Know The Difference Between Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid Strains of Cannabis

Knowing the different types of cannabis to get the best results and relief for your medical symptoms is essential. Many medical marijuana patients require a specific kind of cannabis to treat symptoms like anxiety and depression due to epilepsy and chronic pain. It is also helpful since all the packages carry the cannabis strain name.

When you visit a dispensary to buy cannabis, you will generally be asked if you need a Sativa or an Indica. Sativa and Indica are the two main types of strains found in cannabis that differ in appearance and effect. Indicas are known to relax you and slow down brain activity. In contrast, the Sativa strain is known to activate the brain, leading to uplifted mood and higher creativity, energy, and motivation levels. The difference is not as simple as this, but it has many things to consider.

Difference between Indica and Sativa

As stated earlier, Sativas are known to produce a “head high” or “mind-high” state that helps the patients to be productive during the daytime. Indicas have the opposite effect and are said to produce a “body high” effect. Here the consumption relieves you from pain, leads to relaxation, and hence have a good sleep. Its symptoms are also called “couch-lock.” There is yet another category called hybrid that is preferred in the market. They are produced using both Sativas and Indicas and can give results related to both.

Landrace strains are the original strains to which Indicas and Sativas belong. These strains have been cross-bred to get both the best qualities and eliminate unwanted features. Unfortunately, so much cross-breeding has happened that it is difficult to classify them.

Features, strains, and effects of Indica

The leaves of Indica are short and broad, and the plant is short and bushy.
Some common strains of Indica are Purple Punch, GMO Cookies, and Bubba Kush.
Indica, which sounds like “in the couch”, relaxes the body and is sedative in nature. Hence patients prefer to take it in the evening as it helps to relax and fight insomnia.

Features, strains, and effects of Sativa

Sativa plants are tall and have narrow leaves and wispy flowers.
Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, and Super Lemon Haze are some known strains of Sativa.
Sativa is preferred during day time as it keeps you active and uplifted. You can be physically active and best suited for social gatherings and projects that require your creative side to be involved. It makes you feel overwhelmingly happy and joyous.

Features, breeds, and effects of hybrid

When we refer to hybrids, Sativa and Indica are also included. Strains obtained by cross-breeding different strains of Sativa and Indica are called hybrids. When a hybrid strain resembles Sativa more, it is called “Sativa dominant.” In the same way that if it resembles Indica more, it is called “Indica dominant.” When your preference is Indica, you will find that you like the effects of Indica dominant hybrid strains.

Hybrids will have mixed features of both Indicas and Sativas. It depends on which gene is dominant in the hybrid. Some known hybrid strains have exciting names, like White Widow, Blue Dream, and Wedding Cake. The effect it has on the patients also depends on the traits the hybrid inherited from the parent plants. The result will fall on a spectrum possessed by the two parent strains, i.e., Sativa and Indica.

The strains have this overlapping effect; why do words like Indica and Sativa give much importance? Does it make a difference in what we choose? Yes, depending on what outcomes we are looking for, we must select the strain rightly. So let us delve into the details of the qualities that define the strains.

What Factors are Responsible for the Effects of Indica and Sativa?

Due to the innumerable cross-breeding, it is difficult to find pure Indica or Sativa strains today. So, talking about the strains is not as simple as it was some years ago. For example, you can have a Sativa product with Indica effects and vice versa. It has led to the need for new categories for classification. It is seen that there are a few factors that have an impact on the benefits and effects of a particular strain.

Two main factors determining the strain’s effects and benefits are the cannabinoid profile and the terpene profile. These factors are responsible for the experience you have after consuming cannabis. Your understanding of this is necessary so that we can go into further detail.

The Cannabinoid Profile

Naturally occurring chemical compounds in cannabis plants are called cannabinoids. Cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are two significant compounds among 480 compounds present. Therefore, when choosing your strain, instead of going for Sativa or Indica or hybrid, it is better to decide based on the combination of these two compounds.


CBD relieves pain caused by various health conditions and inflammation, reduces anxiety, and helps with several medical issues. In addition, it is not intoxicating. You will find minute amounts of THC in CBD-dominant strains. This combination is beneficial when you need to work on important things and manage pain. CBD eases pain, while THC helps you keep a clear mind or head. CBD does not produce the “high” compared to THC. Still, on the other hand, it helps reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. Some patients prefer a 1:1 ratio of CBD and THC.


THC is responsible for producing a high or euphoric experience. At the same time, it can also ease pain and the feeling of nausea. THC-dominant strains are not only famous for producing highs. Still, they can also reduce the intensity of pain, anxiety, insomnia, depression, and many other issues. Some feel nervous or uneasy after using THC-dominant strains, and some would not want the solid psychoactive effects of THC. Such people could go for CBD-dominant products.

Some of the other cannabinoids that influence the effects of a strain are THCV, CBG, CBN, and THCA, among others. Consider the cannabinoid profile before buying the product to get the desired result.

Terpene Profile

Naturally occurring aromatic compounds that impart unique scents to fruits, plants, and flowers are called terpenes. They give the lavenders their soothing scent, the lemons their energizing scent. The glands that produce THC and CBD also produce aromatic compounds. These compounds provide a distinct smell and taste to plants and each strain.

Cannabis terpenes stimulate us just like essential oils. Different terpenes affect us in different ways. Pinene is one such terpene that makes us alert, and linalool relaxes us. These terpenes impart additional medicinal benefits to the users of cannabis. Hence, it is advantageous to know the common ones that are essential ingredients of cannabis. Try smelling the strains you want to buy and go for the ones that you feel stand out or give you a good feeling.

Most common terpenes in cannabis

Pinene: It has two types. One has a gentle smell, like basil or dill, and the other smells like rosemary or pine needles. This terpene helps achieve mental focus, has anti-inflammatory effects, and boosts energy.

Limonene: As the name suggests, limonene gives the citrus scent that is liked by many. It kills bacteria and fungus, relieves nausea, reduces pain and depression, and suppresses appetite.

Myrcene: Myrcene imparts a spicy, hoppy smell of lemongrass, thyme, and hops. It is found in mangoes too. It is anti-inflammatory and reduces or removes the mutations caused by chemicals and radioactive agents.

Linalool: It has the soothing smell of lavender and has a relaxing effect on people. It is beneficial as it is anti-epileptic and anti-inflammatory. It also reduces anxiety and works as a sedative.

Caryophyllene is the terpene responsible for the spicy scent of pepper and the distinct smell of cinnamon and oregano. This terpene is said to be anti-inflammatory, ease stress, and fight cancer.

The combination of cannabinoids and terpenes present in cannabis work together in such a way that they complement each other and enhance each other’s properties. As a result, the variety of these compounds gives much better results than when used separately. It is called the entourage effect. The physiological and psychoactive effects thus produced benefit people in many ways.
Each strain will have these compounds in different proportions and can be used to diagnose various medical conditions. It is said that they are very effective when used at the micro level. Consult a qualified health care provider to choose the correct cannabis to help your health condition.

Indica, Sativa and Hybrid edibles

Though cannabis edibles and cannabis flowers are very different, the rules to classify them as Indica, Sativa, or hybrid are the same. Cannabis edibles available in stores contain concentrates of cannabis or distillate that are extracted from the flowers of cannabis. It results in fewer choices and variations available in Sativa and Indica edibles. Also, the variations are less evident in edibles compared to the Sativa and Indica flowers.

Sativa edibles give you energy and vigour, and a clear brain helps you work, complete tasks, and achieve productivity. It also helps fight depression.

Indica edibles help relax as they focus on the body and have a calming effect. They are beneficial to people fighting insomnia, pain, and anxiety. As edibles are more concentrated than naturally occurring flowers, they tend to have an increased sedative effect on the body.

Hybrid edibles have a combined effect of the two.

Cannabis experts suggest consumers look beyond Indica and Sativa classification when choosing their edibles. The same has to be followed even for the flower. The terpenes that give a flavour and smell to the products are destroyed by the extraction process used to make edibles. Therefore, it is advisable to go for high-quality edibles containing specific terpenes as they also add their own benefits to the products.

The cannabinoid content also has to be checked as the effect mainly depends on it. For example, an edible product containing both CBD and THC will be strong and reduce your anxiety level.

If you are interested, you can make your edibles at home. It will give you a lot more control over what you consume and can have particular effects that are desired. Your homemade edibles can be made using decarboxylated flowers and are better than those bought from stores with limited terpene and cannabinoid content. In addition, you get good recipes online to prepare your edibles at home.

Know the effect you want and make the correct choice

Knowing what effect cannabis can provide and what health conditions it should take care of when you consume it is essential. Then, depending on it, find the right strain for yourself. Consider beyond Indica or Sativa before making your choice. Note the cannabinoids and terpenes present and their potency, and select the right combination to help you deal with your health conditions.

Consult a certified medical professional, and use these products per his guidance. You can take expert advice from, who will arrange consultations with certified marijuana doctors. They will address all your concerns and guide you in your journey as a cannabis consumer. So why wait? Book your consultation right away!

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