Cannabis 101

Indica/Sativa

Indica has come to indicate a body-buzz, feelings of sedation and relaxation or being stoned. On the other hand, sativa has come to mean more of a heady, energetic, uplifting high. The truth is many "indicas" can produce this sativa high, while many "sativas" can produce an indica stoned feeling. This may be in part due to the overwhelming homogenization of strains in the market today.

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

There are over 85 different cannabinoids identified with the cannabis plant so far. The most famous of which is THC. Terpenoids, or terpenes as they are often referred to, are organic chemical compounds produced by many different plants that generally carry aromatic or flavonoid properties. In cannabis, it is these terpenes that are most responsible for the smells and flavors that smokers have come to love in their favorite strains. Research is also showing us that it may actually be these terpenes that are responsible for the variation of effects we feel from one strain to another - and certainly from an indica to a sativa.


"Terpenes seem to be major players in driving the sedating or energizing effects." Jeffrey Raber, Founder of The Werc Shop.


The cannabis plant is comprised of hundreds of chemical compounds that create a unique harmony of effects, which is primarily led by cannabinoids and terpenes. The effects of any given strain depend on a number of different factors, including the product's chemical profile, your unique biology and tolerance, dose, and consumption method.

How to Choose

Instead of choosing a strain based on its indica or sativa classification, consider basing your selection on these three criteria instead:

  • THC-dominant strains are primarily chosen by consumers seeking a potent euphoric experience. These strains are also selected by patients treating pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, and more. If you tend to feel anxious with THC-dominant strains or dislike other side effects associated with THC, try a strain with higher levels of CBD.
  • CBD-dominant strains contain only small amounts of THC, and are widely used by those highly sensitive to THC or patients needing clear-headed symptom relief.
  • Balanced THC/CBD strains contain balanced levels of THC and CBD, offering mild euphoria alongside symptom relief. These tend to be a good choice for novice consumers seeking an introduction to cannabis’ signature high.