Effects of Sativa-Dominant Cannabis Consumption
Cannabis affects everyone differently. However, there are some commonly reported psychoactive, subjective and physical effects from consuming Sativa cultivars.
The psychoactive effects of Sativa-dominant cannabis vary for each individual user, however, the chemical process is the same in every case. Cannabis affects the levels of several neurotransmitters, including dopamine and norepinephrine. These changes, in turn, can cause changes in conscious perception, euphoria, relaxation, introspection, amplified sensuality, and increased libido. Anxiety and panic attacks can also occur among consumers when dealing with cultivars that contain a high THC content.
In addition to the more universal psychoactive effects of cannabis consumption, there are also a few more subjective effects that are common for many consumers. These include increased appetite and increased enjoyment of food and drink. Many also report feeling a distorted sense of time, with time generally slowing down or feeling as though it has stopped. Sativa-dominant cannabis can also reportedly produce a rush of energy, ideas and perceptions. Finally, with higher doses, some users report instances of dissociation and even mild hallucinations.
For most people, the physical effects of cannabis consumption are virtually the same regardless of whether it’s a Sativa or Indica strain. Users will experience dry mouth, an increased heart rate, dry or red eyes and muscle relaxation.
Some consumers tend to associate Indica-dominant strains with high CBD levels and Sativa-dominant strains with high THC levels, although this classification is largely incorrect.
The real distinction between the effects felt by consuming Indica and Sativa strains are the result of terpenes – the aromatic compounds found in cannabis. The bright and fruity terpenes that are abundant in Sativa-dominant strains are often associated with uplifting, energetic effects. Terpenes associated with Sativa-like effects include Pinene and Limonene.
Cultivation of Sativa
Sativa plants are widely available around the world and can be cultivated in most hot, dry climates. That said, temperatures above 30°C or below 13°C can slow growth and lead to lower levels of THC. This is only an issue with outdoor cultivation of course. Thankfully, many cannabis cultivators grow their product indoors via traditional soil growth, hydroponics, or aeroponics.
In addition to stable temperatures, Sativa plants require ample light, water, humidity, and nutrients. When it comes to the lighting environment, Sativa plants can grow with either real or artificial sunlight. If artificial light is used, it is best to mimic the natural day/night cycle, by providing approximately 16 hours of light alternated with 8 hours of darkness. These times may differ depending on the quantity and cultivation process.
The frequency that Sativa plants must be watered depends on several factors and can vary greatly. The Sativa plant requires a delicate balance, as under-watering can cause wilted leaves, while over-saturation can lead to bacterial growth. Generally, it is best to wait until the soil has dried completely between each watering.
Though very high humidity could lead to over-saturation, Sativa plants usually grow better in humid climates. This is due to the fact that dry conditions slow photosynthesis, thus slowing plant growth. As a result, certain dry climates are not ideal for outdoor cannabis cultivation.
Finally, Sativa plants require plenty of nutrients to grow. This can usually be accomplished using a mixture of natural soil and commercial fertilizer. Cultivators must experiment with their cultivation conditions in order to find the best ratio for their plants.
In Canada, many cultivators choose to grow their product in indoor facilities to prevent climate-related damage to the plants.