November 17, 2021

An Energizing Indica? A Relaxing Sativa? Cannabis Mythbusting

Forget what you think you know about these classic yet flawed cannabis categories and learn what to look for instead—cannabinoid and terpene profiles are key.

All sativas will get you up and running with a racy high. And all indicas slow things down and create a mellow chill. Right? Not so fast. That distinction—based more on folk wisdom than actual facts—is pretty outdated. These days, we know that the experience you get from any given cannabis strain has a lot more to do with cannabinoids and terpenes in that strain than its classification as indica, sativa or hybrid. 

Cannabis Mythbusting About Sativas and Indicas

You’ve probably heard a number of widely believed things about cannabis that are more myth than fact—like the one about the origin of the term 420 (it was conceived decades ago in California by a group of Marin County teenagers) or the theory that cannabis is a “gateway” drug that leads to use of harder substances (nope). Similarly, the belief that cannabis effects can be boiled down to just three broad categories—uplifting (sativa), relaxing (indica) and somewhere in between (hybrid)—isn’t all that accurate. Turns out, those classifications don’t mean much when it comes to consumer experience.

Despite the prevalence of sativa and indica in cannabis culture, this long-accepted standard for differentiating between uplifting and sedating strains is really only a botanical distinction. That means it’s still helpful for cultivators who need to predict whether a cannabis plant will grow into something stout and bushy with thick, stubby leaves (indica) or taller with thin leaves (sativa), but it’s not super relevant in terms of consumer guidance.

So where did these terms come from anyway? They can be traced back to the 18th century, around the time the plant was first classified as Cannabis sativa and a French biologist named Jean Baptiste Lamarck coined the term C indica to distinguish specimens collected in India. The classification wasn’t related to the effects of consuming that particular variety of cannabis. 

This was largely confirmed more recently when modern technology enabled scientists to study both indica and sativa cannabis samples on the molecular level. What they found is that there were no pattern differences between sativas and indicas to set them apart from one another. In short: Relying on the old cannabis standby of indicas being a sedative that will land you “in da couch” and “viva sativa” producing a stimulating experience, isn’t a great way to approach cannabis shopping. 

The truth is that some sativas can make you feel sleepy and some indicas have energizing, invigorating properties. That’s why Veritas gives consumers the chance to browse our inventory by desired experience.

While we also give a nod to the traditional sativa / indica / hybrid categories for those newer to the scene, in our eyes, more information is better. That’s why we’re constantly building out our database of cannabinoid and terpene profiles for the dozens of strains in our rotation.

Find Cannabis Strains Based on Effects

Ready to try it for yourself? Visit the Veritas Interactive Strain Guide online and select “Experience” from our strain wheel to see our available flower for over 10 distinct states of mind such as Euphoric, Focus, Energetic, Calming and Relief. From there, you simply need to decide whether you’re in the mood for a pre-roll or pre-packed flower to see all the best options we have on tap for your desired experience. 

How do we categorize our strains? By using each strain’s unique cannabinoid and terpene profile to distinguish its featured properties. As the legal cannabis industry continues to evolve and mature, we expect a given strain’s cannabinoid and terpene profile to overtake sativa / indica / hybrid categorizing as the new gold standard for connecting consumers with the strain that’s perfect for their needs. 

In the meantime, we’re happy to be ahead of the curve in the service of making sure that your next cannabis experience meets (and exceeds) expectations.

Check out the Veritas Strain Library for current availability and pick up something tasty today.

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