What Are The Differences - Indica, Sativa And Hybrid

You may often wonder what the terms “indica,” “sativa,” and “hybrid” means. Initially, there were only two species of marijuana, which were Cannabis sativa and Cannabis Indica. Both species have different medicinal effects. After many years of crossbreeding, it was infrequent to find pure strains of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica. Most of the present strains were either dominant Sativa or dominant Indica hybrids, which may have different medicinal properties and recreational properties. 

What Are The Differences of Indica, Sativa, and Hybrids?

These three strains vary with regards to their medicinal uses, but more importantly, they have different effects which differ for every patient’s response. Both pure strains have different genetic characteristics because they come from different areas of the world. 

Cannabis Indica (Body High)

  • Origin

Cannabis indica is indigenous to colder climates. 

  • Plant Description

These plants are generally shorter in stature and have wide and broad leaves and are darker in color. Its buds are typically dense. 

  • Effects

Typically, Cannabis indica is associated with physical, full-body effects. It has similar effects to sedatives, such as the promotion of deep relaxation and reduces insomnia, which is more ideal to be used during the night. 

  • Medicinal Properties

It is known to have higher concentrations of CBD (cannabidiol), which promotes anti-anxiety and pain relief, and lower levels of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), which promotes psychoactive effects. It is believed to decrease nausea, a muscle relaxant, and boosts dopamine production. For some, it is used as an appetite stimulant. The concentrations of these cannabinoids promote a body high rather than a head high.

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Cannabis Sativa (Head High)

  • Origin

Cannabis sativa is indigenous hot, dry climates with long sunny days such as East Asia, Africa, Central America, which are areas that are closer to the equator. 

  • Plant Description

These plants are typically taller and have long, thin, finger-like leaves. The buds are feathery and less dense compared to indica. They can grow as tall as 12 feet and could take a longer time to mature or fully flower than indica.

  • Effects

Cannabis sativa is associated with a more cerebral effect, which is perfect for daytime use. This impacts the patient’s mood and emotions. This plant has a stimulating impact, such as promoting a refreshing and energizing effect, which helps the patient feel more active and heightened. 

  • Medicinal Properties

In comparison to indica, sativa is said to have higher concentrations of THC and therefore promotes a stronger psychoactive effect. It has lower levels of cannabidiol, which has lesser pain-relieving properties. The typical features of sativa include anti-depression, boosting focus, and increases serotonin production. These cannabinoids cause the patient to have a head high in contrast to the effects of cannabis indica.


Unlike sativa and indica, hybrids such as Gelato 41 are often crossbred to produce specific effects.Cannabis growers produce unique combinations from different parent plants. The effects and appearances of these hybrids are greatly influenced by their parentage and how they were cultivated.

  • Origin

These are grown in greenhouses of farms and are a combination of both cannabis indica and cannabis sativa strains.

  •  Plant Description

The appearance of the hybrid, how it grows, and how much it can yield entirely depends on the plants you are crossbreeding. The more dominant the plant is, the more chances your hybrid will look like it. 

  • Effects
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Because they are crossbred plants, they often have a balanced effect, but again, each type has a unique ratio of THC and CBD cannabinoids. 

  • Medicinal Properties

The crossbreed growers produce hybrids that vary in their effects. Some plants reduce anxiety and stress; others ease the symptoms of chemotherapy. 

Effects of the Cannabis Plant

The effects of these plants do not merely depend on whether it is a sativa or an indica plant. There are many different factors influencing the properties of each strain. The Cannabis plant has a lot of different cannabinoids but the more important ones are THC and CBD. 

  • THC-Dominant

Consumers usually go after something that gives them euphoria. Medicinal effects also include treatment of pain, depression, anxiety, and insomnia.

  • CBD-Dominant

These are used by consumers who are highly sensitive to THC and who are needing a clear-headed symptom relief. 

  • Balanced THC/CBD

These contain an equal amount of TH and CBD which offers a mellow high with symptom relief. 

Types of Hybrids

You might wonder, what is the best hybrid strain of Cannabis? Hybrids of Cannabis are actually a combination of the best of both worlds – most likely a balance of both indica and sativa. More and more breeders are creating exciting new strains producing different effects to the body making it rare to find a pure strain of indica or sativa.

A few types of hybrids are:

  • Blue Dream
  • Gorilla Glue
  • OG Kush
  • White Widow
  • AK 47 Strain


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