While picking up some new strains at the dispensary yesterday, my budtender began by asking, “Are you looking for an indica or a sativa?” Her question is a reflection of how most people think about strains: sativas are for staying active and indicas are for relaxing. Sometimes, however, strains can surprise us and exhibit traits that we wouldn’t normally associate with their indica or sativa types.
Cannabis strains are more variable than one might think. Their nuanced effects often transcend the basic indica-sativa classification system and are influenced by a number of other factors:
- Your personal physiology and brain chemistry
- Your mood and energy level
- How the strain was grown and which genetic traits that particular plant expressed (cannabis nerds, see this primer on genotypes and phenotypes)
- Delivery method and dose
- Expectation of effects
- Accuracy of strain labeling
With that caveat in mind, we analyzed our user-submitted strain reviews to find five indica strains that can defy their sedating stereotypes and offer more uplifting effects commonly associated with sativa varieties. Granted, I wouldn’t expect a hyperactive burst of energy from these strains, but sativa fans can certainly appreciate the creative, focused, and social cerebral effects these five have to offer.
1. Purple Chemdawg
Chemdawg is known for its jolt of cerebral energy, but what happens when you crossbreed it with Purple Kush? According to Leafly reviewers, that invigorating buzz remains intact but is balanced by calming body sensations that keep you relaxed while your mind takes flight.
Though mostly indica, Somango has several qualities that any sativa fan can appreciate: focus, creativity, and a tropical flavor profile rarely found in indica varieties. Its Jack Herer parent is partially responsible for that extra cerebral kick, and Somango can also express high levels of CBD which lends to this strain’s clear-headed effects. Somango is a great companion strain for anyone needing to keep their mind sharp while pushing out pain, inflammation, or muscle spasms.
3. Alien Dawg
As with most strains, the reported effects of Alien Dawg range from “I can totally function on this” to “I am plastered to a couch in space.” Keeping the dose moderate is the best way to bring out the balance in this strain as it gives rise to concentrated creativity and positive moods. You’ll also find its cerebral-focused effects are most easily harnessed earlier in the day, while you still have energy for this indica to build off of.
4. Candy Cane
For those of you looking for a creative boost without jarring cerebral activity, Christmas has come early. Candy Cane is the indica you want, offering sweet mango and citrus flavors alongside uplifting euphoria that keeps the mind agile. This strain relaxes the body without robbing you of your faculties, so staying social and productive generally isn’t a problem.
5. Power Kush
They don’t call it Power Kush for nothin’. This strain does pack a euphoric punch, but there’s general consensus among Leafly reviewers that Power Kush won’t leave you glued to the couch. The cerebral effects aren’t as racy as your typical sativa; instead, they provide a calm mindset that allows you to stay focused and engaged, so long as you dose somewhat modestly.
Learn more about the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains!