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Indica vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference?

When consuming cannabis, it is important to consider the differences in effects between various strains. There are over 770 known cannabis strains in the world, and understanding how to identify the differences in effects and benefits can help you find the proper strains to meet your needs. If you’re a medical marijuana patient, it’s especially important to know which strains are best to treat your condition and alleviate symptoms.

There are two major types of cannabis plants known as indica and sativa. Each of the aforementioned, 770+ strains with wacky/creative names, like Gorilla Glue #4 and Pineapple Express, are classified as either an indica or sativa type. Each unique strain has its own range of effects on the body and mind. In general, indica strains provide full-body relaxation and sativa strains tend to provide energizing and euphoric effects on the mind.

There are also hybrid strains, which are blends of indica and sativa, that have a wide range of medicinal benefits and effects. The effects provided by hybrid strains are dependent upon which of the strain types is dominant in the mix. For example, if a strain is 60% sativa and 40% indica, it’s considered to be a sativa-dominant strain, and vice versa. Strains that are 50/50 also exist within the hybrid classification.

Indica Cannabis

Physical Properties of Indica

Medical marijuana produced from indica plants tends to have a higher CBD content, which can offset some of the psychoactive effects induced by THC. Indica plants typically grow faster and have larger yields than sativa plants (which is more of a concern for marijuana cultivators over consumers). For appearance characteristics, indica cannabis plants are generally short and bushy with wide leaves.

Medicinal Benefits of Indica

Indica strains are effective for the following:

  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreasing nausea
  • Increasing mental relaxation
  • Increasing appetite
  • Pain management
  • Increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers)

Note: Medicinal benefits and effects vary on an individual basis.

Indica Best Uses

Indica strains are generally best to use at nighttime, as they are known to help treat conditions like insomnia. Due to the full-body relaxing effects caused by indica, you’ll want to consume this type of strain during times that aren’t physically demanding and when you do not need to participate in any activities that require focus and attentiveness. Indica-dominant cannabis strains can help people who suffer from chronic pain, muscle spasms, anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

Sativa Cannabis

Physical Properties of Sativa

When it comes to appearance, you can visually identify the differences in physical traits of sativa and indica plants. Sativa cannabis plants are taller and thinner with narrow leaves. They also tend to be a lighter shade of green than indica plants and require more light to grow and fully mature. With higher contents of THC, sativa cannabis strains tend to cause more psychoactive effects, which affect more of the mind than the body when consumed.

Medicinal Benefits of Sativa

Sativa strains tend to help with the following:

  • Anxiety relief
  • Anti-depressant
  • Focus and creativity
  • Treats migraines and chronic pain
  • Increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of learning, mood, anxiety, and appetite)

Note: Medicinal benefits and effects vary on an individual basis.

Sativa Best Uses

Sativa cannabis strains are best for daytime use, as they provide euphoric, uplifting and energy-boosting effects. For those who struggle with fatigue and lack of energy, sativa is a good type of cannabis to consume early in the day because it can help you get out of bed and start making moves. These types of strains also induce more of a head high in those who consume them and are directly correlated with the enhancement of focus and creativity. Sativa cannabis strains can also help people who struggle with ADD/ADHD, cancer-related weakness, schizophrenia, and glaucoma.

Hybrid Strains of Cannabis

Purebred indica strains can be very sedating, which is why hybrid strains are becoming increasingly popular among consumers. Hybrids are designed to provide more options for customers looking for a combination of effects. For example, someone looking for a relaxing strain to consume at night time that won’t completely diminish their mental alertness might try an indica-dominant strain like Blackberry Kush. Someone experiencing chronic pain in the body but also desires more of a cerebral high would try a sativa-dominant strain like Strawberry Cough.

Choosing The Right Cannabis Strain

There are some very useful cannabis resources online and apps aimed to guide you in choosing the right strains for your specific needs. The Leafly digital platform and app is very informative and provides reviews and details for just about any strain you enter into their search engine. There are also health-focused apps, like Releaf, that help you track and monitor the types of cannabis strains you try and your experiences with them as well as to keep a record of your doses.

Buy Flower Online

If you’re looking to test out a variety of strains so that you can determine which is your favorite, Terra is the place to do it! Our shop features a flower variety pack in which you can pick 7 different strains to try for $140 — that’s 14g for $10 each. You can enjoy building a cannabis bouquet of your own without worrying about paying more for a +AAAA. Each strain listed on our site includes information about the medical benefits, recreational uses, plus the THC and CBD content percentages.

We are constantly updating our store, as we get new strains and products in for distribution. Here are some of the currently available flower strains in the Terra Cannabis shop:

Buy Indica Flower

  • King Louis XIII
  • King’s Kush
  • Romulan
  • Strawberry Nuken

We also have moonrock pre-rolled joints in Peaches N Cream and Vanilla. You can browse these strains by clicking the link here.

Buy Sativa Flower

  • Charlotte’s Web
  • Lemon Thai
  • Sour Tangie
  • Strawberry Cough

You can browse these strains by clicking the link here.

Buy Hybrid Strains

  • Amnesia Haze
  • Bubble Kush
  • Wedding Cake
  • White Castle
  • Green Apple Moonrock pre-rolled joints.

You can browse these hybrid strains by clicking the link here.

Do you prefer sativa, indica, or hybrid strains? Let us know via Instagram!

  1. Deb says:

    I suffer from muscle spasms and arthritis. I find that weed helps me move more freely. I want something I can eat as I can’t smoke due to esophageal issues. I already have little energy so something that gives me energy as well would be wanted. What could you suggest I try. Thank you

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