Everything you Need to Know About Sativa

PW Team
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The General Perception

Sativa is generally thought of in contrast to Indica and is known for inducing a cerebral head high. That’s true, but there’s more to Sativa than a head high. Here we discuss everything you need to know about Sativa. 

Refresh on Cannabinoids

It’s important to remember that when it comes to the strains of cannabis, cannabinoids are the primary elements responsible for it’s effects. Botanists say that there can be up to 144 different cannabinoids in any given cannabis plant, but the two primary cannabinoids are tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

When Consumed, What Will Sativa Do?

Sativa strains are generally energizing and have higher levels of THC than most Indicas. Many sativa users have felt a burst of creative energy and a heightened sense of awareness. These users also say they feel more physically energetic and motivated, according to Cresco Labs.

It’s not hard to understand why people prefer this type of high during the daytime -- for physical activities, social gatherings, and creative projects etc.

We suggest to proceed with a bit of caution, as with any other strain, because with the good, there is always bad. There have been cases where users have become overwhelmed with the effects of some sativa strains, so it’s important to ask your budtender about the cannabinoid testing percentage before you make your next purchase.

Sativa Effects on the Brain and Body

When we experience pain, inflammation, stress — or have issues related to fear or mood — our body naturally releases endocannabinoids. They then pass through our endocannabinoid system and help fight off those unwanted sensations, says Beatriz Carlini, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Washington.

Since the cannabinoids in marijuana look and act the same as the cannabinoids our bodies naturally make, they're able to latch onto those receptors in our brains. 

When it comes to cannabinoid receptors, there are two types in our brains (that researchers know of): 

CB1, which are mostly located in areas of the brain that are associated with learning, memory, reward, anxiety, pain and control of movement. (check out this)

CB2, which is associated with the immune system. The cannabinoids throw your usual system out of whack, boosting certain signals and interfering with others. Which is why marijuana's effects can range from a feeling of relaxation and pain relief to clumsiness, anxiety (or lack thereof) and even the munchies.

Short Term Effects

How quickly you feel those results all depends on whether you smoke, vape or ingest edibles.

"When you smoke, (cannabis) travels into the bloodstream very quickly," says Thorsten Rudroff, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Colorado State University who studies cannabis use in patients with multiple sclerosis. "When you eat it, it can take up to 20 or 30 minutes before you can feel the effect."

Every Individual is Affected Differently

While some people swear that there are distinct sativa effects, others are skeptical if there are any real differences between sativas, indicas and hybrids at all. It’s kind of the same way that ADHD medication may have desired effects on some people, but have adverse effects on others. 

It’s hard to predict the effects of any given strain with 100% certainty because every individual, every experience, and every setting are different. There are so many variables when it comes to consuming marijuana that it’s almost impossible to tell if there are distinct and tangible effects of the different strains. If the same individual smokes the same exact strain at two different times, the outcome can be totally different.

The best way to truly know the effects is to experiment with an open mind. Figure out what works for you personally and what doesn’t. 

Sativa Side Effects:

We all love the effects of weed, but it’s no secret that marijuana can also induce unwanted side effects.

This includes:

  • dry mouth
  • dry eyes
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • lethargy
  • increased heart rate
  • decreased blood pressure

Best Climate to Grow Sativa

Cannabis sativa is indigenous to hotter climates closer to the equator. Sativa originated in Central and South America. This strain of cannabis is typically distinguished by its long, thin leaves, lighter color, and tall, airy buds.

What Does the Sativa Plant Look Like?

Sativa is a subspecies of the genus cannabis and has sporadic foliage. It’s light-green, thin-fingered, delicate leaves make it easy to recognize and in some strains can grow to around 10 feet tall.

Sativas can also be distinguished by the smell, the aroma of sweet, fruity, or spicy. This difference is the result of terpenes, the molecules within the plant that are cousins to cannabinoids.

Additional Sativa Insights

Can sativa help you lose weight?

While there's no evidence that marijuana can directly lead to weight loss, some have looked at it contributing indirectly. Cannabis is known for helping users with issues, including chronic pain and poor sleep, both of which can contribute to higher body weight.

What happens when you mix sativa and coffee?

While there’s no evidence to suggest that marijuana and caffeine simply cancel each other out, two studies suggest that mixing the two may enhance some of marijuana’s effects.

Pros and Cons of Sativa (Conclusion)

Like we said before, everyone is affected differently when it comes to marijuana, but some common pros and cons are as follows:

Sativa Pros:

  • Cerebral or heady high
  • Does Not cause drowsiness 
  • More creative high
  • High feels caffeinated and makes you productive

Sativa cons:

  • May cause anxiety
  • Increases heart rate 
  • Feels like mind is racing 
  • Restless feeling 
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