What is the difference between Marijuana Strains: Indica/Sativa/Hybrid?
Marijuana is a diverse plant that includes many different varieties called strains. You may already be familiar with some including Blue Dream, Sour Diesel, OG Kush, and Jack Herar. However, what you may NOT know is that theses strains have different composed chemical properties. These chemical properties are what differentiate them into these main categories; Indica/Sativa/Hybrid. But what does all of that mean?
If you are new to the legal cannabis game, you may not know all that much about the differences between the strains available at your local dispensary. Never fear! We’ve got you covered with a basic breakdown of Indica/Sativa/Hybrid types.
Marijuana 101: An Introduction to Indica/Sativa/Hybrid Strains
Each category of marijuana strains can be explained based on their effects on the body.
Indica: These plants are known as Cannabis Indica. Their effects on the body include a heavy head buzz feeling, and a body high that can be described as “melting.” Oftentimes, people smoke these types of strains at night, or when they are ready to get stuck on the couch. Pretty much – that’s all you’re going to want to do after sampling an indica marijuana plant.
Sativa: This plant strain is known as Cannabis Sativa. When consumed, sativa strains are known to offer an uplifting body high and even feelings of bliss or euphoria. This marijuana strain affects the mind and can offer a more traditional psychedelic experience than other types. Consumers tend to feel woken up by the high and a temporary state of energy.
Hybrid: This is where things can get a little tricky. With so many different sativa and indica varieties, there is a wide range of possibilities for cross-pollination. Otherwise known as hybrid strains, you may recognize some of these basic sub-categories:
Indica Dominant: These work well for pain relief of common aches & pains in the body and offer a relaxing effect to the mind. Some examples of this type of hybrid include Tahoe OG, Kosher Kush and Purple Urkle.
Sativa Dominant: This is a type that offers both a mental and physical high with a calming affect on the body. Examples of sativa dominant strains include Juicy Fruit, Sour Diesel, Purple Trainwreck.
Even Hybrids (50/50): These strains are a good balance of both worlds for people who seek a body/head high. Examples of this 50/50 blend include White Widow, Blue Dream and Purple Diesel.
What Are the Differences Between Indica/Sativa/Hybrid Strains?
This is where we can really have some fun. Check this out…
Indica: This is the most popular cannabis strain. Compared to sativa, these plants tend to grow wider, rather tall (on average 3 to 6 feet). The leaves are also fatter than sativa strains – a good indication of what the high will be like when you smoke a cannabis sativa strain. These plants take a little less time to flower than sativa strains and are easily influenced by adjustments in their light cycle. A powerful sedative, indica strains can bring your entire body into a state of deep relaxation due to the high CBN content.
The Indica plant is commonly recommended for insomnia, pain relief, muscle relaxation, muscle spasms, stress and anxiety, headache and migraine relief.
Sativa: These plants are more delicate than cannabis indica. You will know these plants by their impressive height as they tend to grow much taller than indica varieties. In some cases sativa plants can get up to 15 feet tall! The Sativa is physically different from its neighbor plant; fat, wide indica plants. Depending on your personality, sativa highs usually include a happy feeling, and an energized body high. Unlike its sedating counterpart (indica), sativa strains are great for use by active people.
The Sativa plant is commonly recommended for depressive symptoms, attention problems, fatigue, and mood swings.
Hybrid: Modern cannabis cultivation allows for some very creative breeding, which leads to the development of many hybrid strains. Hybrid strains include all of the possibilities of varying flower cycles, yields, disease resistance and a range of CBD to THC ratios. Basically, the entire purpose of hybrids is to blend together the desired characteristics of both indica and sativa strains, to create a finished product that delivers just what you need for a specific health concern, or flowering need.
Hybrid cannabis strains are a genetically modification of regular seeds can deliver feminized seeds, autoflowering seeds and even sinsemilla seeds for unique strains that meet almost every need you can imagine! With genetic splicing and cross-breeding, the possibilities of hybrids are endless.
What Are The Chemical Differences of Indica/Sativa/Hybrids?
When it comes to cannabinoids (the phyto-chemicals of the cannabis plant) each strain is different. To understand the chemical differences of each category you must first understand what the chemicals are.
Here is a quick (and basic) rundown of the main cannabinoid chemicals found in marijuana, THC and CBD.
THC is a term that includes two main chemical constituents in marijuana. Also known as Tetrahydrocannabinol, THC is the psychoactive compound of cannabis plants.
CBD is a term used to describe the main non-psychoactive cannabinoid chemical in cannabis plant. Also known as Cannabidiol, CBD is a well-known anti-inflammatory that can take the edge of the psychoactive effects of THC.
FUN FACT: There are an estimated 85 different cannabinoids found in marijuana plants. These plyto-chemicals are also naturally produced in the brain, as neurotransmitters. Some other well-known cannabinoids include Cannabinol (CBN), Cannabigerol (CBG), Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV), and Cannabigerol (CBG).
Here is how each category stacks up for THC and CBD content:
Indica: These strains offer a high THC/CBD ratio. The high content of THC (the psychoactive phyto-chemical compound) is responsible for the cerebral high and mental stimulation of Cannabis Indica strains.
Sativa: These strains offer a high CBD/THC ratio. The high content of CBD (the non-psychoactive phyto-chemical compound) is responsible for the heavy body high and relaxing feeling of Cannabis Sativa strains.
Hybrid: These genetically spliced strains can include any variation of the THC to CBD ratio. Sky’s the limit with these types of marijuana, and the highs they offer.
So, now that you have a Ph.D in marijuana you may be wondering, “What are the best buds in each category?”
Here are the Top 5 Best Buds – A breakdown of strains that come highly recommended:
Top 5 Indica Strains:
Master Kush, Northern Lights, OG Kush, Scooby Snacks, and GDP (Grand Daddy Purple).
Top 5 Sativa Strains:
Space Queen, Green Crack, Sour D, Silver Haze, and Amnesia.
Top 5 Hybrid Strains:
Gorilla Glue, Grape ApE, Blue Dream, and Dog Walker.
It’s a jungle out there in the rapidly growing world of legal cannabis, but hopefully this breakdown of Indica/Sativa/Hybrid strains will help you navigate the new terrain.