You’ve most likely heard these terms before – but do you know what they mean? Cannabis is classified into two species: Indica and Sativa (don’t worry, this science lesson has a point). In addition to those two, you can also have “blends” of the two in various proportions which are called Hybrids.
There are many differences between the anatomy of the two species: the way they are grown, how long they take to flower and more – but one of the most important differences are the chemicals they produce, and what that means for consumers of those products.
Typically, cannabis Indica plants are short, bushy plants with wide leaves. Indica plants typically grow faster and have a higher yield than the sativa variety. Medicine produced from cannabis Indica plants have higher CBD and lower THC counts.
The major qualities of Indica medicinal strains include:
Increased mental relaxation
Decreases acute pain
Increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers)
For night time use
Cannabis Sativa plants are opposite of the Indica strains and grow tall and thin with narrow leaves. Sativa plants are also generally a lighter shade of green than their counterpart, the Indica strain. Sativa strains take longer to grow, mature, and require more light. Medicine produced from cannabis Sativa plants have lower CBD and higher THC counts.
The major qualities of Sativa medicinal strains include:
Treats chronic pain
Increases focus and creativity
Increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of learning, mood, sleep, anxiety and appetite)
For day time use
Cannabis Hybrid Strains
A hybrid is a cannabis plant that is a crossbreed between an indica and a sativa plant. There are very few cannabis strains that are of true indica or true sativa variety. Instead most strains of cannabis are a hybrid of the two. Within this subset there can be indica dominant, and sativa dominant strains. There are also hybrid strains that are a relatively even indica/sativa split.
The best of both worlds, inheriting traits from both parent strains. Hybrids can be either Indica or Sativa dominant in their genetic makeup and effects. An analogy we often use is a wine that is a blend of multiple grapes. Each component adds something different to the overall experience. Strains can be created that allow the various properties of the two parents to complement each other and create something better than the two strains on their own. Think of it as 1 + 1 = 3!