Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Indica and sativa are must-know terms in the world of cannabis strains. If you’re shopping for medical marijuana, it’s important to understand the effects of different products so you can get the treatment that’s right for you. Some strains will help you relax, while others are extremely energizing. Our experts at UpLift can help you navigate all your options to find the right fit.

Indica Strains

Cannabis indica was first classified in 1785 by French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who named the plant after the country of India where it was found. Indica flowers typically have more CBD than THC and produce fewer psychoactive effects.

Indica Plants

Indica plants are short and bushy with wide, dark green leaves. The flowers are often purple in hue. This type of cannabis plant was first identified in India near the Hindu Kush mountain range, though indica plants are also native to Afghanistan, Turkey, Pakistan, and Nepal. Indica plants grow quickly and produce a lot of buds, which is obviously a desirable characteristic for growers.

Indica strains are often high in the terpenes myrcene and beta-caryophyllene. Myrcene produces an earthy flavor. This terpene is found in thyme, hops, and lemongrass. Beta-caryophyllene, found in cloves, oregano, cinnamon, and black pepper, has a warm, spicy flavor.

Indica Characteristics

Indica strains usually produce a body high that leaves patients feeling relaxed and sleepy. Indica-dominant cannabis strains are excellent for bedtime use, as they will help you unwind and drift off. The cannabis indica plant is prized for its pain-relieving properties. Indica plants are good for controlling nausea and increasing appetite as well.

Popular Cannabis Indica Strains

Some popular cannabis indica strains include:

  • Hindu Kush: Named for the mountain range from which it hails, this strain is very calming with an earthy sandalwood scent.
  • Grandaddy Purple: This fruity strain is good for treating insomnia and restless leg syndrome.
  • Northern Lights: Northern Lights is a cross between Afghani and Thai strains that relaxes the body and mind and helps with some mood disorders.
  • Ice Cream Cake: With a high THC content of 20% to 25%, this strain creates a euphoric feeling that transitions into a very relaxing experience.
  • Blue Cheese: This strain is high in beta-carophyllene which creates a sense of well-being. Blue cheese cannabis doesn’t make you as sleepy as other indica strains and is good for stimulating the appetite.

Sativa Strains

Cannabis sativa was classified by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753. Sativa strains usually have a higher THC content which changes the way it affects the patient.

Sativa Plants

Sativa plants are tall and thin with long slim fingers on the leaves. Cannabis sativa plants take longer to grow and produce fewer buds than indica plants. The sativa plant produces flowers with high levels of pinene and limonene. Pinene is found in pine trees, basil, rosemary, and dill and confers a woodsy smell and taste. Limonene is found in citrus peels and provides a bright citrusy kick to many sativa buds.

Sativa Characteristics

Cannabis sativa strains produce a head high that creates a feeling of euphoria and may provide a burst of creativity. These flowers are more energizing than their indica counterparts, making them a better choice for daytime use. Cannabis sativa can reduce anxiety and help you focus. Sativa’s limonene is good for digestion and has natural anti-bacterial qualities. Pinene is a natural anti-inflammatory that may provide patients with pain relief. Pinene may also help fight or prevent cancer.

Popular Cannabis Sativa Strains

Popular sativa-dominant cannabis strains include:

  • Maui Wowie: This tropical strain features citrus flavors and balances energizing effects with potent stress relief.
  • Sour Diesel: This citrus-heavy strain is technically a hybrid, though it contains 90% sativa. This potent energizing strain can help treat depression.
  • Jack Herer: This spicy pine-scented strain energizes patients and helps with depression and anxiety.
  • Strawberry Cough: With rich berry scents, this is a popular stain for morning use that boosts focus.
  • Lemon Haze: This citrus strain boosts focus and mood. It’s also high in humulene which has anti-inflammatory and appetite-suppressant qualities.

Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains are produced by crossing indica and sativa strains. Growers work hard to produce hybrids with distinct medical properties that perfectly balance the effects of both types of cannabis.

Hybrid Cannabis Plants

Hybrid cannabis plants vary greatly in appearance depending on the parent plants. Growers usually strive to create strains with a high yield. Hybrid plants are often indica-dominant or sativa-dominant, and you can often tell from the height and shape of the plant which strain has more sway. However, you’ll also find plants that are a balanced blend of the two, falling right near the middle.

Hybrid Cannabis Characteristics

The characteristics of hybrid cannabis plants are typically tailored to suit a specific need. For example, you’ll find hybrids that are bred to work especially well for pain relief or managing nausea. Our experts at UpLift can help you identify the best hybrid strains for your needs.

Popular Hybrid Cannabis Strains

Looking at some of the most popular hybrid cannabis strains demonstrates how diverse these flowers can be.

  • Wedding Cake: This indica-dominant hybrid has a sweet, vanilla flavor and high THC content. It’s effective for treating depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder.
  • OG Kush: OG Kush is high in THC and caryophyllene which is good for pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits.
  • White Widow: White Widow has a strong earthy, citrusy flavor. It can help combat mental fog, social anxiety, and depression.
  • Pineapple Express: This sativa-dominant blend is a potent choice for pain relief and migraine treatment that offers a sweet flavor.
  • Golden Goat: Golden Goat is an energetic, uplifting hybrid with a fruity tropical flavor.

Find the Right Strain for You at UpLift

If you’re shopping for medical cannabis, it’s best to browse a wide selection so you can find a product that serves your distinct symptoms without producing any unwanted effects. Contact our team members at the UpLift for expert advice on whether a sativa, indica, or hybrid cannabis product is right for you.

Image by Thiago Patriota is licensed with Unsplash License

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