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A Guide to Cannabis Indica

A Guide to Cannabis Indica

One of the most interesting things about the cannabis plant is how different strains seem to have different effects. The same person could smoke two different strains and have two different experiences as a result. Every cannabis strain has its own nuances, and no two are alike. Even the same strain may have slightly different cannabinoid and terpene profiles depending on how it’s grown and handled.

Even most cannabis enthusiasts don’t care to get too far into the technical weeds, though. That’s why it’s become common to discuss cannabis in three broad categories:

  1. Indica Strains
  2. Sativa Strains
  3. Hybrid Strains

What Are Indica Cannabis Strains?

Indica strains and sativa strains are the primary types of cannabis, each of which represents one end of the spectrum. Every strain that falls somewhere between an indica and a sativa is considered a hybrid. Sativa strains are mostly associated with cerebral, energetic effects that might be referred to as a “head high.” Indica strains, on the other hand, are mostly associated with heavy, relaxing, soothing effects that might be called a “body high.”

Indica plants usually grow into shorter and bushier plants compared to sativas, which are tall and thin. The leaves of indica strains are also shorter and wider for the most part. This difference in appearance is how we ended up getting a distinction between indica and sativa strains in the first place.

What is the History of Indica Strains?

Cannabis indica strains have likely existed for thousands of years, but the name seems to have originated sometime in the late 1700s. A French naturalist named Jean-Baptiste Lamarck traveled to India, where he realized that the cannabis plants growing there were different from what he was used to in Europe.

In Europe, the cannabis plants were more like what we might call hemp today.

The European cannabis plants had low THC or no THC, which meant they were not psychoactive. Instead, the plant material was used to make textiles. People in Europe weren’t particularly interested in smoking cannabis plants, which makes sense considering their plants didn’t offer significant THC levels anyway.

The cannabis plants in India, however, were known to produce psychoactive, intoxicating, euphoric effects. Since these plants were often consumed for pleasure, Lamarck wanted to set them apart from the cannabis plants his countrymen used to make sails for their ships. He referred to this new type of intoxicating Indian cannabis as cannabis indica, while the non-psychoactive variety in Europe was known as cannabis sativa.

Bear in mind that this non-psychoactive type of cannabis Lamarck would have called sativa is not what we call sativa today. We’d call the non-psychoactive varieties hemp, and the name cannabis sativa is now used to refer to high-THC strains known for creating energetic head highs. Cannabis indica continues to be known for creating relaxing body highs, and some people think of it as the type of marijuana that makes you tired.

What are the effects of Indica Strains?

As always, when describing the potential effects of cannabis, it’s important to note that everyone’s experience of cannabis is different. Two people can sit down and smoke the same amount of the same strain, then feel completely different. Your unique body chemistry and all types of other factors will ultimately play a role in determining how you feel. Still, we can often generalize the effects of certain types of cannabis based on what most people report feeling.

In the case of indica strains, the usual effect people think of is an intense body high. This may manifest itself in a feeling many people call “couch lock,” which is just what it sounds like: a sensation that you’ve been glued to your seat. People who experience couch lock may feel stuck to the couch because they’re so relaxed and sedated, or it could be because they feel too high and dizzy to move with any degree of confidence.

Most people report that they enjoy this feeling, but it might be overwhelming if you smoke too much and aren’t used to it. The common effects of indica strains may also be undesirable at certain times, such as in the middle of the day when you still have things to accomplish. For that reason, most people say they buy indica strains for nightly smoking when they want to relax, unwind, and start to bring the day to a close. Some people might choose indicas when they want to eat a big snack and fall asleep.

How Do Indica Marijuana Strains Work?

If you only care what indicas are likely to do for you and aren’t so interested in the science behind it, you already have the general idea of things. For those who want to know just a little bit more about why certain strains have become associated with unique effects, it’s important to know that hundreds of natural organic compounds are found within various cannabis plants. The most important natural components of the plant (at least as far as we’re aware) are cannabinoids and terpenes.

What are Cannabinoids?

Over 100 different cannabinoids have been identified within the cannabis plant, and we’re learning more about each of them as time goes on. Cannabinoids are important because they can interact with your body’s natural endocannabinoid system, causing reactions in the brain and throughout the body. By binding with receptors throughout your body, cannabinoids can create effects throughout the endocannabinoid system, which has been linked to numerous functions, including sleep, the experience of pain, hunger, and more.

People are starting to learn and care more about cannabinoids like CBN, CBG, CBC, and others. For now, though, most attention is still focused primarily on the two most popular cannabinoids:

  • CBD – This cannabinoid isn’t known for having psychoactive effects. In fact, many say it calms the psychoactive effects of THC. Most people seek CBD because they want a general sense of wellness without feeling intoxicated.
  • THC – This is the cannabinoid associated with the psychoactive effects of cannabis. Most indica strains you can buy have high levels of it. This is somewhat curious because THC is often thought of in relation to exciting, uplifting feelings instead of the relaxing sensation indicas are known for. That’s where terpenes and the entourage effect come into play.

Terpenes and the Entourage Effect 

Terpenes are somewhat like essential oils, and they’re found in cannabis as well as other plants. Just as some people buy different essential oils for different aromatherapy purposes, it’s believed that the various terpenes impact the effects of different strains. This is called the entourage effect. 

In other words, cannabinoids may behave differently depending on the entourage of other cannabinoids and terpenes they bring with them. The entourage effect’s key takeaway is that a strain’s effects will depend on its complete combination of terpenes and cannabinoids. Strains with combinations that lead to more relaxing experiences are often lumped together as indicas.

Buy Indica Strains in Long Beach

Here at King’s Crew, you can find several indica strains at our dispensary in Long Beach. With such a diverse dispensary menu, you’ll never have a shortage of options. Stop by today to buy indicas in person or order online for maximum convenience.


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