What Are the Effects of Sativa?

Does Sativa make you sleepy or hyper?

Sativa is one of two major types of cannabis and can have its own unique effect on the mind and body.

While the other well-known strain of cannabis, indica, actually comes from the same parent plant of Cannabis sativa L., sativa is known for producing an entirely different effect than indica. So, what can one expect to feel when taking sativa?

Some of the noted effects of sativa include:

  • A boost in activity levels
  • Improved energy
  • An increase in productivity
  • Stimulation
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Positive boost in mood

Many cannabis dispensaries in the United States will list two main strains available for purchase: indica and sativa.

Many offerings are classified as “hybrids,” which are a mixture of the two strains or a mixture with even more strains.

Since they have differing effects, it can be helpful to know what to expect from each type of strain before making a decision about which to purchase.

Because of its energizing effects, sativa is generally considered better for those who are seeking enhanced mental states and improved mood.

However, sativa is not just limited to that. To understand the strains better, including specific effects and potential negative side effects, read on below to find out more.

Difference Between Sativa and Indica

As mentioned earlier, two of the most common strains of cannabis include sativa and indica. These two types of cannabis are different in several ways, including the type of high they produce.

Sativa tends to have low amounts of CBD and higher amounts of THC, and it is primarily grown in hot, dry climates.

It is tall with long, thin leaves. Medicinally, it is often used to treat anxiety and chronic pain, and it is known for increasing your focus and giving you a boost in creativity.

Because of its somewhat stimulating effects, it is often best used in the daytime.

Indica, conversely, has a higher dose of CBD and less THC than sativa. It grows more quickly than sativa and produces a larger crop, with plants generally staying short and bushy.

Since it has more CBD, indica generally tends to give a mellower effect, with a very relaxing result.

Medicinally, it has been used to help relax muscles, reduce pain, and decrease nausea. Indica is generally best for night time use, thanks to its relaxing effects.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, you may also come across what is known as a hybrid strain.

These are usually grown on a farm or in a greenhouse and are bred to be tailored to suit a particular audience.

The ratio of CBD to THC can vary widely across hybrid strains, and usually, the plants are selected to try to isolate certain effects, such as relaxation or pain relief.

It can be helpful to consult an expert if you are confused about what type of cannabis you are purchasing.

Most dispensaries are happy to help you determine which strain will be best for your needs.

Does Sativa Make You Sleepy or Hyper?

In general, sativa tends to give you a more energized effect than other strains of cannabis.

It is associated with energetic bursts, often with improved creativity and productiveness.

It has been said to induce a “head high” that can help reduce anxiety, improve mood, and give you a better focus. 

The reason that sativa allows you to achieve a higher level of concentration than other strains of cannabis is that it contains a higher concentration of THC, thus creating a more psychoactive high.

Because of this, sativa won’t give you the same zoning-out, daydreaming effects typical of indica strains.

For those with jobs rooted in creativity, sativa can actually be beneficial.

There are reports from professional artists who argue that getting high from sativa strains of cannabis can actually help them focus and become more creative, completing big jobs in a shorter time span.

In an interview with MTV, Seth Rogan explains that smoking cannabis helps him get through the creative task of writing scripts.

Keep in mind, however, that many believe that, in order to feel the stimulating, focusing effects from sativa, you still need to be doing something that interests you.

If you’re trying to get through a task you hate and you can’t get your head in the correct space even when sober, you’ll likely find other more appealing distractions when high, and you’ll be productive in other ways, rather than completing the intended chore.

So, while you won’t necessarily be bouncing off the walls with hyperactivity from sativa, it isn’t going to give you the zoned-out relaxation daze that comes with other strains.

You may feel more energized, with less physical or mental pain, which can help you retain better focus and feel more creative.

Potential Negative Sativa Side Effects 

Just as with all strains of cannabis, there are potential negative side effects associated with sativa.

Usually, these side effects are minimal, but their severity can vary from person to person. Some of the most common noted negative short-term side effects of sativa include:

  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Insomnia 
  • Dizziness
  • Increased appetite
  • Dry mouth

Anxiety and paranoia can become more common if large doses or especially potent strains of sativa are used.

The significant amount of THC present in sativa produces a range of effects, which can include distorted perceptions of time and space.

For those who are simply wanting to reduce pain or focus better, these unexpected changes in perception can be particularly scary.

As a result, they can result in users feeling panic and worry.

Since sativa tends to increase your energy, it’s understandable that it could potentially cause bouts of insomnia.

This is one of the reasons why it’s encouraged to take sativa during the day so that your sleep cycles aren’t impeded by sativa’s focusing, a productive boost of energy.

Dry mouth is a fairly commonly reported symptom of cannabis use, regardless of the strain.

It can be combated by staying hydrated and drinking fluids while using it, or by sucking on hard candy to stimulate your mouth to salivate.

Long-term side effects of cannabis are still not fully understood, but there is some thought that ingesting high amounts of THC over the years may lead to an increased risk of schizophrenia or other psychosis.

Cannabis can also interact with other medications.

It is always safest to consult with your physician if you are worried about any of these negative side effects or interactions with current medications before you start using any strains of cannabis.

Common Sativa Strains

In the United States, some strains of sativa are more common than others.

While many dispensaries will indicate whether a particular strain is sativa, indica, or a hybrid, sometimes it is helpful to know the names of more common strains to make them easier to identify.

Some of the more popular strains of sativa include:

While there is an ever-increasing number of new strains and hybrids, many of these strains have been around since the 1990s and are still enjoying popularity thanks to their increased distribution and notable effects.

How to Decide What Strain is Right for You

It can be confusing to try to determine what strain of cannabis you should use.

On top of all that, research is occasionally confusing and contradictory about whether different strains of cannabis truly have a notable difference in effects.

Often, a more important consideration is the potency and the method of consumption.

Try to determine what your intended goal of cannabis use is. Do you want to feel more focused?

Perhaps you just want to feel relaxed. Some people just want to feel a general uplift in mood.

Also, think about how long you would like to feel the effects.

If you only want a short-term experience, you might be best using a tincture or inhalant.

Those desiring a more prolonged high might turn towards edibles. Perhaps your best resource is your local dispensary or budtender.

These knowledgeable individuals can often direct you to the right product and the appropriate concentration to achieve your goal.

It can also be helpful before taking any cannabis to write down specifics about what you are taking. This information can include:

  • The strain of cannabis
  • The concentration/dosage
  • How much you took
  • The method that you consumed it

After taking the cannabis, you can then write down how you felt.

This can help you determine what products and what potencies work best for you and help you figure out what product to buy the next time when you want to experience a certain effect.

Final Thoughts

There are many different strains of cannabis, but two of the most common types of cannabis include sativa and indica.

These two types are thought to hold vastly differing effects, so it can be useful to understand their differences when you are trying to select a type of cannabis.

While indica tends to be associated with relaxing, calming effects, sativa is more often associated with boosts of energy, focus, and creativity.

This can make these strains more effective to take at particular times of the day or when you are looking for a particular effect.

Keep in mind, however, that modern research has so far not been able to definitively determine the exact differences in effects in the various types of cannabis, and often the perceived effects can vary from person to person.

While these different effects have a lot of anecdotal support, your personal experience may vary.

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