Everything You Need To Know About Indica

Indica is one of the two main types of cannabis, with Sativa being the other. Indica strains are generally known as the more calming and relaxing strains. While this is the general statement you’d hear from dispensaries and online. There’s more that goes into Indica and cannabis than what’s being said.

What exactly is Indica?

Indica or Cannabis indica is an annual plant species in the Cannabaceae family. This is the hemp family of plants. Looking at an Indica plant, you’d be able to tell its characteristic features. Indica plants are short, conical, and densely branched. The leaflets are short and broad. These characteristics make Indiana plants suitable for temperate climates with shifting conditions like in the Hindu Kush mountain range. 

Indica is a name that originated in 1785 from Jean-Baptise Lamarck, who published a description for the second species of cannabis. The reason for Cannabis Indica as a name for this species of plant specimens was because they were collected in India, hence the Latin India meaning “of India”. The naming of the species has more to do with taxonomy (the science of naming, describing, and classifying plants, animals, and organisms), rather than the actual effects and chemical makeup of the plant.

The naming convention of the plant is still used nowadays and is a common way of describing its strains and effects of it. However, the cannabis industry wants to move away from this naming system. As it’s not accurate to the effects the plants produce. To do this you’d need to get into the chemical makeup of the plants.

indica plant
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What chemicals are in Indica?

Being a type of cannabis plant, Indica will have the following chemical makeup:

  • THC is the main psychoactive compound that you’ll find in cannabis plants. This is what gives you the “high”, or euphoric feeling that you get when consuming cannabis. The level of THC in a cannabis plant can vary.
  • CBD is another compound, while not considered a psychoactive, it does give a relaxing effect that aids in reducing anxiety. CBD also has the benefits of reducing pain and nausea, easing migraines, and even showing promise in preventing seizures.
  • CBN or Cannabinol is a chemical compound that helps treat symptoms and side effects from epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrolled muscle stiffness.
  • THCA or Tetrahydrocannabinol acid is like THC without the psychoactive effects. It does benefit by reducing symptoms from Parkinson’s and ALS, and also reducing inflammation from arthritis and some autoimmune diseases.
  • CBG or Cannabigerol is another chemical compound that is considered to help with anxiety, symptoms of OCD, PTSD, and depression.
  • Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that are found in cannabis plants. While terpenes are first thought to affect the aroma of a plant, the terpenes present in a plant can also have effects. These can range from pain and inflammation reduction to relaxation and mood improvement. 

These chemicals are present in Indica plants, although the specific chemicals, and terpenes present and their levels can vary depending on the strain. For Indicas the CBD content tends to match the THC content present in the plant. Although to get more detail into the chemical profile of a strain will require lab testing. Generally, strains come with their chemical profiles for more detailed information.

woman sitting

What kind of effects does Indica have?

Indica is described as the more relaxing and mellow of the two main types of cannabis. You’ll often hear these effects being used to describe Indica’s effects recreationally:

  • Indica has a more relaxing effect, making it suitable for nighttime use, or when you want to relax.
  • It acts as a sedative, which is a result of the higher level of CBD compared to Sativa.
  • Its relaxing effects can help reduce nausea, and pain and increase your appetite.

This helps paint the image of Indica-type strains giving a relaxing, couch-locking effect when consuming it. While it may be easy to look at the main effects. There are also side effects to consider when consuming cannabis: Benefits of CBD Article

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry Eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Lethargy
  • Increased heart rate
  • Decreased blood pressure.

It should be noted that these effects are linked to THC, rather than other chemicals. You should also consider the way you consume cannabis. Smoking and vaping will also affect your lungs and airways compared to taking cannabis orally. So it’s worth looking into which way of consuming cannabis will work best for you. CBD & Smoking Accessories Article


How can I consume Indica?

There are multiple ways you can consume Indica. The most common way is by smoking it. Smoking is one of the fastest ways to feel the effects of chemical compounds. This can be done by rolling joints, blunts, or spliffs. Using pipes such as CBD Bubble Hash, chillums, and dugouts. Bongs can also be another alternative for smoking cannabis.

You can also consume cannabis by cooking with it. There are a variety of recipes that you can use to consume cannabis orally, with brownies and gummies being popular. The effects will take longer to kick in, as the compounds will have to be digested first. The flip side is that the effects are likely to be much more potent.

When consuming any cannabis product, it’s important to understand these points:

  • Know what you’re looking for, whether you are looking for something specific like insomnia or anxiety relief or just recreational use.                  CBD Hash for Anxiety: Does it Really Work Article
  • Your medical history can play a part in how cannabis affects your body. If you’re on medication and/or have an existing medical condition. Checking with a doctor or another healthcare professional is a good way of finding out the benefits and risks.
  • Your tolerance can mean the difference between a strain being too light, or too strong. Some strains are meant for lower tolerances, starting with them will make the effects much more manageable and enjoyable.

Ultimately it’d be up to you how you would like to consume Indica. Just remember to go about it safely and responsibly. You’re looking to enjoy the benefits, not end up regretting it.


Cannabis products aren’t legal everywhere in the United States. While some states have legalized cannabis for medical and recreational use, the laws are constantly changing. Generally states that allow medical cannabis products are specific about their THC content. You should check the laws in your state regarding the legality of cannabis products and their use. Federally, cannabis is still illegal and you can face legal consequences if you don’t know the legality of it. Keep in mind that outside of the United States, you are subject to different laws. The Impact of Hemp Legalization CBD Status on Health and Wellness Article


To sum up, terpenes are the elements that are responsible for the way how plants smell. While terpenes are found on many plants, herbs, and fruits, cannabis has them in abundance. Terpenes might prove beneficial to humans. Therefore, researchers continue to study terpenes to understand more about their medicinal and therapeutic uses.

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