These days you’ll be hard-pressed to find a pure cannabis plant, as most we have today have undergone years of breeding. Still, if we’re talking about cannabis indica strains, the differences are plain.
Indica plants originated in the Himalayas. They tend to be small with broad and densely-packed leaves, the exact opposite of sativa strains.
When it comes to chemical composition, there really isn’t a huge difference between sativa and indica except in the two major cannabinoids: THC and CBD.
Indica strains are now bred to contain any amount of THC and CBD. But pure strains usually have a higher CBD content than sativa strains.
While indica marijuana effects vary from sativa, there isn’t a huge gap. You’ll find that benefits also tend to overlap depending on the individual strain.
This post highlights some of the benefits of indica marijuana strains.
1. Helps with Insomnia
Millions of Americans find it difficult to get quality sleep for many reasons, high-stress levels being one of them. Indica strains can help greatly in this area as they tend to have sedating effects.
Considering the couch lock feeling is one of indica’s distinguishing factors, you should find it pretty effective at inducing sleep.
One study found that indica was better at improving sleep quality than sativa strains. Other studies suggest that the high CBD content in indica-dominant strains is responsible for the sedating effects.
2. Aid in Relaxation
While indicas have sedating effects, they are not drugs that knock you out any time you take them.
In moderation, indica strains offer a great relaxing experience without altering your sense of awareness.
Sometimes you’re not in a position to relax, but you just want to kick back and enjoy your space. Indicas can help you achieve that state of deep relaxation.
3. Can Improve Appetite
Cannabis, in general, can help stimulate appetite in people struggling to eat. The cannabinoid THC is the compound responsible for weed-induced hunger pangs, usually known as the munchies.
While sativas contain high concentrations of THC, they also have the cannabinoid THCV, which can counter the effects of hunger due to its appetite-suppressing properties.
Heavy indica strains don’t usually contain high levels of THCV, which makes them ideal for increasing appetite.
4. Relief for Pain and Inflammation
The way indica strains offer pain relief is different from their sativa counterparts. But this is an area where both marijuana forms excel.
It is thought that the sedating effects of indica are primarily responsible for the experience of reduced pain. Users point out that the intense body high gives them a soothing sensation that washes away pain and muscle tension.
Sativas, on the other hand, act on your mental awareness, numbing pain sensation. But they both contain the same cannabinoids responsible for relieving inflammation.
5. Relief From Muscle Spasms
If you’re suffering muscle spasms, you know how painful and unpredictable the tightness in your muscles can be. They may be symptoms of an underlying condition. But sometimes, they have no known cause.
Indica strains are ideal when it comes to treating muscle spasms as the ‘heavy body’ effect soothes and relaxes every muscle relieving you from distress.
6. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Cannabis plants contain compounds such as cannabinoids and terpenes, which can relieve stress and anxiety. Studies have shown that cannabinoids may have more health benefits than we’re yet to discover. These compounds already show great potential in relieving stress and anxiety.
But they are not the only ones.
The terpene, Limonene, which is present in most strains, may be able to help with stress, anxiety, and depression.
Once again, indicas are more popular for stress and anxiety relief due to their soothing properties.
7. Helps with Nausea
Researchers, as well as user reports, continue to support the use of cannabis for nausea.
Both CBD and THC appear to play a role in relieving nausea, especially in patients going through chemotherapy.
Indica and sativa strains can both help with nausea. However, most patients prefer indica-dominant hybrids due to their balanced CBD/THC ratio.
Both indica and sativa are powerful cannabis plants sharing most of the effects and benefits. The differences also vary and not just between indica and sativa but also between individual strains under the same banner.
That’s the reason the industry is slowly moving away from sativa/indica classifications and focusing more on the chemical components of each strain regardless of where it falls.