The general belief is that while indica is more calming and relaxing, sativa is more energizing. But is that completely what it is? Individual plants produce different effects, even within the same cannabis type or category. So everything depends on the plant’s composition and the technique employed in growing it.
That is the reason plant types are most times simplified into specific strains or breeds. These strains are distinguished by their individual terpene and cannabinoid content. These are the compounds that determine the overall effects of any strain.
These are naturally occurring compounds in cannabis plant. When marijuana is consumed, the cannabinoids present in them will react with the cannabinoid receptors in the brain, which hence alters the release of neurotransmitters in the brain and control things like memory, thought, perception, and pleasure.
Presently, there are about 113 cannabinoids isolated from cannabis but some of them are better understood than others. The two most understood cannabinoids are the cannabidiol and tetrahydrocannabinol.
- Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)
The compound is the major psychoactive component in the plant. This is basically what gives you the ‘high’ sensation when you ingest or smoke marijuana. THC stimulates brain cells to release dopamine, which creates the feelings of euphoria people experience when they consume cannabis.
Even though CBD may be similar to THC in many ways, it reacts differently with brain receptors and does not create the ‘high’ effect. Because of the effects CBD and THC have on the brain, they have gained a lot of popularity around the world for their therapeutic uses. They are being used for pain relief and also to treat many medical conditions, including anxiety disorders.
Even though not as well understood as the cannabinoids, terpenes are also very important. Basically, they are responsible for the unique taste and flavor of every plant. In cannabis strains, there are over 100 different types of terpenes. They work together with the cannabinoids present in each strain to determine how intensely you will be affected by the strain. If you want to know which cannabis is right for you based on the terpene content, all you need to do is to smell the different strains.