When you visit our menu, you’ll find three strain categories of medical marijuana: indica, sativa, and hybrid. We commonly get questions about the differences between indica vs. sativa when new medical marijuana users contact us, so let’s take a look at the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.
Indica is thought to have its beginnings in the Hindu Kush region, a dry mountain range near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Sativa naturally grows in humid tropical areas closer to the equator. Hybrid, like it’s name suggests, is a mixture of indica and sativa strains to create a hybrid of the two. Indica and sativa differ in several ways, including their effects and medicinal benefits as well as appearance, fragrance, and taste.
Indica Vs. Sativa Effects: Physical and Cerebral
Note: Keep in mind that marijuana effects everyone differently. These are typical effects indica and sativa has on most users. Your experience and tolerance may differ when exploring these strains.
Indica strains tend to be more relaxing than sativa. Their sedative qualities make evenings the best time for many to use indica. In fact, a lot of indica fans use right before bed to help them get a good night’s sleep. The strain is often referred to as having full-body physical effects.
Sativas are perceived as more stimulating and uplifting. Users often enjoy these strains during the day, finding the invigorating qualities helpful during activities like doing chores or while working on creative projects. Sativa is typically considered to be cerebral in its effects.
Because of their differing effects and benefits, indica and sativa strains are used to relieve different kinds of symptoms.
Indica is often effective in treating:
- Spasms and seizures
- Headaches and migraines
Sativa, on the other hand, tends to aid:
- Mood disorders
Indica and sativa are distinctly different in their appearance.
Appearance: Indica plants are short, broad-leafed, and typically have a deep purple color, whereas sativa plants grow very tall, have thin leaves and tend to have a reddish hue.
Flavor: While breeding may produce a variety of tastes, indicas commonly have a fruity flavor. Sativas, on the other hand, are more earthy in flavor.
Fragrance: Indicas have a strong sour or sweet aroma while sativa cannabis smells grassy.
A Note About Indica Vs. Sativa Edibles
Every once in awhile you come across an edible product that specifies the dominant strain (indica or sativa dominant). There isn’t much beyond anecdotal evidence that these strains can be differentiated in the edible form.
An informal experiment by Leafly.com between edibles made with different strains had mixed results. Five out of eight testers guessed strains correctly, indicating that one was more sedating than the other. However, the article notes that tolerance levels among individuals could influence the physical impact. The author did some self-testing and failed to distinguish one strain used from the other correctly.