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Buyer's Guide

What is Cannabis Indica?



If you happened to ask a dozen smokers their favorite strain, you would probably come up with a dozen different answers. Some prefer a hit that will knock their socks off, while some would prefer a mellow, relaxed stone. Some are looking for a head high while others just want to feel their bodies relax.

How does an Indica high feel like? When you hear a seasoned user asking for a strain that’s “fire”, “bomb” or “loud”, he’s probably referring to a potent indica strain.

Join us as we explore the mellow, relaxing stone of Indica as well as take a better look at its properties.

What is Indica?

Cannabis Indica originated from the Middle East. To be more specific, it has its roots in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tibet. The cultivars of cannabis indica are shorter than sativa plants and they generally have a broader, bushy appearance with dark-green leaves. They are popular with home growers because they have high yields within a shorter duration.

For the longest time, indica strains have been associated with a strong body high which is also referred to as couch lock. However, not all indica strains act in this way, especially when the strain is a hybrid.

What Does Indica Feel Like?

You are not wrong; the typical Indica high can be described as being a mellow, relaxed stone.

Indica’s effect on the human body is usually referred to as being “stoned” or having a “body high.” This means that you are likely to feel its effects throughout your body as opposed to in your head. You are bound to feel very relaxed, which could eventually lead to a feeling of drowsiness and even sedation. Indica highs also tend to enhance your other senses like sound, smell and touch.

Its high could also be described as a lethargic one that is almost a “lazy body high.”

Despite being profoundly relaxing, the body high could sometimes be heavy, giving you the urge to just sit on the couch and relax. This effect is commonly referred to as “couch lock”.

Though Indica strains are believed to cause your attention span to become shorter, you might be surprised that they could inspire creativity.

Most prominently, Indica strains are known to give relief. They have the ability to give relief from anxiety, stress, body pain, migraines and spasms. They can also help in the relaxation of muscles as well as reduction in the frequency of seizures. As a whole, Indica strains are known to fight nausea and depression.

The last effect of Indica, sedation can be realized with even very small doses. This is why it is a great sleeping aid.

Best Indica Strains

We will now delve into individual Indica strains and discuss their specific highs.

Hindu Kush: If you are a fan of Indica strains, you are probably familiar with Hindu Kush. This is a purebred that originates from the mountain range called that Hindu Kush that falls between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Hindu Kush will give you that mellow high that will help you wind down beautifully from a hard day of work as you relax on your balcony and watch the sun set. If you are looking for a long-lasting euphoric high, this is it.

Northern Lights: This is another classic. It has a hard-hitting high that is the perfect definition of being stoned. It also comes with serious munchies, so be prepared.

Granddaddy Purple: As its name suggests, this is the father of the father of all purple flowers. It originates from a crossing of Purple Urkle and Bid Bud. Expect the wonderful taste of a bag of grapes. Not ony does it taste delicious, it also has very potent effects. Its high is a fusion of physical relaxation and cerebral euphoria. It might set your thoughts fee to float away in a dreamy buzz but your body will definitely stay put for the duration of the high. Medically, it is used to combat stress, pain, insomnia, muscle spasms and appetite loss.

Blueberry: This strain also has Afghani roots mixed in with some Thai ones. Bred by DJ Short, Blueberry will give you a relaxed happy high that may just slump you over. If you are in search of a night cap which will also appeal to your taste buds, look no further.

9 LB Hammer: The connotation of a hard hit is not too far off with this one. You will experience a heavy head high that will slowly creep across the rest of your body. Don’t be surprised if you can’t drag yourself out of bed for the next hours.

Forbidden Fruit: Born of a cross between Cherry Pie AND Tangie, this strain tastes like a fruit cocktail. Its effects are lighter than most indicas and instead of giving you a sleepy heavy feeling, you will feel a relaxing euphoria

G-13: Now comes an interesting story. It is rumored that G-13 was as Government experiment that put together 13 of the most potent Indica strains. As the story would have it, a disgruntled agent leaked it to the public and that is how we got the opportunity to share in this top secret substance.

As far-fetched as this story is, you can definitely understand why someone would go to these lengths to concoct it. This strain is simply gob smacking. It has an intense high that will get you “stoned” in the classic way. It has an intense high that will have you staring into space watching monkeys fly.

Death Star: Why this strain got this name, we might never know. It is an Indica-dominant strain which is a cross between Sour Diesel and Sensi Star. This strain is a particularly sedative hybrid. Its effects are highly euphoric and it is known to promote spontaneous laughter as well as a sense of well-being.

Strawberry Banana: This is a particularly potent award winning strain from DNA Genetics. It has both a drowsy and a euphoric high. A cross between Bubble Gum and Banana Kush, Strawberry Banana encourages deep relaxation accompanied by a jolly metal high. Though it will make you feel drowsy, it doesn’t have a completely sedative effect. Mostly considered an evening strain, some people can get away with daytime consumption, especially because it is such a yummy treat.

Romulan: Named after an alien in Star Trek (imagine that), Romulan will give you intens cerebral effects. It is a potent Indica strain that is revered because of its powerful therapeutic qualities.

It has a deep relaxing sedating high that can get you through massive amounts of pain and insomnia to give you that much needed night of rest. It is also great in helping patients suffering from nerve damage as well as muscle spasms. In summary, it provides a full-body calm that has heavy intoxicating properties.

Medical Uses of Indica Strains

Preliminary research has pointed out that Indica plants tend to have a higher concentration of CBD than sativa plants. This is why a majority of Indica effects coincide with those of CBD. Indica strains therefore show great promise in resolving the below medical conditions:

  • Sleep and insomnia
  • Anxiety relief
  • Inflammation relief
  • Seizure reduction
  • Muscle spasticity

While using Indica strains to medicate any of these conditions, it is recommended that you use proven breeds like Afghan Kush, Northern Lights or Romulan. Most of these strains should be easily purchased from a cannabis dispensary.

What factors can affect Indica high?

By understanding the factors and circumstances that will have an effect on your high, you can make informed decisions that will give you the high you want.

Set & setting: Different scenarios can have a wildly different effect on your high. Consuming your weed in a relaxed environment will give you a much different experience than smoking it in a crowded waiting area. Always set your environment for the best effect.

Delivery method: The method you choose to take your weed will affect your experience. The most common methods of taking your weed are smoking, vaping, pessaries or eating edibles. Some methods like smoking will introduce the active components into your bloodstream in a matter of seconds while edibles have to wait for the process of digestion, which causes a delayed high.

It is also easier to control the amount of cannabis you take with some methods than it is with others.

Dose: Just as with method, different amounts will have different effects on you. That’s obvious, right?


Different people react differently to pot, so what may knock one down may not even scratch the surface for another. In trying to hit your sweet spot, you might need to find the exact amount that is perfect for you. Too little and it’s a waste of effort, too much and the sound of closing door will freak you out.

It is important to note that it is even harder to dose when it comes to edibles. So go slow….very slow.

Cannabinoid profile: Whether a strain is Indica or Sativa, its cannabinoid profile has a huge bearing on the effects it solicits. High THC strains will give you crazy psychedelic effects while high CBD strains are generally known to be relaxing.

Depending on the high you are looking for; remember to consider this as well. It is also important to note that the ratio in which these cannabinoids occur also makes a different. Two strains can have 23% THC with one strain having 10% CBD and another 2% CBD. The strain with a lower CBD ratio will have milder effects as the CBD will counteract some of the high THC effects.

Terpenes: Terpenes are compounds found in plants that give them their characteristic smells and taste. They also possess other qualities that can be therapeutic or even medicinal. Cannabis generally has an abundance of terpenes, and so when you smoke your blunt and have a certain feeling, terpenes have certainly contributed to it. Some terpenes such as Linalool have the effect of relaxing you while Limonene is a stress reliever.

Though future research will make terpenes even better understood, their role in your current high cannot be ignored.

Age: Age has a significant role in how a cannabis high hits you. If you are young and excited, it’s likely to uplift you even more as opposed to an older person who might experience less effects, sometimes not even as pleasant.

Though more research needs to be done in this field, it’s important to re-evaluate what you take and how you take it as you grow older.

Tolerance: It is not a myth. Some people tolerate weed much better than others. The exact reasons for these can span across body chemistry, frequency of consumption, weight, metabolism and many more characteristics. It’s important to know your personal tolerance, especially if you are smoking in a group.


Anecdotal evidence has it that sativa strains will energize and inspire you while indica ones will put you to sleep and make you feel relaxed. While this is generally true, especially in native strains, the effect of breeding has led to indicas that can inspire you and sativas that can put you to sleep. It is therefore important to understand what you are looking for in your high and turn to either an Indica or Sativa, but it is also as important to gauge your own reaction to that particular strain.

That said, we hope we have given you enough information to understand what an indica does and how an Indica high typically feels like.


Lydia K. (Bsc. RN) is a cannabis writer, which, considering where you’re reading this, makes perfect sense. Currently, she is a regular writer for Mace Media. In the past, she has written for MyBud, RX Leaf & Dine Magazine (Canada), CBDShopy (UK) and Cannavalate & Pharmadiol (Australia). She is best known for writing epic news articles and medical pieces. Occasionally, she deviates from news and science and creates humorous articles. And boy doesn't she love that! She equally enjoys ice cream, as should all right-thinking people.