The majority of people think of Ambien when they hear the word “indica.” We’ve long associated the effects of indica cannabis strains with being couch-locked. While it’s true that some indicas may put you to sleep, you can’t simply lump an entire third of weed plants into one category.
There are thousands of indica strains, and each one may produce a different effect on users. Some might make you feel calm and cheerful, while others might make you sleepy or weary. It all depends on your body’s needs, so knowing what your body needs to be happy is essential. Here are seven of the best indicas for beginners to try out.
Effects associated with indica strains
Cannabis indica strains are often said to have the following effects:
- Relaxing. People say cannabis indica strains help their muscles relax and their brains slow down.
- Sedating. Many find that indica strains make them sleepy, which may be a good thing for people with insomnia.
- Pain-relieving. Indica strains are often recommended for people looking to use cannabis for chronic or acute pain.
- Appetite-inducing. Yep, “the munchies” aren’t necessarily a bad thing, especially if you have a low appetite due to a medical condition or treatment.
- Nausea-soothing. Many find that indica strains also help with nausea and keeping food down.
Watermelon Indica, also known as Watermelon Indica, is a mysterious strain of unknown parentage. This bud’s unspecified genetic background brings a rich mix of terpenes that have resulted in a unique watermelon aroma. Beyond its refreshing summery flavor, this strain is valued for its long-lasting sedative power. Watermelon’s THC content has been measured at between 11% and 22%.
Watermelon Indica is marked by large, chunky flowers that tend to maintain their shape when trimmed. These buds adhere in the relatively loose, piecey structure usually associated with sativa varieties. The fluffy leaves, which can easily be torn away from their central stems, are a bright shade of yellowish green. These flowers are also filled with curly orange hairs (which are actually pistils, botanical structures meant to catch pollen from fertilizing male plants. Capping off the impressive buds is a thick blanket of trichomes that gives them a white sheen and a very sticky texture.
Hindu Kush is a pure indica from the Hindu Kush mountain range between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its compact buds usually have a vibrant white shine to them due to the stark coat of trichomes on top of light green flowers. An original landrace strain, Hindu Kush is believed to be one of the first plants to be used for hash.
Hindu Kush terpenes usually hit the nose with a sweet and piney aroma, while the smoke can have sweet, floral, and pine flavors. Effects-wise, most people expect to feel a calm and relaxing cerebral high that pairs great with the ending of a long day on your balcony. Hindu Kush is a great suggestion for anyone seeking a long-lasting euphoric experience.
Just as old as Hindu Kush is the famous Northern Lights. Its influence on the world of indicas can’t be stated enough. This Afghani descendant is known for having resinous buds and skunky terpenes that fill the room when the plant is cured. You can expect sweet and herbal flavors when you smoke it.
Equally as potent as it is stinky, most consumers report a hard-hitting body high that’ll leave you on stuck mode for the remainder of the evening. If you’re looking to get stoned and run through a sack of gas station snacks, this — or its popular phenotype Northern Lights #5 — may be the one.
Granddaddy Purple is that classic purple flower that completely changed the game of weed aesthetics. It’s a cross of Purple Urkle and Bid Bud that first came to life in 2003. Though plenty of purple flowers existed before it, GDP was one of the first to become a household name in weed culture. No budtender hears “purp” without immediately thinking of this strain.
Granddaddy Purple is world famous for its deep purple buds that give off sweet, grapey, earthy terpenes. Picture if you were to buy a bag of grapes and roll them in a blunt, that’s smoking Granddaddy Purple.
From legendary breeder DJ Short comes DJ Short’s Blueberry, or simply Blueberry, another indica-leaning strain with Afghani (and Thai) genetics. It has compact green buds stacked with an assortment of purple and red-coloring that make it as pretty as it is flavorful.
As its name suggests, Blueberry smells and tastes like fresh fruit from your neighborhood Farmers Market. Whether consumed as flower or concentrate, those berry terps are shining through. Most consumers feel a relaxed, happy, and slumped-over type of body high after consuming Blueberry. If you’re looking for a night cap that appeals to your taste buds, check out this strain.
9 LB Hammer
9 LB Hammer is a heavy indica that hits your head just like that: a 9 LB hammer. A cross of Gooberry and an OG Kush varietal, 9 LB genetics usually produce dense flowers with dark green colors and a blended coat of white trichomes. On the terpene side of things, you can expect a 9 LB hammer to smell earthy and somewhat chemmy, while tasting mostly like the former.
Where this strain lacks in terps, it more than makes up for it in effects. Most people feel a heavy head high that slowly creeps into the body, causing you to starfish in bed for the next couple of hours.
Personally speaking, 9 LB hammer doesn’t make me sleepy, but it does produce a super duper stone that makes me want to never move again.
For the last fruity suggestion, it was a toss up between Grape Ape or Forbidden Fruit. And I had to go with Forbidden Fruit for three reasons:
- It’s one of the most beautiful cannabis flowers on the planet.
- The terpenes are usually pretty consistent no matter who grows it.
- Last week I smoked it with my grandma and she was blown away by how good it tasted.
Forbidden Fruit was born by crossing Cherry Pie with Tangie. The result is a staunchly purple flower, covered in a flurry of orange hairs, that gives off an extremely tropical guava-like aroma. When consumed, it’ll taste like you’re smoking a bowl of fruit cocktail, and the effects are much lighter than people associate with indicas and purple strains. Instead of sleepy and down, you’ll feel a relaxing euphoria that makes everything a little funnier.
You can’t talk about indica cannabis strains and not mention the lochness monster of the weed world: G-13.
Legend has it that G-13, or Government Indica Strain 13, was a U.S. Government experiment where the intelligence agencies (CIA, FBI, etc.) collected all of the “best” and “most potent” indicas from all over the world, then bred them together to create the Megazord of all cannabis strains. The alleged reason we can all go to a dispensary and purchase this super secret government mission of a strain is because some disgruntled government agent stole a cut of the plant and leaked it to the public. Chances are that this story is not true, but it’s okay to believe it anyway.
What is true is that G-13 will absolutely knock your socks off. Regardless of how you consume it, both G-13 flower and oil usually makes people feel hungry, relaxed, and sleepy, i.e. stoned out of their minds. Its intense high might not put you to bed, but it will make you stare off into space for the next few hours as you wonder why some people don’t have middle names.
A quick note about strains
As you read about strains, keep in mind that their effects aren’t always consistent. A strain from one company might feel very different from another company’s version of that same strain.
If you find a strain that works really well for you, try to research its other properties. What are the main terpenes in it? What’s the THC to CBD ratio? Does the label mention any other cannabinoids, like CBG or CBN?
It’s also worth mentioning that everyone’s experience with cannabis differs. This is based on their physiology and prior experience.
If you frequently consume cannabis, for example, you’ll likely have a higher tolerance for THC. If you’re in a familiar environment with friends, your experience might be different from if you were consuming alone in a new, unfamiliar place.