What is the difference between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid?


What is the difference between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid?

October 1, 2021

What is the difference between Indica, Sativa and Hybrid?

Cannabis has been enjoyed for both recreational and medical benefits for thousands of years, with archaeological evidence of use as far back as 3,000 BCE. Throughout history there have been restrictions on its use imposed by various governments and ruling bodies, and until very recently that has been the case in most of the modern western world. However, today more states and governments are recognizing the value of cannabis in terms of its medicinal benefits for a variety of conditions and patient types, with many people finding that cannabis delivers life-changing results in dealing with chronic conditions, pain and more. But because of a history of restrictions, many people who can be helped by cannabis struggle to understand what it can do for them, and importantly, the kind of cannabis that is the best fit for their needs. If you look at any cannabis supplier site, the first thing you will notice is that there are two basic types of cannabis plants, Indica and Sativa strain cannabis, plus a number of hybrid plants that aim to take the best from both. For those new to cannabis, and indeed for many who have been enjoying the benefits of cannabis, edibles and more, what is the difference between them is a common question. It is an important one too, as the difference between them is directly related to the type of relief they can provide. These different names for cannabis species were first used in the eighteenth century, where the difference in structure was first noticed, and have continued on today, including the more modern hybrid versions that have been artificially bred.

Cannabis Indica

The first type of cannabis plant to look at is cannabis indica, which is thought to have originated near Afghanistan, in the Hindu Kush region. The harsh environment there led to the stand out trait of indica plants, the thick resin coating that covers the plant and acts as protection. As with all types of cannabis plant, there are endless strains of cannabis indica in existence today, some naturally occurring, many created by growers to meet a specific need or preference. However, in general, indica plants tend to follow the following traits:

Indica are often a great starter plant for those looking to grow due to their resilience, but the important thing for users is that cannabis indica offers a relaxing effect that is very different to anything you would experience from a cannabis sativa plant. Although strains do differ in how they impact users, in general they provide full body relaxation, which make them particularly suitable for use in the relief of anxiety and insomnia, and they are especially good for pain relief for those with chronic illness. If you have muscle issues, including spasms, cannabis Indica’s sedating effect can help reduce the issue and ease any pain.

Cannabis Sativa

Cannabis sativa plants are commonly found in Southeast Asia, Central and South America, and are quite distinct from cannabis indica in both appearance and effects. Tall and thin, with less dense buds than the indica plants, cannabis sativa is offered in a wide variety of strains, but all share some common traits: Tall, thin plants that are best suited to outdoor growth Have origins with naturally occurring plants found between 30- and 50-degrees latitude Produce a lighter bud than Indica Often has a lower CBD content than cannabis indica Offer an uplifting, energizing experience that are focused in the mind The differing appearance and physical properties between cannabis sativa and indica are obvious, however for most users it is the effect that is the important aspect. Cannabis sativa delivers an uplifting experience that energizes the user, rather than the calming and relaxing effects of indica. With the experience being centered in the mind too, rather than the full body effect of indica, you can see that sativa really offers something completely different. What that means in terms of use is that sativa-derived strains are able to help with a completely different set of medical challenges, including depression, ADD, mood disorders and more. They also offer a great energy boost for those suffering from fatigue too, and they are often used to boost creativity thanks to that cerebrally focused effect.

Hybrid Cannabis

Hybrid cannabis plants are a relatively new phenomena, and they are the result of growers combining indica and sativa strains to create a new plant that brings traits from both types of cannabis. How the different strains are combined will lead to what is known as an indica-dominant strain or sativa-dominant strain. Usually, this indicates whether the effect is sedating or uplifting, however this is not always the case. Some sativa dominant hybrid cannabis strains can deliver a relaxing, full body experience, while conversely an indica dominant strain can be energizing and uplifting. Growers will indicate the kind of effect you should expect with any hybrid to allow you to find the perfect strain for your needs.

Which is the right one for you?

The key to these types of cannabis is the effect, but which one is right will depend on what you are looking for. While the general effects do lead on to the type of problem each type of cannabis is best suited to, there are other things to take into account too. For instance, for many users, sativa is perfect for day use, giving extra energy, boosting creativity and often helping focus, while indica strains are used in the evenings to relax and wind down after a busy day. Hybrids are a different proposition, offering a more tailored experience that allows users to pick the right strain and experience to suit a specific need. With so many dedicated strains to each type, hybrids do offer something different and can be a great option for individual situations.

Medical Cannabis Educational Center