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Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid? Understand the Differences – Ask Your Denver Budtender

Learn the benefits of the different marijuana strains available

When browsing different strains at your local Denver dispensary, it’s likely that you’ve heard strains separated into the three categories: sativa, indica, and hybrid. A newer cannabis consumer may not know what these are and sometimes, even experienced users don’t fully understand the differences and benefits of the strain types.
The main difference between indicas and sativas is in the plant’s biochemistry or the different types of active chemical compounds in cannabis. These chemical compounds are called cannabinoids and there are more than 85 of them found in cannabis plants. The main cannabinoids that create the difference between sativas and indicas are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabinol (CBN), cannabigerol (CBG), tetrahydrcannaviarin (THCV or THV) and cannabidiol (CBD).

One way to learn the distinction between indicas and sativas as medicine is by looking at the CBD to THC ratio. For the most part, indicas have a higher CBD to THC ratio while sativas have a lower ratio. When looking for the less psychoactive effect of THC, then indicas are a better choice. If a medical user wants the psychoactive effects, then they would more likely look for a sativa-dominant strain, while if they want physical pain relief, then they would look for an indica-dominant strain. Studies show that CBD content contributes to pain relief.

Benefits of Sativas:

  • Aids psychological problems such as depression and ADD
  • Helps encourage activity
  • Increases focus
  • Can help relieve migraines

Benefits of Indicas:

  • Pain relief
  • Sleep aid
  • Fights depression
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Relieves head aches
  • Reduces constant nausea
Both sativa and indica strains have medical utility, but because of their differences, they are chosen for different symptom management. Combining indica and sativa is called a hybrid strain. These are often thought of as a balancing of the effects of both indica and sativa strains. It can be tricky choosing the right strain, so make sure that you ask your budtender what they recommend. Altitude the Dispensary is always ready to help to find the right strain for you and your goals. 
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