Does Indica Make You Sleepy?

When it comes to cannabis shopping, one of the first questions a budtender may ask when you approach them for flower is, “Are you looking for a sativa, indica, or hybrid?”

the word indica next to cannabis leaves and seeds

While the cannabis world is beginning to branch out beyond this triatic categorization system, having a solid understanding of the general characteristics of sativa, indica, and hybrid strains is key to unlocking your ideal cannabis experience.

Indicas are often touted as the more mellow side of the spectrum, which can additionally work to combat a number of specific symptoms. But what exactly can consumers expect from indica strains, and do they always make you sleepy? Let’s dive in!

Key Takeaways

  • Indica plants tend to be stocky, short, and bushy, and they often have higher amounts of CBD than sativa and hybrid strains.
  • Indica strains are generally understood to be more body-heavy, sedating, and can make you sleepy.
  • Many consumers use indica strains to help with sleep, relaxation, and to combat pain, though more research is needed to fully understand these effects
  • Scientists and industry professionals are pushing for a broader understanding of cannabis effects, looking at elements like terpenes and cannabinoids in addition to sativa, indica, or hybrid

What Is Indica?

While many indica strains share a number of expected effects, these strains are truly united when it comes to their physical plant characteristics. Indica cannabis plants are typically short and stocky, with bushier features and wide leaves. Comparatively, sativa plants tend to be tall with long, finger-like leaves.

Indica strains also tend to have higher amounts of CBD than sativa and hybrid strains, though THC amounts are generally comparable.

Common Uses Of Indica Strains

Many consumers remember the effects of indica strains with the phrase, “Indica, in-da-couch,” pointing to their body-heavy effects. While sativas tend to elicit a heady, energetic high, indicas typically veer toward a more relaxing, sedating experience.

Many people use indica strains to help with pain relief, anxiety and stress relief, and assistance with insomnia and sleep issues. Some indicas also seem to be better for specific symptoms like nausea or increasing appetite, though research on indica strains and their specific effects is still limited.

All indica strains are not a monolith and will not always provide the same effects. Scientists and industry professionals alike are pushing for a broader categorization system, as a number of factors can influence the effects of a strain, from the way it’s grown to lineage and crossbreeds, terpene profile, cannabinoid profile, and more.

Popular Indica Strains

Plenty of indica strains have maintained their spot as staples on dispensary shelves. These tried and true indicas won’t disappoint:

Northern Lights

Northern Lights is made by crossing another classic pure indica strain, Afghani, with the sativa Thai. This strain is true to the effects many consumers expect out of an indica strain, with an immediate feeling of full-body relaxation upon consumption, complete with a sweet and spicy flavor.

Granddaddy Purple

You’ve likely seen this strain under a number of different monikers: GDP, Granddaddy Purp, Granddaddy Purple Kush. Nickname aside, Granddaddy Purple is another solid indica made by crossing two indicas, Skunk and Afghani, with the hybrid Mendo Purps. The result is a flavorful mix of berries and grapes, offering a mix of euphoria and physical relaxation.

Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush has become an indica staple over the years, gaining a reputation for its profound tranquilizing effects. As you wind down, you may also notice the mood-enhancing effects of Bubba Kush, as many report light euphoria and a general feeling of happiness. Bubba Kush joins a number of other indicas and indica-leaning hybrids in the same family, like Hindu Kush, Banana Kush, and Purple Kush, to name a few.


Perhaps most famously known as the cross in Blue Dream, balancing out the racy sativa parent strain, Haze, to a more even-keeled hybrid, Blueberry screams indica. Made by crossing Purple Thai and Thai, you can expect — of course — a sinfully sweet flavor resembling blueberries, a heavy onset of relaxation, and feelings of euphoria. If you’re a fan of fruity indicas, you may also check out Blackberry Kush, Mango Kush, Banana Kush, Strawnana, and our next entry.

Grape Ape

Grape Ape is an indica strain that veers slightly into hybrid territory. It still prompts the expected feelings of relaxation, with plenty of body-focused effects, though it may not be quite as intense as some of the other entrees on our list while still offering potential to lessen symptoms like pain, stress, and insomnia.

Is Indica Better To Take At Night?

Some indica strains are heavily sedating, some less so, and some may not encourage those effects at all. Similarly, not all sativa strains promote energy, and not all hybrid strains magically fall somewhere in the middle. It’s important to look at the attributes of a strain to understand the specific effects it may offer you, indica categorization aside.

If you’re going for a strain like we listed above — a pure indica or indica hybrid with documented effects of sedation — then, yes, many users prefer to wait until night time to partake. Many indica strains can indeed make users sleepy, which may not be as functional as more active and energetic strains during the day. Overall, if you’re between indica or sativa for sleep, it’s true that indica strains usually take the cake.

Does Indica Make You Lazy?

Not so fast… Indicas, and “sedating” strains, don’t always pump the brakes so heavily. Some users may find that a light dose of indica is enough to take the edge off, lessening feelings of stress and depression, without otherwise hindering their day-to-day. Many consumers veer toward indicas, or more mellow strains, as a default no matter the time of day, given that more heady, “active” strains can cause anxiety in some consumers.

Looking into indica-leaning hybrids is also a great option, with many options offering the same effects without the intensity as some pure indicas.

Ultimately, figuring out what indicas work for you, what specific effects they elicit, and what strains you like best in general comes down to conscious consumption. It helps to keep track of the strains you’ve tried to inform your perspective, though it’s also important to recognize that many factors can inform the effects of a given strain, beyond a simple indica or sativa categorization.


Do All Indica Strains Make You Tired?

Not all indica strains are created equal, and their effects can vary depending on their makeup and terpene profile. Some indica strains are much more sedating, while other you may find lightly relaxing and grounding. Furthermore, whether or not a particular indica strain makes you tired often times depends on your individual biochemistry.

Why Do Indicas Make You Tired?

Indicas tend to have a couple things in common that make tired: one being that they contain more calming terpenes, like myrcene, which can increase the calming neurotransmitter GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid). Another commonality among indica strains is that they can have a higher CBD to THC ratio than sativa strains – and CBD is known to have calming effects.

Is Indica Or Sativa Better?

This really depends on individual preference and desired outcome. If someone is seeking a more uplifting, energized state, a sativa may be a better fit. Alternatively, if a person is having sleep issues or is looking for calming effects, an indica strain could be more suitable.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog and by this website is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to be professional medical advice, a medical diagnosis, or medical treatment. Please consult your health practitioner with any questions you have regarding a medical condition. 

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