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Sativa effects of marijuana are intriguing to say the least. It is no wonder that powerful sativa strains such as Jack Herer managed to take the cannabis space by storm.

In this article, we discuss some of the most common effects of sativa strains and discuss how we can take advantage of them while avoiding their side effects.

 Let’s get started!

What is Sativa?

Strains of Sativa cannabis are native to regions surrounding the equator that are typically hot such as Thailand, Mexico and Africa. These regions tend to have the perfect climate to grow weed, sativa strains often grow tall, reaching heights up to 20 feet.

Sativa plants have narrow leaves that are delicate and in comparison to Indicas, they have buds that are less dense and generally have an almost fluffy appearance.

Sativa strains generally contain a higher THC to CBD ratio though this is not a fast rule. The THC means that they bring about an intense cerebral high which in high doses could even have psychedelic effects.

Thanks to their uplifting effects, sativa strains are often used to treat emotional disorders such as depression. Other medicinal uses of sativas are:

  • Improving the mood to alleviate depression and anxiety
  • Boosting focus and creativity
  • Increasing energy to reduce fatigue
  • Stimulating the appetite
  • Relieving pain

Sativa vs Indica for Pain

Indica strains are more often used for pain than sativa strains. This is because of their effects and also the fact that they mostly contain higher levels of CBD. This however does not lock out the potential of sativa strains in offering pain relief. Although sativa strains might not be the most ideal pain relievers, they may come in handy especially for patients who need daytime medication that will not leave them sedated.

Sativa then becomes the most suited strain to offer relief, while at the same not interfere with productivity.

What is a Sativa Headache?

Though this is a topic that is still quite hotly debated, smoking sativa strains does cause headaches in some people.

A sativa high causes stimulation of the brain by excessive production of dopamine. This overstimulated effect on the brain can sometimes be counterproductive, especially over a long period of time. At some point, your brain will feel the need to rest and recover. If your system is unable to slow down, you might then experience irritability and headaches, which are just a signal from your body alerting you to take the rest you need.

Another explanation of sativa headaches is that the smoke in itself is an irritant to some people, which might trigger a headache.  

What is a Sativa High?

The Sativa high is usually a “head high,” which has an energizing, invigorating effect. The Sativa high can help in the reduction of stress and increasing of mental focus and creativity.

Depending on the strain you take, specific amounts of dopamine are released from your brain when you consume cannabis. Dopamine is involved in a couple of body functions that include digestion and blood flow. But most commonly, it’s known as the “feel good” hormone. This is by increasing emotional connection with stimulus in the anticipation of reward.

When dopamine floods your system, you might temporarily experience feelings of euphoria. It also results in improved focus, alertness and motivation.

How Does a Sativa High Feel Like?

As previously discussed, consuming Sativa produces a “mind high”. This high is accompanied by an energizing effect that also reduces anxiety. Using sativa-dominant strains will leave you feeling productive and creative and not relaxed and lethargic.

The sativa plant will give you an energized high that will increase you productivity and allow you to go through that heap of work you had piled up in record time.

In small doses, sativa will make you feel alert and aware of your environment. It is however important to note that very high doses can have the opposite effect and actually knock you out.

Sativa highs are also considered to be a “social high”. What this means is that you will find yourself being more sociable and talkative and generally interested in people and their views. 


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Sativa, unlike Indica, also stimulates the users and makes them feel more energetic and creative. Where one was feeling apathetic and tired, this high will increase their energy like a bolt of lightning.

Sativa strains also have the effect of promoting a feeling of serenity and well-being in the user. These, together with the other effects make it an ideal strain for daytime use and might just be the perfect tonic to deal with stress and apathy.

Best Sativa Strains

There exist a vast array of sativa strains, which differ in both composition and effects. Below, we have prepared for you a list of some of the best Sativa Strains:

  • Jack Herer
  • Durban Poison
  • Sour Diesel
  • Tangie
  • Super Silver Haze
  • Green Crack
  • Strawberry Cough
  • El Patron
  • Hulkberry
  • Shogun

How to Tell the Difference Between Sativa and Indica

Sativa and Indica strains of cannabis differ mainly in appearance and effect.

Although both Sativa and Indica strains are subspecies of Cannabis sativa L., they contain distinct differences in the highs they produce.

Sativa strains generally produce highs that are uplifting and energizing while indica strains have more relaxing highs that even have a sedative effect.

The high induced by Indica strains on the other hand is referred to as a “body high” or being “stoned”. This is because its effects are felt throughout the body rather than just in the head. Indica also enhances the senses such as smell, touch and sound and cause a deep sense of relaxation that can leave on feeling drowsy.

While sativa strains are ideal for daytime use, Indica strains are best used in the evening or at night.

What is Sativa Good for?

1.        Elevates Mood

Though this does not happen in every case without fail, ingesting a sativa-dominant cannabis strain usually brings about elevated mood. This is because of the dopamine effects explained earlier as well as other properties that contribute to a better and happier disposition.

Medically, elevation of mood is definitely one reason why you would consume a sativa strain.

2.        Increases Energy

Another common positive effect of sativa strains is an increase in energy levels which promote productivity. Not only is sativa known as daytime strain that promotes social interaction, it also tends to spark creativity and reduce the amount of apathy one might be inclined to have.

In other words, the medical effects of sativa differ starkly from those of Indica. Where one (Indica) induces rests and relaxation, the other (sativa) is a pick me up that brings back the energy.

3.        Improves Appetite

Another benefit of sativa strains is its ability to improve appetite. Though this is also common in Indica strains, sativas are the preferred choice for these. It is even a common scientific notion that sativa strains can be used for appetite enhancement.

In fact, one scientific publication noted that “…the ability of [C. sativa] to promote eating has been documented for many centuries” sativa strains will ignite your appetite in a big way.

4.       Helps with Depression

As we have mentioned earlier, sativa strains are a great “pick-me-up”. Given their ability to increase energy levels, elevate mood, lower apathy and increase happiness, they can be used to manage the symptoms of depression.

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Patients diagnosed with depression often find it hard to enjoy or find meaning in everyday situations. They are overwhelmed with a sense of apathy and nothing seems to be worthwhile. A potent sativa strain often gives them enough reprieve to experience positive feelings and slowly work their way out of the depression.

5.        Promotes Creativity and Focus

As previously discussed, sativa strains spark off the brain and stimulate it to be more creative, have greater focus and more tolerance. This is particular helpful for people who struggle with attention disorder conditions such as ADHD as well as users who just want to experience a bout of creativity and focus.

It is important to note that the same exact sativa strain could have very different effects on different individuals depending on their chemical make-up, age, metabolism and other unique factors.

Final Thoughts

Sativa strains are mostly used for their uplifting, energizing and psychedelic effects. These effects are great for recreational use as well as those seeking to treat conditions such as fatigue and depression.

Though, like with everything else, moderation is key. Sativa strains often contain high amounts of THC, and consuming them in excess could lead to paranoia, anxiety and other unfavorable effects. It is therefore best to start off with smaller amounts and work your way up to the effect you desire. We hope that with this comprehensive guide to sativa effects you are now aware of what effects to expect when you consume Sativa strains. Remember to always pace the consumption of your cannabis intake for you to gain its maximum effects and reward.

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