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Differences Between Indica, Sativa & Hybrid Cannabis

The differences between indica, sativa and hybrid cannabis can be substantial and greatly affect your experience.
what is the difference between indica sativa and hybrid cannabis

Historically when a newcomer was introduced to cannabis they only cared about a few of the “W’s”… where, when and with who. But as we become more experienced it’s normal to start wondering, “what” kind of weed am I smoking? or “why” do I smoke weed?

Why do we care? What are the Differences Between Indica, Sativa & Hybrid cannabis strains and do they matter?

In simple terms our cannabis demands begin modifying. These changes can appear slowly or quite rapidly over time. For example, it may be as drastic as an arising health condition or it could be as simple as our tolerance over the years.

Thanks to weed being legalized for recreational use in Canada, the industry has seen a huge influx of companies which has led to an array of new cannabis products, consumers and needs. If you’re just getting started then you may want to read our guide to identifying good and bad weed which is useful for users still having trouble telling dank from bunk.

cannabis products

This includes vaporizers and vape accessories for inhaling cannabis plant and oils, online head shops that sell glassware such as bongs and other smoking supplies. Plus the most obvious new addition is the storefront local cannabis dispensary.

Navigating through the world of marijuana products for the first time can be a difficult task. Not only are there many bizarre strain names and cannabis brands, but you can also consume it a number of different ways like edibles, dried flower, shatter and hash. Plus all the equipment such as bongs, grinders, pens and really the list just goes on.

When purchasing marijuana products, it really comes down to one main question you need to ask yourself; “How do I want to feel?” Do you want to increase productivity, maybe have better social skills or remain upbeat throughout the day? Or have you had a stressful day, need to relax, reduce some pain or perhaps increase your appetite? Possibly, you want the effects of both.

The catalogue of benefits for different cannabis strains could go on for days, however, determining the benefit you’re looking to receive will assist you in purchasing the right product. You should take a few minutes to learn how terpenes affect cannabis and your experience.

What is Sativa Cannabis?

Sativa cannabis strains are known for their energizing and uplifting effects on the mind and body, making them a popular choice for daytime use.

One of the main benefits of using sativa-dominant strains is the uplifting and creative experiences they provide for their consumers. They can stimulate the mind, promote productivity, and increase energy levels, making them an ideal choice for individuals who need to stay focused and motivated throughout the day.

In addition to promoting productivity, sativa strains can also help reduce anxiety and depression. By uplifting the mood and promoting a sense of well-being, they can provide consumers with more confidence in social situations. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals who struggle with social anxiety or other mood disorders.

These strains are also known for their cerebral effects, which can be a powerful tool when using these strains in combination with other substances. Sativas can amplify the effects of other drugs, making them an excellent choice for individuals who want to enhance the effects of other substances, such as psychedelics or alcohol.

However, it is important to note that most sativa-dominant strains have been cultivated to be very energetic. While this can be beneficial for some individuals, it can also cause increased feelings of hunger, thirst, and fatigue. Therefore, it is important for individuals to monitor their use and be aware of the potential side effects.

what is sativa cannabis
Sativa Dominant Strain – Sage N Sour

What is Indica Cannabis?

Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedative effects on the mind and body, making them a popular choice for nighttime use.

One of the main benefits of using indica strains is their ability to provide deep relaxation and relief from chronic pain. Many individuals with chronic pain have found relief in using indica strains, which can help them relax and even fall asleep. This is due to the high levels of cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, which have been shown to have pain-relieving properties.

In addition to providing relief from chronic pain, indica-dominant strains have been proven to aid migraines and women’s health issues such as menstrual cramps. This is due to the muscle-relaxing properties of indica strains, which can help alleviate muscle tension and reduce pain. Indica strains have even been known to provide relief to those with arthritis and fibromyalgia, two conditions that can cause chronic pain and inflammation.

These strains have also been known to help with digestive problems. They can help reduce nausea and increase appetites, making them an ideal choice for individuals who are undergoing chemotherapy or experiencing other digestive issues. The relaxing effects of indicas can also help alleviate stress and anxiety, which can contribute to digestive issues.

what is indica cannabis
Indica Dominant Strain – Sensi Star

What is Hybrid Cannabis?

Hybrid cannabis strains are a combination of both indica and sativa strains, offering users the benefits of both worlds. These strains can be customized to provide different levels of relaxation, energy, and euphoria depending on the user’s preferences.

When choosing a hybrid, it is important for consumers to investigate further to determine whether the strain is more indica or sativa dominant, or if it is equivalent on both ends. This will help users determine which effects will be more prominent when using the strain.

For example, if a hybrid strain is 70% sativa and 30% indica, users can expect to feel more of the uplifting and energizing effects associated with sativa strains, with some mild relaxation provided by the indica component. In contrast, if a hybrid strain is roughly 60% sativa and 40% indica, it is fair to assume that the effects will be more evenly balanced, providing a blend of relaxation and euphoria.

Hybrid strains are popular among cannabis users because they can be tailored to meet individual needs and preferences. For example, a hybrid that is sativa dominant may be a good choice for individuals who need a boost of energy and creativity during the day, while a hybrid that is indica dominant may be more suitable for individuals who need help relaxing and getting to sleep at night.

what is hybrid cannabis
Hybrid Strain – Lemon Berry

We’re all original and may require cannabis for different reasons. Part of what we do at, is provide consumers with the investigative tools and helpful reviews for all their cannabis inquiries. We have all felt or observed cannabis at work.

Some of us have smoked and thought “wow, I feel amazing”, or the opposite, felt awful. By obtaining information about different strains, you can experiment with new ones, find your go to, or can avoid unwanted highs.

What is Ruderalis Cannabis?

Ruderalis cannabis is a variant that is less known than the popular Indica and Sativa strains. They originated in harsh, colder climates of regions like Central Asia and Russia, evolving unique characteristics to survive these tough conditions. The key differentiating feature of Cannabis Ruderalis is its autoflowering nature, which means it transitions from the vegetative stage to the flowering stage with age, regardless of the light cycle. This makes these strains ideal for growers who seek quicker harvests as they typically flower within 3 to 4 weeks from germination.

In contrast to Ruderalis, Indica and Sativa strains are photosensitive, meaning their transition from vegetative to flowering stage is triggered by changes in light cycle, typically when the daylight hours start to reduce. Physically, Ruderalis plants are smaller and bushier than both Sativa and Indica. While Indica plants are known for their broad leaves and dense, resinous buds providing body relaxing effects, and Sativa plants are tall with narrow leaves, offering cerebral, uplifting effects, Ruderalis strains are not typically known for their psychoactive properties due to low THC content. However, they are often crossbred with Indica or Sativa strains to create autoflowering hybrids that maintain the potent effects of their counterparts while inheriting the autoflowering trait of the Ruderalis.

Do you know what Tetrahydrocannabinol and Cannabidiol are? If not, then go here and learn the difference between CBD and THC.

References and additional reading

  1. “The Cannabis Encyclopedia” by Jorge Cervantes
  2. “Cannabis Indica vs. Cannabis Sativa: What’s the Difference?” by Leafly
  3. “Indica vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference and Which One is Right for You?” by Healthline
  4. “Understanding Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains of Cannabis” by Medical Jane
  5. “Cannabis Strains 101: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid” by Project CBD
  6. “The Science Behind Indica and Sativa: What You Need to Know” by Herb
  7. “The Ultimate Guide to Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains of Cannabis” by Royal Queen Seeds

These resources can provide in-depth information about the characteristics, effects, and genetics of Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains of cannabis, and can be helpful for those who want to learn more about this topic.

Written by
A cannabis enthusiast, writer, and dab diva who is dedicated to helping you understand the constantly evolving world of recreational cannabis.

Have your say!

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  1. i bought big fluffy colas and heads are finishing narrow on top .and curving,smell tropical
    do somebody know what it can be in what family.thanks

    • Hi Nicole, great question. Its hard to determine a plants exact strain based off the description and the science isn’t 100% certain. Cannabis plants that are Sativa dominant strains have fan leave fingers that are narrow as well as more spacing between their nodes while Indica dominate strains have fat fan leave fingers and narrow spacing between branch nodes. Hybrids can obviously complicate matters. Aside from that, the type of high may be an indicator; energetic, feel good; awake for sativas and relaxed, sleeping, chill for indicas. Hope this helps. If you find out more about it let me know.


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