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Common weed wisdom usually separates cannabis into two different kinds of high: the more cerebral, uplifting high of sativas, and the more sedating, body-centered high of indicas. While that categorization is rooted in some fact (as well as centuries of accumulated experience), scientific research points to it being a bit of an oversimplification. 

Is there really a difference between indica and sativa? Absolutely! 

Though it might not be the exact difference you think...

difference between indica and sativa marijuana

The Basics

Today, cannabis indica and cannabis sativa are regarded as the two main subspecies of the cannabis plant. However, that was not always the case.

One of the earlier writings on cannabis taxonomy, dating back to the 1500s in Germany, grouped hemp into two distinct categories — what the author, botanist, and physician Leonhart Fuchs, referred to as domesticated (or “sativa”) cannabis and wild cannabis

The classification of plants as either sativa or indica doesn’t begin until the late 1700’s when French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck allegedly coined the term “indica.” In 1785, his Encyclopédie Méthodique, Botanique proposed the existence of this new subspecies which he had identified from samples sent to him from India. In his entry on indica, he wrote:

“The principal effect of this plant consists of going to the head, disrupting the brain, where it produces a sort of drunkenness that makes one forget one’s sorrows, and produces a strong gaiety.” 

 

Modern understandings of the differences between sativa and indica haven’t evolved an enormous amount since Lamarck was writing. We know that physically, indica plants are typically shorter, with broad, dark green leaves while sativa plants are taller and have thin, pale green leaves. Genetically, indicas tend to have a higher amount of CBD, while sativas tend to have a higher amount of THC.

And that really sums up the major, scientifically accepted differences in the strains. Out of those differences have developed the more folksy (and less research-based wisdom) that sativas will get you ready for a deep conversation about the universe, while indicas are better for binging cartoons on the couch.

cbd bottle

CBD and THC

Lamarck’s categorization of indica vs. sativa was mainly based on the plant’s physical attributes (height, leaf size, etc.), but modern research tells us that predicting the high of a given strain is much more about a plant’s chemical makeup than its appearance. Neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher Dr Ethan Russo wrote on the subject, “one cannot in any way currently guess the biochemical content of a given cannabis plant-based on its height, branching, or leaf morphology.”

The amount and balance of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in a given strain is a much better predictor for the kind of high you will get. A higher amount of CBD will more likely produce a mellow high, while a higher amount of THC will more likely produce a more energetic high.

Indicas do typically have more CBD, and sativas typically have more THC — but it is not a hard and fast rule.

In addition, while the interaction between THC and CBD is one of the main factors in predicting the effect of a given strain of cannabis, it is far from the only factor. There are over 100 different cannabinoids found in various strains of cannabis, of which CBD and THC are only two. These other cannabinoids also can have an effect on a strain’s high.

Is there really a difference between indica and sativa

Terpenes

Then there are terpenes — compounds that are largely responsible for a strain’s aroma but also thought to co-mingle with the other active compounds to affect the overall high of a strain. Terpenes may be one reason why two strains with the same amount of THC and CBD might have totally different effects when smoked. For example, a terpene called myrcene is known to have a sedative effect while another, called limonene is known for lifting mood and energy levels (as well as for having a citrus aroma). Another terpene, alpha-pinene, may be responsible for counteracting THC-induced short-term memory loss

These various interactions are often referred to as the “entourage effect” — a kind of compounding of effects that make predicting the high of given strains much harder than simply knowing if it is an indica or sativa.

Beyond that, the effect of a specific strain of cannabis will differ from person to person — the same way that alcohol and caffeine will affect different people in different ways. The same cup of coffee might give you the jitters or while someone else doesn’t feel the effects at all. Likewise, a user’s genetic profile will influence their reaction to THC, CBD, and cannabis in general.

There is still a long way to go to understanding cannabis and the different effects of various strains. 

Why don’t we have a better understanding of the different kinds of strains of cannabis and their potential effects? For one thing, both scientific and agricultural research into cannabis has been largely curtailed by the US government. Cannabis's long time classification by the government as a schedule 1 substance has made cannabis hard to study in a formal setting. Because of that, and the informal nature of the weed economy for most of its history, classifications and “research” have been left more to users, growers, and even dealers — to describe how a given strain affects someone.

In an interview with VICE, Sean Myles, a professor of agricultural genetic diversity at Dalhousie University and co-author of a 2015 study about cannabis genetics, summed up where modern science seems to leave the indica/sativa conversation:

“We may loosely call things "indica" or "sativa," and that's a fair rule of thumb for describing their physical traits and psychoactive effects. But since nobody was keeping track of marijuana with the methods of a modern agriculturist some 5,000 years ago, we don't know what a "pure" sativa or indica really is, DNA-wise, he said. Who's to say what the defining characteristics of a pure sativa or indica really are?”

So, the next time you find a strain you like, make note of the balance between THC and CBD and use that as a good starting point for choosing your next one. With that information in hand, don’t feel like you need to stay loyal to indica or sativa — feel free to branch out!


 

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Best Strains For Creativity

Best Strains For Creativity

Posted by CANNASaver on Tuesday, 17 November 2020 in Canna Blog

It’s not uncommon to hear of artists and creatives, philosophers and industry leaders, consuming cannabis at some point in life and experiencing clarity of sorts. The good news is this isn’t just the experience of a few creative and critical thinkers - there are studies that show cannabis and creativity are linked. That is why we prepared this list of the 10 best strains for creativity. 

Best Strains for Creativity

Stimulating the Artsy Brain cells – How We Define Change in Creativity 

Creativity is both nebulous and extremely specific. It allows us to define new spaces while also capturing the nuance of the ways we live. Creative pursuits, by and large, stimulate the frontal lobe. The frontal lobe of the brain has been shown to handle a huge portion of executive function, including strategic and creative thinking. When this area of the brain is activated, it’s as if a dial can be turned that tunes individual receptiveness to thoughts and ideas. 

No, not like mind control receptiveness. 

By tickling the frontal lobe with a bit of cannabis inspiration, not only can we gain clarity on the merit of an idea, but may, in fact, be inspired with an idea that is entirely new. 

Cannabis has been shown in studies to enhance creativity by increasing cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the frontal lobe. In this study, subjects with higher baseline CBF were deemed more creative whereas those with lower CBF were less so. By increasing CBF, cannabis impacts creativity, most particularly in those who are less creative, to begin with. 

And that is why we deem it necessary to deliver a list of the top creative strains out there. 

CHECK OUT OUR CURRENT OUNCE SPECIALS: https://www.cannasaver.com/ounce-deals 

Strains For Creativity

The 10 Best Strains For Creativity 

Now that we have a basic idea of how cannabis can inspire creativity, it’s time to look at some of the best strains for it. We broke these into three buckets.

First, we have strains that inspire focus and creativity.

Second, we have strains that encourage curiosity and creativeness.

And lastly, we explore a few strains that can be excellent for creative pursuits that you are passionate about already. 

 Strains For Creative Focus

Strains For Creative Focus

Blue Dream

Great for a euphoric experience that eases open the gates of creative and divergent thoughts and often inspires the ‘hit the blunt’ moments we see in memes. 

This sativa-dominant strain is known for its light, yet funky tropical aroma and uplifting, focus-inspiring effects. Blue Dream is a cross between Blueberry and Haze strains. Expect a fun calm that gives thoughts flurrying around your cranium a place to breathe.

 

Island Sweet Skunk

Commonly seen as interchangeable, Island Sweet Skunk and Sweet Island Skunk describe sativa-dominant hybrids strains that tickle creative blood flow something fierce. This strain owes its genes to Grapefruit, Haze, Skunk, and Northern Lights strains. The creative focus from this strain manifests with humorful observations and thoughts. You know the type - you aren’t sure why it came to you, but it did and it’s amusing. Like a power nap, expect mindfulness to even the most out-of-nowhere ideas.

 

Jack Herer 

Its pungent aroma of pine and citrus is as distracting as it is focused. It’s sharp notes awaken and promote alertness. 

Jack Herer is a strain named after the famous activist. Jack Herer is known for writing “The Emperor Wears No Clothes”, a treatise on hemp and it’s legal standing. The strain that bears their namesake similarly evokes considerations and thoughts both poignant and actionable. Jack Herer owes its genetics to the strains Haze, Northern Lights, and Shiva Skunk.

 

Space Queen

Space Queen is a hybrid born of the Romulan and Cinderella 99 cannabis strains. A near-perfect 50:50 hybrid showcases the focus of an energizing sativa strain with the calming body high associated with indica strains. 

Consumers can expect a euphoric body high that begs the questions AND delivers some answers. The only person who can decide if they are the right answers is you. Welcome to space, Queen. 

Strains For Creative Curiosity

Strains For Creative Curiosity

Jillybean

Have you ever experienced writer’s block? How about analysis paralysis? How about just low motivation? Jillybean is an uplifting sativa-dominant hybrid strain. Covered in colorful hues and aromatic trichomes, this hybrid busts stress and bummer moods., leaving you free to play in your headspace. 

New information - whether from a book, the news, or any other source you trust - doesn’t escape this experience, allowing for curiosity and creativity to gain a tempered edge through our behavior and in our thoughts.

 

AK-47

AK-47 is an engineering masterpiece. Much like the weapon it gained its namesake, the experience inspires rapid action that is accessible to any who wield it. It keeps the brain moving, and, along the way, the curiosity and creativity it inspires play a game. 

With citrus and diesel among the primary aromas, AK-47 embodies alertness. AK-47 is a blended hybrid from many landrace strains including Mexican, Thai, Colombian, and Afghani varieties. 

 

Cinderella 99

Cinderella 99, or Cindy 99, is a hybrid cannabis strain embodying euphoric body effects and a curious rush of humorful inspiration.

The hybrid strain is perfect for daytime consumers who need creativity that is bootstrapped by curiosity. It inspires thinking and the focus to dive into it. Cinderella 99 is a cross of Cinderella 88, Princess, and Skunk strain genetics.

Strains for Creative Passion

Strains for Creative Passion

XJ-13

A careful cross of sativa-dominant strain Jack Herer and indica-learning G-13, XJ-13 delivers potent experiences and pungent aromas. 

A refreshing mint with citrus and earth delivers alertness and drive. Its light body high and heavy energy boost help increase the momentum behind our creative engines, free of stress. 

 

Purple Haze

Purple strains are literally named to capture the color before anything else. Luckily, purple also has cultural associations with passion, with the depth of color found as inspiring and captivating. 

This potent blend of Thai and Haze strains bring the rhythm of rock and roll and the creativity of the psychedelic 1960s to launch consumers into their personal summer of love. 

 

Tangie

Uplifting euphoria is just one key experience Tangie can inspire. This hybrid cannabis strain blends California Orange and Skunk genetics. In the process, a funky citrus aroma that captures attention and adds creativity was born. 

It’s perfect for the type of creative energy drummed up by meditative practices, pushed by passion and the limits we think we have. 

 

Find Marijuana Strains that Inspire Creativity by browsing our deals now

 

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Which Strain for Which Mood?

Marijuana dispensaries in Denver, Los Angeles, and other major cities where weed is legal offer a seemingly endless variety of strains to choose from. Whether it’s an indica, sativa, or hybrid ounce deal you’re looking for, you are most likely to have recreational deals for multiple strains in each category. Choosing the right strain to fit your mood doesn’t have to be a guessing game with a little know-how. Here are the Savvy Stoner’s personal favorite strains to fit your mood.

Creative: Jack Herer is the strain to choose when you’re feeling creative. Sativa-dominant, it won’t make you too sleepy to actually carry out all the brilliant ideas that are bound to spring to mind after you smoke some.

Courageous: Ready for an exciting night out on the town, or need a little boost of willpower to face a challenging situation? Sweet-tasting and sativa-dominant, Golden Goat is the strain to choose whenever you need to feel courageous.

Joyful: Are you wanting to leave your worries behind and simply be, perhaps enjoying a day in the sunshine? Blue Dream will lighten your mood and have you feeling calmly content and upbeat in no time. A cross between Blueberry and Haze, Blue Dream is a hybrid that can lean more towards the sativa side or indica side depending on the lineage of the specific plant, growing conditions, and other factors.

Thoughtful: Feeling introspective and thoughtful? Orange Kush is the strain to turn your funk into an opportunity for productive and enjoyable contemplation and exploration. Whenever my thoughts become cyclical, I smoke some Orange Kush to turn it around. A hybrid strain with high potency, Orange Kush will transform your thinking in a positive way that brings fresh insight to the situation.

Exhausted: Are you absolutely drained and exhausted, ready for a little rest and relaxation? Northern Lights is the strain that will bring you the comfort and deep whole-body, whole-mind relaxation you desire. It’s an indica strain that’s become a legend for its potent effects.

Energetic: Whenever I’m getting a lot of stuff done and I want to get high without putting my productivity to an end, I choose Green Crack. This sativa strain is great for keeping you energized, happy, and engaged.

Angry: When my temper is flaring and I know I need to cool down, Blackberry is a strain I enjoy. Deeply calming and relaxing, Blackberry can make me forget why I was so mad in the first place, or at least become too lazy or lighthearted to argue anymore. Either way, this strain brings the peace. An indica-dominant cross between Black Domina and Raspberry Cough, it has a strong, fruity flavor that’s very unique.

Sad: If you’re feeling sad and you just want to get very stoned and feel better, Sour Diesel is a great strain to choose. A sativa-dominant hybrid, Sour Diesel will give you a fresh perspective and completely transform your mood in a flash.

Romantic: If you’re in the mood for romance, consider Pineapple Express. It’s a hybrid strain with a nice tropical flavor that will have you feeling euphoric, relaxed, and dreaming of romantic days on the beach.

What’s your favorite strain?

To discover more about which strains are right for different moods, it can be fun to keep a journal detailing what strains you smoke and their effects. Everyone reacts differently, so it’s only by observing your own moods and behaviors that you’ll know exactly how different marijuana strains affect you. Whenever you’re about to smoke, write down a few words about the mood you are in, how you are feeling and what you are thinking about. Write down the strain of marijuana and how much you smoked. Wait a few minutes for the effects of the herb to kick in, then again write down a few words about your current mood, describing your thoughts and emotions. Over time, you will be able to see which strains produce the most desirable effects to suit your every mood. If you need to find marijuana deals so you can afford to do a little more experimentation, look on CannaSaver for the newest marijuana deals from dispensaries near you.

Have fun exploring and don't forget to sign up to get the latest dispensary deals emailed directly to you!

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CannaSaver Blog

Effects of Marijuana on Memory

Posted by CANNASaver on Monday, 25 January 2021 in Canna Blog

For as long as I can remember (see what I did there?), people in my life would say, ‘stay away from marijuana’. Often, the charges against cannabis would be tied in with other ideas such as laziness, poor work ethic, and reduced memory function. As research dollars continue to flow into cannabis, we are finding that several of the key ‘scare’ tactics used were based on outlier evidence and are not totally factual.

In this article, we will discuss some emerging research on how marijuana affects memory. Specifically, we will review how memory is affected by cannabis and hopefully learn once and for all if we may clear the haze from anti-weed tactics and lighten the mood around its use. 

effects of marijuana use

Confronting Old Ideas on Cannabis and Memory

Cannabis use dates back thousands of years, yet its use, cultivation, and sale have been partly-legal for less than half a century. 

Untold thousands have been arrested and several billions of dollars have been collected due to laws around marijuana.

We punish people for using it, for growing it, for having it in their possession, or for selling it. It doesn’t matter the relative devastation caused by cannabis when compared to drugs such as cocaine or an opiate, because drugs are drugs. 

The resulting psychosocial process makes it easier for some individuals with hardline abstinence ideas to be seen as the ‘model’ - the person who stays in favor of the law, of family, and of society. This can magnify small issues to an enormous scale. 

Such is the concept of ‘Reefer Madness’; a rare piece of goofy, anti-drug propaganda, speaking to people as though any use or experimentation with marijuana will leave life unfulfilling and lonely. 

The Problem?

When an experience is awful or conflated, it tends to have an outsized effect on how we recall the experience and our willingness to do it again. As human beings, we all are able to coordinate with others, experience empathy, feel joy and sorrow, and make choices based on information available to us.

As marijuana became more popular in the years leading to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937, so too did public misunderstandings of the plant. Ideas of madness and paranoia began to percolate around the subject of marijuana, and it was tacked on that significant impairment of memory was from cannabis. 

Back then, the media didn’t move as fast as it does now9 and it was scientifically valid to blame mothers for schizophrenia. Times have changed.

With more and more states legalizing cannabis after 80 years of prohibition, it is time to employ some of the advances in technological and scientific understanding to gain perspective. 

True: memory and reaction time are statistically correlated to cannabis use.

False: memory retrieval gets worse with cannabis use.

Working memory

What is Working Memory?

Working memory is a lot like the RAM memory of a computer. It does not mean the information has been hard-coded into our memory. Instead, working memory implies a near-term function, where maybe only seconds to days have passed. 

On the topic of working memory and cannabis use, one recent study sticks out in particular. The study observed 75 participants, 60 of which have used cannabis while 15 had not. The objective was to determine whether the age of onset - that is, when in an individual’s life they first used cannabis - is related to working memory reaction time in the near-term.

Working memory reaction time was measured using a system of cues and responses which imitated the typical functioning of memory in our environment. With regard to memory and cannabis use, the series of cues made by researchers additionally evaluated the following:

  • Memory Encoding: This was evaluated by showing one or three stimuli to be recollected.

  • Memory Maintenance: Using advanced imaging technology (fMRI), memory maintenance was evaluated by showing where the information was held and maintained in the brain. 

  • Memory retrieval: This was measured by showing four stimuli and evaluated by matching cues to the previous stimuli.

As the main focus of the study was to determine if the reaction time of an individual’s working memory relates to cannabis use IF exposed during adolescence, the true results of the study provide evidence that cannabis and memory have a highly variable, if not totally illogical, relationship. 

effects of marijuana on memory

So How Does Marijuana Affect Memory?

By using an fMRI scanner, researchers were able to show the parts of the brain which are most active when supplied with the encoding, maintenance, and retrieval stimuli. 

As was consistent with previous research, the areas of the brain researchers focused on include the posterior parietal cortex (PPC) and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which help regulate executive function and control in the near-term. 

The results found three relationships regarding working memory and cannabis use worth noting. 

First and most, unfortunately, the research reinforced the idea that individuals who began using cannabis earlier in life had longer reaction times than both cannabis users who began using after adolescence and non-users. This suggests broadly that cannabis use may impact the development of encoding information if used early in life. 

(Note: this does not mean cannabis use is a predictive factor for memory issues, rather working memory and cannabis use may have a relationship.)

Second, the age an individual first uses cannabis and whether they have used cannabis once or repeatedly had no relationship to the behavior of the brain. 

According to researchers, this may suggest the age a person initially uses cannabis may reflect substance use risk characteristics rather than a cannabis-exposure effect (such as impaired memory) on brain development. 

And last but not least, among the group of 75 participants, the researchers were able to show repeated cannabis use AND greater levels of overall cannabis use were associated with increases of performance in the activation (i.e. - working of) of the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) during the maintenance period.

Additionally, across all 75 participants, users of cannabis generally performed better than non-users, which includes a faster reaction time and higher memory retrieval accuracy.

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CannaSaver Blog

Best Strain for Stress

Posted by CANNASaver on Friday, 30 April 2021 in Canna Blog

Everyone experiences stress throughout their lifetime, it comes with the challenges we face daily. Whether it’s from a hectic commute, an upcoming project, or the simple annoyances from the people surrounding you, it’s nothing a little toking up can’t fix.

A little stress can be healthy, but when it becomes too consuming - that’s when it becomes a  problem. Many people have turned to cannabis to help them reduce feelings of stress. For some, smoking a joint after a long day can help them unwind and release built-up tension accumulated from earlier in the day. 

When smoking to reduce stress, it’s important to know which strains are best for doing so. Choosing the right strain can elevate your experience, here are the best and widely available strains to reduce stress levels.

relieving stress

Best Strains for Stress

Blue Dream

Blue Dream is one of the most popular cannabis strains in America. It’s known for its balanced and full-body effect. The hybrid strain has a sweet aroma with a THC content high enough to provide relief to stress and body tension. 

Blue Dream is also known to provide relief from symptoms correlated with pain, nausea, and depression and has a minimal sedative effect, making it a great daytime strain.

Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is a Sativa dominant hybrid that is known to give feelings of happiness, energy, and euphoria. This strain is great for reducing stress while keeping you productive, thanks to its adequate Sativa levels. The pungent smell of this strain is what gives this beloved strain its name. Many people turn to this strain to help alleviate symptoms associated with depression and anxiety. 

AK-47

AK-47 is a hybrid strain that is known for relaxing the mind and body. It’s said to produce a ‘mellow’ feeling despite its somewhat violent name. This strain is less potent than others, but it is enough to help the mind and body relax. AK-47 delivers a long-lasting high that’ll keep you alert and engaged while also producing feelings of relaxation and happiness.

You can expect to feel uplifted, at peace, and mellowed out with this strain. It is especially great for those who have trouble falling asleep. A couple of hits before bed can help induce the relaxation needed to help you fall asleep.

Jack Herrer

This Sativa dominant strain was originally a medical-grade strain. However, it rose to popularity with recreational users because it’s known to provide feelings of optimism and euphoria. It’s also known for provided adequate pain and stress relief. 

This strain is loved by many because it can relax you while keeping you focused. Some say it even promotes creativity. Other common usages for this strain include reducing symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite and anxiety. 

Grandaddy Purple

‘Grandaddy Purp’ is an Indica dominant strain. The strain is ideal for creating a calming effect on the body and mind. The buds of this very powerful Indica strain can sometimes look purple (hence its name) and is used to treat pain, muscle spasms, insomnia, and other symptoms related to stress.

Be careful when consuming this strain as it can produce a heavy body high and leave you couch-locked. We recommend using this strain at night or during days you have no plans or commitments to take care of. 

best strains for stress

Cannatonic

The high CBD content of this strain will relax you without too much of the psychoactive effects of THC. The strain produces a relatively short but powerfully relaxing high. Many medical marijuana patients choose this strain to alleviate pain, anxiety, migraines, and muscle pain. 

Strains with higher CBD content are great for those who tend to get more anxious when dealing with higher THC levels.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies or ‘GSC’ is loved by stoners everywhere. Additionally, it’s one of the most potent and popular strains available. The THC content is typically above 20% THC, so a little bit will do its job. It’s an Indica dominant strain that can make users feel powerful, happy and euphoric, and can help with stress and pain relief, anxiety, and insomnia

This strain can come with heavy body effects and can stimulate the appetite. So get comfortable and maybe keep a healthy snack handy.

smoking weed and relaxing

Reduce Stress with Cannasaver

Finding a good deal is now easier than ever with Cannasaver. We have teamed up with the best dispensaries in Colorado to provide you with the best deals on all types of products. Use our search bar to find deals for your favorite strains.

Make sure you check out Cannasaver for the latest daily deals on many kinds of stress-reducing strains before heading out to your local dispensary. 

Happy toking and remember, chill vibes only! 

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