sativa or indica strains of marijuana

Sativa Versus Indica and Hybrid Cannabis

Finding The Right Cannabis Strain For You

If you use medicinal cannabis from a marijuana dispensary, there’s a good chance that you’re familiar with some of the differences between indica, sativas, and hybrids. However, the differences between these strains are more complex than you may realize and will affect the high whether you’re smoking cannabis or taking it orally.  At Medicine Man Dispensary we have 4 Denver Area locations and our knowledgable budtenders can help you make the strain choice that is best for you.

The term “indica” generally refers to strains that are high in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), while “sativa” is used to describe strains that contain low amounts of THC. However, the terms do not always refer to those exact characteristics. For example, one study found that sativas tend to be more stimulating and energetic, while indicas tend to be more relaxing and sedative.

While it’s true that most people associate sativa strains with being more stimulating and energy-producing, indicas aren’t necessarily less potent or effective. Some studies show that indica strains can actually provide better pain relief than sativa strains.

In addition, several studies indicate that sativa strains can help treat anxiety disorders, while indica strains are often preferred by patients suffering from depression. However, there isn’t enough research to say whether one type of plant is better than another.

Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indicia are two species of cannabis plants that grow naturally in warm climates around the world. They are often referred to as “couch weed,” because they tend to grow tall and thin, and look like a couch. Both strains contain cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, and terpenes, which give pot its smell and flavor. However, while sativas generally have a stronger body high, indicas tend to make you feel relaxed and calm.

While most people think of indica as being more relaxing, it actually makes people more alert and energetic, according to research published in the journal Psychopharmacology. Other studies suggest that indica tends to increase appetite and cause dry mouth. Sativa, on the other hand, increases focus and concentration, making it easier to study or work on tasks.

Physical differences between Sativa and Indica

Botanists use physical differences—such as variations in height, branched patterns, and leaf shapes—to identify different strains of plants, according to Science Daily. These differences help botanists distinguish between the same species of plant, even though they look very similar.

Indica and sativa are just two examples of how scientists classify cannabis strains based on their physical characteristics. Other terms include indica dominant, Sativa dominant, and hybrid.

The names “indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” came about due to the way people smoked marijuana during the 1960s. In those days, pot smokers used bongs to smoke them out of water pipes. They called the high produced by smoking cannabis Sativa because it felt like being under the influence of strong alcohol. When people smoked weed out of pipes, they got a stronger buzz from sativas than from indicas. So, they named the type of strain that gave them a stronger high Sativa.

Tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol are two of the most researched and discussed elements, or “cannabinoids,” contained within different strains of marijuana. These compounds interact with receptors in the brain called CB1 and CB2, respectively. While both THC and CBD are psychoactive, each compound has a unique effect on the body. THC is known to produce feelings of euphoria, while CBD tends to induce calmness. Some research suggests that THC helps relieve pain, anxiety, and depression, while CBD may help treat epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and even cancer.

However, there are many factors that determine how effective a particular strain of marijuana will be for a specific person. For example, some people experience negative side effects such as paranoia or nausea when smoking high levels of THC. In addition, because THC and CBD are found in varying concentrations throughout the plant, determining what percentage of THC or CBD a given sample contains can be difficult. This makes knowing whether a cannabis plant is indica or Sativa less useful than you might think.


The cannabis indica plant originated in Central Asia, specifically in areas like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India. This region is where many of today’s popular varieties of cannabis indica come from. These plants grew wild and were used medicinally for thousands of years.

In the 1500s, the Chinese began cultivating cannabis indica for medicinal use. They believed that the plant could cure everything from headaches to stomachaches. Over time, the plant spread throughout China and eventually into Japan.

During World War II, the Japanese developed a variety of cannabis indica called Haze Kush. During the war, the United States Army discovered this strain and quickly adopted it. After the war, the American government continued to grow and study the effects of cannabis indica. In fact, the US government even tested cannabis indica during the 1950s and 1960s.

Cannabis indica has been around since ancient times, and there are still some mysteries about how exactly this plant works. For example, scientists don’t know why certain people tend to experience anxiety while others do not. However, we do know that cannabis indica does seem to help reduce stress levels.


Cannabis sativa comes from warmer areas of the world, like Southeast Asia and Central and Southern America. This plant produces flowers that are usually lighter colored than indica strains, and the buds themselves are typically smaller and less dense. While many people think of sativas as being more energetic and uplifting, there are several different types of Sativa strains, each with its own unique effects. Some people find Sativa to be helpful for those suffering from depression, migraines, nausea, appetite loss, and insomnia.


Both growers and nature have created hybrids of both Cannabis sativa (hemp) and Cannabis indica (cannabis). These are called “hybrid strains.” For example, people bred hybrids to make plants that grow faster, improve yield, and better balance out the energizing (CBD) and relaxing (THC) effects.

The earliest known reference to hybridization comes from China around 2,500 BC. In ancient Greece, it was used medicinally. And in the United States, it began in earnest during World War II. Growers needed plants that could withstand harsh conditions. So they crossed hemp with marijuana.

Today, there are thousands of different types of hybrids. Some are high in CBD; others are high in THC. Many contain a mix of cannabinoids.

Asking The Right Cannabis Questions

Marijuana growers use different strains of cannabis plants to produce varying amounts of THC and CBD. For example, some strains are high in THC while others contain less THC and more CBD. This makes the difference between a relaxing smoke versus a medicinal one.

The above questions can help determine whether you should purchase a specific strain of cannabis. If you’re looking for something specific, like CBD oil or edibles, you might want to consider purchasing a strain that contains those elements. But how do you know which one is best for you? There are many factors to consider, including the type of high you desire, the amount of THC you require, and the length of effect you’re seeking.

Your Bud Tender Is Going To Help Guide You

Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indicia have different botanical properties, but anecdotal evidence suggests that Sativa tends to be more energizing while indica is more relaxing. However, the scientific reality is much more complex. There are multiple chemicals involved in creating the medical benefits of cannabis, including CBD. Some people find one type of cannabinoid to be more effective than others; however, even within the same strain, there is a great deal of variability in the amount of each compound present. This makes choosing the best strain difficult.

While there may be some truth behind the claims about the difference between Sativa and indica, it is important to understand that the differences are often overstated. For example, many people believe that Sativa strains produce a greater euphoric effect compared to indica strains. While this may be true in certain cases, the opposite is actually true for many consumers.

There are also numerous factors that influence how a consumer feels after smoking cannabis, such as body chemistry, tolerance, and personal preference. These factors make it hard to determine what strain produces the best experience for someone.

Ask your Medicine Man Bud Tender for the guidance you seek when it comes to choosing a strain that’s right for you.  Some experimentation is going to be necessary to find the right strain for you and it’s more important than what you read somewhere or heard from a friend because cannabis affects us all in different ways so enjoy the adventure of finding what’s right for you.  We’d love to help you on your journey.

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