If you are an avid cannabis consumer, you would definitely have come across the terms Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid strains but what do these terms actually mean? What are the main differences between the strains, the effects they have on our bodies, and of course the different highs they give us? In this article, we will go through the main differences of each strain and name some of the most popular strains from each, so that next time you are deciding which strain you are wanting to consume, you will be well informed to make the right choice!
Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrids: The Look
There are some very obvious differences between a Sativa plant and an Indica plant. A Hybrid plant is a bit more difficult to identify as their look will have certain qualities of their parents and therefore might show more of a Sativa formation or an Indica plant formation.
Sativa is a long, tall plant that grows thin buds. This plant tends to spread far apart and grow upwards to the sky. Sativa can grow over 300 cm when it is grown outdoors! The leaves are also much thinner and a lot lighter in color than an Indica plant. Their pencil-like leaves that grow are the stereotypical ‘marijuana leaf’ that everyone has come to know.
An Indica plant is a short plant that has thicker-looking buds. This plant is smaller and shorter than a Sativa plant. An Indica plant has dense foliage and the branches get denser towards the root of the plant. The leaves are darker green in color than the leaves of a Sativa plant, they are also a lot larger and thicker with a less stereotypical ‘marijuana leaf’ look.
Hybrid Leaves are more difficult to identify as their looks vary depending on their parent plants. These plant leaves can show the characteristics of both Sativa and Indica plants. The leaves are usually not as slim as Sativa plants and not as stubby as an Indica plant. Their leaves’ colors also vary depending on their parent plants therefore it can be a bit more difficult to identify a Hybrid plant’s characteristics.
Sativa is a lot more of an uplifting and more cerebral high, these strains are known to increase your energy levels. Sativa strains are also best for creativity and increased productivity and therefore is recommended for day time consumption as this strain helps the user want to get more things done instead of unwinding and relaxing.
These strains are also known to promote the desire to engage with others in social settings and helps in lowering your levels of apathy. These traits are key factors in what makes a Sativa a favorite for many tokers and studies have shown that these traits have also helped users overcome depression. Some strains are also known to increase focus and concentration for those who experience onset adult ADHD.
While there are a lot of positives about Sativa, there also some negative aspects of certain strains. Some Sativa strains are known to be the culprit of increased anxiety and paranoia. As Sativa is a very THC dominant strain, this can increase paranoia, the reason is that THC is a psychoactive compound that attaches itself to your amygdala in your brain. The amygdala is the area of your brain that regulates your response to fear and related emotions. When your brain receives more cannabinoids than usual, this can overstimulate the amygdala.
This can result in anxiety to start or even paranoia. If you experience any of these emotions, remember to BREATHE and try to relax as the experience is all in your head. Sometimes it helps to put on some soothing music or to go and take a warm bath.
The Most Popular Sativa Strains
- Sour Diesel
- Lemon Haze
- Green Crack
- Jack Herer
- Durban Poison
Indica is a body high rather than a head high, these strains have more of a relaxing effect on the body and therefore is best consumed in the evening or when you are in need of some real downtime. Indica strains usually contain more CBD than a Sativa strain and therefore results in a more sleepy high than an active high.
Indica has many medical benefits as well. These strains have been known to help with anxiety and calming the mind as well as reducing stress. Indica is also known to be a natural sedative which is why it is recommended to be consumed in the evening. One of the major medical benefits of Indica strains is their ability to relieve pain such as non-migraine headaches and joint pain as well as decrease inflammation.
The Most Popular Indica Strains
- Northern Lights
- Girl Scout Cookies
- Granddaddy Purple
- Hindu Kush
As most Hybrid strains are curated from fusing both Sativa and Indica strains together, the effects of the strains are more balanced throughout the body. The effect of Hybrid strains is solely dependent on the two-parent plants and therefore the results can vary. A very well balanced Sativa and Indica Hybrid will give you the cerebral head high while still relaxing the body.
Not all Hybrids are balanced perfectly though and are known to favor one strain over the other. These strains are known as Sativa-dominant Hybrids or Indica-dominant Hybrids.
A Sativa-dominant Hybrid will give you more of the euphoric feeling that Sativa strains provide while still giving you enough of a body high. Indica-Dominant Hybrids provides more of a body high while still providing enough of a cerebral upliftment to ensure that you will not be glued to the couch. These strains are, therefore, less overwhelming for the consumer.
The Most Popular Hybrid Strains
- Blue Dream
- Gorilla Glue
- OG Kush
- White Widow
- AK 47
When you are consuming your cannabis, it is always good to know the type of strain you are smoking. When you are more aware of the strain you are consuming, you will know what type of high you are expected to get.
When you are looking to relax at night after a long day, an Indica strain will be more suited for you If you are looking for a social and outgoing experience after you smoke, a Sativa strain will be better for you! A Hybrid strain is more of a balanced experience for the body and mind, these strains are perfect for beginner smokers as they will not be too overwhelmed by the Sativa effects while still avoiding the couch potato effect of Indica strains.
If you are wanting to start growing your own marijuana and you want to find out more about where to buy your favorite strains and seeds at the best prices, make sure to read our article highlighting the best websites that ship internationally and discretely here!