Here at Lazy River Products we believe that awareness and education are two of the most important necessities that have come out of the recent wave of cannabis legalization. Throughout the country, much investment has been allocated to marketing something that has been under unjust prohibition for the better part of a century, and therefore there is a lot of stimuli being thrown at you, the consumer. And, while we agree that any effort to remove the classic stigma of marijuana is a noble one — we feel that being informed about what you consume, and where the product comes from, is crucial.

For those that are walking into a dispensary for the first time, not to worry, you’re in great hands. However, it helps to understand the basics of cannabis before making a variety of consumable choices. Keep reading as we break down the properties of cannabis indica and cannabis sativa, hybrids, and notable strains.

The Basics: Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa is an annual forb/herb member of the cannabaceae family, one of approximately 170 species which also include hemp and hops. It has native status in Canada, Hawaii, the lower 48 states, and Puerto Rico. Cannabis sativa plants are distinguished by a “lack [of] significant thickening by secondary woody growth and have perennating buds borne at or below the ground surface.” Their leaves are usually thin and lanky, with the plants gaining height as they reach for the sun, in contrast with the short and stocky cannabis indica.

The effects of cannabis sativa can generally be described as “uplifting”, “buzz-y”, “creativity inducing”, energizing the user and altering their mood in a positive way. A high-THC sativa is an excellent choice when gearing up for a workout or pick-up basketball game, but probably isn’t your best option when trying to wind down after a long and stressful day

Famous Sativa Strains

New exotics are being developed very quickly nowadays, but even those that are fresh to the cannabis experience may have heard of Sour Diesel, Blue Dream, Durban Poison, Jack Herrer, and the now infamous Pineapple Express.

sativa sour diesel

The Basics: Cannabis Indica

The species Cannabis indica, like cannabis sativa, belongs to the cannabaceae family. As mentioned above, cannabis indica grows short and stocky, and is often found in subtropical, temperate regions such as Tibet and Pakistan. Pungent, earthy tones characterize cannabis indica, and its leaves are broad with a fuller structure than that of cannabis sativa.

The effects of consuming cannabis indica (whether through smoke inhalation, vaporization, or oral/topical ingestion) have been known to be calming, numbing, and are often described as causing “couch-lock”.

indica grand daddy purp

Famous Indica Strains

The Hindu Kush region has produced perhaps the most famous of all indicas, but notable strains such as Northern Lights, Granddaddy Purple, Blueberry, and many more are all effective at producing desired effects in their own beneficial ways.

What about Hybrids?

The legal cannabis sphere is exploding with new varieties of gourmet cannabis created by savvy growers, and one of the most exciting aspects of this is the emergence of a great number of new hybrids. The main advantage of hybrids is a multi-faceted “entourage” approach to attaining the desired experience. Let’s say you’re looking to energize while also retaining some soothing anti-anxiety properties? Look no further than the ever-popular Chemdog strain, which contains both OG Kush and Sour Diesel.

The Importance of Terpenes & Cannabinoids

We should also note the importance of specific terpenes and cannabinoids present in any particular variety of cannabis. While its classification as sativa or indica may indeed suggest a general effect, individual users may have different reactions to the same strain due to its various other components. As a rule of thumb, it is always best to start with a lower dose when trying a new type or form of cannabis.

Be sure to always check the label of any product you wish to purchase. There you’ll find all pertinent information regarding cannabinoid levels, at which point you’ll be able to get a clearer picture of how your body/mind will react to the product.

Stay tuned to the Lazy River Products blog page for the latest in dispensary news, and of course much more educational content to optimize your cannabis experience!