Cannabis Science, CBD

Is Indica a Downer?

woman relaxing

If you’re new to cannabis and curious about the effects of Indica, you’ve come to the right place. So is Indica a downer? Here’s what we know. 

Photo: Unsplash

Is Indica Weed a Downer or Upper?

Indica is considered a downer. That means, after taking a hit of a blunt filled with Indica, you’re likely to feel sedated. The weed strain that’s often called an upper is Sativa and gives you more of an energizing high. 

If you’re looking for the opposite of that and want to wind down, Indica is the perfect strain for you. Indica’s effects include:

  • Relaxation
  • Appetite stimulation
  • Sleep aid
  • Reduction of nausea
  • Pain relief

Based on these effects, Indica is usually better suited for nighttime.  Let’s look into why Indica may provide these effects. 

Why is Indica a Downer?

The reason why Indica may produce these effects is due to the cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds. 

According to Healthline, Indica strains tend to have a high CBD content. That explains its ability to reduce nausea and pain. 

Healthline says this about CBD, “CBD is non-impairing or non-euphoric. It doesn’t cause a “high.” However, it may produce many physical benefits, such as reducing pain and nausea, preventing seizures, and easing migraine.”

However, Indica strains are usually still full of THC. Therefore, you can still reap some of the benefits associated with THC such as a high, which CBD cannot provide. 

At the same time, it is commonly thought that CBD dulls the effects of THC. Depending on your desired effects, you can play around with the CBD to THC ratio when reaching for Indica strains. 

For example, let’s say you don’t want munchies, opting for an Indica strain lower in THC and higher in CBD may do the trick. On the other hand, if you’re looking for an appetite stimulant, an Indica strain like Zkittlez that has more THC than CBD will have you noshing away in no time. 

According to Healthline, Zkittlez has 15-23% THC and less than 1% CBD but is known as an appetite booster in the stoner community. 

In conjunction with the other cannabinoids, terpenes such as myrcene help to give Indica some of its effects. Revolutionary Clinics says, “Myrcene is common in Indica strains that many of our patients choose for their relaxing, pain-relieving, and stress-reducing effects.”

Does Indica Get You High?

Yes! Even though Indica is considered a downer, it will definitely get you high. That’s because this strain has THC, which the cannabinoid responsible for a high. 

Indica strains can actually have tons of THC in them. Healthline says, “Indica strains often have higher levels of CBD, but the THC content isn’t necessarily less.”

What Type of High is Indica?

Indica’s high is typically described as a “body high” because of its body effects. Healthline says, “Indicas are typically associated with full-body effects, such as increasing deep relaxation and reducing insomnia.”

This is in contrast to Sativas which gives you a “head high.”

Indica Strains to Check Out 

The Indica strain to check out depends on the effects that you want to feel. The table below shows the Indica strain and some of the effects you can expect to feel. 

Indica StrainEffects
Do-Si-DosPain relief 
Granddaddy PurpleRelaxation, low appetite, insomnia
Ice Cream CakeRelaxation
Northern LightsPain relief, helps mood disorders, aids sleep, fixes low appetite
Purple PunchRelaxation 
Blue GelatoRelaxation
Sweet ZZRelaxation, creativity, euphoria
LA ConfidentialReduces: Inflammation, pain, and stress
Sherbet QueenAids sleep
Bubba KushRelaxation
Purple KushAids pain, sleep, and muscle spasms
Mendo BreathAids sleep
WatermelonAids sleep
GMO CookiesPain relief 

Source: Healthline [A] [B] and Royal Queen Seeds

What if Indica Doesn’t Work For Me?

If you tried an Indica in the past and you didn’t get the effects you wanted, you’re not alone.

Just because the strain is labeled Indica, doesn’t mean you’re absolutely going to feel a certain effect. One reason is that everybody is different and therefore will get various effects from marijuana. As a matter of fact, some people don’t even get high

Another reason is that not all Indica strains are the same. Healthline says, “the category, or type, of cannabis may not be the greatest indicator of the effects you’ll experience.” They suggest looking at the description that the grower and dispensary provide. 

Remember, your tolerance is also a factor in how various weed strains make you feel. You may want to either take a weed tolerance break or try different strains. 

At the same time, you may have taken an Indica strain that was too strong for you. That’s pretty normal too. Healthline mentions, “Some strains……. are considered “entry level.” Their effects are typically mild and tolerable. Strains with higher levels of cannabinoids may be too potent for a first-time user.”


Is Indica a downer? Yes, Indica is considered a downer. When opting for a strain to use, make sure you check the description of the marijuana product and do not rely too much on the strain itself. Indica may help with pain relief, and act as a sleep aid, nausea relief, and other effects. If you don’t feel your desired effect there could be many reasons for that including the weed product itself, your tolerance, or just biology.


About Trevann

Trevann is Stoner Rotation’s Jamaica-based lead writer for the Science section of our cannabis blog. She graduated with honors receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular Biology from the University of West Indies, Mona. For the last three years, she has covered some of the biggest questions around cannabis and health underpinned with research from supporting studies, medical journals and scholarly articles. Got something on your mind? You can reach her at [email protected].