A Guide to Cannabis Sativa

sativa 101

A Guide to Cannabis Sativa

One of the best things about the cannabis plant is that each strain has its own unique characteristics. The strain you select will shape your experience, so it’s important to choose intentionally and hone in on the type of cannabis that appeals to you most. While some cannabis connoisseurs like to do a deep dive into each strain’s specific cannabinoid and terpene profiles, that isn’t completely necessary for everyone.  Instead, most people find it helpful to think about sativa cannabis strains, indica cannabis strains, and hybrid cannabis strains.

Sativa strains are generally associated with uplifting, exciting, or stimulating effects. Some people refer to this feeling as a “head high.” Indica strains, on the other hand, are generally considered to be soothing or relaxing, which some people might call a “body high.” Hybrid strains can be anything that isn’t a pure indica or a pure sativa. Every journey with cannabis is personal, and the experience will be different for everyone. You can still start to shape your expectations by familiarizing yourself with this sativa guide.

What are Sativa Cannabis Strains?

When people use the phrase “cannabis sativa,” they could be talking about a couple of different things. Cannabis sativa is the proper name of the hemp plant, which is non-psychoactive and can be grown for a number of industrial purposes (or for CBD). When we’re talking about indica vs. sativa strains, though, we’re talking about psychoactive marijuana strains that do contain THC. For the purpose of this sativa guide, we’re talking about sativa strains of the marijuana plant, which do contain THC and are psychoactive.

Sativa strains typically grow taller and thinner than indica strains. They also take a little bit longer to flower in many cases. Sativa strains may have originated in hotter climates closer to the equator, though they’re now grown all over. Most people are more interested in the effects than the physical characteristics, though.

What are the Effects of Cannabis Sativa Strains?

At this point, it’s important to reiterate that the effects of cannabis may be perceived differently by everyone. Your own unique body chemistry may play a role in how you experience the effects of cannabis. Two people can enjoy the exact same strain in the exact same amounts and still feel differently after. With all of that said, though, let’s dive into the typical sativa effects reported by most people.

Sativa strains often produce an effect that’s commonly called a “head high,” which is to say that these strains’ effects may be perceived mostly in the brain. Compare this to the “body high” associated with indica strains, which may be perceived most noticeably as a relaxed sensation in the body. Sativa strains are often considered more stimulating, euphoric, and even hallucinogenic.

Why Do People Buy Sativa Strains?

Many people who love cannabis sativa say they like the feeling of being alert, uplifted, and creative. These strains are often considered ideal for the daytime, and many people actually stay away from them at night. Contrary to some stereotypes about cannabis, many of our customers say they have a hard time lounging around or falling asleep after enjoying a sativa strain. Instead, they may want to get out and about, go for a walk, pursue creative endeavors, or participate in social activities. 

In other words, you may want to choose a sativa strain if you’re going to do any of the following after enjoying cannabis:

  • Put on some music and do a lot of chores around the house.
  • Go to a dance party or have a long conversation with friends.
  • Write a poem, compose a song, or work on a painting.
  • Walk on the beach and enjoy the weather.

Why Do Sativas Have These Effects?

The different effects of different strains were considered the great cannabis mystery for many years. It’s only more recently that we’ve started to feel like we’re getting closer to legitimate answers about why certain strains have their own unique effects. We’re not all the way there yet, but modern cannabis experts generally chalk the effects of cannabis up to the strain’s specific profile of cannabinoids and terpenes.

Cannabinoids are natural compounds found in the cannabis sativa plant, and scientists have identified dozens of different types of them. Even though we’re continually learning more about all of the different types of cannabinoids, our current understanding is that two of them are especially important:

  • THC – When it comes to sativa strains, the THC level is probably the single most important thing people are looking for. Short for tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the psychoactive cannabinoid associated with the feeling of being high. It’s believed to contribute to the “head high” above all else, especially when it comes to energy and creative feelings. Some thought it could lead to physical relaxation, but the mental effects may be what makes this cannabinoid most desirable.
  • CBD – Cannabidiol, or CBD for short, is the second most popular cannabinoid. It’s not psychoactive, which means it doesn’t contribute to the intoxicating effects of cannabis. It’s believed to be linked to feelings of relaxation and a general sense of wellness. Many of our sativa strains have high THC levels and low levels of CBD.

Beyond cannabinoids, we’re learning that cannabis terpenes can significantly impact the potential effects of cannabis. Also known as terpenoids, terpenes are organic compounds that have aromatic and flavonoid properties. The easiest way to understand them is to think of them as the essential oils from the cannabis plants.

Just as some people buy essential oils for aromatherapy, cannabis experts are starting to believe that cannabis terpenes may contribute to the effects of cannabis. Different terpenes may interact with the body differently, which helps explain why strains can have different effects even when their THC levels are almost identical. This is leading to an increased focus on something called the entourage effect.

What Is the Entourage Effect in Cannabis Sativa?

The entourage effect is a theory stating that cannabinoids may behave differently depending on the entourage they bring with them. This may remind you of some people you know. In other words, the effects of THC might vary slightly depending on the presence of other cannabinoids as well as terpenes.

We’re still learning about some of the lesser-known cannabinoids like CBG, CBN, and others, and we’re not even sure that we completely understand the popular cannabinoids THC and CBD. Combine this with the fact that over 100 possible terpenes have been identified in the cannabis plant, and it becomes easier to see why every strain is so different. Each strain has its own terpene profile, which is something like its fingerprint– it’s possible that no two are exactly alike.

Where can you buy Sativa Strains in Long Beach, CA?

Here at King’s Crew, we pride ourselves on offering a variety of premium cannabis sativa. Our convenient location on Pacific Coast Highway and 7th Street makes it easy to stop by for great products, friendly service, and fair prices. Our budtenders will be happy to connect you with an excellent sativa strain, so stop by today!

Image credit: Eric Limon/Shutterstock



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