Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

What’s are the differences between the cannabis strains?

You’re probably aware that marijuana is commonly broken up into 3 main categories. Let’s dive into the differences between Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid. These words were originally created to describe the different species of cannabis.

Let’s start with the most accepted way of distinguishing the strains. Indica and sativa plants look different and grow differently but is it the best way to determine their desired effects? We sought out to see what the research says about the different cannabis strains.

Indica Cannabis Strains

Indica Cannabis Strains

Indica cannabis strains have large dark green leaves. These plants are short, fat and densely branched. Most grow under six feet tall.

Suitable for cooler climates with shorter seasons because of it’s short flowering cycle. Better suited for growing indoors.

Named by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in the late 17th century.

Hybrid Cannabis Strains

Hybrid Cannabis Strains

Hybrid cannabis strains, also known as crossbreeding, are a mixture between sativa and indica genetics.

These plants can take on characteristics from both strains depending on the traits they inherit from their parents.

Hybridization, can be useful for many different reasons. The goal is to create a strain that keeps the desirable traits while trying to eliminate less desirable characteristics.  

For example indica strains can be better for cultivation because maturity time is much shorter. Sometimes growers want to breed these characteristics into sativa plants.

These plants fall somewhere in between the indica-sativa spectrum. If the hybrid strain has more characteristics of one species it’s referred to as indica or sativa dominant.

Sativa Cannabis Strains

Sativa Cannabis Strains

Sativa cannabis strains have narrow thin leaves that are lighter in color. The plant tends to grow much taller than indicas and is loosely branched. Some plants can grow as high as 25 feet while the average is about 12 feet tall.

The longer flowering cycle makes it better suited for warmer climates with a longer season. Sativas take much longer to grow, mature, and require more light. These plants are often grown outdoors.

Named by Carl Linnaeus a Swedish botanist who formalized the modern system of naming organisms.

Hemp Strain:
There is also the hemp strain which is an Industrial variety of cannabis with no mind-altering effects. It’s primarily harvested for fiber, seeds, and CBD. Most marijuana strains are very low in CBD but contain high levels THC. Hemp is a much different story since it’s THC content has been bred out of it. The THC levels in hemp are below .3%.

Many marijuana consumers believe that these different marijuana strains can be used to accurately predict it’s medicinal effects. This is deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture.

General High Effects of the Indica Strain

Sedating effects
Increased mental relaxation
Perfect for relaxing with a movie
Best suited for night time use
Muscle relaxation
Decreases nausea
Decreases acute pain
Stimulates the appetite
Relaxing and calming
Body buzz or ‘couch lock’
Couch lock” or body high

Indicas are often used to treat:
Painful conditions , inflammation, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, sleep disorders, relieve stress & anxiety.

General High Effects of the Sativa Strain

Sativas usually have lower CBD and higher THC counts:
Uplifting cerebral effects
Uplifting and energetic
Cerebral, spacey or hallucinogenic
Thought to induce energizing effects
Treats chronic pain
Increases focus and creativity
Best for day time use
Pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.

Indicas are often used to treat:
Mood disorders like anxiety*, depression, ADD/ADHD,

* Some find that certain sativa strains actually increase their anxiety. It’s important to test out a new strain and see how you react to it before committing to it as a medication.

But… What does the research say? The Scientific Debate!

Most people use the terms indica, sativa, & hybrid to categorize cannabis to make it easier to pick the desired effects.

But… recent cannabis research suggests this is inaccurate. Technological advancements in DNA analyses has drove us to new conclusions about how marijuana works on the brain. Laboratory testing is required to figure out which ratios of cannabinoids are present. This is the only valid way to determine the plants medical effects.

As a result of severe over breeding, the plants chemistry no longer has a reliable relationship to the strain’s cannabinoid levels. So this means that these categories aren’t as prescriptive as they once were.

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

Prior to human interference there were only about 60 marijuana strains that naturally evolved in the wild. At this point in time there are over 6,000 different strains each with their own genetics and cannabinoid levels. So thanks to over breeding not all sativas will energize you, and not all indicas will sedate you.

This finding led us to create a new approach on how we classify our marijuana products. We created this menu so you can accurately order based on the effects you want.

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