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A “marijuana for dummies” guide to indica and sativa strains.

Since the legalization of marijuana in Canada there are have been some “normies” who are curious about what this drug is all about. I define normy as law abiding citizens who had no interest in marijuana strictly because of its legality. I used to call them squares.

If you are one of these squares who have heard the terms indica and sativa you’re probably a little confused about what the heck any of that means. Now that’s legal in the true north strong and free, everyone is invited to this party. So it’s time to educate the newbie normy squares into what exactly indica and sativa mean and which one is the best for you.


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Sativa strains can be identified as long narrow plants and originate from hot dry climates. So what?

So their environment determines their biology and their biology determines their cannabinoids and their cannabinoids get you high. The type of high you experience is determined by the strain of the plant.

Sativa strains have been associated with high energy highs. If you have brain dead house work to do like the dishes or laundry it can be a lot more fun when you smoke/vape some sativa marijuana. It’s the type of high that can give you a cerebral rush and keep you functional.

There’s people who will argue that their isn’t a real difference between sativa and indica. That may be true for them but not for everyone. A lot of factors are involved when experiencing a sativa high. It comes down to tolerance, your own biology, the quality of the plant and how much you consume.

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Think of it this way. One person can get drunk from whiskey and they need to punch someone in the face. Another person will puke and have a nasty hangover without the desire to pick a fight. Two different experiences from the same alcohol. What they can both agree on is that getting drunk from whiskey is different then getting drunk from beer.

When shopping for marijuana knowing about indica and sativa can give you a hint about the kind of high you may experience. Sativa will give you a cerebral high and can increase your focus…and your sense of humor (the giggles). A sativa strain can also elevate your mood so when reading the news for more than five minutes makes you want to give up on humanity try a few puffs. Who knows maybe it can get your creative juices flowing and you’ll start that screenplay that’s been playing in your head for years.

While it does have the characteristic of thinking creatively it doesn’t mean what you think of will be good. If you think of a genius idea for a podcast before you call your friends write it down. Wake up the next day and read it out loud. If it doesn’t make you cringe you may be onto something.


If cannabis were sold like Tylenol Cold and Flu packages you could say sativa would be the day time pill and indica would be the night time pill. Although it should be stated that no two strains are the same. Just because you have an indica dominant strain doesn’t mean you won’t feel any of the effects from a sativa strain. Distinguishing between the two will give you a better idea of what to expect when you’re about have a gnarly session.

So lets say you are new to the cannabis game and you hear it can help with insomnia. When you visit a dispensary they will most likely find an indica strain with a lower THC % and a CBD of 1%. The lower THC percent is to accommodate the low tolerance of someone who doesn’t partake often or is completely new to it. You don’t want to send someone to the moon before they’ve completed flight school knowhaimsayin?

Indica has the distinct effect of relaxing and giving a “body buzz” so to speak. It has the ability to help with insomnia due to it relaxation effects and can also act as a pain killer. You can also expect to get the munchies which is a positive sign if you are suffering from nausea.

For me personally I used to suffer from insomnia due to my crazy rotating hours at my day job. I either work very late or very early in the morning. This throws a wrench into my sleep cycle so I would seek out an indica strain and have a session right before or after dinner time. It almost solved my insomnia as I would get a few hours of sleep before work instead of zero. Remember, the best medicine for insomnia is a regular sleep schedule. Use sleeping aids to get back onto a regular sleep schedule but not as a crutch. That’s your Captain’s order for the day, yarrgh.

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