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Indica or Sativa? - Making The Right Choice for You

Posted by Amanda Depperschmidt on


We all know that different strains of the cannabis plant have different effects and potencies.  But what is just now becoming common knowledge in our freshly legalized country is the difference between them.  Cannabis is available to smokers in two different species: cannabis indica and cannabis sativa.  Some growers have even started to breed the two species together, creating hybrid strains.  Each strain of marijuana comes from either the indica, sativa, or hybrid species of cannabis.  Here is what you need to know about each of them.


What’s the Difference?

Appearance wise, indica plants tend to be smaller than sativa plants.  They are also wider and bushier than sativa plants, which grow long and thin.  For growers, sativa and indica plants also mean a difference for flowering and harvest times.  For users, however, the difference mainly comes down to the chemical structure of the plant itself.  


Traditionally, indica plants have more THC than CBD, whereas sativa plants have more CBD than THC.  THC is the chemical compound in marijuana most associated with psychoactive and hallucinogenic effects.  CBD is the chemical compound most associated with mood, appetite, and medical effects such as boosting the immune system.  Though the strains that derive from these species of plants may vary in composition, especially as breeding becomes more commonplace, this is a good frame use to distinguish the two species.


Indica Strains

Indica strains are most associated across the Internet and dispensaries with purple labels.  Most smokers consider indica strains the ideal strain for “intense body highs.”  Usually this means you can expect a lot of time on the couch.  If you are an active smoker, however, don’t let this dissuade you from indica strains as a whole.  Indica strains are especially known for the euphoria they can produce, and can be ideal for any recreational smoker.  However, indica strains may be too powerful or too unbalanced for those who find symptoms of paranoia or anxiety present when they smoke.


Here at Smoke Cartel, we recommend indica strains for any pipe that will get you a good chug.  Sesh Supply’s Poseidon is one of my own personal favorites for taking on large quantities of indica bud.  However, if concentrate is more your game, I also recommend the 7” Gilded Glass Two Tone Bent Neck Rig with a nail/dome or quartz banger.  Both of these high-functioning pieces are perfectly matched for the cerebral haze that indica strains offer.


Sativa Strains

Sativa strains are most associated online and in dispensaries with red labels.  You may hear the effects of the sativa plant being referred to as “strong head highs.”  This makes the sativa strains most associated with creativity and productivity.  Their high CBD content makes sativa strains great for improving mood, social phobias, and bolstering the immune system.  Sativa strains are great for the medical user, although the variety of positive effects can be beneficial to recreational users as well.  However, if you are looking for intense psychoactive effects, you may run through your sativa stash before you get anywhere worthwhile for you.


We recommend pipes with lighter and more bubbly percolation to work alongside sativa’s revitalizing effects.  For concentrates, I like to combine the lightly filtered effect of the propellor perc on a solid piece like the Artemis from Sesh Supply.  A faberge egg bodied piece would work great for both concentrate and flower use as well, such as the iconic “Colorship.”  The bouncy flavors that these pipes offer coincide with the fizzy and active high of the sativa plant.


Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains are most often identified in stores and online by green labels.  Hybrid strains are bred to offer a balance between the indica and sativa strains for both recreational and medical users.  Hybrid strains often still lean indica or sativa, so if you have a preference for one while still shopping for a hybrid strain, you might want to ask your budtender which way the strain leans.  With both high amounts of THC for a psychoactive high, and high amounts of CBD to improve mood and provide pain relief, the hybrid strain is great for the smoker who can appreciate both sides of the cannabis plant.


Hybrid strains are incredibly dynamic, and can be paired well with any kind of pipe.  However, we recommend picking a pipe that is as sturdy and reliable as the hybrid cannabis plant itself.  Flower users can check out the “Tian Hou” Dynasty Vase from China Glass to really reap the rewards of a robust hybrid strain.  Concentrate users should check out the UPC Double Barreled Hammerhead Recycler piece for an uplifting twist on a classic and reliable design.


Smoke Cartel is always glad to help smokers in legalized states get the most out of their recreational and medical cannabis use.  For more pipes for use with both cannabis and tobacco plants, keep checking back to see more new products from some of the highest quality vendors in the United States.
Blog posts are contributed by third-party sources and do not reflect the views or business of Smoke Cartel.

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