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When browsing cannabis strains or purchasing cannabis at dispensaries, you may have noticed strains that commonly broken up into three distinct groups: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid.

Although anecdotal evidence and some marijuana seed bunk claim that indica is more calming than sativa (since most consumers have used two of these three cannabis types), the most important difference between these two subspecies of cannabis are its growth development, looks, and effects.

So if you’re wondering what interesting studies/ distinction researchers find between these two types of cannabis, let’s delve deeper everything about it.


Cannabis is grown all over the world now, and pure strains of indica and sativa came from different climates which affects their DNA and differs their traits. To find a strain that will provide your desired effect, best to understand which chemical ingredients make up that strain you can rely on.

There are several guides that can aid you to visually understand what your favorite strains look like, shapes and colors – in accordance with chemicals. When you use the chemical ingredients of a strain to guide your purchasing decision, you’ll likely to find types of strains that agree with your body and walkthrough whether it’s a sativa or indica that’s for you.


Indica, Sativa, & Hybrid have been the standard choosing type of cannabis strains. Since the two aforementioned are mostly purchased by consumers, let’s explore how the words “indica” and “sativa” made it into the vernacular of cannabis consumers worldwide, and to what extent they’re actually meaningful when choosing a strain.

Indica strain is physically sedating and generally associated with a sense of the perfect deep body relaxation with a movie or as a nightcap before bed, while Sativa strains tend to provide more energizing experience with uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.

While Indica is developed in less temperate climates and results thick coating of resin (more powerful effects) to protect itself from harsh winters, sativa is more equatorial and grows slowly. It needs less resin to protect itself from the climate, so the produced high is more subtle and cerebral.


The easiest way to tell the difference between plants would be simply looking at them. Sativa has larger, less dense leaves and flowers, while indica looks tight, short, and compact. However, appearance isn’t a reliable measure because of hybridization, it makes a bud extract the properties of sativa but with indica appearance.


Hybrid strains are a balance of indica and sativa effects. The belief that indicas, sativas, and hybrids deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders begin strain recommendations in accordance with these three types.

This belief that indicas, sativas, and hybrids deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders typically begin their strain recommendations by asking you which of these three types you prefer.

Most of what you’ll encounter in the real world are hybrid strains. The blend of one or more strains bred together in muddy waters, between sativa and indica, offers an evenly balanced effect and tailored specifically for your medical wants or recreational needs.


SATIVA – Best for daytime use. It stimulates brain activity, clarity, creativity, and traditionally has less compact buds. Sometimes used to treat ADD, depression, or anxiety.

INDICA- Use night-time for relaxing body high, muscle relaxation. It traditionally has small, dense buds, and sometimes used to treat pain, inflammation, insomnia.

HYBRIDS – Mixed uses, often cultivated to magnify certain effects and can be bred to be weighted toward indica or Sativa, or a balance of both. It’s the most common form on the market (legal or otherwise).

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