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Understanding the Differences Between the Cannabis Plants

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When it comes to shopping for cannabis, you will see that it is often broken down into two strains: indica and sativa. These two types of strains not only look different, but also are believed to provide different effects. 

  • Indica: This type of strain has stout, broad leaves, and is often said to be more relaxing and physically sedating. These are perfect for relaxing before bed or to enjoy a movie. If you are looking for this type of strain, the Nice Guys PreRoll: Indica - 1.2g is for you.  

  • Sativa: This type of strain has tall, narrow leaves and is often said to be more uplifting and goes well with physical activity and social gatherings. If you are looking for this type of strain, the Nice Guys PreRoll: Sativa - 1.2g is for you.

While cannabis is often grouped into these two groups, most strains are actually a hybrid between the two, and it is very rare to find a plant that is not a cross between the two. Instead they can be categorized by whichever is more dominant. If they are more evenly crossed, that type of strain is called a hybrid. If you are looking for this type of strain, the Nice Guys PreRoll: Hybrid - 1.2g

If you are just entering the world of cannabis, you may be confused. But don’t worry. When you come to our shop that serves the San Rafael and Mill Valley, CA area, let us know what kind of experience you are looking for and we can give you our recommendation. You can also view our FAQs and our Cannabis 101 booklet for more information.

Which Cannabis Strain do you prefer?

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Do you prefer Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid cannabis flower? Does it matter to you?

And what feeling are you seeking when consuming?

Cannabis is an extremely unique plant. No two people have the same experience, and even if they could biologically-speaking, they still couldn’t, because each cannabis strain and each harvest is different. Cannabis is alive and constantly evolving.

At Nice Guys, we recommend tracking your experience. It means you should take ownership of your cannabis use by becoming interested in what you’re consuming and tracking how it makes you feel (actually write it down).

Become curious. Ask your licensed cannabis provider questions and reach out on social media to start a dialog with others. Prohibition will end when more of us begin to open up and talk about all the ways cannabis helps our lives.

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Originally posted on Medium ***

Indica vs. Sativa - How do I choose the right strain?

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What's the difference between Indica & Sativa?

And what it means for me


Choosing the right strain for your individual needs

It doesn’t matter if you’re new to cannabis or a long-time user, there is mass confusion surrounding the words “Indica” and “Sativa.”  The confusion reaches so far, it’s led many budtenders to even ask what type you prefer, as you’re looking to purchase flower. It’s a problem because it gives users the wrong idea and is a key issue when trying to use the plant for medicinal purposes.

The common belief behind strain selection is that sativa’s are more uplifting, energetic, and cerebral - good for social gatherings and fitness activities. Much of canna-culture also believes indica’s are the go to strain for something relaxing, or to aid in sleep or appetite stimulation.

The truth, as research shows, comes across different. There is little evidence backing the belief that either cannabis type displays “a consistent pattern of chemical profiles that would make one inherently sedating and the other uplifting.” [1]

Where did these terms come from?

It was in the 18th century when Carl Linneaus termed the word “cannabis sativa,” describing hemp plants harvested primarily for fiber, seeds, and CBD. It was also then when “cannabis indica” was named by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, when discovering the plant in India, as a way to describe the psychoactive plants. Today, most of the varieties we consume come from the “cannabis indica” plant. [1]

The big takeaway is to understand that not all indicas are going to make you sleepy, and not all sativas are going to give you an energetic buzz. As confusing as this may sound, there is good news that can help you better predict your level of effects.

The effects we feel from consuming are highly individual and depend on a bunch of factors, including your genetic makeup, the plants unique chemical profile, your tolerance, dose, and way of consuming. [1]

Research has taught us that understanding cannabinoids and terpenes is a better marker when seeking the right strain to achieve our desired effects. Terpenes are the aromatic oils which vary in different strains and plants, giving cannabis its distinctive smell and taste – such as pine, lemon, or mint. Terpenes are produced by the plant to repel insects and spread pollen.

Image Source:

Image Source:

Cannabinoids are the chemical compounds secreted by the flower to protect itself, they’re similar in composition to the natural compounds our bodies make, called endocannabinoids. There are at least 113 cannabinoids identified in the plant, and each cannabinoid is different in composition causing them to interact with cannabinoid receptors located throughout our brain and body, in uniquely individual ways. This is the reason for cannabis’s amazing ability to treat a wide range of ailments.


The six most common cannabinoids are:

  1. THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) - the main psychoactive component, commonly used for pain, stress, appetite stimulation, and sleep.
  2. CBD (cannabidiol) - it is non-psychoactive and is commonly used for anxiety, inflammation, epilepsy, and arthritis.
  3. CBG (Cannabigerol) - non-psychoactive and is the chemical parent of both THC and CBD. Commonly used for muscular disorders, skin conditions, inflammation, and anxiety.
  4. CBN (Cannabinol)non-psychoactive and is commonly used for pain management, insomnia, inflammation, and as a mild sedative.
  5. THCa (Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid) non-psychoactive until heated where it then becomes the psychoactive form of THC. Commonly used for inflammation, neurodegenerative diseases, nausea, appetite loss, and pain.
  6. CBDa (Cannabidiolic Acid)non-psychoactive and is the precursor to CBD. Commonly used for nausea, antibacterial, and inflammation.
Cannabinoid Receptors are located throughout the brain and body! Image Source :

Cannabinoid Receptors are located throughout the brain and body! Image Source:


We prefer whole-plant options for the widest possible benefits

The combination of cannabinoids and terpenes interacting within our bodies give us an “entourage effect,” providing the user with the full spectrum of therapeutic compounds cannabis has to offer. Cannabis is a diverse plant offering a wide range of benefits, so take your time when selecting a product and never hesitate to ask questions. We also recommend writing down your experience with each strain, so you have something to reference when you are ready to make another purchase. With something as unique as cannabis it’s really important that we each take initiative to learn and understand how the plant interacts with each of us individually, that way we can make better choices when seeking a strain with our desired effect.




Strain Review: Durban Poison

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A pure sativa originating from the South African port city of Durban. This ones fire!

Durban Poison is an energetic, focused strain of bud. It tastes like a sweet, earthy, and piney mix of euphoria; producing uplifting, creative, and happy sensations.

This is the perfect strain for daytime smoking as it is a pure sativa with a clear minded high that helps me stay productive all day long. I’ve never experienced a comedown after smoking Durban. In fact, it’s the closest thing I’ve found to mimic the effects of Adderall — I’m not saying you should stop your prescription and just start smoking, but for me it’s a preferred natural option over synthetic drugs which leave me feeling dull, overstimulated, and occasionally cranky.

Another little known fact about Durban Poison is that it contains THCV — Tetrahydrocannabivarin, which is an appetite suppressant. In contrast to THC, THCV may dull the appetite. This may be good for consumers focused on weight loss, but THCV should be avoided by patients treating appetite loss or anorexia.

A little more about THCV:

  • THCV may help with diabetes. Research shows promise in THCV’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and reduce insulin resistance.
  • THCV may reduce panic attacks. It appears to curb anxiety attacks in PTSD patients without suppressing emotion.
  • THCV may help with Alzheimer’s. Tremors, motor control, and brain lesions associated with Alzheimer’s disease appear to be improved by THCV, but research is in progress.
  • THCV stimulates bone growth. Because it promotes the growth of new bone cells, THCV is being looked at for osteoporosis and other bone-related conditions

Medicinally it has been used to treat stress, depression, fatigue, pain, and headaches. However, be aware some users report dry mouth, dry eyes, dizzy, or occasionally anxiety.

For more strain reviews and an adventurous way to explore Cannabis follow along on our social:

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