Understanding the distinctions between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis.

Understanding the distinctions between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis.

When looking at cannabis strains or buying cannabis at a dispensary, you'll see that they're divided into three categories: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Most people have used these cannabis varieties as a guide to anticipating effects, but what makes them different?

Understanding the fundamentals

Indica strains are physically sedating, excellent for resting with a movie or as a nightcap before bed, while sativa strains are invigorating with uplifting cerebral effects that combine well with physical activity, social events, and creative tasks. Indica and sativa effects are said to be mixed in hybrid strains. However, indica does not always imply "on da couch," and sativa does not always imply "energized." As more information about the cannabis plant becomes available, it appears that the chemical ingredients in each strain—cannabinoids and terpenes—determine the effects you'll experience, not whether it's an indica or sativa. In truth, botany, not effects, is the source of those two names.

The concept that indicas, sativas, and hybrids have different effects is still prevalent in popular cannabis culture today. If you've ever visited a dispensary, you've probably heard a budtender start a recommendation by asking which of the three varieties you prefer. Let's take a look at the origins of the names "indica," "sativa," and "hybrid," as well as how the chemical composition of a cannabis strain interacts with your body to produce effects.

Indica and sativa have different origins.

In the 18th century, the terms "indica" and "sativa" were used to distinguish between two types of cannabis: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Hemp plants were farmed for their fiber and seeds throughout Europe and western Eurasia, thus the word "sativa." The intoxicating types of Cannabis indica were found in India, where they were collected for their seeds, fiber, and hash production.

Here's how terminology have evolved since they were first defined botanically:

  • Today, "sativa" refers to cannabis types with tall, thin leaves that are supposed to have stimulating properties. These NLD cultivars, on the other hand, were originally Cannabis indica ssp. indica.
  • The term "indica" has evolved to refer to tall, broad-leaved plants that are supposed to have sedative properties. Cannabis indica ssp. afghanica is the scientific name for these broad-leaf drug (BLD) cultivars.
  • The industrial, non-intoxicating types harvested solely for fiber, seeds, and CBD are referred to as "hemp." Cannabis sativa was the initial name for this plant.

Although the majority of the cannabis strains we consume come from Cannabis indica, both labels are used to categorize the hundreds of strains available today.

What factors influence strain effects?

The effects of various cannabis strains are determined by a variety of elements, the most important of which are the cannabinoids and terpenes in the strain, as well as the chemical components in it.


The cannabis plant is made up of hundreds of chemical ingredients that work together to generate a unique harmony of effects, driven by cannabinoids. The two most prevalent cannabinoids, THC and CBD, are the primary drivers of cannabis' medicinal and recreational effects.

  • THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol) makes us hungry and euphoric while also alleviating pain and nausea.
  • CBD (cannabidiol) is a non-psychoactive molecule that has been shown to help with anxiety, pain, inflammation, and a variety of other medical conditions.
  • Consumers looking for a powerful euphoric experience prefer THC-dominant strains. Patients seeking relief from pain, depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, and other ailments use these strains. Try a strain with greater amounts of CBD if you become worried with THC-dominant strains or detest the various adverse effects linked with THC.
  • CBD-dominant strains have very little THC and are commonly utilized by persons who are hypersensitive to THC or who want clear-headed symptom alleviation.
  • THC and CBD levels in balanced THC/CBD strains are similar, providing modest euphoria as well as symptom alleviation. These are a wonderful choice for newcomers who want to get a taste of cannabis' distinctive high.

What exactly is sativa?

While not all sativa marijuana strains will make you feel energized, most users note that sativas have a tendency to generate a "head high," an uplifting, stimulating impact. They also frequently indicate that sativas help them cope with stress or anxiety, and many people use them to improve their attention and motivation.

Effects of Sativa

Sativa strains are known for making people feel joyful, uplifting, euphoric, and active. Sativas are sometimes referred to as "daytime" strains, as they are utilized to feel productive, creative, and focused, as well as to complete tasks.

Sativa strains in demand

You may try a variety of sativa strains, and you've probably heard of some of the most popular. Most dispensaries should have at least some of these sativa marijuana strains on hand, as they're typically popular.

  • Sour Diesel
  • Jack Herer
  • Green Crack
  • Durban Poison
  • Lemon Haze

What exactly is indica?

Although not all indica strains will put you "on the couch," many consumers connect indicas with full-body sensations like as heavy limbs or a tingling face. Indicas are also said to assist with relaxation and sleeplessness, according to them.

Effects of indica

Indica strains are known for making people feel calm, euphoric, cheerful, and drowsy. Indica strains are usually referred to as "nighttime" strains since they are utilized to relax and unwind towards the end of the night.

Popular indica strains

There are several indica strains to choose from, many of which you may already be acquainted with. These popular indica cannabis strains may be found in our online dispensary.

  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Bubba Kush
  • Northern Lights
  • Girl Scout Cookies

What are hybrid strains?

Hybrid strains are created by crossing indica and sativa plants. Because of the lengthy history of crossbreeding cannabis strains—much of which was done covertly to avoid authorities—pure indica and pure sativa strains are uncommon. The majority of strains labeled "indica" or "sativa" are hybrids having DNA from both subspecies.

Hybrid effects

Because hybrid cannabis strains have DNA from both indica and sativa varieties, its effects can be influenced by both. Happy, euphoric, elevating, active, and calming are all common effects, depending on whatever hybrid you eat and which effects its "parent" strains are known to generate.

Popular Hybrid strains

There's no lack of hybrid strains on the market, and some of the most well-known are also some of the most recognizable.

  • Blue Dream
  • Gelato
  • Birthday Cake
  • OG Kush
  • White Widow
  • Pineapple Express
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