Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid
If you’re an experienced cannabis smoker, you're probably aware that there are three types of cannabis: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. But do you know the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains? If not, you're not alone. It's important to learn the difference between them if you want to buy the right kind of cannabis.
Each of them has unique properties related to psychoactive effects, aromas, flavors, appearance, buds' characteristics, yields, and other relevant factors.
But if you're new to the cannabis industry, you might be confused right now. You may be wondering why some strains affect you differently than others, despite having relatively similar THC contents. After all, it's just marijuana, right?
That's right! But, there is much more to cannabis use than cannabinoid content. In fact, choosing the right strain for your desired effects is one of the most important aspects of using the plant, whether medically or recreationally.
In this article, we'll go over the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains, as well as the benefits of each.
We'll also give you a list of strains to try depending on what you're looking for.
What is Cannabis?
Cannabis is a plant that contains many active components, including THC and CBD. THC is a psychoactive compound, whereas CBD is a non-psychoactive compound with numerous potential health benefits.
Cannabis can be consumed in a variety of ways, including smoking, vaping, eating, and using it as oil. The effects of cannabis vary depending on the strain, method of consumption, and the person consuming it.
Cannabis has been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. Many people use cannabis for its potential health benefits, such as pain relief, anxiety relief, and seizure prevention.
If you want to try cannabis, there are numerous strains to choose from. The effects of indica, sativa, and hybrid strains vary.
- Indica Strains: for night time relaxation
- Sativa Strains: for daytime and better mood
- Hybrid Strains: for euphoric effects
It is said that Cannabis indica has its origins in Pakistan, India, Turkey, and Afghanistan, more specifically in the Hindu Kush Mountains. It normally grows in cold weather and adverse climatic conditions. Indica strains are well-known for their "body-high" effects, including deep relaxation and reduced insomnia.
Cannabis indica is a more compact bush with a thicker stem than its sativa relatives, reaching a height of less than two meters and possessing the following characteristics:
The leaves are mostly dark green, but some specimens have blue or purple leaves. These leaves are made up of shorter and wider leaf blades that are designed to reduce water loss during transpiration.
Indica strains produce more side branches and denser growth than sativa strains, resulting in bushier, wider plants that resemble small trees.
Terpenes in Indica Strains
Indica Strains: Effects and Benefits
Indica strains are well-known for their sedative and relaxing effects. They can be beneficial in the treatment of pain, anxiety, and insomnia. Indica strains are also said to help with muscle spasms and improve appetite.
Because they are sedative, they are best used at night after a long day of work.
Popular Indica Strains
- Northern Lights
- Bubba OG
- Grandaddy Purple
- Royal Kush
- Bubba Kush
When you use these strains, you will experience full-body relaxation that will leave you stress-free.
Sativa strains are native to East Asia, but they are now widely grown in other hot and dry climates such as Africa, Central America, and West Asia. These strains are derived from the Cannabis sativa plant and are characterized by their tall and thin frames.
Cannabis Sativa has long, finger-like leaves and can grow to be more than 12 feet tall. They also require more time to mature than other types of cannabis.
Because of Sativa’s cannabinoid content, it can be used as a hallucinogenic, analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory agent. Cannabis Sativa's effects reduce anxiety and produce a mind high or an energizing and creative feeling.
Terpenes in Sativa Strains
Sativa Strains: Effects and Benefits
Sativa plants typically contain lower doses of CBD and higher doses of THC, making Sativa strains ideal for those looking for a cerebral "head" high. It has the ability to be energizing, focusing, creative, and anxiety-reducing, making it ideal for use during the day or as a wake-and-bake.
Popular Sativa Strains
- Green Crack
- Sour Space Candy
- Strawberry Cough
- Lemon Haze
- Pineapple Express
- Sour Diesel
As the name suggests, Hybrid strains are created by combining two strains.
Hybrid cannabis plants produce flowers with the genetic makeup of both indica and sativa strains that are either sativa or indica dominant. Hybrid cannabis strains are man-made plants with psychoactive properties similar to those found in cannabis ruderalis, sativa, and indica strains.
Combining specific strains produces different flavors, whether for effect, taste, or curiosity. Now, cannabis enthusiasts can enjoy unique cannabinoid profiles.
There are four main types of hybrid cannabis strains:
- Sativa x Sativa: Sativa-dominant
- Indica x Indica: Indica-dominant
- Indica x Sativa: 50/50 Indica + Sativa
- Hybrid Autoflower: Ruderalis with indica or sativa or both
Terpenes in Hybrid Strains
Hybrid Strains: Effects and Benefits
Because hybrids are more diverse and less uniform than indica or sativa strains, their effects are much more difficult to pinpoint. The properties of a hybrid strain are determined by the parent strains used to create it. If you choose an indica-dominant hybrid with a sativa, you'll get mostly indica effects (relaxed and sedated) with some sativa-like properties.
However, if you use a Sativa-dominant strain, you will experience sativa effects like improved focus and energizing effects.
In short, the effect of your hybrids may vary greatly depending on the dominant genes.
Popular Hybrid Strains
- Stormy Daniels
- Gorilla Glue
- Blue Dream
- Train Wreck
- Super Silver Haze
- Blueberry Kush
- Thin Mint GSC
- Sunset Sherbert
Indica vs Sativa
As previously stated, indica is commonly associated with calming effects, whereas sativa is commonly associated with uplifting effects.
Sativa and indica clearly have a unique set of benefits and effects. Not only do these differences result in two completely distinct psychoactive and physiological experiences, but which one you prefer may depend on how you're feeling at the time.
Sativa may be more beneficial on days when you need an extra boost at work or at home, but indica may be the better choice on days when you need help sleeping or relaxing.
To summarize, indica will make you feel:
- Pain relief
On the other hand, Sativa will make you feel:
Hybrid vs Indica
Indica strains are typically associated with full-body relaxation. On the other hand, hybrid strains typically fall somewhere in the middle (indica and sativa), depending on the strains from which they were bred.
It's important to understand that these broad concepts aren't always accurate, as there is a lot of variation within strains in terms of cannabinoid, flavonoid, and terpene content. The cannabis industry is moving away from these terms, instead classifying cannabis as high THC, THC/CBD combined, or high CBD.
Which is the Strongest Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid?
The commonly applied rule of thumb is that sativa strains are more invigorating and energizing, while indicas are more relaxing and calming but it's not quite that simple.
Even within the same strain of cannabis, individual plants produce varying effects. It all depends on the chemical composition of the plant and the growing technique employed.
However, for a balanced high, it is best to use hybrid strains as it is a combination of Sativa and Indica.
How to Choose the Best Cannabis Strain?
Many people use Indica and Sativa strains for different purposes. If you want to feel energized during the day, you could smoke a Sativa. You could use an Indica to help you relax before going to sleep. A hybrid is a good option if you want a balanced high with some relaxation and focus.
It can be challenging to pick the best cannabis strain for you. However, you need to focus on the following features:
Decide your favorite flavor to keep things simple. Do you prefer sweets or more spicy and earthy flavors? If you don't want to smoke, edible cannabis products are available for you!
Potency (THC or CBD)
Before looking into the complexities of strain characteristics, you should ask yourself a simple question: do you want to smoke cannabis to get high? If the answer is yes, the most obvious choice is strains with a high THC content. If the answer is no, you should look for strains with high levels of CBD.
Effects (Indica or Sativa)
Sativas produce euphoric feelings and encourage creativity, whereas indicas have a more body and relaxing effect. If you want a safe choice, hybrid strains are a good option because they contain elements of both types of strains, and some have 50% indica and 50% sativa genetics.
Some strains, such as Pineapple Express, are thought to be better for beginners. This type of "entry level" strain is usually tolerable and mild.
Other strains might be too potent for someone trying cannabis for the first time. When you are just starting out, look for less extreme strains before moving on to heavier hitters.
Is indica better than sativa or hybrid?
It's not accurate to say that Indica is better than Sativa or Hybrid, or vice versa, because the effects of cannabis can vary widely depending on individual differences in biology, tolerance, and the specific strain consumed.
The best strain for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences. To determine which strain may be best suited for your needs, you should research the various strains available and their effects, as well as consult with a healthcare professional or experienced cannabis user.
Is sativa hybrid or indica better for anxiety?
The best strain for anxiety will depend on the individual and their specific needs and preferences. However, in general, indica strains may be more effective for anxiety due to their relaxing and calming effects.
Summary: Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid
Cannabis plants are classified into three types: indica, sativa, and hybrid. Each category has distinct physical and chemical properties that produce distinct effects when consumed.
Indica strains are short and bushy, with broad leaves. Indica strains are well-known for their sedative and relaxing effects, making them popular for use at night and in the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, insomnia, and chronic pain.
Sativa strains, on the other hand, are taller, thinner, and have narrower leaves. Sativa strains are well-known for their energizing and uplifting effects, making them popular for use during the day as well as for treating conditions such as depression and fatigue.
Hybrid strains are a cross between Indica and Sativa strains, and their effects vary depending on the genetic combination. Hybrid strains can be Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or a mix of both. They provide a broader range of effects and can be customized to meet specific needs or preferences.
It is important to note that the terms Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid are not always accurate indicators of the effects of a strain. Other factors, such as THC and CBD content, terpene profiles, and individual differences in biology and tolerance, can all influence how a strain affects you.