Over the past decade, an industry explosion has taken place in the medical cannabis field. A groundswell of support for legalization efforts, coupled by the establishment of state-regulated dispensaries and licensing systems, have led to a dizzying array of medical cannabis products on store shelves. Even seasoned cannabis users may become bewildered by the choices. In this guide, we’ll help to dispel some of that confusion, with a special focus on indica vs. sativa products and what they are used for. Let’s get started.

Indica and Sativa: An Introduction

There are thousands of strains of cannabis, with many occurring naturally and others bred by cultivators for specific profiles. Within these thousands of strains are two primary subspecies, Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical responsible for the euphoric sensations users often experience – the “high” so sought-after by recreational marijuana users. THC also has significant medical benefits, as we will explore in the next section.

THC has also demonstrated an unusual effect that has medical researchers excited for further investigation; the cannabinoid can reduce the growth and size of cancer cells, including cells associated with brain, skin, and cervical cancers, only to name a few. CBD, another popular cannabinoid, has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, and in clinical studies represents a safe pain-relieving alternative as compared to prescription painkillers. Cannabis products high in CBD can be beneficial for those experiencing chronic pain, arthritis, musculoskeletal injuries, and many other health conditions. 

As a general rule of thumb, indica is primarily used for for relaxation, while sativa gives an energy boost that can carry you through your day. We will go into greater detail about the qualities of indica and sativa later on in this piece, but this is the most important distinction to note.

Sativa/indica hybrids are also well-represented in the medical cannabis community; these strains were developed to balance the uplifting effects of sativa’s higher THC levels with the sedating, calming effects of CBD. In fact, some of the many hybrid strains are preferred as medicine by patients with complex health conditions, allowing them to find relief and to lead active lifestyles once again.

Getting Into Indica

As stated above, indica is known for helping people to relax. (For this reason, some cannabis users like to refer to it as “in-da-couch”.) Indica-rich products would not be ideal for use before a busy, hectic day, but they are ideal for kicking back and unwinding once the day has come to a close.

Because indica helps people to relax, it is an effective treatment for more mental-based issues, such as:

Indica is also commonly associated with cancer treatment. In addition to providing pain relief, indica can relieve some of the other side effects and symptoms from cancer treatments (such as chemotherapy).

Sativa Specifics

Sativa strains, on the other hand, should not be your product of choice when you’re looking forward to a personal day at home. Sativa is ideal for those who are in need of more energy. These strains are most frequently used during the daytime, as they will provide a boost of energy, assist with pain and other symptom relief, and still allow people to go about their day-to-day lives.

In addition to boosting energy (which can be beneficial for chronic fatigue sufferers), sativa can be a great treatment for depression as well as a lack of mental focus.

Choosing the Right Medical Cannabis Products

For consumers, there is much confusion when it comes to finding cannabis products for specific health conditions. The above guide to THC and CBD is only part of the solution; medical cannabis users should seek the insight of professionals in determining which product is best for specific applications. Most reputable dispensaries will provide their clients with detailed laboratory analyses of products, which can help pinpoint levels of THC, CBD, and the aromatic chemical compounds known as terpenes. Armed with this information, patients can make informed decisions, helping them to find the relief they need to overcome numerous health challenges. 

If you are interested in learning more about the different effects of indica and sativa products, we strongly encourage you to look into some of our products. Our Unwind tincture is a popular, indica-rich product that can aid in pain management, mood balancing, and overall relaxation and wellbeing. If you are more interested in sativa, we recommend the Uplift tincture, which will energize while providing pain relief, increased mental focus, and positivity. Give us a call today at (877) 469-4584 for more information about our products.