Cannabis 101: Sativa, Hybrid, Indica

In my experience, growing up in Southern California meant growing up in direct proximity to cannabis culture.

Fast forward to adult me in 2018: I’ve now used cannabis recreationally and medicinally for almost a decade, which means I’ve come to learn a thing or two about the substance in general.

I’ve also become especially attune to which strains are best for me personally;

like which I should grab for my migraines versus which are best for anxiety. I’ve learned how my body reacts to edibles that are ingested sublingually vs edibles that must be chewed and digested. I’ve discovered I enjoy vaping more than smoking the old fashioned way, and I’ve also gotten used to the way those different delivery systems affect my experience. Most importantly, over time I’ve learned when my body would most benefit from some THC, and when I need to abstain.

Recently, I had some Sativa concentrate in my vape cartridge that I had been enjoying earlier in the week. I was loving the feeling of alertness it was inducing; it made me feel positive, motivated to exercise and fully functional in my daily activities. Then later in the week for an unknown reason, something shifted and I began to notice I was feeling persistent anxiety and was overall just too jittery. The same way there can be too much caffeine, there can also be too much THC. At that point, I knew from past experience that I needed to put my vape pen down.

I took a couple of days off from smoking completely, and in the meantime, I lessened the anxiety and tension I was having with some of the LOCAL’d CBD gummies. After my mini detox was done and I was ready to order from LOCAL’d again (just in time for 420). I reached out to their customer service team to see which indica gifts they had in stock so I could make an informed decision.

Their budtender listened to what I was looking for and suggested two different options: one was a traditionally heavier indica, and the other was a Sativa dominant hybrid (since they knew I normally ordered items with a Sativa gift). Because I knew I needed to stay away from anything too heady for a while, I opted for the indica, which at the time happened to be a strain called Blue Knight. The strain left me fully relaxed and eased the muscle aches and tension I was experiencing. It helped me ditch my anxiety and replaced it with a healthier appetite. As soon as I started to feel relief, I was extra grateful that I know how to easily manage those uncomfortable physical symptoms.

Without a doubt, my longtime exposure to cannabis has given me a leg up in this arena…And then it occured to me: creating a conducive pairing is a learned skill, and not everyone has the same kind of understanding or awareness as I do when it comes to this stuff.

Unfortunately, since LOCAL’d isn’t brick and mortar store (at least not yet), you the customer don’t have the luxury of going into a shop to speak with a budtender. But how can you be a completely happy customer if you aren’t an informed customer? For that reason, I decided to do you a solid and compiled a quick and basic Cannabis Q and A that will hopefully help guide you when deciding what to order from LOCAL’d.

Q: Why is it key to pay attention to “Indica”, “Sativa”, and “Hybrid” when choosing a strain (aka LOCAL’d Mood Indicator)?

A: Each strain has its own range of effects on the body and mind resulting in a wide range of benefits, and many factors impact the user’s result. Thanks to breeding, both indica and sativa strains can be found with varying THC:CBD cannabinoid concentrations. But as a rule of thumb, the effect of sativa strains (the up arrow on the mood indicator) is often described as a strong and uplifting head high, while indicas (the down arrow on the mood indicator) tend to produce a more body-centred, stoned effect.

Q: What qualities can Indica strains provide? 

A: Typical effects of Indica strains include: Increased mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decreases nausea, decreases acute pain, increases appetite, increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers), aids and improves sleep.

Q: What makes Sativa strains different than Indicas?

A: Products and medicine produced from cannabis Sativa plants have lower CBD and higher THC counts. Sativa strains tend to provide a more energizing and euphoric experience. Other typical qualities of Sativa strains include: Antidepressant, treats chronic pain, increases focus and creativity, increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of learning, mood, sleep, anxiety and appetite).

Q: How can you predict how a hybrid flower will make you feel?

A: Hybrids (The up-down arrow on the mood indicator) are thought to fall somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains. For example, a hybrid that is sativa-dominant will create more of those effets, and vice versa for indica-dominant plants.

Q: What else impacts how cannabis will make someone feel?

A: The effects of any given cannabis strain depend on a number of different factors, including the product’s chemical profile, a person’s unique biology and tolerance, dose, and consumption method. When you are able to understand how these factors change the experience you’ll have the best chance of finding that perfect strain and intake method(s) for you.

Check back for more Cannabis Q and A posts coming to you soon!

And keep in mind, you can always contact Local’d with questions and/or for recommendations.

Make sure to follow the @GetLocald Instagram for exclusive deals and opportunities to save on your next LOCAL’d Purchase!

This post was written by Flo Sugyatno, operations manager of LOCAL’d and cannabis expert. LOCAL’d is a helping hand to the companies that strengthen your community in the Washington, DC area. Helping them to grow through financial and promotional support, LOCAL’d is a Washington, DC weed delivery service.

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