Indica vs. Sativa – Similarities & Differences Of These Cannabis Strains

Nikhil Goswami

Whether new to cannabis or an experienced smoker, knowing the differences between indica, sativa, and everything in between is vital. It can be confusing to look for answers to questions about marijuana and its strains. Although information about sativa and indica and their effects has been passed down over generations, most of it is inaccurate. Moreover, newer cannabis strains have revamped how most people experience their highs. This article thoroughly explores the two primary strains and helps you choose the right product. You can look for the best weed strains on the web. Additionally, we’ll help you identify what to look for while understanding their effects, potential risks, side effects, legality, and more.

Things to Consider

Cannabis comes in two main categories: Indica and Sativa. Popular indica strains are known for the “couch-lock” effects, while the sativa flower tends to produce more of a “head high.” However, there is not much research analyzing either of their impacts.

Indicas tend to help with total body effects. They are great for pain relief, sleep disorders, inflammation, and muscle spasms. Cannabis Sativas energize users and make them more motivated. They are also helpful for patients suffering from depression or other mood disorders.

However, the two strains have much more in common than many think. Since both are members of the same species, they have only slight differences.

Cannabis use is a centuries-old practice. Both sativa and indica varieties have been used by various cultures in medicine. Nowadays, people use them for both recreational and medical purposes. However, research analyzing their effects has only started recently.

Modern THC and CBD strains can be grouped into three types. This distribution has to do with the CBD and THC ratio. More THC in a particular strain means your high is more intense. Subsequently, each group is designed to give you a different kind of high.

The industry is shifting from using “strains” and prefers using “chemical varieties” (chemovars). This is due to the creation of unique strains that have varying effects on the human body. These days you can even buy weed online legally in certain places.

Generally, the cannabis type isn’t the best indicator of how it will make you feel. Instead, knowing the THC and CBD ratio in the cannabis types you’re considering is more important. We’ll help you understand how you can find the right strain for you.

Factors That Help Understand the Effects of Different Cannabis Strains

The type of strain you choose will significantly impact how you feel. Particular strains are better for anxiety, while others are better for depression or pain. Despite what research says, each specific strain affects the human body differently. Sativa dominant strains have energizing properties. Furthermore, sativa gives a head high that can help with depression and anxiety. Also, Sativa is known to have anti-inflammatory properties. Alternatively, pure Indica is relaxing and often used to treat insomnia and pain relief. While this isn’t an exact science, and there are plenty of exceptions, it can be helpful to know what type of strain you’re consuming before trying it out.

The grower description is also an excellent place to understand cannabis strain effects. It will give you a general idea of how the strain affects people. You should also look for information about the breeder and parent plants, as this can tell you a lot about the consistency and quality of the product.

Next, check out what the dispensary says about their plant’s chemical composition. Each strain has a unique flavor and effect. Moreover, understanding its composition will help you determine the CBD to THC ratio.

After learning about the effects of sativa vs. indica strains, it’s time to research what type of high is right for you. If you want something mellow and relaxing, try an indica. Sativa plants tend to give an energizing buzz that helps you get through the day.


These are chemical compounds found in cannabis plants. Although many cannabinoids are available, the two primary compounds are CBD and THC. These compounds have both pros and cons for cannabis users.

  • CBD

CBD is a naturally occurring substance found in cannabis. It’s one of many cannabinoids unique to cannabis that endow the plant with its robust therapeutic profile. However, CBD differs from THC because it does not have psychoactive effects. That means it doesn’t produce a high. That makes CBD safe and legal to buy online and ship to several states.

  • THC

THC is the cannabis compound that will make you high. This is what people mean when they talk about marijuana. When you smoke cannabis, THC binds to cannabinoid receptors in your brain and creates a feeling of euphoria. Moreover, it stimulates dopamine and endorphin production. Both these chemicals make you feel good. Hence, making you enjoy activities more than usual. When ingested, THC gets processed through your liver before crossing your bloodstream. It then travels to your brain and interacts with those same receptors.

  • CBN

CBN, or cannabinol, is another chemical found in the cannabis plant. It’s one of the various cannabinoids scientists have studied for decades. It relieves uncontrolled muscle stiffness, seizures, and epilepsy. CBN also helps protect the mitochondria by inhibiting lipids’ oxidation.

  • THCA

THCA is also known as tetrahydrocannabinol acid. It’s one of several cannabinoids found in cannabis plants. It doesn’t produce a psychoactive effect when consumed. The main benefit of THCA is its ability to reduce inflammation. Also, it relieves symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and arthritis.

  • CBG

Cannabigerol (CBG) is yet another cannabinoid. The compound has many therapeutic advantages, including relieving depression, PTSD, and anxiety. It does not have any psychoactive effects like THC. Thus, it is ideal for treating people who need relief from their symptoms without experiencing any awful side effects.


Terpenes are essential oils that give cannabis its aroma, flavor, and therapeutic properties. These aromatic compounds are found in all plants and trees. The highest concentration of terpenes is found in the flowers, leaves, and resin glands of cannabis. Terpenes are responsible for the effects you experience after smoking or vaping cannabis. Terpenes in different strains interact with the endocannabinoid system (ECS) to produce different results.

  • Eucalyptol: Eucalyptol is a terpene found in many different plants, including eucalyptus trees. It has antibacterial properties and can be used as an ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash, and other products to fight bad breath and gum disease. It may also help treat muscle spasms and reduce inflammation in the body caused by autoimmune disorders or joint inflammation.
  • Limonene: This terpene is present in many citrus fruits, including oranges, lemons, and limes. It can reduce stress and promote relaxation.
  • Humulene: Humulene is a common terpene in hops and cannabis. It has a woody and earthy aroma and taste, described as spicy, herbal, or citrusy. Moreover, it is anti-inflammatory; hence, you can use it to treat swelling, pain, and headaches caused by inflammation.
  • Bisabolol: Bisabolol is a natural compound extracted from chamomile. The primary function of bisabolol is to provide relief from skin inflammation and irritation.
  • Caryophyllene: This is one of the most common terpenes in many plants, including cannabis. Its peppery molecule can relieve ulcers, depression, and anxiety.
  • Linalool: It has floral notes that enhance relaxation and mood
  • Ocimene: Fights bacteria and viruses.
  • Pinene: This terpene has a pine odor. It improves mood and relieves pain.
  • Terpinolene: This terpene has antifungal and sedating properties.
  • Myrcene: It is a prevalent terpene with an earthy smell. It improves sleep and eliminates anxiety.

Sativa In-Depth Review

Cannabis Sativa is a plant cultivated by humans for many years. It is a species of the genus cannabis, and it is used primarily as a source of food and medicine.

Sativa plants grow naturally in dry and hot climates with more sunny days. It’s common in parts of western Asia, southeast Asia, Central America, and Africa. The plants have the signature marijuana leaves and are thin and tall. It has a higher THC content than other strains, which means it’s stronger and more likely to produce feelings of euphoria. However, it also tends to have lower CBD levels than other cannabis strains.

Cannabis Sativa energizes your body. It is an excellent herb for your daily routine when you want to stay awake for work or other activities. It also helps relax your nerves without any adverse side effects. Sativa won’t make you sleepy or tired, unlike other sedatives.

Sativa plants take a long time to mature, but they are resilient if allowed to go wild. This strain has a distinct aroma that resembles pine trees or citrus fruits, depending on how local cannabis growers planted it.

Many popular sativa strains are available today, including Panama Red and Durban poison.

Cannabis Indica In-Depth Review

Cannabis Indica originates from Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. It does well in the dry and harsh climate, where it grows naturally. The indica plant is usually short and squat, with chunky and broad leaves.

Indica plants grow faster than sativas and produce a “body high.” Additionally, it has higher concentrations of CBD, which has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain and anxiety.

Indica plants also tend to have lower THC levels than other strains of marijuana. They can be less potent and, therefore, easier on your body. These are right for you if you’re new to smoking cannabis.

Cannabis Indica effects are sedating to the body and mind. Therefore, it can benefit those with insomnia or stress-related conditions such as depression or anxiety disorders. You will feel its effects almost immediately after consumption. For this reason, many people like to use it before bedtime or sleep at night. You’ll feel relaxed and sleepy after taking it.

Like Sativa, many different strains of Indica are available today. Some examples include the Hindu Kush, OG Kush, and Afghan Kush. These strains are known for their calming effects, but they may differ in how long they last and how potent they are.

Hybrid Strains In-Depth Review

Hybrid plants are usually planted in greenhouses or farms. This is because they don’t require much sunlight to grow and thrive. They can also be grown indoors without any natural sunlight at all. This makes hybrid plants a convenient option for growers who don’t have time to wait for the plants to mature and grow naturally.

A hybrid is created when two different strains of cannabis cross together, indica and sativa plants. This results in a new strain that’s a combination of both parents’ characteristics. These hybrids are more potent than regular marijuana due to their high THC content. The amount of THC varies from strain to strain, but most hybrids contain over 10 percent THC on average.

Hybrids are often categorized as balanced, sativa-dominant hybrid strains, or indica-dominant. This means that one parent plant is dominant over the other in determining the appearance and effects of the hybrid offspring.

One of the reasons these plants are popular among growers is because they use them for a wide range of applications. Most people who grow these plants do so to add more excitement to their lives since they help relieve stress and anxiety. They also help ease chemotherapy symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and weight loss.

You can use hybrids during the day or at night, depending on the predominant outcome you want from your cannabis. Besides, Blue Dream and Trainwreck are some common hybrid strains.

Cannabis Ruderalis In-Depth Review

The Ruderalis strain of cannabis is a hardy, resilient plant that is not commonly used since it is not potent. It is, therefore, not popularly used as recreational or medical marijuana. However, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t valuable. It has some fantastic qualities that make it the ideal candidate for extreme environments like those in Russia and Siberia.

Ruderalis plants grow quickly, with as little as a month for harvesting. It also has little THC content and high CBD content. This makes it ideal for treating patients with less severe symptoms who don’t want to get high from smoking marijuana. Farmers can breed ruderalis strains with other cannabis strains.

Indica vs. Sativa: Potential Risks and Side Effects

Several effects can come from using cannabis. Some are positive, while others are negative. It’s essential to be aware of these effects to use the drug safely. Most of the effects are due to THC, the primary psychoactive component in cannabis. The mode of consumption can also result in side effects.

  • Increased Heartbeat

Cannabis can increase your heart rate and make it difficult to regulate if you have certain medical conditions. If you have a heart problem and take cannabis products, this could result in an increased risk of heart attacks or strokes.

  • Dry Mouth and Eyes

Because cannabinoids affect glands in your body that produce saliva, dry mouth, and eyes are common side effects of marijuana use. Especially if you smoke it, however, if you’re vaping or eating edibles, dryness won’t be an issue with these modes of consumption.

  • Low Blood Pressure

The most common effect is low blood pressure. This can cause dizziness and fainting. It’s more likely to happen if you consume cannabis with alcohol or have a cardiovascular condition such as high cholesterol or heart disease.

  • Dizziness

You might feel dizzy or lightheaded after taking cannabis. However, this usually goes away within an hour or two of smoking or vaping and doesn’t last long enough to be dangerous. However, if you feel like you’re going to pass out, sit down immediately and don’t drive until you recover.

  • Anxiety

Many people experience anxiety after using marijuana, especially new drug users. If you have never used marijuana before, start with low doses and try it in a safe setting where you can relax and enjoy yourself.

Strains You Should Consider for Certain Health Conditions

Marijuana is a plant that can help treat a variety of health conditions. Moreover, this cannabis plant helps with everything from anxiety to depression and insomnia. However, not all strains are equal. Some strains are better suited for specific health conditions than others.

  • Acapulco Gold

Acapulco Gold falls under the species Cannabis sativa, which means that it has many therapeutic properties. It is a popular strain of marijuana because it relieves pain, nausea, stress, and fatigue without causing anxiety or paranoia. This makes it an amazing option for patients seeking relief from their symptoms without worrying about getting high.

  • Supernatural

Supernatural is a sativa strain. It’s popular among those who want to relax and unwind after a long day. Still, it also works well for those suffering from low moods, headaches, glaucoma, and migraines.

  • Blue Dream

Blue Dream is a cannabis hybrid strain. It is best for people with PTSD, mental fog, insomnia, inflammation, cramps, and pains.

  • Sour Diesel

Sour Diesel is your best bet if you want a strain to help with PTSD, anxiety, mental fog, acute pain, stress, and fatigue. This Sativa dominant strain also has potent effects.

  • Bubba Kush

Bubba Kush is a famous indica strain that’s been around for decades. It is perfect for treating low appetite, nausea, and acute pain. This strain also makes you sleepy, so it’s excellent for treating insomnia. The high THC content means that you should expect an intense high that keeps you high for hours after smoking or vaping.

  • Granddaddy Purple

This indica strain may be great for those looking for relief from insomnia or restless leg syndrome. It tends to provide a relaxing body high that can help users unwind at night. It helps suppress appetite, making it possible for some people to use this strain to lose weight by reducing their caloric intake.

  • Afghan Kush

Afghan Kush is an indica-dominant strain best known for its heavy body effects. It can aid in treating insomnia, low appetite, and acute pain such as migraines.

  • Maui Waui

Maui Waui helps treat symptoms associated with depression and fatigue. It can stimulate the mind while relaxing the body’s muscles and joints. It also contains 0.55% CBD so you can expect real medicinal effects from this strain.

  • Golden Goat

Golden Goat is a hybrid cannabis strain. It is an uplifting strain that offers an energetic high perfect for daytime use. The strain is great for those who suffer from mental fog, anxiety, and depression.

  • LA Confidential

LA Confidential is a more popular strain that has gained popularity for its high THC and powerful effects. The THC ranges from 16% to 20%. Hence, this makes it one of the most potent strains available today. It provides relief from stress, pain, and inflammation. You can also expect to feel euphoric when you take hits of this strain.

  • White Window

White Window’s side effects are pretty minimal than other strains. One of the biggest reasons people love this strain is how quickly it can treat symptoms caused by social anxiety, mental fog, and low mood.

  • Pineapple Express

Pineapple Express is a hybrid strain with an earthy pine aroma. The THC content in this strain can reach up to 23%, which makes it one of the more potent strains available today. It may be perfect for those searching for a powerful high but don’t want to sacrifice flavor. You can use it to treat social anxiety, acute pain, and mental fog.

  • Purple Kush

Indica strains can relieve pain and insomnia. Purple Kush is no exception, but it also works well as a sleep aid due to its sedative effects. This strain can help combat muscle spasms and chronic pain.

  • Super Silver Haze

Super Silver Haze is a sativa strain. It relieves low energy, stress, and anxiety, making it a great daytime strain for patients treating depression or chronic pain.

  • Northern Lights

Northern Lights is best at night because it can make you sleepy if you use it during the day or before bedtime. The strain’s effects include an uplifting mood, happiness, euphoria, relaxation, and calmness. It also relieves pain and helps with low appetite.

How to Pick the Right Cannabis Product for Yourself

If you’re new to cannabis or want to learn your options, this guide will help you choose the right product.

  • Examine Your Medical History. If you suffer from chronic pain, insomnia, or muscle spasms, cannabis might be an option for managing your symptoms. However, you can not help some conditions by using cannabis. It can interact with certain medications and affect your ability to drive or operate heavy machinery. If you’ve got a severe medical condition or take prescription drugs, talk to your doctor before using cannabis as a treatment option.
  • Choose a Preferred Consumption Method. There are several ways you can take cannabis, for instance, smoking, vaping, and edibles. Each method has its benefits and drawbacks, so choosing one that suits your needs best is essential. For example, vaping or consuming edibles may be better options if you don’t want smoke in your lungs. However, if you need immediate pain relief, smoking may be more effective than other methods.
  • Know Your Tolerance. Cannabis tolerance varies from person to person. You may be able to smoke an entire joint without feeling anything. However, someone else can’t handle more than a puff or two without feeling high. The most common way to determine your tolerance is through trial and error. Take note of how much cannabis you consume at one time and how long it takes before you feel the effects. Then adjust accordingly.
  • Understand Your Goal. When choosing a cannabis product, you should ask yourself your end goal. Do you want something that’ll relax you? Or do you want something that will motivate you? It all depends on what kind of high you’re looking for and how much energy you want out of it.


Cannabis legality varies from country to country. Possession of cannabis is illegal in some countries and has been since the beginning of widespread cannabis prohibition. However, some countries have enacted laws legalizing the production, sale, and consumption of medical marijuana.

Some years back, most states in the U.S did not allow the use of those products. However, now they are legal in certain states. This change is due to most states’ passage of the marijuana legalization bill. However, there are some states that have not legalized marijuana use and possession at all. Currently, more and more states are allowing the use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes.

If you’re going to a different state to buy cannabis, check the laws before purchasing. Some states have stricter rules than others regarding transporting cannabis across state lines.

Which Strain Is More Potent Between Indica vs. Sativa?

Sativa is the more potent of the two, and it can even give you a boost in your mood. Sativa strains normally have higher levels of THC, the active ingredient that makes you feel high. Indica strains have higher CBD levels than sativa strains. CBD isn’t psychoactive like THC but does have medical benefits like reducing pain, anxiety, and inflammation.

Conclusion : Cannabis Indica vs. Cannabis Sativa

Hopefully, you now understand everything about indica vs. sativa strains. While indica and sativa strains have their benefits, ensure you look for the ones that match your needs. As long as you do this, chances are you’ll be able to find the best bang for your buck. You will waste more money if you choose the wrong strain. Knowing what’s available and what to look for will help you walk into a dispensary and get what you need to achieve your desired results. That way, you Won’t waste your money on something that will not work.

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