Indica cannabis strains are a top choice for medical marijuana patients thanks to its multi-beneficial effects for so many different diseases and conditions. This particular class of cannabis dates back to the 18th century when it was first officially classified in 1785 by the French naturalist and biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.
Origins of the Cannabis Indica Plant
The short, bushy plant originates from the mountains of the Middle East and India where it evolved to adapt to harsh climates by growing quickly with protective resin on the outside layer to product its buds. Cannabis Indica is known for its dense buds, high yields, and purple hues, along with pungent aromas such as pine, earth, hash and fruit, and its signature body-high effects.
Research has shown that Indica contains a higher content of CBD (Cannabidiol) than another popular category, Cannabis Sativa, which is more strongly connected to a higher THC concentration. Because of this, users of Indica might not experience that “head high” that’s often associated with weed and specifically Sativa but will experience its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties that relax the body.
When you’re in search of the right strain of weed for your needs, it’s important to understand what you’re getting with each. Many strains of Indica are likely not purely a 100% breed but are Indica-dominant with mostly Indica characteristics or closer to a 50/50 Hybrid.
The properties of Indica are associated with relaxation which makes it better suited for nighttime use in many cases. But that’s not all this particular type of cannabis can do. It’s time to dive a little deeper into the weeds. Here are six uses for this particular strain of weed and how it can be used to just about anyone’s advantage.
1. Indica for an “In-da-Couch” Night
Sometimes you just need a night in after a rough week. Indica cannabis strains are the perfect partner for a truly relaxing night. Think of Indica as “In-da-Couch”—where nothing else sounds better than to sink into your couch, order some take out and binge-watch your favorite Netflix series. The reason why it’s so good in this way, recreationally, is that it can help you achieve a feeling of happiness, euphoria, and peace, and at the same time make you a bit hungrier to thoroughly enjoy some “munchies” and embrace indulgence in the best way possible. It also helps you take your mind off of any outside stress. The strain is known for increasing mental relaxation which allows you to let go of what’s going on at work or in your personal life and just be calm, and at the moment.
2. Treat Nausea
Having nausea, be it from gastrointestinal tract issues like ulcers or gallbladder disease, anxiety-induced situations or from a medical treatment like chemotherapy, is never fun. The Indica strain has been linked to being a highly effective antiemetic—aka – a solution to calm stomach nausea. Instead of taking over-the-counter or prescribed medicine for nausea that can have unwanted side effects including dry mouth, fatigue, decreased urination and heartburn, cannabis is seen as a much-preferred alternative.
Cancer patients that have just started chemotherapy can experience extreme episodes of nausea and violent vomiting, which is referred to as emesis. This type of side effect goes beyond CINV (chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting), which many prescription medications can treat. Emesis happens just six to 24 hours after chemotherapy treatment and many patients have gravitated towards medicating with CBD instead of traditional medicine. Medicinal marijuana for nausea treatment can come in the oral or inhalable form. Using Indica to treat both emesis and CINV has been shown in research to be a superior solution and alternative to dopamine receptor and antagonist medications that are traditionally prescribed to treat nausea.
Nausea can often cause a person to lose appetite and if eating is crucial for a person struggling with a medical condition, medicinal Indica has been used to counter decreased appetite. Its ability to increase hunger has been seen as one of its great benefits when it comes to medicine.
3. Induce Sleep
Insomnia is caused by different conditions and not all sleeping problems are alike. When looking at medicinal marijuana to treat your insomnia, it’s important to realize the root of the problem. For instance, is your lack of sleep caused by chronic pain, stress, anxiety or have you been diagnosed with PTSD? Indica with a higher concentration of THC can have a direct effect on inducing sleep and stopping REM sleep, the dreaming stage, from happening. This could be a solution for those suffering from a lack of sleep due to PTSD-induced nightmares. If your lack of sleep is caused by anxiety, try a strain with CBD if you’re sensitive to high levels of THC, which can sometimes worsen anxiety in large doses. For those experiencing physical pain that causes them to have trouble sleeping, Indica is usually the go-to choice due to its relaxing and sedative effects.
Different forms of Indica cannabis can additionally have varying impacts on sleep. Edibles are often known to help people stay asleep for a longer period of time and aged marijuana tends to have a higher concentration of cannabinol (CBN), a chemical compound known for its sedating properties. Blackberry Kush is a known Indica strain that pairs well with insomnia thanks to its heavy sedative impact. If you’re up due to anxiety and stress, Purple Urkle is another powerful Indica strain that can ease you to sleep.
4. Reduce Pain
Whether it’s acute pain from injury or chronic pain caused by arthritis or multiple sclerosis, medicinal marijuana is widely known to reduce pain. Indica strains can help you achieve full-body pain relief. Because of their high concentrations of THC and CBD, they are more potent than Sativa strains which makes them better suited to treat more severe cases of pain. This type of cannabis can help alleviate muscle spasms to persistent chronic pain with its anti-inflammatory effects and ability to relax muscles. The THC in Indica cannabis works to help manage pain while CBD creates a feeling of relaxation.
Grandaddy Purple, a popular Indica strain, is known to have high levels of THC which makes it best for chronic pain and muscle spasms. For a daytime painkiller, the Indica Hybrid Blueberry helps fight symptoms from fibromyalgia by relaxing muscles without inducing sleepiness and drowsiness. Another Indica, Bubba Kush, is known for having strong narcotic effects, which is effective on more severe pain. It reduces back pain, pain caused by Multiple Sclerosis, muscle tension, and headache. Do note that this particular variety can make you sleepy as well. To ease muscle cramping, Redwood Kush is a great candidate. It delivers a woody forest aroma and its high amount of THC is the key to relieving cramps.
5. Ease Anxiety
Indica is often known to have high levels of CBD which has been strongly linked to reducing feelings of anxiety including worry and acute stress. While this particular strain is known to have anti-anxiety properties, each individual can still react differently to cannabis and people may have different experiences with certain varieties of Indica when it comes to anxiety treatment. Granddaddy Purple is a Hybrid strain that’s been bred with two different Indica strains, Big Bud and Purple Urkle. It’s prevalent Indica-dominant cannabis that’s been linked to reducing anxiety. Northern Lights is another popular Indica-dominant strain that can cause a user to gain a sense of happiness and directly reduce anxious feelings.
6. Combat Seizures
Patients suffering from epilepsy can look to medicinal marijuana for treatment. It’s known for its anti-seizure properties and can be extremely beneficial in fighting symptoms of the disease. If you or someone you know would like to combat seizures, try the Indica variety Grape Ape. Not only does it provide a calming component to epileptic patients, but it is also linked to better sleep, and relief from mood disorders like anxiety and depression. Green Crack is a good Hybrid option for those who want to prevent epileptic episodes while still being able to function during the day. If you have trouble focusing on daily tasks as a side effect of epilepsy, this could be the strain for you.
As medicinal marijuana becomes more and more popular, continued research is likely to reveal more and more benefits. The chemical components and their effect on certain receptors of the body can work to any user’s benefit. When it comes to choosing a strain, Indica’s relaxing, sedative and euphoric properties the strain produces can be used to counter numerous ailments, medical conditions, and diseases. Whether you’re suffering from stress or anxiety, lack of sleep, PTSD, epilepsy or nausea, there’s an Indica strain out there that could help you through the pain and unnecessary suffering. Outside of medicinal use, Indica is a great companion for recreational use. You can simply use it for relaxation and enjoying a night in. When it comes to Indica, the choice is yours for the taking.
- The Geography and History of Indica vs Sativa
- Marijuana for Pain Relief
- Marijuana Use for Insomnia
- Indica vs Sativa: Understanding the Differences Between the Two Cannabis Plants
- Indica or Sativa for the Treatment of Nausea
- Nausea, Vomiting, and Chemotherapy
- How cannabis affects appetite: Brain changes
- Does CBD Get You High
- CBD Oil for Anxiety Research
- Easing the Episodes: Medical Marijuana for Seizures