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With so many different cannabis varieties out there it can be a daunting task to try to find the perfect strain for your needs. Indica strains come in all shapes and sizes and with varying levels of CBD and THC and they are the most commonly used variety of cannabis for relieving medical issues such as, stress, pain relief, insomnia and anxiety.  

By the time you have finished reading this article you will be an expert on all things indica and should be able to answer your question of what the best indica strains are for absolutely anything and everything! And for all you cash croppers and THC chasers, we will cover the most potent Indica strains (including the strongest strain on the planet!) and the best highest yielding Indica strain (what can we say, we are always looking to make a cultivator’s work as straightforward as possible). Without further ado, let us begin…

Indica vs Sativa – What are the differences?

Indica Heritage: Indica landrace strains originated from Northern Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, and Nepal. Due to cross-breeding, many of the Indica strains on the market are hybrids, meaning they also contain Sativa genetics. It is possible to find some Landrace strains, but most cannabis consumers prefer a mix of both genetics. 

Sativa Heritage: Sativa strains grow naturally in tropical climates and are native to South East Asia, South America and Africa. Many sativa dominant strains are also hybrids meaning they also contain indica genetics. However, landrace sativas such as Durban Poison, Thai Stick and Acapulco Gold have not been hybridised and contain no Indica genetics.

Indica Physical Attributes: Indica strains are short, bushy, compact plants with short, fat, and dark green fan leaves. Indica strains typically grow between 120 – 200cm in height with a dense foliage and large tightly packed together buds that develope into what we call colas. They take a lot less time to grow to full maturity with typical flowering time 8-10 weeks.

Sativa Physical Attributes: Sativa plants are tall and with long branches and thin, long leaves that are spread out among their scattered foliage. They can grow up to 600cm outdoors, three times the height of most indicas. Their buds are spread out over their long branches in clusters of what often resembles popcorn. They typically take around 10 – 14 weeks to flower.

Indica Chemical composition: Indica strains normally have slightly higher levels of CBD and THC and are generally preferred for medical use. 

Sativa Chemical composition: Sativa strains often have a lower CBD to THC ratio and they are generally used as daytime strains.

Indica Effects: Indica strains provide a body-centered high. The physical effects are relaxing, with some being sedating. When you hear about cannabis causing couch-lock, Indica genetics are responsible. The strains help with pain, nausea, fatigue, and appetite. Additionally, Indicas’ effects have also been likened to a sleeping pill, making them effective, natural sleep inducers.

Sativa Effects: Sativa strains are usually slightly lower in potency but provide more of an uplifting energetic high. Because of their stimulating effect on the brain sativas are often used as daytime smokes where they can provide extra focus or help artists and musicians to get their creative juices flowing.

NOTE: How consumers experience cannabis is not standard. Several factors, such as prior experience, cannabinoid composition, terpene profile, and physiological factors, all play a part in shaping the experience. 

Strongest Indica strain

Potent strains are best reserved for regular and everyday cannabis consumers. They can easily knock out anyone who takes a higher dose, hence the need to be cautious. If you are looking for a potent Indica to grow or to offer a new, exhilarating experience, the three strains highlighted below should be your top pick.

Strain THC contentCBD contentDominant terpenesAdditional information 
Godfather OG 34%1%Myrcene, Pinene, Camphene, and CaryophylleneThis is not only the most potent Indica strain but also the most powerful strain of all time. With soaring THC levels, Godfather OG provides an extremely sedating high coupled with mild euphoria, and full-body relaxation. The Don of all OGs is a cross between XXX OG and Alpha OG and has an earthy, herbal, pine, and sweet flavor. 
Do Si Dos 28% to 30%<1%Limonene, Myrcene, Linalool, and HumuleneDo Si Dos is a contemporary, Indica-dominant strain with soaring THC levels. This is a couch-lock queen that will keep you numb, while still maintaining mental acuity. This excellent evening strain results from a cross between GSC and Face Off OG. It is easy to grow and takes 8 to 10 weeks to flower. 
Skywalker OG20% to 26%1%Myrcene, Limonene, CaryophylleneThis potent Indica strain provides long-lasting sedating and couch-lock effects. Skywalker OG is an aesthetic strain characterized by purple, green, and orange hues. The dripping resin gives it a shiny look when placed under light. A cross between Mazar Sharif and Blueberry resulted in this strain with an intense fruity, blueberry, and sweet aroma. 

Best high yielding Indica strains

As a grower, a critical aspect you must consider besides the potency of a strain is the overall yield. Everyone wants an impressive harvest that showcase the time and effort put into the cultivation process. The first step toward achieving high yields is by securing suitable genetics. 

This places you at an advantage; however, you will have to feed the plants accordingly, provide suitable environmental conditions, and protect the plants from pests, diseases, and other pathogens. Some of the high yielding strains include;

Strain THC contentAverage yield indoorsAverage yield outdoorsAbout the strain
Big Bud 15% to 25%700 grams/m2800 to 1200 grams per plantBred specifically for massive yields, the Big Bud strain thrives indoors and outdoors. It is resistant to common biotic and biotic factors and thrives in a warm and sunny environment. The strain flowers for 8 to 10 weeks. 
Mango Kush10% to 16%400-500 grams/m²450-500 grams per plantMango Kush seeds grow to medium-sized plants (150cm) with above-average yield. The strain consists of gigantic, dense buds engulfed with a thick trichome layer. Maintain temperatures between 70⁰F to 80⁰F and check on humidity as the buds are susceptible to bud rot. 
Gelato20% to 27%450-550 grams/m²600-700 grams per plant.Gelato plants do exceptionally well in warm and humid environments. Utilizing the SOG technique can help improve the yields. This strain is best suited for growers with some experience as it tends to require attention and care throughout its growth cycle. Gelato flowers for 8 to 9 weeks and produces pungent aromas, so its advisable to invest in a carbon filter. 

Best Indica strain for sleep

Did you know that over 60% of the global adult population suffers from a sleep-related condition? The market is flooded with sleep-boosting medication and products, each with its side effects. Indica cannabis strains cause sedation and drowsiness, eventually leading to sleep. The advantage cannabis has as a sleep aid is that it does not cause morning-after grogginess or hangovers. Some of the top sleep-inducing Indica strains are;

girl smoking cannabis on bed before sleep

Granddaddy Purple 

Besides its recreational value, GDP is known to help with insomnia, thanks to its profound relaxing effects. The strain melts all the aches and pain, leaving the body more relaxed, calm, and receptive to sleep. Granddaddy Purple is a cross between the revered Big Bud and the visually-appealing Purple Urkle. This Indica hybrid has 17% to 23% THC and 1% CBD. 

Northern Lights

Being an almost pure Indica, Northern Lights is considered the ultimate sleeping aid. The strain relaxes the body and mind, which makes sleep inevitable. This Afghani and Thai cross is best taken in the evening, a few hours before retiring to bed. Northern Lights has 16% to 22% THC and less than 1% CBD. 

Bubba Kush

This is an award-winning Indica strain with a stellar reputation for its potent physical effects. Bubba Kush or Bubba OG provides extremely sedating effects that can overwhelm a novice consumer. These tranquilizer-like effects keep consumers glued to the couch until sleep takes over. Bubba Kush has 14% to 22% THC, although some strains have been known to reach a soaring 27%. CBD levels remain below 1%.

Best Indica strains for anxiety

Anxiety is a leading global health burden condition affecting more than 284 million individuals worldwide. The condition is characterized by constant worry, fear, apprehension, and tension. These feelings affect a person’s everyday life and may sometimes lead to physical symptoms, such as sweating, shortness of breath, trembling, and fast/irregular heartbeat. Some of the stains that help to manage anxiety include;

woman suffering from anxiety holding her head

Ice Cream Cake 

Ice cream cake’s effects make it a suitable choice for managing anxiety. The smooth, relaxing, and calming effects provide instant relief and last a long time. The strain results from a cross between the delicious Weeding Cake and the potent Gelato strain. Besides its powerful anxiolytic properties, the Ice Cream Cake provides mouthwatering creamy, vanilla, herbal, and cheesy flavors. The strain has an average of 23% THC and 0.9% CBD. 

Purple Punch

This strain is famous for its aesthetic appeal and tantalizing flavors. However, there is so much to Purple Punch than this. This Indica hybrid takes away anxiety, stress, and depression by melting the tension and fostering good moods, relaxation, and calmness. This Granddaddy Purple and Larry OG cross has 25% THC and 1% CBD.

Aurora Indica 

This strain is the go-to strain for medical cannabis consumers with anxiety. Aurora Indica is an almost pure Indica with low-medium THC levels ranging from 12% to 20% and less than 1% CBD. This Afghani and Northern Lights cross provides a soothing, tension-relieving, relaxing high coupled with mild cerebral stimulation. 

Best Indica strains for pain

Mild to chronic pain is among the top reasons patients have turned to cannabis. Indica strains help with pain by relaxing the muscles, combating fatigue, and providing full-body relaxation. The strains treat pain resulting from headaches, post-exercise soreness, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, back pain, menstrual pain, and arthritis. Below are the top 3 strains that can help with pain;

woman holding lower back with pain

Girl Scout Cookies 

GSC is a celebrity strain whose benefits bypass its recreational value. The strain provides potent analgesic properties, making it suitable for pain management. Girl Scout Cookies results from a Durban Poison and OG Kush and is best known for its complex flavor profile and potent relaxing, tension-melting, and calming effects. THC levels range between 20% and 27, and CBD levels fall below 1%. 

Alien OG 

This Indica strain is one of the most potent varieties available. Alien OG boasts over 25% THC and less than 1% CBD, making it an excellent choice for veteran consumers looking for some pain-relieving benefits. Experiencing Alien OG (Alien Kush x Tahoe OG) is often described as out of this world- literally. The strain provides a psychedelic-like high that blends uniquely with the potent full-body stone. 

Purple Afghan 

This award-winning strain is a top pick for pain relief. Purple Afghani is the offspring of Afghani and Purple Kush – a genius blend of genetics that resulted in a potent, beautiful, and excellent medical strain. This Indica hybrid mitigates pain and helps with insomnia, appetite loss, and various mental conditions. Purple Afghani boasts THC levels of 25+% and 1% CBD.

Indica Strains FAQ

Is Indica an upper or downer?

Indica effects are generalized as relaxing, calming, sleep-inducing, and sedating (downer effects). The strains also cause couch-lock, which keeps consumers tied to their couches for hours. Indicas strains are therefore referred to as downers, while Sativas are uppers. 

Does Indica weed make you hungry?

When we consume weed, THC interacts with the part of the body responsible for memory, mood, hunger, and temperature. This interaction leads to increased appetite. While both Indica and Sativa strains cause the ‘munchies,’ this effect is more pronounced in Indica strains. This is because most Sativas have a high concentration of THCA, a cannabinoid known for its appetite-stimulating properties. 

Does Indica weed make you paranoid?

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana responsible for euphoria, altered perception, and coordination difficulty. In high doses, THC causes paranoia, confusion, and anxiety. Since both Sativa and Indica strains have THC in varying percentages, it is impossible to point out which cannabis species causes paranoia. 

The effects of marijuana are not shaped by THC percentages only. The consumer’s past experience with weed and the presence of other compounds (CBD, CBT, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes) in a particular strain play a considerable role in determining whether they will experience paranoia and anxiety. Since Indica strains tend to have higher concentrations of CBD, a cannabinoid known for countering the effects of THC, this category of weed is thought to cause less paranoia. 

Does Indica weed make you sleepy or hyper?

Indica’s give users a relaxing effect and are often smoked to alleviate issues such as pain, stress or sleep related problems such as insomnia. As downers, Indica strains tend to cause drowsiness and sleepiness as opposed to cerebral stimulation and hyperactivity experienced with Sativa strains. 

Cannabis in general relaxes most users, even sativa strains can make some people feel drowsy, however it is the heavy body stone that makes your arms and legs feel heavy and is often described as the ‘couch lock’ effect that is most often felt with indica dominant strains.

Does Indica weed make you tired?

No. In fact, Indica strains are the perfect choice for fatigued individuals. Their relaxing, calming, tension-relieving, and body-melting effects eliminate fatigue, pain, and tension. This is why Indicas are recommended for evening or nighttime use after a long, tiresome day. 

How does Indica weed make you feel?

Cannabis, in general, affects people differently. Two people can take an Indica strain together and experience varying effects. For Indicas, the common effects are relaxation, sedation, couch-lock, hunger, and drowsiness.

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