After consuming an Indica cannabis strain, your eyes become heavy, and all of your worries may seem to disappear just as quickly as the plume of smoke you exhale. This is a common scenario among cannabis enthusiasts around the globe, and now, many are questioning why Indicas produce the ever-present couch-lock effect. Let’s take a look at 3 reasons why Indicas are known to put you “in-da-couch.”
#1: Terpenes Found In Indicas
Terpenes are organic compounds that are found throughout the plant kingdom. Terpenes are responsible for the intense aroma and flavors found in cannabis terpenes. Research also says that the 120 terpenes that occur naturally in cannabis plants contribute to the overall effects alongside THC and CBD as well.
The two primary terpenes that produce these sedative effects in cannabis are myrcene and linalool.
When you’re stressed, do you ever search for a relaxing tea that’ll help you calm down? You may have encountered multiple products that contain lavender as the main ingredient due to its ability to induce a sense of relaxation throughout your body. You may be wondering what lavender has to do with cannabis - but we’re getting to the point.
Linalool is the primary compound that gives lavender its stress-relieving and sedative effects. It’s also the compound that gives lavender its soothing aroma. Now that you understand what linalool provides, you can imagine what role it plays in cannabis. Similar to how lavender calms you down, Indicas with high concentrations of linalool will slow your body down to a standstill.
The second (and by far the most prevalent) terpene that contributes to the couch-lock effect of Indicas is myrcene. This compound is found in hops, lemongrass, and cannabis; and has been long used as a sleep aid and muscle relaxant.
In Germany, hop preparations have been used as a sleep aid. In various lab tests, it appeared that myrcene was capable of acting similarly to that of barbiturates, which are capable of depressing the central nervous system. Ultimately, researchers have concluded that myrcene is a potent sedative - primarily when used in conjunction with THC. The combination of myrcene and THC produces the couch-lock effect that many marijuana enthusiasts have felt many times over.
#2: Indica Cannabinoid Levels
Cannabis contains synergistic properties with cannabinoids and terpenes, and because of this, each compound has a cause and effect. As we saw with linalool and myrcene, THC, CBD, and other cannabinoid levels play a role in producing immobilizing effects that have become ubiquitous with Indicas.
Although THC is psychoactive, it can only produce so many effects. THC is known to impair emotional responses, motor skills, and short-term memory function. This reduction of cognition is also coupled with muscle relaxant and sleep inducing properties.
There has yet to be a study that shows Indica-dominant strains contain higher levels of THC compared to Sativas; however, some of the strongest strains are Indica-dominant hybrids. Once again, it’s not strictly the THC levels that leave you with a sense of laziness, but rather, other cannabinoids as well.
CBD on the other hand, directly affects the human body in ways that can trigger sedative and relaxing effects. Recent studies on Cannabidiol (CBD) display an overall reduction of anxiety and an increase in the ability to fall asleep. Terpenes, CBD, and potentially other cannabinoids work together with the psychoactive properties of THC to produce a rounded effect of sedation.
Thus far, THC and CBD are the most heavily researched cannabinoids in the cannabis space, but studies regarding the effects of minor cannabinoids, such as CBG and CBN, are ongoing. Until the effects of other cannabinoids are better understood, we can only comment on the cannabinoids that have in-depth research behind them.
#3: Effects of Indicas
Once you put all of these compounds together in an Indica strain, potent effects are produced. Let’s take a look at what you can expect when indulging in Indica cannabis strains.
The most common effect is a sense of overwhelming sleepiness. Users who’ve experienced this debilitating sense of tiredness coined the couch-lock phrase because they couldn’t muster the energy to get off the couch. This feeling saps any energy you may have had previously to indulging in an Indica strain, which is why Indicas are recommended for night time use.
Due to the relaxing properties of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD, as well as the terpenes found in Indicas, Indicas produce an intense sensation of full-body muscle relaxation. This effect increases the feeling of the inevitable couch-lock because each muscle is no longer primed for action.
Decreased Reaction Time
Due to the sedative effects caused by the properties found within Indicas, the body has a slowed reaction time. Reaction time decreases because your senses are numbed rather than stimulated.
Indica strains are the antithesis to Sativa strains because of this slowed-down awareness. Conversely, Sativas promote a boost in energy, alertness, and heightened creativity due to their inherent properties.
If you’re looking to get put “in-da-couch,” then there’s no better place to look than a potent Indica edible. These can be found by searching for a cannabis edible that’s infused with specific Indica strains.
Some popular Indica strains that provide narcotic-like effects are Granddaddy Purple, Blue Cheese, and Tahoe OG, These aren’t the only Indica-dominant strains that provide heavy-hitting Indica effects, but these are time-tested classics that offer ample amounts of properties that will put you in-da-couch.
If you consume a cannabis edible that’s infused with a potent Indica, you’ll find a wide range of beneficial effects. You might not find your way to your bed, but your couch will suffice in relieving any insomnia-like symptoms you may have been experiencing.
Now, once you’re stuck to your couch after consuming an Indica edible, you know that you have the terpenes and cannabinoids to thank for helping you achieve a sense of absolute calm and feeling of blissful satisfaction.
- Babson, K., Sottile, J. and Morabito, D. (2017). Cannabis, Cannabinoids, and Sleep: a Review of the Literature. Current Psychiatry Reports, 19(4).
- Linck, V. D. M., Silva, A. L. D., Figueiró, M., Piato, Â. L., Herrmann, A. P., Birck, F. D, Elisabetsky, E. (2009). Inhaled linalool-induced sedation in mice. Phytomedicine, 16(4), 303–307. doi: 10.1016/j.phymed.2008.08.001
- Science Direct. Myrcene. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/myrcene.
- Shannon, S. (2019). Cannabidiol in Anxiety and Sleep: A Large Case Series. The Permanente Journal. doi: 10.7812/tpp/18-041