Marijuana: What’s the Difference? Indica Vs. Sativa
It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means: time for another installment in our ongoing “What’s the Difference?” Hopefully you’ve been following along and learning more about the addictive substances covered thus far. For today’s edition of “What’s the Difference?” we’re delving beneath the smoke and munchies debris to explore the differences between two strands of the marijuana plant: Indica and Sativa.
The Many Faces of Marijuana
Even if you’ve never smoked weed once in your life, most people understand that there are multiple strains of the marijuana plant, created through a variety of combinations of different plants- usually Indica and Sativa. The street nicknames of these variations surpass 500, including:
- Assassin of Youth
- Black Ganga
- Good Giggles
- Magic Dragon
- Sticky Icky
- Mary Weaver
While some strains of weed are simply a combination of Indica and Sativa, others can be a bit more dangerous. By introducing harder substances such as cocaine, PCP, or Fentanyl- especially without the awareness or consent of the person using the product- we increase the danger of adverse health effects such as anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, heart and organ damage, and other adverse effects.
What’s the Difference? Sativa and Indica
If we go to the bare bones of the marijuana plant, the differences between Indica and Sativa are clear. Stavia plants grow tall and thin where Indica plants are shorter and wider. These height differences mean Indica plants are more suited for growth indoors, while Sativa’s height is more suited for outdoor growing- it can grow over 25 feet tall.
(Not that you’ll be utilizing that knowledge, of course.)
Beyond the aesthetic differences, the highs produced by each strain of marijuana is different. The effects of Indica are physical, resulting in the ‘sleepy stoner’ feeling we often associate with marijuana smoking.
This strain is the reason behind the stereotype of the lazy, ‘stupid’ stoner- which we know isn’t necessarily true.
By comparison, Sativa produces a more energized, uplifting feeling. Use of Sativa may see hyper or twitchy due to the excess in energy. This strain can also be responsible for the paranoia and anxiety some people experience when smoking.
Medical Marijuana Applications: Sativa and Indica
By now we’ve heard about the medicinal marijuana; from treating pain, seizure disorders, PTSD, and other mental health disorders, marijuana has proven an effective treatment for some truly difficult cases.
But did you know that the medicinal effects of marijuana differ based on the strand?
Because of the effects of Sativa, this strain of marijuana has proven effective for people who suffer from anxiety and depression, or other mental health disorders which affect mood or one’s perception. As a prescribed alternative medication, Sativa:
- Reduces anxiety
- Boosts mood
- Energizes and stimulates
- Aids creativity
- Can help treat depression
Indica, on the other hand, has a number of benefits for those experiencing physical symptoms. Muscle pain or spasms caused by a variety of medical conditions can be treated with the Indica strain of medical marijuana.
This is the strain of marijuana used to treat seizure disorders, severe pain related to cancer and cancer treatment, and other difficult to treat conditions. Indica is able to:
- Relieve body pains, including migraines
- Relieve muscle spasms and cramps
- Reduce seizures
- Reduce stress levels
Medical marijuana use is not for everyone; proper prescriptions from a licensed doctor and continual monitoring.
Do you support the legalization of marijuana? Let us know what you think in the comments!
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About the Author
Alexandrea Holder is a South Florida native working toward double Master’s degrees in Psychology and English. She finds the psychological aspects of addiction and mental illness fascinating, as both are prevalent in her family’s history. When not researching and spreading addiction awareness, Alexandrea enjoys sparring, artistic pursuits, and admiring puppies online.