Cannabis Indica 101

When shopping for medical marijuna products, you’ve probably noticed by now that the vast majority of cannabis products in nearly every dispensary are classified under Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid categories. These classifications serve several purposes, but the main reasons are to indicate the general effects they provide to the consumer, and also signify which type of cannabis plant they were created from.

In this guide, we’ll explain what cannabis indica is, and go over the effects that tend to accompany the use of indica-derived products. We’ll also give you a better idea as to when you should use indica varieties to fully appreciate and benefit from their effects.

The Cannabis Indica Plant

Indica plants were originally cultivated in Central Asia, India, Morocco, Turkey and Nepal, and also have a long history in the Hindu Kush region across Afghanistan and Pakistan. While their sativa counterparts are known for growing several feet high, indica plants are much shorter at full maturity, and grow with a more shrub-like appearance. Indica plants start off by quickly growing vertically, but eventually begin to fill out from the bottom and increase in volume.

The cultivation of indica plants is generally considered easier than sativa cultivation, mainly because the plants grow and mature faster, thrive with indoor growing environments, and can be grown in close proximity together.

Indica leaves are broad and stout, and remain somewhat close-knit as they grow and fill out. They have a darker green color, but sometimes have shades of red near the base depending on the variety. The buds are produced between 45 and 60 days of growth, and have a bulb-like shape.

Indica Effects and Characteristics

Cannabis products that are created from indica plants are widely known for providing a calming high that promotes a strong sense of relaxation. They can give the body a sort of soft “buzz” that is very helpful with relieving pain, particularly in the muscles and joints.

The overall effects of indica strains ultimately come from the terpenes contained therein, but the science community theorizes that the higher amount of CBD with indica plants is behind the more body-centric high that comes from them. It’s worth noting that indica strains still contain THC and come with a certain level of psychedelic effects as well, but the higher CBD ratio is more conducive for the relaxing and calming effects they’re best known for.

What Indica is Best For


The most common characteristic of indica strains is the ability to promote a strong sense of relaxation. If you are stressed, wound up, or just having trouble getting yourself to fully unwind, indica products can provide a profound amount of relief. Because of this aspect, indica use is generally regarded as the best strain for when your day has reached its end, and all there is left to do is kick back and relax.

Encouraging Sleep

One of the primary reasons people use indica strains is to help them fall asleep faster, and also have a deeper sleep in general. If you are struggling with sleep issues, or just having a hard time falling asleep at a particular time, indica strains can help to calm you and encourage the sleeping process to kick in a little faster, while ensuring you remain asleep through the night.

Indica strains can also be helpful for the times you simply need to maximize the efficiency of the sleep time you have available.

Relieving Pain

The full-body high that indica strains often produce can help minimize or even eliminate certain kinds of pain. Indica encourages your muscles to relax, and can play a role in blunting pain receptors throughout your body. Although indica strains are helpful for various types of pain, they are especially effective for tension and stress headaches.

Calming Anxiety

Some patients are able to relieve their mild anxiety when using indica strains. This is due to the higher amount of CBD found in today’s indica varieties, which counteracts the THC amount to an extent. This ratio results in a more calming and serene effect, as opposed to sativa varieties that encourage mental stimulation and energy.

What Indica is Not Ideal For

Being Active

The relaxing and calming aspects of indica strains can be a big hindrance if you’re trying to be active after consuming them. So, if you’re planning on getting some things done around the house, studying, or working on pretty much anything, you should probably save your indica products for afterwards.

Social Settings

Being around other people in social settings is not exactly impossible after consuming indica products, but you may have a hard time keeping up with conversations, or trying to act normal in general. Some are fully capable of doing so, but you may want to be careful.

Staying Awake

Indica strains are one of the best natural sleep aids available, so if you find yourself lacking in energy, but need to consume cannabis products for whatever reason, you’d be much better off sticking with a sativa or hybrid strain instead. Otherwise, you may find yourself dozing off, or having a hard time accomplishing anything.

Final Thoughts

While indica strains all share some certain characteristics and effects, it’s not exactly as black & white as some others may convey. Because of this, it’s always best to consider the individual strain itself, rather than just relying on general classifications that much of the cannabis world has given to indica and indica plants.

It’s definitely true that indica strains share many characteristics—and tend to produce most or all of the effects discussed above—but it’s not always a given in every case. Classifications such as indica and sativa help to group cannabis products, but it’s always more important to know about the individual strain itself. Sativa and indica are indeed broad categories, so make sure you read up on the cannabis product’s label for its focused effects, or consult with your local dispensary.

At Straiin, we are always glad to help you acquire the cannabis varieties and individual strains that are suited to your personal needs and preferences. Feel free to come by anytime during our dispensary’s open hours, and one of our staff members will be happy to assist you and share more information about the various products we carry.