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Indica / Sativa: Not So Black & White

Cannabis is often categorized by indica, sativa and hybrid, and while these categories are a helpful guide, there are many factors to consider when it comes to how certain strains makes you feel. When looking at the physiological effects and benefits of cannabis, narrowing a specific strain down to indica, sativa and hybrid limits the complexity of the plant.

Terpenes and cannabinoid synergy is what we should discuss when talking about both the medicinal and physical effects of cannabis. Cannabinoid compounds and terpenes work together to magnify the medicinal benefits of cannabis—rather than just

CBD or just THC, the whole plant is better than its individual parts.

This concept is called the entourage effect. “Cannabis is inherently polypharmaceutical,” Dr. John McPartland states, “and synergy arises from interactions between its multiple components.”

Terpenes are responsible for the scent of cannabis, while cannabinoids are the chemical compounds found within the plant itself. Both are believed to provide relief for a myriad of symptoms such as anxiety, inflammation and pain. Rather than regarding terpenes and cannabinoids in a separate context, it’s important to understand that both work hand in hand to provide benefits; for

instance, terpenes and CBD can reduce anxiety that some people feel from high-THC strains.

So, while you may reach for that indica, sativa or hybrid strain because of its cannabinoid content, consider also the terpenoid profile of that strain. How will the smell impact the way you feel? Will the entourage effect change the strains you choose?

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