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Sativa VS Indica VS Hybrid: What are the differences between strains?


  • Three main types of cannabis strains: sativa, indica, and hybrid.
  • Sativa is energizing, while indica is relaxing. Hybrid strains have a mix of both.
  • The effects depend on the specific blend and individual factors like tolerance and metabolism.
  • Strains’ effects are influenced by cannabinoid and terpene profile.

There are three main types of cannabis strains: Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. All three options offer a diverse experience, so it’s essential to know the differences. For example, Sativa’s are ideal for a head high and are also tremendous for reducing anxiety, decreasing stress, and boosting your creativity. 

However, Indica’s are terrific for full-body effects and assist with insomnia, chronic pain, and relaxation. In this article, we will detail the differences between the cannabis strains, what to consider, and any possible side effects on each strain:

The Different Cannabis Strains 

1. Sativa Strains 

Sativa plants are widespread worldwide. They especially grow in warm conditions, such as in South America, Central America, California, and Southeast Asia. Sativa strains are often tall, light green, and somewhat skinny leaves. 

Sativa is popular among those looking for a head high. That’s because Sativa strains typically provide side effects on your mind instead of your body. As a result, people often feel more creative, more energized, and more focused. That’s why Sativa strains are popular with artists, writers, and musicians. 

Why People Use Sativa Strains

  • Ease symptoms of depression, including stress and anxiety 
  • Reduce headaches 
  • Remove nausea 
  • Boost focus 
  • Combat loss of appetite 

The main reason why Sativa’s are excellent at combating these symptoms is that they contain high THC levels and low CBD levels. 

The Most Popular Sativa Strains

  • Jack Herer 
  • Lemon Haze
  • Super Silver Haze
  • Sour Diesel 
  • Durban Poison
  • Panama Red
  • Acapulco Gold

2. Indica Strains 

Indica strains typically grow in dry and harsh climates, such as the Middle East. The plants are often short, bushy, and have dark green leaves. What’s more, indica strains are typically denser than Sativa plants. 

Many smokers describe indica strains as a full-body high instead of the head high offered by Sativa plants. Therefore, if you have any body issues, such as chronic pain or inflammation, indica strains are ideal for you. However, many Indica strains are perfect for nighttime usage. You may feel drowsy if you use them during the day. 

Why People Use Indica Strains

  • Reduce nausea
  • Boost appetite
  • Ease insomnia symptoms 
  • Decrease anxiety 
  • Alleviate body pain 

The reason Indica strains offer these benefits is that they have higher CBD levels than Sativa’s. Therefore, they’re excellent for health benefits, and most Indica plants contain even amounts of THC and CBD. 

The Most Popular Indica Strains 

  • Purple Kush 
  • Bubba Kush
  • Northern Lights 
  • Grandaddy Purple 
  • Blue Cheese 
  • Hindu Kush

3.  Hybrid Strains 

Hybrid cannabis strains are a mixture of Indica and Sativa. However, hybrid strains are sometimes a mixture of three or more different cannabis strains. A hybrid strain can be Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant. 

In many cases, it’s an even mixture of both. The effects people receive depend on the combination of parent strains used. 

Why People Use Hybrid Strains

People use hybrid strains for various reasons, but the effects depend on whether it contains more Indica or Sativa. In some cases, people use hybrid strains because the head or body high isn’t as potent. 

On the other hand, people may use hybrid strains because they’re sometimes more potent. It entirely depends on the type of hybrid strain and the producer. 

The Most Popular Hybrid Strains

  • OG Kush 
  • White Widow 
  • AK-47
  • Blue Dream 
  • Trainwreck 
  • Pineapple Express
Sativa VS Indica VS Hybrid: What are the differences between strains?

How To Select The Best Strain for You?

Now you know the three main cannabis strains, you need to select the best strain for your preference. You could use Sativa to feel energetic and productive during the day. In contrast, Indica is an excellent option to relax before you sleep. 

However, you could use a hybrid strain to enjoy a little focus and a little relaxation. You should find one with an even mixture of Sativa and Indica. Figure out why you’re using cannabis and what benefits you want to feel. Then, you can select the best strain for you. 

Here are some extra tips:

  • Know your tolerance: Some strains are more intense than others. Therefore, it’s a smart idea to avoid potent strains—such as Pineapple Express, when you’re first starting. 
  • Choose your consumption method: Each cannabis consumption method has different advantages and disadvantages. You may feel the effects of your cannabis faster if you vape. However, the effects are more extended when you consume edibles.
  • Consider your medical history: if you have any medical conditions, you can choose the best strain to help with conditions—such as chronic pain. 

What Are Terpenes?

You already know something about terpenes if you know about essential oils and aromatherapy. Terpenes create the various flavors and aromas of cannabis strains. Different terpenes include sour, sweet, earthy, herbal, fruity, and spicy. Cannabis connoisseurs with vast cannabis experience can guess the terpenes within a strain by tasting or smelling it. 

The terpenes within a cannabis strain can have a huge impact on its effects. For example, people might choose peppermint oil when they’re working. However, they may use lavender oil to relax. Cannabis experts also believe a strain’s terpenes can affect how the body interacts with THC. They call this the entourage effect. 

What Is The Entourage Effect?

Everyone behaves differently depending on the people they’re around. For example, if you party with rowdy people, there’s a good chance you’ll feel more energetic. If you party with a group of introverts, you’ll likely feel more reserved and thoughtful. Cannabinoids also behave differently depending on the group of terpenes they bring with them. 

Similarly to the cannabinoid structure, the terpene profile plays a huge role in determining the entire chemical structure of a cannabis strain. Although learning about terpenes in-depth can be complicated, you can always find a budtender to help you. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What Are The Potential Side Effects of Using Cannabis?

Although cannabis has many positive benefits, there may also be some unwanted side effects. Here are some of the possible unwanted side effects:

  • Dry eyes 
  • Anxiety 
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Lethargy 
  • Dizziness 
  • Decreased blood pressure

Most of these side effects come from THC instead of CBD. However, any cannabis product can create these side effects if you consume too much. 

Do Sativa’s Give You Munchies?

For many people, Sativa strains give them munchies. Nevertheless, this often depends on the strain and your body chemistry. 

Will Sativa’s Keep You Awake?

Sativa’s are the most energizing cannabis strain, so they may keep you awake at night. Nonetheless, this is often the case when you’re not used to the strain. After a while, you should be able to sleep after using Sativa strains. 

Can Indica’s Make Me Feel Paranoid?

If you suffer from anxiety and stress, you may want to reconsider using Indica strains. They can make you feel paranoid if you’re not used to them. 

Can Indica’s Make Me Feel Sleepy?

Indica’s are the most relaxing cannabis strain, so there’s an excellent chance they’ll make you feel sleepy. That’s why it’s wiser to consume Sativa’s if you need energy. 

Which Cannabis Strain Is Legal?

The laws surrounding cannabis depend entirely on where you live. However, there are no legal differences between consuming Sativa’s, Indica’s, and Hybrids. In the United States and most nations worldwide, they come under the same legal bracket. 

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right cannabis strain is essential for the best smoking experience. Decide what side effects you want from your cannabis and pick the strain accordingly. Most importantly, choose cannabis from the best producers. 

If you tick these boxes, your cannabis strain will give you the perfect high.

Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez
Jules Martinez, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of our vaping site, brings a decade of expertise in vaping, CBD, and cannabis. His comprehensive knowledge and editorial rigor ensure high-quality, accurate content, positioning us as a trusted resource in the community.
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