Are you searching for an all-natural way to unwind after a tough day? If so, you’ve got to look into indica hemp strains!
Unlike cannabis sativa plants, indica cultivars are reputed for their soothing and sedative qualities. Indeed, indica hemp strains are so relaxing that many smokers only use them late in the day.
While indicas aren’t great to take before going to work, they might “work” wonders on conditions like anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain. Plus, since hemp strains don’t contain more than 0.3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), there’s no chance Cannaflower’s indicas will cause the “mind fog” associated with marijuana.
Anyone who wants clear-headed stress relief can’t afford to pass on the indica info below.
Indica vs. Sativa Hemp – Is There Really A Difference?
Anyone with a basic understanding of cannabis has probably already heard about the “indica vs. sativa” distinction. While there’s some debate over the accuracy of this classification system, many cultivators still believe it’s the easiest way to differentiate strains of cannabis.
In terms of effects, indica cannabis plants are always linked with mild sedation, while sativas offer a euphoric “head-rush” sensation. Unsurprisingly, you’ll often hear experienced smokers recommend scheduling sativas early in the day and savoring indicas before bed.
But it’s not just the effects that separate indicas from sativas. In fact, the primary reason botanist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck created the “indica” category was to distinguish its growing patterns from sativas.
Lamarck noticed that certain cannabis strains coming from the Kush mountains on Pakistan – India border had a smaller size than sativa variants. If you were to see an indica plant’s low stature and densely packed buds, you could understand why Lamarck argued for this category. In addition to their short height, indicas also have a “short” growing period of about 8 – 9 weeks.
By contrast, sativa strains take a long time to grow (about ten weeks), and they grow, well, long! It’s not unheard of for sativa strains to reach 10 feet tall. Buds on sativa-heavy strains also tend to be airier than indicas, making them more susceptible to mold.
Although hemp hybridization blurs the lines between these categories, many farmers still cling to the indica vs. sativa distinction. True, the indica-to-sativa percentage won’t tell you everything about a strain, but it’s a great place to begin your research.
Could Terpenes Enhance An Indica’s Effects?
At this point, we don’t know what causes the distinctions between indica and sativa strains. However, some scientists believe terpenes may explain why these strains have such different effects on users.
For those who don’t know, terpenes are the smelly compounds responsible for each hemp strain’s flavors. Terpenes certainly determine hemp’s aromatic properties, but new research suggests they may also have physiological effects. Some scientists suggest indicas and sativas evolved unique terpene profiles, which may account for their different impacts.
For instance, the terpene myrcene is typically found in indica strains. Interestingly, myrcene may have a sedative effect on smokers. By contrast, some sativa strains have the woodsy terpene alpha-pinene. Unlike myrcene, most users report alpha-pinene has a stimulating effect that’s best enjoyed early in the day.
Since terpenes seem to play a significant role in influencing a strain’s effects, we always recommend reviewing Cannaflower’s third-party results before buying a bag of buds. Knowing the average terpene percentages could give you a great preview into your chosen strain’s effects and aromatics.
For more detailed info on how terpenes influence hemp strains effects and side effects, be sure to check out this previous Cannaflower post.
Do Indica Strains Have More CBD Than Sativas?
Another possible reason for indica dominant cannabis‘ sedative qualities could be its above-average cannabidiol (CBD) percentage. While this isn’t true for all strains, pure indica cultivars tend to have higher CBD rates than sativas. These high CBD rates may be a key contributor to indica strains’ relaxing and analgesic properties.
However, please remember that legal hemp flower can’t have above 0.3 percent THC content. Not only is this THC content too low to have an effect, there’s also evidence that CBD can block THC from landing on CB1 receptors.
If you’d like to learn more about CBD vs. THC, we encourage you to read through this previous Cannaflower post.
What Are The Key Benefits Of Smoking Indica Dominant Hemp?
Now that you know what indica hemp is, let’s turn our attention to the alleged medical benefits of smoking indica dominant hemp. This section will go over three common reasons people choose to add a few indica joints to their weekly routine.
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle to get quality shut-eye, then indica hemp may be able to help. As mentioned above, indica dominant strains are traditionally associated with sedation. In fact, tokers invented the phrase “in-da-couch” to help newcomers remember the differences between indicas and sativas.
Although scientific data on this issue is scant, a recent study at the University of New Mexico looked into how cannabis of indica variety affects sleeping patterns. For this trial, researchers gave insomnia patients various cannabis strains and asked them about their sleep quality. According to the data, participants who smoked cannabis indica strains had more positive effects than those who smoked sativas.
There are also a few trials that suggest CBD could have sedative potential. For instance, the University of Colorado found that over 66 percent of insomnia patients experienced better sleep after taking CBD for one month. Scientists at Palo Alto University also found that CBD can cure sleep issues like frequent nightmares.
If you’re looking into indica strains for sedation, we suggest looking for CBD counts in the 20 percent range. You should also be on the lookout for the tropical terpene myrcene, as this chemical tends to have a sedative effect.
If you’re interested in learning more about the latest CBD research, we encourage you to read Cannaflower’s official CBD buyer’s guide.
Pain and Inflammation Relief
In recent years, indica cannabis strains have become increasingly popular in the chronic pain community. Indeed, as medical marijuana becomes legal in various states, more patients gravitate towards indica strains due to their purported analgesic properties.
A recent study at the Loma Linda University Health System analyzed the average responses patients had to indica and sativa strains. According to the survey results, respondents liked indica strains for pain relief and sedation, but they enjoyed sativa strains for help with low-energy. Anecdotally, many Cannaflower customers say indica strains induce a soothing “heavy body” sensation that helps melt away muscle tension.
It’s unclear why indicas seem to offer more significant pain relief, but it might be related to their potent sedative properties. After all, the more relaxed you feel, the less chance you’ll be worried about your aches. Plus, getting a great night’s sleep is a fantastic way to promote muscle recovery.
If you’re researching indica strains for pain relief, we suggest checking for the spicy terpene beta-caryophyllene. Surprisingly, recent studies reveal beta-caryophyllene may bind with receptors in the endocannabinoid system. So, even though beta-caryophyllene is classified as a terpene, it seems to act as a cannabinoid. This may enhance beta-caryophyllene’s intense anti-inflammatory potential.
Considering indicas are strongly associated with sedation, it’s no surprise these strains have become popular with anxiety patients. Indeed, the sedative potential in indicas makes them ideal for patients who have a rough time mellowing out. Anyone who struggles with chronic worry, PTSD, or ADHD might benefit from indicas’ soothing properties.
On the flip side, indicas aren’t the best choice for conditions that involve fatigue. For instance, if you’re struggling with major depression, you might be better off looking into uplifting sativa dominant hemp strains.
Can You Only Use Indica Strains Before Bed?
Because indica strains often have sedating qualities, many people assume you must use them before bed. In reality, it’s possible to use indica hemp strains at low doses during the day for a gentle sense of relaxation.
Remember, hemp strains carry none of the psychoactive effects associated with marijuana strains. Because there’s less than 0.3 percent levels of THC in hemp flowers, you don’t have to worry about feeling locked to the couch after smoking a CBD indica joint.
There are plenty of indica hybrids in Cannaflower’s catalog that have calming, but not sedating, effects. Since every hemp flower has a unique terpene profile—and every smoker has a different metabolism—there’s no guarantee how a particular strain will make you feel.
As a general rule, if it’s your first time experimenting with an indica strain, we suggest smoking it after dinner. After you know how a hemp strain affects you, you could decide whether it’s suitable for daytime use.
What Are The Best Indica Dominant Hemp Strains?
Everyone has a different opinion on the “best” indica strain, but Kush cultivars remain extremely popular. Named in honor of the Hindu Kush mountains, strains in the Kush lineage tend to share similar indica qualities such as earthy aromatics, full-body relaxation, and densely packed nugs. When you see “Kush” in a strain’s name, you can bet you’re in for a superb sedative smoke session.
Arguably, OG Kush is the most popular strain in the Kush category, especially with patients struggling with chronic pain. Since Cannaflower’s OG Kush has a high level of the terpene beta-caryophyllene, it’s a sensationally spicy strain well-suited for chronic pain patients. Be sure to review Cannaflower’s OG Kush flower on this link.
Another popular indica hemp flower in the Kush lineage is Bubba Kush. Unlike OG Kush, Bubba Kush has a fruitier flavor profile thanks to high traces of the terpene myrcene. If you’re someone who’s most interested in smoking an indica for insomnia, it’s well worth checking out Cannaflower’s Bubba Kush flower.
FYI: please don’t forget that Cannaflower also offers premium hemp flower pre-rolls. Customers who are most interested in the relaxing effects of indicas should check out Cannaflower’s “Calm” and “Rest” pre-roll tins.
Want More Info On Indica Hemp? Check Out Cannaflower’s Catalog
Remember, just because a strain is “indica dominant” doesn’t necessarily mean it will put you to bed. Each hemp strain has unique effects depending on its terpene and cannabinoid profile. Also, every hemp smoker will have a different experience depending on their tolerance level, metabolism, and weight.
However, if you’re most interested in late-night strains that promote relaxation, indicas are your best bet. Cannaflower now offers dozens of artisan-quality indica strains in our hemp flower catalog. If you’d like more specific information on these varieties, please feel free to browse our third-party lab results on this link. You could also reach out to our Customer Service department at (413) 758-9511.