Skip to content


Indica Effects - What To Expect When Smoking These Strains

Indica Effects - What To Expect When Smoking These Strains

Ask a budtender about indica effects and they might recommend strains for body relaxation and restful sleep. Generally speaking, indica strains are best enjoyed at night when you’re ready to sign off for the day. 

Industry experts also consider variables such as cannabinoids and terpenes when talking to customers about indica effects. Although it is easier to classify cannabis as either an indica, hybrid, or sativa, there’s a lot that budtenders, harvesters, and enthusiasts wish people understood about the unique characteristics of cannabis flower. 

Indica effects vs sativa strains

Cannabis Indica plants, compared to sativas, have fuller leaves that spread out in a wide, fan-like pattern. Despite differences in their outward appearance, each plant produces nugs with strain-specific effects. 

Cannabis seed banks and harvesters cross-breed plants all the time, though, which can make distinguishing between indicas and sativa even hazier. It may be easier to think about cannabis as either indica (or sativa)-dominant, instead of “purely” one way or the other. 

People who enjoy indicas tend to describe their experience as so: 

  • Body melt: effortless muscle loosening
  • Couch lock: a willingness to stop, be still, and in the moment
  • Munchies: expect an intense desire to eat  
  • Sedative: not so much in the psychoactive sense, but a gentle nudge towards sleep
  • Laid-back: cool and collected mood (anxiety lifter) 

Effects of indica on the brain

To understand why indicas chill you out and make you sleepy, you have to look beyond the side effects and consider chemical makeup, or cannabinoid and terpene expression. 

Cannabinoids found in cannabis strains are known as phytocannabinoids since they’re derived from a plant. 

The human body naturally produces cannabinoids, but in cannabis, these compounds convert from CBG to CBD and THC to CBN—four of the most common types found in cannabis products. These alphabetical combinations are another way to gauge indica effects. Products that are sold as THC-dominant indicas, for example, will produce a stronger psychoactive (“high”) effect than CBD-only indicas. 

Harvesters also enhance strain-specific effects through terpenes, which are additional therapeutic compounds that give cannabis its distinct aroma. As of now, we know that cannabis has 400 different terpenes. Indica strains are rich in myrcene and caryophyllene, two terpenes associated with anxiety relief and sleep promotion. 

Next time you’re shopping for an indica strain, try keeping cannabinoids and terpenes in mind. These factors can help you make more informed decisions when selecting strains for specific health benefits. 

How does indica make you feel?

Cannabis flower has many generous qualities, the main one being the personalized effect it has on those who smoke it. Rules are meant to be broken, as the saying goes, so no guidebook says you have to use indicas at night and sativas during the day. Try them both, at different times of the day, and then decide what works for you.

Describing indica effects as mellow, relaxing, and snoozy is a generalization and a simple way to talk about strains for those who are brand-new to cannabis. 

Does indica make you sleepy or hyper?

According to medical cannabis patients, indica strains are good for sleep and pain. Strains with CBN-forward profiles and high levels of myrcene may induce tiredness if that is your goal. 

If you’re looking for a strain with relaxing and motivating effects, hybrids may be a better choice than indica-dominant flower and especially better than sativa plants. How you consume cannabis also matters, because delivery methods have different activation times. Edibles take longer to take effect, but pipes/vapes get you there in less than five minutes. 

Do indica strains get you high?

As long as there’s THC, you’ll feel a body high and head high, whether the strain is indica, hybrid, or sativa cannabis strains. The psychoactive component of cannabis doesn’t change based on the type of strain, it’s the cannabinoid involved that matters. Some people enjoy CBD because it’s less psychoactive than THC. 

This “just-add-flower” kit (here at Vessel) is a great smoking system for trying multiple strains at once. The one-hitter makes it easy to load and reload indicas, sativas, and hybrids.  

What are the benefits of indica strains of cannabis?

Pure indica plants are said to have sedative effects. These strains are beneficial for night time use and can be helpful for chronic pain relief. Different strains of indica can also have varying benefits depending on their terpene profiles. 

To sum it up 

When it comes to buying cannabis flower at the dispensary, indica effects won’t tell you everything about the strain (remember cannabinoids and terpenes). The market is full of generalizations, but science is catching up to the demand, providing cannabis consumers with a more trusted approach to buying strains for anxiety, sleep, and pain relief. Shop wisely and smoke freely, friends!