Along with a host of edible and topical ways to enjoy the benefits of THC—chocolates, balms, beverages—there’s a seemingly infinite variety of marijuana strains on the market. And with innovative growers and breeders coming up with potent new creations every day, there’s no end in sight.
Of course, there’s no need to be intimidated by the choices. Because just like a sommelier helps wine aficionados navigate the realm of cabernet sauvignons and pinot noirs, the budtenders at American Mary can expertly advise you on the subtleties between Dutch Bro’s Green Goodness, Elevate’s Animal Cookies or Doc Croc’s Strawberry Sour Haze.
But before you wade into the world of floral and skunk notes, it’s best to have a basic knowledge of marijuana’s two genetic types—Indica and Sativa.
The unforgiving climate of Afghanistan’s Hindu Kush region is likely to thank for the Indica strains of marijuana. The characteristic thick resin of the flowers evolved to protect them from the sun and sand, and Indica plants will always be shorter and bushier than their Sativa sisters. Symptoms like anxiety, insomnia, pain and muscle spasms call for an Indica strain, as the effects of its flowers tend to sedate users. These are the strains you’d want to choose from if you’re looking to watch movies, play video games, or recover from a strenuous exercise.
The area around the earth’s equator is home to warm, tropical environments with plentiful rainfall. This is where the Sativa stain developed, and the plants long, skinny leaves and taller stems communicate that they developed in far more temperate habitats than their Indica relatives. Those with depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, fatigue, or general mood disorders are advised to choose from Sativa strains. And since the effects lean toward the cerebral, these make an excellent pair for creative activities like painting, gardening, or playing music.