More people are using marijuana in this country than ever before. They’re learning their options, the lingo, and investigating the different effects of various indica and sativa strains. Most of the strains out there belong to one of these two groups. According to a lot of users, identifying the group your cannabis comes from will help you predict its effects. Experts claim that research doesn’t back these claims. But users know that they get similar results from the same strains.Now that marijuana use has become mainstream, a lot of new users are looking for more information to help them make the right purchase. Almost 55 million American adults currently use weed.The reasons for using marijuana are nearly as diverse as the people using it. For some, it provides a way to relax. Others use it to alleviate their pain caused by a medical condition. Although users don’t always admit it, lots of people use it just for fun! Your reason for using will drive your choice between strains and the type of product you prefer. You might want to try a few different strains before you decide if you are an indica or sativa user!A Short History on the TaxonomyThe names indica and sativa aren’t new by any measure. They’ve been around since the 18th Century. At that time, the names were used to describe the species names Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. The former came from Europe and western Eurasia and it was cultivated for its seeds and fiber.The latter was a psychoactive variety that came from India. The indica was also harvested for its fiber and seeds, in addition to its hashish production. Today, the name “hemp” is given to non-intoxicating varieties from which only the fiber, seeds, and CBD are harvested. These products come from the strains previously named Cannabis indica.Slowly but surely, the attitude towards marijuana is changing. As more states make the move to allow legal use of marijuana, products become more diverse and of a higher quality. Ordering products from a cannabis store gives you more choices and confidence to get quality weed that has the impact you want.One of the biggest changes to cannabis products is the introduction of edibles. Since purchasing marijuana is no longer limited to the illegal purchase of buds, there is more room to create a range of products. You don’t have to purchase weed and hope the quality is there. Today, you pick the strain, the effect, and the form that you want. Ordering weed can be as simple as choosing between chocolate chip and mint chip cookies!Another way some people get their high is by drinking espresso made with THC infused beans. Depending on what you want to accomplish, the type of edible can add to your experience.Indica Vs Sativa TodayIndica strains tend to provide a relaxing, more sedative feel. People who use them might need something to help them unwind after a stressful day. These strands of weed also help them sleep more soundly.Sativa strains tend to have the opposite effect. Users find these strains invigorating and uplifting. They often use these strains in social settings and to energize them for physical, creative events.The two types of cannabis also look different and grow differently. Indica is short with broad leaves. The plants have shorter flowering cycles and they’re suitable for colder climates with shorter seasons.Sativa is tall with narrow leaves and has longer flowering cycles. These plants are better suited for warm climates where there are longer growing seasons. One thing buyers should realize is that sellers might use either name to describe a strain of marijuana today.The distinction between these two groups of weed is convenient for buyers. It lets them know what to buy to get the effects they want. But the real distinction between various strains comes down to something else. The chemical compound of the strain, specifically the cannabinoids and terpenes, have more to do with the plant’s effects than its classification of indica or sativa. The impact of the same strain differs from user to user, depending on the individual’s biology, how it is consumed, their tolerance, and the dose.Before looking in-depth at the cannabinoids and terpenes, let’s take a look at cannabis anatomy. It helps to know all the parts of the plant and the final product when talking about concentrations and potency of specific compounds.A Lesson in AnatomyThere’s a lot more to the marijuana plant than the stem and leaves. Regardless of the plant’s height, the size of its leaves, or how fast it grows, all species of plants have the same basic anatomy.When you look at marijuana buds, you’ll see a variety of colors and textures. While the base of the buds is green, there’s also some sugary crystals and long orange fibers. Cannabis plants might be either female or male, or they can be both. Those that are both (hermaphroditic) are rare and self-pollinating. These plants are problematic and most growers avoid them.The weed you order comes from female flowers. They are the plants that produce large, resin-secreting flowers. These flowers are trimmed to create the buds. In male plants, the pollen sacs are smaller and they are near the base of the leaves.The male plants pollinate the female plants, causing them to produce seeds. But those aren’t the flowers you consume. Users consume the seedless female plants called “sinsemilla.” The benefit of these flowers is that they are rich in cannabinoids and they don’t contain seeds.The various parts of the cannabis plant include:- Cola – A cola is a cluster of buds that occur along the budding sites of lower branches and at the very top of the plant. The latter is sometimes referred to as the apical bud.- Bract and Calyx – The bract is the part of the plant that holds the female reproductive parts. In cannabis, they have the appearance of green, tear-shaped leaves. Each bract is covered in resin glands which are responsible for producing the highest concentrations of cannabinoids of any part of the plant. The calyx is the translucent layer that covers the flower’s ovule at its base.- Stigma and Pistil – You might remember these parts from biology class. Like other types of plants, the cannabis contains a stigma and pistil. The pistil is where the flower’s reproductive parts are found. The stigma receives the pollen from the male flower, an important role in reproduction. Stigmas have little to do with a strain’s potency or flavor.- Trichome – Trichomes are the tiny crystals that cover the bud. It’s called a resin until dried when it becomes “kief.” The plant secretes the resin through glands on the stems, leaves, and calyxes. In addition to the cannabinoids they produce, such as CBD and THC, the trichomes also produce terpenes. The number of terpenes determines the quality of hash production.More on Cannabinoids and TerpenesA cannabinoid is a type of chemical compound that interacts with receptors in the brain. These natural chemicals are important for people who use medical marijuana to alleviate their symptoms. The sativa plant contains more than 480 compounds of which about 66 are classified as cannabinoids. These compounds are what make cannabis strains psychotropic, meaning they act on the brain.One of the best-known cannabinoids is THC (tetrahydrocannabinol.) THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. CBD (cannabidiol) is another component, which is often used to alleviate pain and inflammation. The effect of any cannabinoid depends on the area of the central nervous system where the receptors are located that the compound interacts with. There are various classes of cannabinoids, each of which has different degrees of psychoactivity. Of all the types of cannabinoids, CBD is the most abundant at about 40%. Terpenes are essential oils. In addition to adding to your high from using cannabis, they also offer numerous medicinal benefits. Nearly all types of terpenes have anti-pain or anti-inflammatory properties. They are also used to treat depression and anxiety, epilepsy, anxiety, cancer, and both fungal and bacterial infections.These oils are found in many plants and in some insects. Cannabis naturally contains high levels of terpenes. The terpene content is what differentiates between the relaxing effect associated with indica and the energizing effect created by sativa.Different terpenes have different effects. The most common type is myrcene and it has a highly-sedative effect. Limonene is common in citrus, and it works as an anti-depressant and causes high-energy. Terpinolene is slightly sedative, has antioxidant properties, and is also antibacterial and anti-cancer.Terpenes, THC, and SativaSativa plants are especially rich in terpenes. Since terpenes also give the plants their smell, different strains have unique odors. Some might have a citrus smell while others are woodsy or berry scented. The presence of myrcene is what gives the various strains the familiar undertone that identifies all strains of marijuana.Some experts state that all sativa strains don’t have the same energetic effect. It depends on the terpenes whether the strain causes an energetic high or a sedative effect.Another factor for buyers to consider is that hybrids contain a blend of multiple strains. It isn’t always a single strain or a single effect that you’re shopping for.Experts recommend letting your nose be your guide whenever possible. Not only does choosing a scent that appeals to you help lead you to make the right purchase, but many people become experts at identifying strains and different products as they become more familiar with the different aromas.Indica Vs Sativa: Which Is Right for Your Needs?Users of sativa often like the uplifting effect resulting from high THC levels. They talk about the increase in brain activity, heightened senses, and feelings of creativity. The buds of these strains are lighter green in color, with light, airy, long leaves. But it isn’t the appearance that attracts buyers. It’s the head high and the feeling of well-being the weed produces.In comparison, indica causes a body high, alleviates feelings of nausea, depression, and headaches. It also works well as a sleep aid.Your Education on CannabisNow that you know more about cannabis plants and the differences between indica and sativa, you’re ready to start shopping for the right weed for your need. Instead of looking for a strain that belongs to one or the other of these groups, consider choosing from the following:THC-Dominant – These strains produce a “high” for recreational users. They also help to treat conditions like insomnia, depression, and pain. If you are one of the people who feel anxiety after using these strains, switch to one that is CBD-dominant.CBD-Dominant – These strains contain minimal amounts of THC, and offer the benefits without the high. These strains are a good choice for you if you want to stay clear-headed while getting relief.Balanced THC/CBD – These strains balance the effects of THC and CBD to create a mildly euphoric high in addition to symptom relief. People often choose these strains at an introductory level.The bottom line is that you can get any of these effects from either indica or sativa strains. Whatever your reason for purchasing cannabis, you can find a good strain or product to achieve it. It’s a matter of knowing what it takes to create the effects you want.Shopping for weed for the first time can be confusing. You want to get results without getting more than you bargained for. You can gain a lot of information from the product descriptions. Learn what the various products do, consider the THC content, and take that first step. You’ll be an expert in no time!Contact Left Coast Collective with your questions about any of our indica, sativa, or other products. Shop from our product line online and get access to some of the best quality products offered by the leading brands. We deliver all over San Diego County every day from 7 am to 9 pm. Get under 30-minute deliveries in select areas so you don’t have to wait to get your order.