When you're picking the perfect cannabis strain to enjoy, the most important question you need to ask yourself is, "indica or sativa?" These two species of cannabis have drastically different effects on people. Choosing the right style for your situation will help ensure you have a great time. Below is a guide to help you find the right cannabis strain for you.
The indica species is native to India, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It's adapted to grow in the harsh weather of the Hindu Kush mountain region, so indica plants tend to be short and bushy with wide leaves. Indica plants also stand out for being fast-growing, with more buds than other cannabis species.
Is indica an upper or downer?
Many people report that vaporizing indica makes them feel relaxed, peaceful, and sleepy, and it often causes full-body sensations. Some people even call indica "in da couch" cannabis because they find that it makes them feel like they're melting right into the couch. However, everyone has different reactions to cannabis. Depending on your method of consumption, the strain you try, and your unique metabolism, you might notice different sensations.
Cannabis sativa is a widespread cannabis species that grows throughout Africa, Central America, and Asia. These plants flourish in hot, dry climates, and they have a tall, narrow shape that helps them capture lots of sunlight. Sativa plants are taller than indica and have long, thin leaves.
Is sativa an upper or downer?
A lot of people who try sativa say that they feel very energetic, focused, and alert. Sativa sensations tend to be mostly cerebral, not physical. Many sativa fans report that this cannabis works well when socializing with friends and participating in physical activities. Every strain has a lot of nuances, though, so sativas don't automatically energize everyone. Depending on how your body reacts to it, you may experience different effects.
What's the difference between indica and sativa?
When discussing indica vs sativa, the stereotypical assumption is that indica is calming while sativa is energizing. There is some truth to this concept. People who try both species of cannabis often say that they want to sit around and relax with indica cannabis, while sativa cannabis makes them feel like talking and moving.
However, the reality is that every strain works differently, so some sativa strains can be very relaxing while some indica strains are invigorating. Furthermore, everyone reacts to cannabis differently, so you can't always tell the difference between sativa vs indica just by vaporizing it. Sometimes, the only way to differentiate between the two species is to closely examine a plant's genetic profile.
What's a hybrid?
Indicas and sativas are so closely related that they can cross-pollinate each other. The resulting plant is a hybrid that shares features with each of its parent plants. Some hybrids may provide a balanced blend of indica and sativa traits, while others may resemble their indica or sativa side more closely. Hybrids often provide unique flavors and effects not found in classic indica or sativa strains of cannabis.
It's worth noting that almost all modern strains of cannabis are technically some type of hybrid. Due to frequent cross-pollination, there is quite a bit of overlap between both species. Even though a plant might be predominantly indica or sativa, it will usually have at least one ancestor from another species.
THC and CBD concentrations
At a glance, the big difference between sativa and indica tends to be their cannabinoid ratios. Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a psychoactive cannabinoid, while cannabidiol (CBD) is a nonpsychoactive cannabinoid that can modulate the effects of THC.
Most sativas have higher amounts of THC than CBD, and most indicas have higher amounts of CBD than THC. However, keep in mind that there is a stunning amount of variety among cannabis strains. It's very easy to find high-CBD sativas and low-CBD indicas.
Which is stronger: sativa or indica?
On average, indica plants typically have more THC and other cannabinoids than sativa plants do. This means that many people associate indica strains with higher levels of potency. Don't forget that every strain has different cannabinoid levels, though, so you can't always assume your indica will be stronger.
Top strains of cannabis
To better understand the difference between indica vs sativa vs hybrid cannabis, it's helpful to take a look at some of the most popular cannabis strains.
- OG Kush: A classic indica strain has a strong herbal scent and moderate THC levels.
- Ice Cream Cake: A somewhat unique indica strain that stands out for its sweet flavor reminiscent of vanilla.
- Watermelon Z: A high THC strain with rich, fruity aromas.
- Lemon Sour Diesel: This strain tends to have higher THC levels and a tangy citrus aroma.
- Jack Herer: A strain with a reputation for uplifting effects and a spicy, floral flavor.
- Strawberry Cough: This classic strain has a sweet strawberry aroma.
- Gelato: An indica-dominant hybrid with a sweet, creamy flavor.
- Tahoe Rose: This cross combines the classic OG Kush strain with a Rose Bud strain that gives it a floral aroma.
- Wifi Mints: Flavors of clove and cinnamon stand out in this moderate-THC indica hybrid.
- Pineapple Express: Inspired by a classic comedy, this hybrid combines a sweet pineapple flavor and high THC levels.
- Blue Dream: An uplifting, sativa-dominant hybrid with blueberry flavor notes.
- Chemdog: A classic 50/50 hybrid that contains moderate THC and a blend of indica and sativa traits.
- California Orange: This hybrid gets its name from its citrusy aroma reminiscent of oranges and lemons.
- Mochi Cookies: This hybrid includes both cerebral and full-body effects. It's also popular for its cookie-like scent.
Ultimately, all the different indica, sativa, and hybrid strains provide a great opportunity to customize your cannabis experience. Once you figure out which types of cannabis you enjoy, you can easily pick the right strain for your situation or discover other strains you might want to try.