Indicas are one of the three major types of cannabis strains (the other two being sativas and hybrids). Indicas are considered nighttime strains. People who use indicas can expect a relaxing, sedative high that is felt primarily in the body. In fact, there’s a popular term for the effect that certain indica strains have on their users: “couch-lock” – the idea being that once you’ve consumed the strain, you won’t want to get up from the couch. You can identify indica strains on dispensary menus and cannabis directories by looking for a purple label next to the strain photo and description.
Medical Benefits of Indica Strains
Medical patients can use indica strains to treat:
- sleep disorders
- chronic pain
- appetite loss
Recreational Use of Indicas
Whereas sativas are “action-packed” strains, indicas are more useful if you want to relax after a long day and do things like watch a movie, listen to music or spend quiet time with friends.
Some indicas are heavier than others.
For example, an indica strain like Desert Grown Cookies offers a calming high while still allowing the user to function socially.
Black Afghan, on the other hand, is considered a “heavy” indica. It’s more appropriate for nighttime, just-before-bed use.
Fun Facts About Cannabis Indica
- The plant species cannabis indica is native to India but may have originated in the Hindu Kush region. It was classified in 1785 by the biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
- Cannabis indica is recognizable by its short stature, broad leaves, and short flowering cycles. It thrives in colder climates.
- Throughout history, cannabis indica has been cultivated for industrial fiber, seeds, recreational, medicinal, and spiritual use, and for the making of hashish.
The Difference Between Cannabis Indica and What the Cannabis Industry Calls “Indica”
In our article on sativa strains, we mentioned that there’s no conclusive evidence suggesting that all cannabis sativa plants give you an energetic high or that all cannabis indica plants sedate you.
According to Leafly strain expert Bailey Rahn, most cannabis strains — sativas and indicas — are descended from the species cannabis indica.
- “Sativas” come from cannabis indica ssp. indica.
- “Indicas” come from cannabis indica ssp. afghanica.
But far as the industry and mainstream users are concerned, “sativa” and “indica” have less to do with the physical and genetic characteristics of the strain and more to do with how you feel after you’ve consumed it.
The best way to find an indica strain that will deliver the desired effects is to review the strain’s chemical profile.
For example, if you want an indica that will help you with insomnia, look for a strain that has high concentrations of the terpene myrcene.
But if you’re simply interested in an indica that will relieve anxiety without knocking you out, look for strains that contain cannabidiol (CBD), or at the very least, find a strain that doesn’t contain a lot of myrcene.
When in doubt, speak with a dispensary consultant who can help you find the product best suited for your needs.