativa strains can ease anxiety with soothing and uplifting effects. Others find that it helps them “snap out” of repeated or intrusive thoughts.
  • ADHD. Because of the cerebral and increased focus effects attributed to sativas, some people report that cannabis sativa products help ease symptoms of ADHD.

If you’re using cannabis to help with mental health symptoms, be sure to keep up with any other prescribed treatments. And keep in mind that the impact of cannabis on mental health conditions is still poorly understoodTrusted Source.