Choosing the right edibles: sativa vs indica edibles

Sativa vs Indica Edibles: How Cannabis Strains Affect Your High

Cannabis edibles are growing in popularity as more states legalize recreational and medical marijuana. Edibles provide a way to experience a marijuana high without smoking. However, the high from edibles can be very different than smoking due to the different cannabinoids and terpenes found in cannabis strains.

The two main types of cannabis plants are sativa and indica, and they produce very different effects when consumed as edibles. This article will explain the differences between sativa and indica edibles and how to choose the right one for your needs.

An Overview of Cannabis Sativa and Indica Strains

The major strains of the cannabis plant are sativa and indica. While both contain the psychoactive component THC, they have different effects due to their unique cannabinoid and terpene profiles.

Cannabis sativa strains tend to provide an energetic, uplifting high. The effects are more cerebral and can help boost creativity and focus. Sativas contain higher levels of THC compared to CBD. Some popular sativa strains include Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, and Durban Poison.

Cannabis indica strains typically deliver a mellow, relaxing high. The effects are often described as being more physical or "body high". Indicas contain higher levels of CBD which balances out the psychoactive effects of THC. Some popular indica strains include Granddaddy Purple, Northern Lights, and Afghan Kush.

There are also hybrid strains which blend the effects of sativa's and indicas. Hybrid edibles can provide a balance of both mental and physical effects.

Sativa  Indica
Effects Energizing, uplifting Relaxing, sedating Balanced combination
High type Cerebral, head high Body high Mix of head and body high
Benefits Improves focus and creativity Reduces anxiety and pain Provides mixed benefits
Best uses Daytime use, social events Nighttime use, relaxation Versatility for day or night
Potency Higher THC levels Higher CBD levels Balanced THC and CBD
Popular strains Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Durban Poison Granddaddy Purple, Northern Lights, Bubba Kush OG Kush, Girl Scout Cookies, Blue Dream
Onset 45-90 minutes 45-90 minutes 45-90 minutes
Duration 4-6 hours 6-8 hours 5-8 hours

How Do Indica vs Sativa Edibles Differ in Their Effects?

When consuming sativa and indica strains as edibles, you can expect some differences in the type of "high" experienced:

Sativa edibles tend to provide:

- An uplifting, energizing high

- Increased focus and creativity 

- A stimulating "head high"

Sativa edibles may work well for creative pursuits, social gatherings, concerts, hiking or other active endeavors.

Indica edibles: The relaxation factor:

- A relaxing, calming high

- Reduction in anxiety, pain and insomnia

- A soothing body high that may lead to "couch lock"

Indica edibles may work well for relaxation at home, sleep issues, or减轻 pain, anxiety or other medical conditions.

Indica high edibles

The effects of edibles last much longer than smoking, often 2-4 hours or longer. Indicas are more likely than sativas to cause drowsiness or "couch lock". 

Factors that Influence Your Edible High  

There are a few factors that impact the type of high you'll experience with cannabis infused edibles:

Cannabinoid profile - The mix of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids affects the strength and type of high.

Terpene profile - Terpenes like myrcene, limonene and linalool modulate the effects of cannabinoids.

Dose/Serving size - Higher doses are more likely to cause an intense high, especially for inexperienced users. Start low!

Metabolism - Slower metabolisms may extend the duration and intensity of an edible high.

Food effects - Consuming edibles with food can delay absorption and affect potency.

Tolerance - Those with higher tolerance to THC require higher doses to achieve the desired effects.

Choosing the Right Type of Edible for You

So how do you decide whether a sativa, indica or hybrid edible is right for you? Here are some guidelines:

Sativa edibles: The power of uplifting effects

- Enhance energy and focus

- Stimulate creativity and socialization 

- Relieve depression or fatigue

- Suppress appetite 

Sativa edibles

Indica edibles may be better if you want to:

- Reduce anxiety, chronic pain or insomnia

- Unwind after a long day

- Enhance relaxation at home

- Stimulate appetite

Hybrid edibles are a good option when you want:

- A balance of both mental and physical effects

- To reduce severe pain, anxiety or insomnia

- Avoid an intensely sedating or stimulating high

Start with low doses of edibles and wait at least 2 hours before taking more to avoid unintended effects. Keep cannabis products safely stored away from children and pets.

Finding Your Perfect Edible Dosage

Properly dosing cannabis edibles is key to avoiding unpleasant side effects. Many new users often eat too strong a dose and have an intensely sedating high. It helps to follow dosage guidelines based on your experience level with THC.

If you're new to cannabis edibles, it's wise to start with very low doses of 5-10mg THC. This small amount is unlikely to cause impairment but will allow you to gauge the effects. Wait at least 2 hours after eating an edible before taking more. Consuming edibles on a full stomach can also help temper the effects. 

Those with some experience using cannabis can safely experiment with 25-50mg THC doses. You may feel more pronounced effects but are less likely to have sedation or anxiety. Veteran users can comfortably handle 50-100mg THC doses. Going above 100mg substantially increases the risk of an overwhelming and unpleasant high, even for regular users.

Always err on the side of caution when eating infused edibles. It's easy to take more if desired, but impossible to reverse the effects once you've overindulged. Start low, go slow, and find the right dosage for your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Edibles

Here are answers to some common questions about consuming sativa and indica strains as edibles:

What's better for anxiety: sativa or indica edibles?

Indica edibles are generally more effective for reducing anxiety. The relaxing high can help calm both the mind and body.

Which type of edible helps most with sleep?

Indica edibles are best for promoting sleep due to their sedative, relaxing effects. High doses can cause excess drowsiness though.

Are sativa edibles safe to consume during the day?

Yes, sativa edibles typically provide an energizing high that is unlikely to interfere with daytime activities or responsibilities. Start with low doses first.

Can you become addicted to cannabis edibles?

While edibles are addictive for some, for most people they do not cause compulsive use or addiction. However, overusing THC edibles can lead to dependence in sensitive individuals.

What's the best way to use edibles for pain relief?

Indica and hybrid edibles tend to work best for pain. The CBD:THC ratio, dose, and timing can impact pain relieving benefits. Work with a doctor to find the right edible.

Achieving the High You Want with Cannabis Edibles

With the wide selection of cannabis products now available, you can choose edibles tailored to your specific needs and desired effects. Seek out sativa edibles for energy and creativity, or indica edibles to unwind and de-stress. For mixed effects, give hybrid edibles a try. Start low, go slow and be patient when using edibles until you understand how your body reacts.

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