Even if you’re just starting with cannabis, you’ve probably heard of sativas and indicas. Often, people talk of sativa vs indica and dispensaries even mark their products as indica, sativa, or hybrids. Of course, this means that we have to ask: What are the differences between sativas, indicas, and hybrids?
Sativas are primarily known for their cerebral, euphoric, and uplifting effects. Sativas produce a euphoric and invigorating head high that can boost creativity and bring on serious bouts of the giggles. They are great for socializing and for enjoying cannabis during the daytime, when the sedating effects of an indica may slow you down.
Sativa plants tend to grow tall and lanky, sometimes reaching as much as 2m in height. They also tend to produce smaller buds and a lower yield than their indica counterparts. The buds produced by sativa plants also tend to be less densely packed and a bit smaller in size.
What’s the Best Sativa Strain?
That’s debatable but several strains stand out as frontrunners. If you’re looking for the best sativa strain around, try out one of the strains on this list.
- Ghost Train Haze – Award-winning best sativa strain for its exceptional THC content (25%+)
- Green Crack – Bold flavor with intense euphoria
- Strawberry Cough – High THC content and delicious strawberry flavor
- Trainwreck – Talkative social high with pine/pepper flavor and high THC content
- Sour Diesel – Energetic, creative high with incredible citrus flavors
Indica strains are mostly known for their calming, relaxing, and physically sedating effects. Indicas still produce cerebral effects but are mostly known for their intense body high that can sometimes produce a powerfully sedating ‘couchlock’ effect. Indicas tend to induce sleepiness and stimulate the appetite. They are great for unwinding at the end of the day, easing anxiety, alleviating pain, and falling asleep at night.
Indica plants tend to grow short and bushy with broad, thick leaves. They are known for being more durable and having shorter flowering cycles than sativas. The buds they produce also tend to be thicker and denser.
What’s the Best Indica Strain?
There are more than a few indica strains that stand out for their high THC content and potent sedating effects. If you’re looking for the best indica strain around, try out one of the strains on this list.
- Kosher Kush – Award-winning best indica strain for its exceptional THC content (25%+)
- Purple Kush – Can reach 27% THC with delicious berry flavor
- MK Ultra – Potent strain that produces dreamy euphoria
- Sunset Sherbet – Outstanding mix of fruity and grassy flavors
- Northern Lights – Pure indica with very potent sedating effects
Hybrid strains possess a mix of indica and sativa genetics and effects. What effects you can expect them to produce depends on how much indica or sativa genetics are in each strain. Some hybrids can be more uplifting, while others can be more sedating. These kinds of strains are great for when you are looking for a mix of mind and body effects without sacrificing either.
Sativa vs Indica – Does It Really Matter?
Does Sativa vs Indica actually matter though? Sort of.
The terms “indica” and “sativa” have been used to refer to different kinds of cannabis for over 100 years. “Sativa” used to primarily refer to the hemp plants originating from Eurasia and Europe. While ‘indica’ was primarily used to refer to the psychoactive cannabis plants originating from Asia and the Middle East.
Nowadays, these names have mostly been repurposed to refer to strains that produce different effects. However, most of the strains consumed today come predominantly from the indica plant. So while a strain may produce uplifting and cerebral effects associated with sativas, it is likely to in fact possess indica genetics.
What Really Determines the Effects Produced by a Cannabis Strain?
The cannabinoids, terpenes, and other compounds contained in each strain are believed to be primarily responsible for the effects that it produces. Each strain possesses a unique terpene and cannabinoid profile that can differ not just from strain to strain but from plant to plant. Factors such as how the plant is grown and how the buds are cured and handled can also affect the terpene and cannabinoid content of cannabis.
Want to learn more? Don’t be shy—ask our budtenders the next time you stop by our San Francisco dispensary.