Cannabis is famous for its recreational and medicinal properties. As more states legalize marijuana use, there has been increased interest in integrating the herb into daily lifestyles. Whenever purchasing cannabis, you will come across several varieties categorized into three distinct groups. These categories make it easier to identify the specific strain that fulfills your needs.
The distinction between marijuana Indica and Sativa strains has to do with plant evolution. These two words were introduced in the 18th century before evolving into new variants. The marijuana plant was separated into two growing regions: Southeast Asia and Europe. Over time, the geographical separation of cannabis plants led to differences in appearance and the ideal growing conditions. This is why Sativa is associated with Europe while Indica descends from Southeast Asia.
These two varieties vary in how they influence the user, with the chemical composition of every cannabis strain determining its effect on the body. Therefore, you need to know the different effects of Indica and Sativa before using them.
In this article, we describe the differences between cannabis strains on the market. After the article, you will understand how to choose a strain based on its effect on the body. With several cannabis strains available, you must select the best option that will suit your needs.
Indica is a broadleaf plant native to Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. It comes from short, bushy plants that grow in slightly cooler climates. The name Indica originated from “Indian hemp,” a designation for cannabis coming from the Asian landrace cultivars of the Hindu Kush Mountains. It has evolved in cold climates, leading to the short bushes with broad leaves growing lower.
When compared to Sativa, the Indica strain has higher levels of CBD to THC level. This high CBD level allows it to provide a relaxing, sedative effect. As a result, people purchase it for calming effects, such as watching a movie or reading a book. Indica is mostly used during the evening or when performing activities that require little physical activity. It will put you to sleep if you are experiencing pain or having trouble sleeping.
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When growing the Indica variant from cannabis seeds, you notice it matures quickly and produces more buds. You can grow it at home and harvest it after only eight weeks of flowering, compared to Sativa that takes up to ten weeks of flowering to mature. This variant has adapted to the harsh and turbulent climate, meaning it won’t reach potential if you don’t provide the optimal conditions.
Indica strain has both medicinal and recreational benefits. They include:
- It is famous for its relaxing effects. The strain promotes a sedation level in the body known as couch lock.
- You can use it for pain management. The strain helps relieve physical and pain aches.
- Indica can help with stress relief. When compared to Sativa, the Indica strain reduces the energy to help a person relax.
- It may help reduce nausea.
- Can increase appetite
- Help get better sleep. Its profound relaxation effects make it suited to use at night when going to sleep.
Indica is known for producing calming effects on the body due to being sedative. It mainly emits a musky and skunk odor. The strain is becoming increasingly popular on the market, with popular Indica gummies containing high levels of CBD. It is advisable to consume this strain at night because it produces a heavy body high.
Best Indica Strains of 2021
There is an extensive range of marijuana Indica strains on the market. It offers a mellow and relaxing effect for the users that are ideal for nighttime use. Here are some popular Indica strains on the market.
Blueberry is an old-school Indica cannabis strain popular among enthusiasts. It is characterized by a fruity flavor that makes it great for anyone who desires a relaxed feeling. This strain has a high THC content that offers relaxing and uplifting effects. You can use it to treat anxiety, pain, and stress. Due to the high impact, Blueberry is ideal for night use.
2. Grand Daddy Purple
Grand Daddy is a famous Indica strain with high levels of THC. The strain has become popular on the market due to its vibrant purple buds. When you take this marijuana, it gives the body a long-lasting high. You can use it to treat issues such as muscle spasm and insomnia. Its highly relaxing effects mean it can help uplift your mood and reduce euphoria.
3. Purple Kush
This purple cannabis strain is a highly potent Indica with long-lasting effects. A 27% THC level is powerful to induce strong relaxation feelings in the user. Its medicinal use includes treating pain, insomnia, and anxiety.Purple Kush is perfect for beginners.
4. Northern Lights
Northern Light is a legendary Indica strain with a level of THC content between 16 and 21%. It offers powerful effects that will leave you relaxed physically and mentally. The strain induces euphoria in users and can help relieve pain, depression, and insomnia. Because of its powerful effects, the strain is not suitable for novice smokers.
5. Critical Kush
Critical Kush is a dominant Indica marijuana strain with a high THC content and a moderate amount of CBD. Users experience a powerful relaxing effect throughout the body for a long time. Because of its soothing effect, you must use it at night to help calm the body and mind.
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Sativa is another cannabis strain known for its narrow leaves and high THC level. This variant grows taller than Indica and is found in natural tropical climates with hot and long sunny days. Sativa strains require a longer time to grow and may yield fewer flowers. Farmers from Europe and Western Eurasia cultivated cannabis Sativa for fiber since they grew higher than Indica.
For a long time, users have used this strain therapeutically to relieve symptoms associated with mood disorders. They have high THC percentages and lower doses of CBD, producing an energizing and anxiety-reducing effect. The effects of Sativa strains can make you high depending on the THC percentage. People choose the common Sativa strains on the market, such as Maui Wowie, Tangie, and Green Crack, to treat depression and boost creativity during the day.
The strain comes from the warmer parts of the world, such as South America and Southeast Asia. Some variants appear in Northern Africa, known as landrace Sativa, adapted to the intense heat in these regions. Examples of landrace strains are Durban Poison, Malawi Gold, and Panama Res.
While Indica is best for the evenings, Sativa is more appropriate during the daytime. Most recreational cannabis users opt for THC strains such as Sativa for euphoric effects. It provides mind high rather than body high that helps stimulate the mind.
There are several effects of Sativa.
- This strain might help you gain a sharper focus and ease a distracted mind during a social activity.
- Sativa can also improve your altered mood. You can use it to reduce anxiety and depression and combat feelings of lethargy and apathy.
- It can help enhance creativity and generate new ideas, meaning you can use it during the day for activities that require social interaction.
- It can help enhance productivity due to energy lifting properties.
- Cannabis Sativa is famous for producing an overall sense of wellbeing.
- In addition, the Sativa strain can be helpful for people with ADHD because of its effect on the cerebral part of the brain.
- Individuals with headaches, nausea, and appetite loss can also use Sativa plants for relief.
Best Sativa Strains of 2021
Sativa is used mainly for its uplifting properties. You can use it during the day to enhance your physical activity or social interaction. There are many Sativa strains on the market for medicinal and recreational uses.Here’s a rundown of a few famous Sativa strains-
1. Sour Diesel
This is a popular Sativa marijuana strain with fast-acting and energizing effects. People useSour Diesel to treat conditions such as pain and depression, and anxiety. It is also the ultimate creative strain to help you push through your creative block.
2. Green Crack
This Sativa strain is known for its high-quality buds that give powerful and mind-uplifting effects. It is a high-energy Sativa dominant strain with exotic fruits and skunky flavors. You get a refreshing and energetic Sativa high when you take Green Crack marijuana.
3. Jack Herer
Jack Herer is a popular Sativa strain associated with creativity and a flexible mind. People use it for its mentally stimulating effects and potent high. You will feel relaxed after a few tokes as it delivers an excellent cerebral high. It comprises 80% Sativa with powerful medicinal properties and up to 20% THC.
4. Durban Poison
Durban poison is a potent Sativa dominant marijuana strain. It will help you focus by stimulating thoughts and boosting creativity. People use the Durban Poison when seeking a solid warrior and get out of a creative rut. While it can overwhelm novice users, the strain is perfect for seasoned consumers.
5. Strawberry Cough
Users choose the Strawberry Cough because of its high, uplifting effects. It comes with a fruity aroma and offers an uplifting high while boosting your happiness. This strain has an impressive reputation among marijuana users. The sweet flavor and elevating effect make it perfect for seasoned users and beginners alike.
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There is another cannabis strain known as Ruderalis that grows in cold environments. The strain is common in the cooler parts of Russia and Ukraine. Most Ruderalis varieties grow wild and are valued for flowering by themselves without help from cultivators. They descend from hemp plants with lower THC and CBD levels.
Some growers have created hybrids from ruderalis to take advantage of their ability to flower on their own. These strains grow in Eastern Europe, Siberia, and the Himalayan region of India. However, they are the least desired of all naturally evolved cannabis plants. For example, they are primarily used to create a traditional hand-rolled hash in the Himalayas.
Cannabis hybrid strains come from breeding two strains such as Indica and Sativa. These are unique strains bred from feminized cannabis seeds to achieve a particular characteristic. The aim of breeding a hybrid is to provide better properties of both Indica and Sativa. However, you can also get a hybrid of two Indica or two Sativa strains with increased productivity and mellowness.
Breeders often crossbreed any two strains based on the objectives, such as balancing the energizing and calming effects of marijuana. A hybrid offers sedative and energizing properties, meaning you enjoy an incredible experience with less intense or treat an ailment while enjoying the sedative effects. Hybrid strains with analgesic and anti-inflammatory qualities are better than purebreds. Other people breed hybrids to get plants that proliferate or achieve improved productivity.
Modern cultivators breed a broad spectrum of Indica and Sativa strains in farms or greenhouses to produce strains with a higher THC percentage. Most people love a strain with balanced THC and CBD, where THC provides the body and mind high that creates satisfaction. Some people are inclined towards CBD since it offers therapeutic benefits for anyone who doesn’t want to get high.
A balanced strain will provide a psychoactive experience while avoiding adverse effects. In most cases, the hybrid strain has all the desired properties from both Indica and Sativa. You can find hybrid strains comprise a 60/40 ratio displaying more Indica or Sativa. A hybrid strain displaying more Indica is known as Indica dominant strain since it has a higher percentage of Indica than Sativa.
Hybrid strains possess most of the beneficial medical properties of the parent variants. Here are some effects of hybrid strain:
- You can find a hybrid to help with pain relief and inflammation without putting you to sleep.
- They provide the correct medicine for a unique combination of disease, lifestyle, and preference.
- People purchase hybrid strains to get a perfect measure of relaxation, creativity, and mild feelings of euphoria.
- Certain hybrid strains can help treat arthritis, epilepsy, and fibromyalgia.
Best Hybrid Marijuana strains of 2021
More people are growing hybrid marijuana strains for medical and recreational purposes. If you are looking to purchase hybrid marijuana, here are some of the top strains available.
1. Blue Dream
Blue Dream strain yields up to 21% THC, making it one of the popular hybrid strains on the market. It originates from California and contains a blend of Silver Haze and Blueberry Indica. People have associated the strain with handling a creative block. It offers a great daytime high and can treat depression and nausea.
2. Gorilla Glue
If you need a perfect Indica and Sativa hybrid, look no further than the Gorilla Glue. It is a 50/50 blend with high levels of THC to provide the utmost relaxation effect. This potent hybrid strain has a pungent earthy smell. You can take it before bedtime for pain relief and better sleep quality.
3. OG Kush
People use theOG Kush hybrid strain because it provides a good and powerful relaxing effect. The strain produces short and compact plants with short flowering periods. It is characterized by a high THC percentage that produces powerful euphoric feelings.
4. White Widow
This is a hybrid marijuana strain offering a mellow reliable high. It has become popular among enthusiasts because of its uplifting and relaxing effect. White Widow is great as a social strain and should be used during the day and not at night. The strain contains many trichomes that produce a pungent smell. It is easy to cultivate and grow tents.
5. AK 47
Choose AK-47 Seedsif you want a long-lasting euphoria that will keep your mind active. This is a 65/ 35 hybrid between Sativa and Indica, making it the perfect marijuana strain for creativity. It offers a creative balance high without getting out of hand. You will get a mellow and relaxing feeling with a solution for anxiety. The effect of AK-47 lasts longer than normal, offering a clear-headed relaxation for people who need a casual mood boost.
Myths around the strains
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There are a few myths in the cannabis world regarding the difference between Sativa and Indica strains. For example, everyone assumes that a short plant with broad leaves will sedate, and a tall plant with thin leaves will be energizing. Using this logic to distinguish between Sativa and Indica is inaccurate because some Indica varieties are more similar to Sativa and vice versa. The hybridization of cannabis has introduced plants that are broad and tall at the same time.
Therefore, the perfect categorization entails looking at a plant’s chemical makeup and equates them to its genetic design. For example, the genetic composition of cannabis plants produces marijuana and hemp plants. The presence of terpene within a cannabis variant is a significant factor in determining whether it is an Indica, Sativa, or hybrid.
Myrcene terpene in marijuana determines whether you can categorize it as Indica or Sativa. This popular cannabis compound helps treat insomnia and anxiety. It is responsible for the sedating effect of Indica. A cannabis strain with over 0.5 percent of myrcene is considered Indica, while strains with myrcene under 0.5 percent are Sativa.
Best way to choose a cannabis strain
Choosing the right cannabis strain can be challenging due to the many types available on the market. However, you can be in the right position to select a cannabis variant if you understand the differences between Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strains. The basic principle is that Indica induces relaxation while Sativa is stimulating.
Sativa has several roles, helping to boost energy, ease depression, and increase focus. It is loaded with high THC levels for these functions. Indica acts as a sedative herb that can relieve pain and stimulate appetite because of high CBD levels.
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While Indica and Sativa remain the dominant categorization of cannabis strains, you can categorize them based on THC and CBD content. Consider whether the cannabis is THC-dominant or CBD-dominant. This allows you to select a product that fits your needs well. Today, you can also focus on cannabinoids and terpenes when purchasing cannabis products. There are thousands of terpenes offering a wide range of medicinal properties.
Indica has a high level of terpene myrcene, which works in harmony with cannabinoids to deliver medical efficacy. The blend of terpenes and cannabinoids in the Indica strain gives it more relaxing and physical characteristics than Sativa. For example, the terpenes enhance the effects of a major cannabinoid such as THC to provide its properties.
Once you understand the differences between Sativa and Indica, you can select the best marijuana strain using the gained knowledge. Sometimes you don’t have to ask for Indica or Sativa. Just ask how the different variety feels, and the dispensary assistant will guide you in choosing the best product. The crossbreeding between Indica and Sativa strains has introduced the hybrid variety that offers the perfect mix.
Before buying cannabis from a dispensary, determine how different strains affect you. The chemical composition determines how it will affect your body, so it is essential to consider that when choosing the best strain. It also depends on how much experience you have with marijuana.
Consider the purpose of purchasing marijuana, whether for medical or recreational purposes. For example, Sativa strains might be better at treating psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. Indica is best suited for pain and inflammation and might benefit individuals with arthritis, cancer, or fibromyalgia.With the dramatic differences between Sativa and Indica for medical and recreational use, work with a physician to determine the suitable variety for your needs.
Most Cannabis users have used all three strains depending on the occasion. For example, Indica is the best choice when you need to be calm and thoughtful, while Sativa is best for uplifting and energizing. Since it is difficult to find a pure Sativa or Indica marijuana, find a seller that tests each strain for cannabinoid content and the terpene profile. This information can help you know the exact benefit you are getting from marijuana.
Your experience of the cannabis product depends on your tolerance to cannabinoids, physiology, age, weight, and gender. However, you need patience when using marijuana for medical or recreational purposes to enjoy its benefits.
The best way to enjoy your cannabis strain is to shop from trusted dispensaries. Most of these dispensaries have marijuana from organic growers in the United States. Find the right dispensary offering all strains to help you select the best one. Sometimes, you may need to experiment with several strains to determine the one with a profile that suits you.
Sativa also has a much higher THC to cannabidiol (CBD) ratio than indica, resulting in stronger psychological effects like hallucinations and paranoia and long term health problem such as loss of memory and cognitive function.Is Hybrid a upper or downer? ›
Hybrid strains can be both upper and downer depending on which species is dominant. The Indica vs. Sativa high has different effects. For instance, Sativa is more likely to increase anxiety.Does indica make you lazy? ›
Relaxing. People say cannabis indica strains help their muscles relax and their brains slow down. Sedating. Many find that indica strains make them sleepy, which may be a good thing for people with insomnia.Does indica make you laugh? ›
Both Indica and Sativa strains have terpenes. These are the chemicals in the cannabis plant responsible for aroma and taste profiles. It is the high chemovars in the terpenes that make you laugh.How long do you stay high indica? ›
The effects peak around 10 minutes after consumption and typically last 1 to 3 hours, though they can linger for up to 8 hours.Is Hybrid more Indica or Sativa? ›
Hybrid cannabis strains are created by crossing a Sativa and an Indica together. Sometimes, hybrids are formed from three or more different strains. Sometimes a hybrid cannabis strain will be Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant. Other times, it can be an almost even combination of the two.What does a hybrid vape mean? ›
Hybrid CBD vape cartridges are derived from Cannabis sativa plants that share attributes with both indica and sativa strains. Produced by breeding indica cultivars with sativa cultivars, hybrid strains are designed to highlight the best traits of each major cannabis subtype.What type of high do you get from hybrid? ›
Hybrids give the consumer body relaxation and energy while uplifting their mood. It will not give as strong of a high as sativa, nor will it make them fall asleep. Instead, it will make the consumer calm, euphoric and happy. It is a great choice as well for beginners who do not want as strong as a high.What is the difference between a hybrid and CBD? ›
CBD dominant product contains little to no THC and is responsible for the somatic effects associated with cannabis that can be relaxing and calming. While Hybrid refers to the blending of Indica or Sativa strains, a balanced strain refers to the THC and CBD component of your cannabis.Is indica an upper or downer? ›
If you're familiar with the modern-day cannabis strain classification system, you know that weed is traditionally divided into indica, sativa, and hybrid variety strains. Indica strains are thought to be sedating and relaxing (downer), while sativa strains are known for their energizing effects (upper).
Understanding Indica vs Sativa for anxiety
While Indica is excellent for generating a calm and serene effect, Sativa can cause your mind to become more active. Depending on how your anxiety operates, increased activity throughout your brain could make your anxiety worse rather than better.
Indicas are renowned for their pain-relieving properties and sativas are noted for their head-high, but many patients find hybrid strains are a happy-medium. One of the best hybrid strains patients say helps back pain while still being able to focus is BlackJack.