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Busting Cannabis Myths: Sativa vs. Indica

For a very long time, cannabis was sold in three different categories: sativa, indica or hybrid. Sativa has long been considered a day cultivar (strain) which feels more energized and good for the day – no more heads up. Indica has always been associated with the evening because it can give you that classic “couch lock” feeling – a body high. Hybrids fall somewhere in between, most cultivars you buy are hybrids.

However with new science, we now know that these classifications make no sense when it comes to effect. Sativa and indica differ in their appearance, but molecular tests show that there is no difference between the two plants and therefore buying a sativa, indica or hybrid, is an unnecessary classification to determine how each cultivar will make you feel.

The main difference between indica and sativa is the appearance of the plant, indica cultivars tend to be bulkier and sativas tend to be taller and thinner.

Long-time cannabis users (myself included) will swear that an indica is actually different from a sativa. We also know that a particular cultivar, such as Master Kush, will smell a little different depending on the batch. This is because many factors come into play when the plant is grown – soil nutrients, temperature, sunlight and altitude all contribute to how the plant will feel when eaten.

That being said, indica strains tend to feel more relaxing and that’s because of their dominant terpene.

Terpenes play the biggest role in how a cannabis cultivar will feel

Terpenes are hydrocarbons found in essential oils produced by many plants, including cannabis. Terpenes give each cultivar their unique aroma and tastethey also have therapeutic properties and are a more determining factor in how a cultivar will feel.

Each cultivar you buy will have dominant terpenes, some will make you more alert and others more relaxed. Check out Weed Mama’s guide to terpenes to learn more.

The main differences between the terpene profiles of the strains evaluated belonging to the two main biotypes were that the “mainly indica” strains were characterized by the dominance of β-myrcene, present in high relative content, with limonene or α-pinene as second most abundant terpenoid, while “mainly sativa” strains were characterized by more complex terpene profiles, with some strains having α-terpinolene or α-pinene as the dominant terpenoid, and some strains having β-myrcene as the terpenoid dominant with α-terpinolene or trans-β-ocimene as the second most abundant terpenoid.

Myrcene is a terpene that has a sedative effect and that classic “couch lock” feeling, myrcene is usually higher in indica cultivars. This may explain why, in general, indica strains can make you sleepy.

How can you determine the effect of a cultivar?

If you can find the terpene profile, you can get a better idea of ​​how that particular cultivar will make you feel. This information can be hard to come by when buying cannabis, but if you can, it will help you figure out which will help you sleep and which will help you exercise.

The BC Cannabis Store and Ontario Cannabis Store will list the dominant terpenes on their websites, for each cultivar and growing region. Moreover, if you visit the website of certain brands, you can also find this information.

Terpenes are one of many factors that go into how you feel. As mentioned, the way the plant is grown is important, as well as the other cannabinoids and flavonoids all play a role. For example, a cultivar with a high amount of cannabinoid CBD and a low amount of THC, will feel very different from a cultivar with a high THC content and a low CBD content.

For example, the cannabis cultivar Mango Haze by color has these dominant terpenes and cannabinoids: THC about 5%, CBD around 10%, Beta-caryophyllene (can help relieve anxiety and pain), P-cymene (anxiety and pain), Beta-pinene (stimulating). Looking at the terpene and cannabinoid profile, you can see that this cultivar can help you feel calm and reduce pain in your body. However, with low THC and high CBD content (giving you a smoother feeling), including the terpene Pinene, which adds alertness, this one can be good for the day when you need to get the ball rolling. things.

Does the terpene profile matter for edibles?

There is not enough scientific evidence to show that terpenes have any effect on the way you feel terpenes are less bioavailable when ingested. Additionally, terpenes are fragile and some extraction processes can destroy terpenes. Some companies then add botanical terpenes and flavonoids to mimic the original cultivar.

That being said, some cannabis researchers like Ethan Russo I think terpenes are always good to have in edibles.

The problem is classifying each cannabis product – when there are over 100 known cannabinoids and over 150 terpenes, it’s difficult to really classify each cultivar for the consumer.

What can you do to find a cultivar with the desired effect?

Gold leaf journals
gold leaf journal

keep a diary, goldleaf reviews allow you to keep track of every product you purchase. keep track as much information about a cannabis product as you can find, such as terpenes and cannabinoids, will help you better understand the effect of each cultivar you purchase.

Keeping a diary of the cannabis products you purchase will make it much easier to purchase the right product in the future. You will know which combination of cannabinoids and terpenes makes you sleepy and which makes you more alert.

There is still so much research to be done on cannabis to fully understand the plant and how it works in our bodies. However, new research comes out regularly, which is good news for those of us who use cannabis therapeutically and need a better guide to knowing which product will help us and which to avoid.

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