Indica or Sativa for Anxiety: What’s the Difference?

Anxiety is not at all uncommon for people here in the United States. A variety of situations can cause anxiety, and it can be short-lived, or it can be something more chronic and longer-lasting. Anxiety could also pop up in women who are experiencing perimenopause.

Multiple medications also exist that have the potential to treat the symptoms of anxiety. Herbal remedies, including CBD oil and even cannabis, are also available in certain areas. In fact, two primary categories of cannabis are often put to use in treating ailments such as anxiety: Sativa and Indica.

If you’re considering trying cannabis to help ease some of your anxiety, how do you know which one to choose? We’ll explore these two types and some important facts from Healthline to help you learn more about them in relation to anxiety.

Marijuana Cannibis Plants

Sativa Versus Indica


notes that both Sativa and Indica are used either for fun or used as medicine. Sativa usually produces effects that provide more energy but still help ease anxiety and stress.

On the other hand, Indica is generally known to promote a relaxed state that flows throughout the body. It can also decrease issues with insomnia.

But just because these two types of cannabis are different, it doesn’t mean they don’t share similarities. In fact, there’s talk about not using these names at all. Instead, cannabis types could be categorized by levels of THC and/or CBD for a more accurate view.


Rather than picking out cannabis solely by its Indica or Sativa classification, you may also want to look into several of its other properties. Specifically, there are a couple of primary parts of cannabis that you’ll want to consider.

The first is commonly known as THC, which stands for tetrahydrocannabinol. THC is what produces the intoxicated or high feeling that many people tend to think of when they hear about cannabis or marijuana.

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a component of cannabis that doesn’t bring that intoxicated feeling when used. Even without producing a high, CBD has been shown to aid in decreasing pain. You may have seen CBD oils available for purchase over the counter because they don’t create that high that THC does.


Look at Terpenes

One additional component to look at is something called terpenes. Terpenes impact what odor a cannabis plant will give off. Various types of terpenes exist, including some like caryophyllene, which has anti-anxiety benefits.

Sativa Overview

Cannabis Sativa leaf in hand

Sativa tends to have lower amounts of CBD yet higher amounts of THC, which is the compound that produces a feeling of being high. Users may also experience a feeling of being energized along with an anxiety reduction. It tends to bring about creativity and productivity, which is why it’s generally used during the day and not at night.

Indica Overview

cannabis indica foliage

On the other hand, India tends to contain more CBD, but it still has THC content as well. In contrast to Sativa, it’s generally used at night because it’s so relaxing. It can help with upset stomach and pain, and it can help to boost your appetite.

Choosing Indica or Sativa

Learning a little more about the compounds and makeup of cannabis can help you choose what works best for your anxiety. If you’re looking for anxiety relief that still lets you go about your daily tasks yet reduces how anxious you feel, you may want to try Sativa. However, if you have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, Indica may be a better option for you since it’s known to make users incredibly relaxed.

Make sure to also consider what time of day you can use cannabis. If you need to get things done during the day, you probably won’t want to use Sativa. It’s no fun feeling sleepy when you’re supposed to be productive!

Side Effects of Cannabis

As with many medicines and herbal supplements, using cannabis could carry the potential for side effects. Some people have increased dryness in their eyes or mouth, while others may feel dizzy. Cannabis could increase feelings of paranoia and may even increase anxiety.

Getting Professional Advice

Because of the various components and effects of cannabis, it’s best to get input from a trusted medical professional. They should be knowledgeable about cannabis for reducing anxiety and can assist you as you navigate what type would be a better fit for you and your particular lifestyle. They can also guide you in the types of products that are available.

The effects of each type will vary whether you inhale or ingest cannabis. For instance, you may prefer edible cannabis over an oil. It can really help to have someone familiar with cannabis help you initially.

Trying Cannabis

Whether you try Sativa or Indica, use it with caution and as directed. Both may help reduce anxiety, and it may take some trial and error before you find the appropriate type and dose that work best for your anxiety.

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