Do Indica And Sativa Cannabis Strains Cause Edibles To Have Different Effects?
4 min

Do Indica And Sativa Cannabis Strains Cause Edibles To Have Different Effects?

4 min
Headshop Recipes
From the way our bodies respond to sativas and indicas to expectations we set before consuming edibles, multiple influences shape our edibles experience.

Cannabis enthusiasts can appreciate the many different strains available, all of which have their own effects. From sativa strains that give us energy to indicas that relax us after a long day, both pack their own unique benefits. But have you ever wondered how the effects of indicas and sativas differ in edibles, or if they do at all?

Although the answer isn't a clear yes or no, there are many reasons as to why "it depends" is a suitable conclusion. From the way our bodies respond to sativas and indicas to expectations we set before consuming edibles, multiple influences shape our edibles experience.


Sativa vs Indica

If you ask someone why they prefer a sativa, chances are they will tell you it gives them energy, uplifts them, and sparks creativity. On the other hand, an indica lover would probably say they prefer to chill out and be relaxed. Indeed, everyone has a reason for liking indicas and sativas. However, scientists and other professionals have been challenging the differences in effects for some time now, leading many people to wonder why consumers view them differently.

Many edible companies, such as Botanica, sell products that have both indica and sativa labels on them. Being that their edible line Spot contains these labels, there is indeed a difference between their two types of products.

“There are 150-ish molecules that are interacting with our bodies when we intake cannabis. It can’t just be THC. CBN acts as an analgesic; CBD is an anti-inflammatory, THCV in different ratios and potencies can either make you more paranoid or less paranoid. It’s alchemy of plant matter.”

Being that it's important to know the differences of the compounds called cannabinoids, infusion artists at Botanica strive to maintain the chemical profiles by gently processing their starter strains and slowly cooking at lower temperatures. All in which help preserve the most important parts of the plant. And this includes more than just THC.

An equally significant influence have terpenes, the essential oils that give cannabis its strong smell. Moreover, terpenes also alter the effects that come from THC and other cannabinoids. For this reason, more attention is paid to these fragrant blends when choosing specific strains for their effects. On the other hand, not everyone can agree on what exactly makes indicas different from sativas when it comes to effects. Marketing manager Eileen Namanny of The Goodship explained what happens when using their method of extraction.

“In our extraction process, the cannabinoid profiles are maintained, but the terpene profiles are lost. So if the effect is based more on terpenes than on cannabinoids, then you’re going to lose that unless you introduce terpenes later. Or if it is those cannabinoid profile ratios, and those are what’s driving the effect, then I think that could be maintained.”

The differences between indicas and sativas can depend on the cannabinoids, terpenes, or even a combination of both. But can you differentiate the two of them when baking?


Ultimately, when attempting to tell the difference between the two main types of cannabis while baking, you're going to want to pick two entirely different strains. Specifically, a sativa and an indica. Even when baking using the same amount of heat and cooking time for both, is it possible to tell a difference without knowing which is which?

When baking, the results can alter substantially if not done properly. For example, failing to homogenize the butter would make for an uneven batch. In other words, one person may get a brownie that's potent as hell. Meanwhile, the other can get one that doesn't do much of anything at all. Thus, making it difficult to conclude whether or not you can tell a definite difference between the two.

Important to realize with edibles is that everyone is different. Not only do our bodies respond differently to cannabis, but our metabolisms also differ in response to the herb. Namely, Goodship's Will Ritthaler says controlling one's endocannabinoid system is not possible.


Cannabis edibles

“There’s no control for different people’s endocannabinoid systems. The tests in the labs will give you potency results, but you’re always going to back to somewhat of a subjective filter.”

In fact, the personal filter Ritthaler refers to plays a vital role in how we illuminate the experiences of indica and sativa, as well as what we expect from both. For example, an individual with a low tolerance to edibles may experience overwhelming anxiety when eating a highly potent brownie. However, a more experienced edible consumer with a higher tolerance can eat that same brownie, and it won't affect them at all. With this in mind, our experiences and how our bodies react to them have a lot to do with how we differentiate sativa and indica.

So, we know that baking at home may not lead us to concluding results. But what about professionally baked goods?


On some labels of products that sell separately as sativa or indica, it usually doesn't specify what effects you'll experience. Typically, the labels only read "indica" or "sativa". However, would you be able to tell a difference if you had no clue which is which?

As a matter of fact, the results of this test can vary due to your perception. For example, say you are someone who only feels uplifting effects during the day. If you take an edible during the afternoon, and it boosts your mood and energy level, you're going to assume it's a sativa. However, if you consume the other edible at night and it knocks you out, you're going to assume it's an indica.

Knowing that it's one of the two, you're going to base your guess off of what you already know and have experienced from each. Meanwhile, your answer could be totally wrong just because you chose to base your answer off of your perception. All in all, your body's response is what ultimately led you to your guess.

To put in another way, what if you knew which was which? Would you have reacted differently? What would happen if you took both during the morning, afternoon, or at night? These are just a few questionable points that require further research. Moreover, finding the answers to these questions can help consumers find products that work best for them and their needs. And Lena from Botanica seems to agree.

“We want a product that’s going to get consumers out of this THC-focused mentality. We wanted to create a brand that allows you to relate to the experience emotionally. You might say, ‘I like the concept of a sativa edible,’ or ‘I like the idea of an indica edible.’ But it had to be deeper than a concept. It had to be proven in your body’s experience.”


Sativa or indica


Although the answers remain uncertain in regards to the differences in indicas and sativas, there are absolute facts about edibles that are important to know.

First, mind your tolerance. Being that high tolerances can handle more cannabis, those with a low tolerance should stick to smaller doses. Second, pay attention to the time of day. After all, our bodies are more energized at certain times rather than others. Third, edibles made at home may not produce the same effects. For example, you may fail to homogenize a batch of brownies correctly. Thus, creating an uneven bunch in regards to potency. And perhaps the most important of all is number four: What you expect is what you'll experience. To emphasize, if you expect to fall asleep, chances are you're going to fall asleep.


  Guest Writer  

Written by: Guest Writer
Occasionally we have guest writers contribute to our blog here at Zamnesia. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences, making their knowledge invaluable.

      Find out about our writers  

Read more about
Headshop Recipes
Search in categories