Article written by
Tina MagrabiSenior Content Writer
Content reviewed by
Dr. Lewis JasseyMedical Director - Pediatric Medicine
Table of contents
If relaxing and de-stressing are priorities in 2024, you may want to try an indica cannabis strain. Indica strains reportedly have calming effects, potentially helping people cope with anxiety and insomnia.
Indica strains are a good counterbalance to sativa strains, which are legendary for their energizing effects. However, it is worth noting that the terms “indica” and “sativa” are outdated. There are few differences between the two types.
Indicas are associated with the mellow “couch lock” effect because of their moderate to high THC content, moderate CBD content, and the abundance of terpenes like linalool, myrcene, and humulene. This chemical makeup is often found in Afghan varieties, which were essentially improperly labeled and designated “indicas.”
Our picks for the best indica strains for 2024 include:
- Northern Lights
- Wedding Cake
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Hindu Kush
- Granddaddy Purple
- White Tahoe Cookies
- Mac and Cheese
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Sweet and spicy, this well-known indica strain is a hybrid cross of Afghani and Thai plants. Northern Lights is known for its resinous buds packed with therapeutic cannabinoids and terpenes. Euphoria and relaxation from the mind to muscles are among Northern Lights’ most commonly reported effects. Northern Lights’ origin is disputed, with some claiming the strain came from the Netherlands in the 1980s and others maintaining that Seattle, Washington deserves the credit.
Affectionately nicknamed Strawnana, this indica-dominant strain crosses Banana Kush and strawberry Bubble Gum. High in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Strawberry Banana is a good choice if you want to unwind and catch up on sleep. Strains like Strawberry Banana inspired the “couchlock effect,” as you may be glued to the sofa after partaking in a joint or tincture. Sleepy Strawnana is best consumed when you don’t need to go anywhere or do anything.
You may know this indica hybrid strain by several other names, including Pink Cookies (if you’re from Canada) and Triangle Mints #23. The latter nickname stems from Wedding Cake crossing Triangle Kush and Animal Mints. Sweet but with a peppery kick, Wedding Cake is very high in THC and can be used to beat nausea, appetite loss, and sleeplessness.
Girl Scout Cookies
Now mainly referred to as GSC, Girl Scout Cookies taste like a batch of sweets fresh from the oven. Potent OG Kush and Durban Poison gave birth to this indica-dominant marijuana strain that may help combat chronic pain and stress. You’ll taste a starburst of flavors in Girl Scout Cookies, from mint and lemon to cherry and cookie dough. But before you indulge in this decadent strain, remember that it has a 19% THC content, ideal for experienced consumers rather than novices.
Interestingly, one of GSC’s parents is the sativa, Durban Poison. This means that, on occasion, it would not be surprising to see this variety having more uplifting and energizing effects, especially if it contains more THCV and CBG. It means that GSC is also sometimes labeled a “sativa.”
If you’re looking for a pure (landrace) indica strain, Hindu Kush could be a good option. Hindu Kush is a popular strain in hash products, originating in the mountainous region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Sweet and earthy sandalwood aromas help ease stress in some people and act as a natural sleeping pill in others. Like GSC, Hindu Kush has a 19% THC content and plenty of myrcene, meaning that you can expect the couchlock effect to set in after modest consumption.
Granddaddy Purple (GDP)
Scented like California wine country, this grapey strain is a cross between Mendo Purps, Skunk, and Afghanistan. The top reported effect of Granddaddy Purple is sleepiness, followed by overall relaxation and relief from muscle spasms. With no cannabidiol (CBD) in its cannabinoid profile, Granddaddy Purple is appropriate for experienced consumers who are comfortable with THC.
White Tahoe Cookies
This indica hybrid has an interesting chemical composition, including the minor cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) and the terpene caryophyllene. There’s also a wallop of THC clocking in at 20% and a feeling of deep relaxation for many people. However, due to its CBG content, many people may find this variety more uplifting than a typical “couchlock” indica.
White Tahoe Cookies comes from a creative mix of The White, Tahoe OG, and Girl Scout Cookies (GSC).
Mac and Cheese
With a name like Mac and Cheese, it’s no surprise that this comfort food-inspired strain can help you decompress. The Mac and Alien Cheese produced this high-THC (23%) indica hybrid strain. Expect possibly intense euphoria and an almost certain couchlock effect with Mac and Cheese.
Experience the benefits of indica strains with a medical marijuana card obtained through Leafwell. Our doctors are here to meet with you online in Leafwell’s virtual clinic and help you apply for your MMJ card today.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some good cannabis indica strains for anxiety?
Many people relieve anxiety symptoms with indica cannabis strains like Strawberry Banana, Wedding Cake, and the ever-popular Northern Lights. Speak with your doctor before starting a cannabis regimen for anxiety, and continue to take any prescribed medications unless your medical professional advises otherwise.
Those seeking to use cannabis for anxiety ought to microdose THC and avoid using too much cannabinoid. Low THC can beat anxiety, while higher doses can trigger it. CBD and relaxing terpenes like myrcene and linalool may also be helpful.
What are the best indica strains to help you sleep?
High-THC indica strains like Hindu Kush and Girl Scout Cookies (GSC) help some people fall asleep. But this anti-insomnia effect is not universal, as some people may feel energized after consuming indica strains. CBD is the key to a good night’s rest for many people, and the designation of indica or Sativa doesn’t matter. However, it must be noted that CBD can have stimulating effects in low doses, meaning higher doses are needed for sedative effects.
What is an indica-dominant strain that doesn’t put you to sleep?
There is no guarantee that you’ll stay awake with an indica strain, and they could all put you to sleep depending on factors like your energy level and state of mind when consuming. If feeling sleepy is a concern, try a Sativa strain and steer clear of indica varieties that contain lots of myrcene, humulene, and linalool, especially pure indicas like Hindu Kush.
If you want a cannabis variety with an indica-like growth pattern but with uplifting effects, focus on those that tend to produce plenty of CBG and limonene and possibly have a THC:CBD ratio of 1:1 or a more moderate THC content of under 16%. White Tahoe Cookies is one good example of an energetic indica. Other examples include Mandala Seeds’ Speed Queen, Soma Seeds’ Somango, and Candy Cane.