Everything you need to know about the differences between Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid strains

Everything you need to know about the differences between Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid strains

When it comes to smoking weed, there are a lot of different terminologies to learn. One important distinction is the difference between Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid strains. Here’s everything you need to know about the two types of cannabis.

How does indica vs sativa vs hybrid feel

Indica and sativa are the two main types of cannabis. Both types can be used for medical or recreational purposes. They each have different effects on the body and mind.

Indica strains are known for their sedative effects. They’re often used to treat anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Sativa strains have more of a head high and are energizing and uplifting. They’re often used to treat fatigue and low mood.

Hybrid strains have a mixture of indica and sativa effects.

indica vs sativa vs hybrid

Effects and benefits of Indica vs sativa vs hybrid

The differences between indica and sativa strains can vary depending on the individual. Some people may find that indica makes them feel more relaxed, while others may find that sativa gives them more energy. It’s important to experiment with different strains to see what works

Cannabinoids and Terpenes

Cannabis plants contain dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, which are responsible for producing many of the effects of cannabis use.


Researchers have identified two main cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — as well as several less common compounds.

The exact effects of each cannabinoid depend on a variety of factors, including the individual’s physiology, the amount consumed, and how it is consumed.

THC: is the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants and is responsible for the “high” associated with cannabis use.

CBD: is non-impairing or non-euphoric, but may produce physical benefits like reducing pain and nausea.

CBN: is used to ease symptoms of neurological conditions, including epilepsy, seizures, and uncontrollable muscle stiffness.

THCA: is similar to THC but doesn’t cause any psychoactive effects; potential benefits include reducing inflammation caused by arthritis and autoimmune diseases. 

CBG: helps reduce anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.


Terpenes are a naturally occurring compound in the cannabis plant. They present directly affect the plant’s smell.  They may also influence the effects that specific strains produce. For example, some terpenes can produce an uplifting effect while others may promote relaxation.

Cannabis plants produce a variety of terpenes, each with its own unique smell and effects. Some common terpenes include:

Bisabolol: This terpene is said to help reduce inflammation and irritation. It may also have microbial and pain-reducing effects.

Caryophyllene: The peppery, spicy molecule may help reduce anxiety, ease symptoms of depression, and improve ulcers.

Linalool: This terpene is said to help improve relaxation and boost mood with its floral notes.

Myrcene: The most common terpene, this earthy, herbal molecule may help reduce anxiety and insomnia so you can sleep better.

Ocimene: This terpene produces notes of basil, mango, and parsley. Its primary effects may include easing congestion and warding off viruses and bacteria.

Pinene: As the name suggests, this terpene produces an intense pine aroma. It may help boost memory, reduce pain, and ease some of the not-so-pleasant symptoms of THC, such as nausea and coordination problems.

Terpinolene: Cannabis with this compound May smell like apples and cumin conifers. It may have sedative antibacterial antifungal properties.

indica vs sativa vs hybrid

How to use Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid 


Indica is the type of cannabis that makes people feel relaxed and comfortable. indicas are best consumed at night because their deep relaxation effects make them perfect for bedtime consumption, but some popular strains can be enjoyed during day time as well! 

Three examples include Hindu Kush (a classic), Afghan Kush (known to cause euphoria)and Granddaddy Purple which has been said by many users in Colorado consider themselves experts on this strain due to its high content of tetrahydrocannabinol.


Hybrids are a cross between two different types of cannabis that have been hybridized to create an effects profile usually more potent than either parent. Typically depends on the predominant effects of the hybrid strain

Popular hybrids are Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, and Blue Dream.


Sativa strains have a stimulating impact that can be used in day-time.

Popular types include Acapulco Gold, Panama Red and Durban poison.

Things to consider when choosing a strain

Image sourced from Leafly.ca | Sativa vs Indica vs hybrid chart

Know that the potency of cannabinoids and terpenes will vary among growers, so while certain strains may be helpful for certain conditions yours could well work better.

Growing Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid strains

The indica vs sativa vs hybrid plants differ in their effects, but they have some similarities. The most notable difference between the two types of marijuana is that indicas will produce more head high than those who smoke Sativas. This means you’ll feel relaxed without any energetic feelings or thoughts jumping around in your mind while taking an Indica-laden joint, for example!

Sativa vs Indica – Different Appearances

For those who love cannabis, the characteristics of indica vs sativa vs hybrid when they’re mature can be a deciding factor. Sativas are usually tall and slim in shape; their height might reach twenty feet or more! Indica plants on the other hand, tend to be short with large branches that only grow three or four feet high.

Indica vs sativa vs hybrid plants have different traits depending on which type they are. For example, Indica buds tend to be denser than those from sativas, but both can grow long with wide branches for an attractive look in your garden or growing setup!

Indica leaves are often wider and darker green than Sativa, but hybrids can have either type.


Indica vs sativa vs hybrid what makes you higher and for longer

In general, indica strains tend to be more potent than sativas. If you’re looking for a long-lasting high and don’t want your smoke session cut short by an onset of couchlock then this might just do the trick!

Which one makes you paranoid

There’s an argument to state that Indica is better for anxiety because it has more THC and less CBD. Sativa with its high concentrations of the psychoactive cannabinoid makes you feel anxious or paranoia which can amplify your feelings if this happens unexpectedly.

Which do you prefer and which is best

If you are looking to be laid back and Chill out, it seems tend to enjoy indica strains for sleeping. While those that prefer sativas have increased focus, creativity or mood boosting effects – quite opposite of what you would expect! The better effect depends on the person.

Which makes you laugh

Cannabis scientists have discovered that it’s most likely the terpenes—aromatic molecules responsible for each strain’s unique smell and taste-that underpin these differences in effect. Both indica strains can possess wildly different profiles, as well; some people prefer sativas because they give off less dank smells while others enjoy feeling more relaxed after smoking them!

Is Sativa an upper or downer

Cannabis sativa strains are generally uplifting. Cannabis indica strains are typically a “downer”.


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Holland, K. (2021, March 22). Beginner’s Guide to cannabis plants and strains. Healthline. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/health/sativa-vs-indica#takeaway

Indica vs sativa. Cresco Labs. (2022, July 6). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.crescolabs.com/indica-vs-sativa/

Piomelli, D., & Russo, E. B. (2016, January 1). The cannabis sativa versus cannabis indica debate: An interview with Ethan Russo, MD. Cannabis and cannabinoid research. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576603/

Sativa vs indica. CNBS. (2020, February 2). Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.cnbs.org/cannabis-types/sativa-vs-indica/

Staff, L. (2022, June 21). Indica vs. sativa: Understanding the differences between weed types. Leafly. Retrieved November 9, 2022, from https://www.leafly.ca/news/cannabis-101/sativa-indica-and-hybrid-differences-between-cannabis-types

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