If you’re familiar with the world of cannabis products, then you probably already know that many products and strains are classified as being a certain “type” of cannabis: sativa vs indica, or hybrid.
Similarly, you may be confused or frustrated that CBD hemp oil products don’t seem to abide by the same rules and may wonder, “Are CBD Hemp Oil Products Sativa, Indica or Hybrid?”
In this article we will discuss the practical differences when discussing sativa vs indica, above all, how they apply to the hemp CBD world.
Indica, Sativa and Hybrids
Indica products are commonly known for their ability to make you relaxed, sedated, or even sleepy, and most often remembered by the phrase, “In-da-couch”. In other words, this means that indica strains leave you “in the couch” and stationary. Therefore, an indica is usually associated with a “body high” when consumed as products containing appreciable psychoactive amounts of THC.
Sativa products are on the opposite end of the spectrum because Sativa is commonly known for its uplifting, invigorating feelings and one that promotes a creative outlook. They are a common choice for those wishing to remain active with no sedating side-effects and are often chosen for their ability to give you a “head high”.
Hybrid products, on the other hand, are a general mix between the two. They can lean towards one way, such as being a “sativa dominant hybrid” and typically take on the effects of the dominant strain.
What Does This Mean?
When learning about cannabis and whether a strain is sativa vs indica, it’s important to note that it is all Cannabis Sativa. In other words, the indica and sativa names have to do with the subspecies of Cannabis Sativa. Therefore, this is understandably confusing when trying to have discussions about strains or cannabis products.
The vast majority of hemp technically leans towards being sativa, however, there’s more to it than that. For instance, when we talk about the legal classification of what makes cannabis hemp, it has to do with the THC content being under 0.3% THC.
When hemp is harvested, it’s often harvested early in the life cycle in order to keep the THC content down. This, in turn, can stunt the production of terpenes and other minor cannabinoids. The terpenes in particular are important because they help determine the sativa vs indica “feelings”.
Terpenes are largely responsible for whether or not a strain provides the sought after “sativa” vs “indica” feelings. In all honesty, the vast majority of strains are actually sativa or indica dominant hybrids, even if they are not labeled as such.
However, sativa vs indica labeling needs to be taken with a grain of salt because very few are “pure” due to years of breeding and crossbreeding. Furthermore, the strain one person may have access to can very well be different than what another has access to, even if they’re called by the same strain name.
It’s largely accepted that the terpene Myrcene is most responsible for causing a strain to be “indica.” For instance, if you take a look at many CBD hemp oil products, you will notice that the vast majority are quite low in myrcene content, and therefore, they do not really fit into the stereotypical indica label. Instead, many hemp products are more commonly found with terpenes such as limonene or caryophyllene.
Does this mean all hemp-derived CBD products will be uplifting?
No. Despite being called a sativa, it’s still most often a hybrid and therefore may not always fit into the “uplifting and energizing” category. We all react differently to the various strains, despite the labels.
This is one of the reasons we advocate for terpene lab tests that show the levels of terpenes in products. These lab tests enable consumers to make educated decisions without having to rely on labels in an unregulated industry.
In addition, a common way to get indica hemp oil products is the addition of terpenes back into products, effectively boosting the effects one way or another, depending on the chosen terpenes. These added terpenes are often food-grade rather than cannabis derived.
In conclusion, you will rarely come across a CBD hemp oil product explicitly labeled as “indica” or “sativa.” Even if you do, we highly recommend always checking the third-party lab tests to see the terpene content for yourself.