We at Sol Flower would like to let you in on a schwaggy little secret: the differences between sativa and indica might not be as great as you think.
Over time, stereotypes have turned into categorical truths about each – indica puts you “in the couch,” sativa opens your mind to big thoughts and creative expression – but to what extent are these attributes real science vs. stoner jargon? And does it matter?
To answer these burning questions, it helps to take a quick trip back to the late 18th century. That’s when biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck first proposed the idea of a second variety (or classification) of the cannabis sativa plant. He noted a shorter, broad-leaved cannabis that produced a more sedative effect than its taller and narrower counterpart, and he called it indica. Thus was drawn the line of demarcation between the two, and the debate has raged on in dormitories and dispensaries ever since.
Fast forward to present day and the indica/sativa discussion is less about the physical characteristics of the plant or its genetic makeup, and almost exclusively about how each makes a patient feel. But the end-user benefits have nothing to do with the size of the plant or its leaves, and everything to do with its terpene profile. Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give strains their signature aroma, and the makeup of these natural oils dictates a strain’s effects. Those who classify strains make their indica/sativa call based on terpene profiles, but effects may still vary wildly.
If you look at the products available in our store you’ll notice they’re listed as indica, sativa, or hybrid. That’s how cultivators have classified them based on their shape or strain history, and we’re following industry standard. That doesn’t mean that all strains categorized as sativa have more THC, or that all indicas naturally produce more CBD; you should always look to lab testing to see which terpenes are most prominent. Scientific studies, in fact, have not conclusively found significant genetic differences between indicas and sativas. Besides, crossbreeding has made pretty much every strain a hybrid anyway, further muddying the waters.
So what does that mean for you when looking for the right strain for your symptoms? We recommend letting the labels (and our experts) guide you, but to approach each strain with an open mind. You may encounter an indica that inspires you to write poetry, or a sativa that inspires a nap. That doesn’t mean the strain is “wrong,” it just proves that cannabis is a personal experience and is different for everyone. The best way to determine the best choice for you is to identify common terpenes that align with your ideal effects.
Interested in testing the differences in the two classifications? Visit our locations in Sun City or Tempe to discover which variety is best for you.