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    Indica Effects & Side Effects

    Illustration of a particular strain of indica leaf on brown background

    If you have some knowledge about the cannabis world, then it is likely you know about the three subspecies of the cannabis plant - Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Hybrid strains. 

    Did you know that there are a few subspecies of the cannabis plant? Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Hybrid are the most popular classifications.

    Each type has unique properties, and their effects and benefits differ.

    This article will focus on one of the subspecies - Indica. What are the effects and side effects of using Indica? How does Indica make you feel? Can you get a head high from Indica? What does Indica do to you?

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    What Is Sativa?

    But first, before we delve into the effects of Indica weed, let’s take a quick look at what Sativa is.

    Many people often confuse these two cannabis subspecies, but they are different.

    Cannabis Sativa plants are native to Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Western Asia.

    Cannabis Sativa plants can grow up to 20 feet, they have thin finger-like leaves compared to the darker broad leaves of Indica plants and take longer to flower and mature. 

    Cannabis Sativa is a psychoactive plant best known for its head-high effects. Due to its effects, it is often the recommended species for daytime use. 

    Sativa Effects

    With its lower dose of CBD and higher THC content, Sativa's effects are believed to be invigorating. Sativa strains tend to produce a mind high that is energizing and can help reduce stress and increase your focus and creativity.

    Cannabis Sativa is used for medical and recreational purposes. It is popular among users looking to boost their energy levels and productivity during the day.

    However, Sativa effects are not always consistent; a strain from one grower may exhibit different effects than another grower’s strain. This, together with other factors, causes the difference in the cannabis strains' effects on users.

    There are over 700 cannabis strains in the cannabis world, including pure Sativa strains, pure Indica strains, and hybrid strains. Breeders breed these Indica and Sativa plants to have certain properties and benefits.

    Due to crossbreeding over time, it is difficult to find pure landrace (native) strains on the market. The different available strains are mostly hybrids with Indica or Sativa as the dominant plant. 

    Let’s take a look at some of the strains on the cannabis market today:

    Durban Poison

    These popular Sativa strains are landrace strains from Africa and are loved for their creativity-inducing effects. It has an earthy-scented flower and a giant resin gland. With a THC content of 17-26%, the Durban Poison is energizing and it can help increase your creativity and get you more focused on your daily tasks.

    Red Congolese

    The Red Congolese strain has grown in popularity partly because of its distinct flavor which users describe as cheesy and fruity. This strain is good for users who want to achieve a clear head focus and a bit of relaxation.

    Jack Herer

    Named after the cannabis activist and author, this strain is another popular Sativa strain that is best known for its energizing effects. It is widely used among people with depression as it can help boost your mood and increase your energy levels.

    Blue Walker

    Blue Walker has a fruity aroma and is one of the strongest Sativa strains on the market. It produces a high that can last for long hours and the feeling is usually euphoric and relaxing. Its calming effects make it a good remedy for stress and pain relief.

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    What Is Indica?

    Cannabis Indica originated in the Hindu Kush Mountains - Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal.

    The indica strain grows no taller than 6 feet and are recognized by their dark green and chunky leaves that grow wide and broad. Indica cannabis plants flower within 9 weeks and mature more quickly than Sativa. They produce chunkier buds with larger amounts of resins.

    Indica strains often have higher levels of cannabidiol than Sativa. However, Sativa has a higher THC to cannabidiol ratio than Indica. This difference, together with other components like terpenes and flavonoids, contributes to the difference between Indica vs. Sativa effects when smoked or ingested. 

    Indica Strain Effects 

    Indica strains effects are known to be calming, relaxing, and sedating sensations that take over your body. Does Indica Make You Sleepy Or Hyper?

    It can make your limbs heavy and unable to move, for this reason, Indica is highly recommended for use during nighttime. Some have reported that they also make it a good choice for managing chronic or acute pain and insomnia.

    However, the effects of the Indica strain can vary from person to person.

    This is mainly because the genetic makeup of every Indica plant differs; the terpenes, flavonoids, CBD to THC ratio, and other chemical compounds like CBG and CBN in a plant might not be the same for another plant. 

    Also, the tolerance level of the person taking it and the method of consumption play a role in the effects a user gets from consuming Indica.

    So if you find Indica and Sativa strains that work well for you, it is a good idea to research their genetic makeup to understand better what works best for your system.

    Does Indica Make You High?

    How does Indica make you feel? Does it make you high? Yes - cannabis Indica plants have psychoactive properties like Sativa.

    Indica dominant strains are mostly associated with body highs, unlike the Sativa plant, which is mainly associated with head highs.

    A body high is the sensation your body feels after consuming CBD or weed. This type of high is a relaxing, sleepy feeling, unlike a head high which might keep you energized, focused, or awake. 

    Can you get a head high from Indica?

    Yes - Cannabis Indica also contains THC, so there is a likelihood of you experiencing a bit of a head high together with the body high. If you don’t want to experience a head high or much of it, seek strains with lower concentrations of THC.

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    Benefits Of Indica

    Cannabis Indica is widely used for both recreational effects and medicinal benefits:

    Appetite Inducing

    Indica helps to stimulate the part of the brain responsible for taste and smell, which is good for people who have problems eating.

    Reducing Inflammation and Pain Relief

    The calming effects of Indica can be good for managing both acute and chronic pain and soothing inflammation.

    Promoting Restful Sleep

    Indica plants have sedating effects, making it recommended for those who battle insomnia or occasionally need long rest.

    Nausea Soothing

    Indica may help in keeping food down and soothing nausea in patients who throw up as a side effect of treatment that they may be receiving.

    Managing Stress

    Due to its calming and relaxing effects, different strains of  Indica are used by many to help alleviate their stress.

    Cannabis Indica strains have some good benefits, but if you consume too much, your system may rebel and you will likely experience some negative side effects. 

    Possible Side Effects Of Indica

    Let’s take a quick look at some of the negative effects of Indica weed on the human body.

    • Couchlock (being heavily sedated that you cannot move your limbs)
    • Tiredness
    • Dry Mouth and Red Eyes
    • The Munchies
    • Anxiety and Paranoia

    These side effects can most likely be avoided by consuming smaller quantities. If you don’t suffer from bad side effects, you can consume more if desired.

    As already mentioned, there are over 700 strains in the cannabis world, with more emerging each day. We will discuss some popular Indica dominant strains and their benefits below.

    Granddaddy Purple

    These Indica strains are known for their purple Indica buds and sweet berry scent. They comprise 70% Indica with a THC level of 17-27%. Granddaddy Purple gives you both a body and head high that feels like a floating euphoric sensation. 

    This strain is recommended for those suffering chronic or acute pain and muscle spasms. It can also be used by those who have insomnia or have trouble sleeping.

    Northern Lights

    Also known as the celebrity strain, Northern Lights have a pungent aroma and resin buds. This strain is about 90% Indica which makes it packed with the great benefits associated with taking cannabis Indica.

    Northern Lights contain 16-26% THC and produce a mellow and pacifying high, which is great for relieving anxiety and depression. It is ideal for nighttime use as it also helps with sleeplessness. 

    Hindu Kush

    This is a landrace strain from the Hindu Kush Mountains. Its cultivar was brought to the US in the late 60s and increased in Amsterdam by the OG breeders.

    The Hindu Kush is famous for its thick and sticky resinous buds covered in trichomes. It has a sweet woodsy and piney taste and is rich in terpenes like Limonene, Pinene, Myrcene, and Caryophyllene.

    The high from this particular strain is a calming high that helps in relaxing and releasing stress.

    Girl Scout Cookies 

    GSC Indica strains tend to be one of the strongest strains on the market for medical marijuana patients.

    It has a smooth, earthy aroma and a THC level of 28%, which makes it loved among people with severe pain, appetite loss, and nausea.

    Effects By Consumption Method

    Many factors influence Cannabis effects, the consumption method being one. Indica can be consumed by inhalation or ingestion. 

    Products like Indica tinctures and edibles are available on the market for those who don’t like the idea of smoking. Indica vapes and flowers are also available for those who prefer to smoke their weed.

    Inhaling or smoking Indica might give you a true Indica experience since you get all the terpenes, flavonoids, and CBD that comes with the plant. When all these components work together in synergy, it creates what is known as The Entourage Effect for a better Indica experience.

    However, suppose you do not like the idea of smoking. In that case, you can still have a great Indica experience by opting for tinctures or edibles like Indica dominant delta 8 gummies or delta 9.

    The edibles may take a while to kick in compared to smoking, but they provide long-lasting effects. They may also have minimal negative side effects.

    Your consumption method will influence your experience, but so will the potency or quality of your product. Buying your Indica delta 8 gummies online will ensure you get quality products. It will also allow you to read the delta 8 gummies review for a clearer understanding of how the product may affect you. It is always advisable to start with a lower potency level and then work your way up.

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    Key Takeaways - Cannabis Indica Effects & Side Effects

    Indica dominant strains are most commonly associated with body highs, but they can also produce head highs depending on the levels of THC present in them.

    The effects of hybrid strains & Indica and Sativa effects aren't always consistent due to the unique genetic makeup of each strain; the same strain from one cultivator may feel very different from another cultivator's strain. 

    Terpenes, flavonoids, THC to Cannabidiol ratios, and other cannabinoids like CBG and CBN all play significant roles in the effects that Indica will have on a user.

    Before you decide on which cannabis strain to use, it is advisable to understand how each will benefit you. Refer to our article on Sativa effects to better understand the differences between Indica and Sativa and their effects and benefits before you decide.

    Legal Disclaimer: You should still consult an attorney for the best legal advice regarding cannabis in your state, as the material shared here is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a doctor before taking cannabis products, OG kush, or delta 8 THC with any medical conditions, prescription medication, or as a natural alternative to your current regime. The content in this post is not intended for medical purposes, symptom relief, or medical benefits.


    author avatar
    Clayton McCall

    Clayton is a Senior Content Specialist, researcher, and holistic healthcare practitioner. Having been in the supplement industry for more than 15 years, Clayton brings a wealth of experience to the delta 8 space. His publications include alternative therapy, stress and coping, and alternative health.

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