Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids Explained

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids are potential indicators for how a product may make you feel.

Distinguish the differences between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids and how to use this information to choose products.

Have you ever heard the terms indica, sativa, or hybrid and wanted to know what they mean? Patients will often ask what the difference is and how will those differences help in choosing a product that is right for them. 
When you go to a dispensary to purchase cannabis flower or cannabis based products, there is a variety to choose from.

Products in dispensaries will most often be listed by strain name, and are typically divided into categories to help give consumers an idea of how they will make you feel. There are three categories these products fall into, which are indica, sativa, and hybrid. These terms refer to the genetics of the plant grown to produce the flower, or cannabis products like edibles, oils, or tinctures.  

In the beginning, there were sativa plants and indica plants. Over time, these two types of plants have been continuously crossbred to produce hybrid versions, combining both plant types into one. This has made sativa only and indica only plants very rare. Most strains are a hybrid cross between the two that are often referred to as being either indica dominant or sativa dominant. Knowing the genetics of the plant can give you an idea of the effects it may have, and can help you in deciding what cannabis product to choose.

Cannabis Indica
Indica dominant plants usually grow short, with wide leaves, and dense buds. Known to produce a body high, products made from indica strains are commonly suggested for pain relief and sleep because of their relaxing effects. For this reason, they are often recommended for use at night.

Cannabis Sativa
Sativa dominant plants typically grow taller, with thin leaves, and have buds that are less dense. Products made from sativa strains are often associated with more of an energetic and mentally stimulating effect. This makes sativa strains more likely to be recommended for use during the day.

A hybrid is a cross between indica and sativa. Since pure indica and sativa strains are very rare, most strains are hybrids between the two, and are either indica dominant or sativa dominant. Some hybrid stains are a balanced mix of indica and hybrid, providing a combination of both mentally and bodily stimulating effects.

Although knowing if cannabis flower or a cannabis product is indica, sativa, or hybrid may give some insight into how it might make you feel, it is not the only contributing factor. Things like the percentage of THC, CBD, or other cannabinoids, as well as the terpene profiles of each strain also contribute to how a product will make you feel. Cannabis strains have been known to effect consumers differently, even if it is the same strain. You and a friend of yours might feel different even if you both consume the same product, at the same time, so experiment by trying a variety of strain types to find the perfect product for you. 

If you’re still unsure which product to choose, talk to your patient care specialist to learn more about the different products and strains of flower we carry, and we will be happy to assist in finding a product that suits you best.


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