One of my favorite things about cannabis is that you get to choose how you want to feel. It’s up to you to set the intention first – say, getting lost in a movie or folding the laundry with a little more gusto – and from there the right strain becomes your delightful companion, your best friend forever.
While cannabis affects each of us differently, strain varieties are one way to customize your cannabis experience. Now, this is pretty complex plant and the science is deep, but strains typically fall under one of three categories: indica, sativa and hybrid.
Indica strains are known to produce calm and relax the body and mind, while sativa strains provide more mental stimulation and uplift. Hybrid strains are a combination of both, their effects ranging somewhere in the middle depending upon traits inherited from the indica and sativa sides of the family. And within each of these there are hundreds of known varieties.
When you’re not sure which of these strain types to pick, think about your intention and who your perfect companion would be…
Indica is The Peacemaker, the strain that helps you settle down, relax and deliver the chill that Netflix is so into these days. The Peacemaker is great for nighttime – if you’re feeling anxious or having trouble sleeping, she’s on it. Indica strains include Grape Ape, Northern Lights and Granddaddy Purple.
Sativa is The Muse thanks to her motivating, stimulating ways. With her help you feel inspired to do anything from starting your novel to analyzing reruns of The Golden Girls. Sativa helps ease anxiety and depression and works magic in the daytime. Sativa strains include Sour Diesel, Purple Haze and Durban Poison.
Think of hybrid strains as The Explorer, your sidekick when feeling adventurous. The Explorer wants a side of uplift with her chill (or vice versa) to make a mundane task or a night out a tad more interesting. Effects depend upon the ratio of sativa to indica present, and hybrid strains include OG Kush, Blue Dream and Skywalker OG.
Strains offer a way to determine how cannabis will affect you, but they’re really intended as guidelines. Everything from your tolerance to your overall health to what you ate during the day impacts how you react to cannabis. Setting an intention from the beginning at least establishes a framework.
While you’re exploring, talk to budtenders, friends or your doctor for insight into what works for certain people and situations. And most importantly, start low and go slow.