For as long as the cannabis culture has existed, these are the buzz words that have described the cannabis type; Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. We are now discovering that these terms have been misrepresented in how the effects of cannabis make you feel.
Recent research has uncovered that using terms that explain the cannabis type is only good for understanding a plant’s look and growing ability. It is becoming more prevalent that these are not determining factors in how a cannabis varietal will affect you.
The stereotypes for each plant varietal is as follows:
- Indica – believed to be more sedating, Indica has been thought of as the strain to use when you want to veg out, watch a movie, go to sleep, or just feel good about doing nothing.
- Sativas – Sativa strains have been rumored to help you let your guard down at a party, encourage socialization, help you unlock creativity, give you a sense of wellbeing without feeling drowsy.
- Hybrids – These are like your wildcards. They can have any mix of the two types and can provide a balance of each side.
Now that more doors are being opened for true scientific research, we are uncovering that the effects run so much deeper than a basic understanding of three plant varietals.
Research is starting to point towards the cannabinoids and terpenes as what really creates the effects of cannabis.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds within a cannabis flower. The most familiar being CBD and THC. Our bodies have an endocannabinoid system that creates naturally occurring cannabinoids in the body. When cannabis is consumed, the cannabinoids bind to the CB1 and CB2 receptors in our brains, creating different effects on our body that help with ailments like inflammation, pain, anxiety, etc. There has even been research showing that certain cannabinoids tend to bind to one receptor over the other creating different effects on the body.
What are Terpenes?
On a basic level, terpenes are the aromatics of a cannabis flower. They are what give that lemon, berry, piney, etc. scent. What’s notable is that the terpenes are secreted through the same glands that cannabinoids come from. While more studies are needed to determine precisely how terpenes play into the effect of cannabis, it is suspected that there is more to these aromatics than just a lovely scent. Similar to how lavender promotes relaxation, and mint is invigorating, these terpenes can have the same type of effect.
The five more common terpenes are myrcene (herbal), pinene (pine), caryophyllene (peppery), limonene (citrus), and terpinolene (fruity). All ranging in promoting effects from calming to energizing.
Determining the Right Strains for You
More research has to be conducted, but what we can conclude is that the rumors of a plant’s effects being determined by its varietal of Indica, Sativa or hybrid is a fallacy. It is much more extensive and there are many different components that determine cannabis strains effects.
No matter what strains you try, take note of how you feel and the effects. We’d even recommend that you keep a log about it. Keep notes on the CBD: THC ratios, the terpenes, the quantity you’re consuming, and how you are feeling. This way, you can track any trends in how specific strains personally effect you.