There are thousands of cannabis strains on Earth. Yes, cannabis isn’t only one type. In fact, when you walk into dispensaries or even do a quick browse on cannabis online stores, the first thing you’re confronted with is your choice of cannabis – indica vs sativa vs hybrid, which type is for me?
In reality, it would be inaccurate to unceremoniously lump strains together under three different umbrellas. Comparing cannabis strains isn’t that simple. However, tagging strains to be an indica, a sativa, or a hybrid is an organizing technique that proved to be useful for consumers that like to gradually narrow their options from generalized categories down to specific strains.
Budtenders (your friendly customer care dispensary personnels) can expertly recommend a strain base on what you’re looking for but if you’re the type who wants to get a base knowledge on the products before hitting the store, this article is for you.
Origin: Sativa or cannabis sativa originated or is often grown in countries near the equator where hot and dry climates are prevalent. Some of these countries include Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and parts of Western Asia.
Defining physical characteristics of Sativa plant: Cannabis strains recognized as Sativa have long and thin finger-like leaves. They grow as high or even more than 12 feet. They also take longer to mature compared to other cannabis strains.
CBD to THC ratio: Has a high dose of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol – the compound that gives the high effect) and low CBD (cannabidiol) content.
Common associated effects of use: Sativa strains give off a type of high that energizes. Consumers of its products report they feel more inspired, creative, and productive throughout the day.
It may have some anxiety-reducing effects but it’s uncommon to use Sativa cannabis for relaxation or as an agent for promoting sleep.
Daytime or nighttime use: Customers find Sativa strains pleasant during the day as it’s a type of stimulator.
Popular strains: Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Durban Poison.
Products to try: Check out DD8 shop’s cannabis sativa product features.
Origin: Indica or cannabis indica is originally native to countries – Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. These cannabis strains have evolved to survive the harsh and dry climates of the Hindu Kush mountains.
Characteristics of the plant: Compared to the willowy facade of sativa, indica strains are short and stocky. Their leaves are broad and the greenery often grows almost bush-like. They mature faster and they produce more buds.
CBD to THC ratio: Indica strains have more CBD content compared to THC.
Common associated effects of use: Indica strains are praised for their relaxing kind of high. Although not proven, customers swear the CBD content helps immensely with nausea, pain, and increasing appetite.
Daytime or nighttime use: Indica strains’ relaxing effects are better harnessed at night.
Popular strains: Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, and Granddaddy Purple.
Products to try: Check out DD8 shop’s cannabis indica-based products here.
Origin: Cannabis growers have found a way to harness the unique qualities of both sativa and indica strains by growing a combination of them. These resulting strains from different parent plants are called hybrids.
Because hybrids are initiatives of men, they don’t necessarily originate from a specific country. Instead, hybrids are grown on farms, greenhouses, or any controlled environment fit for growing such a type of unique cannabis strain.
Characteristics of the plant: Hybrid strains do not have defining features. Each can look drastically different from the others. A hybrid strain may inherit the plant features of both parent plants.
CBD to THC ratio: Hybrids have varying THC and CBD ratios. Some may have more THC and less CBD, others will have more CBD and less THC content, and some strains could have an equal percentage of CBD and THC concentration too. The ratio between CBD and THC will depend on the design of the grower.
Common associated effects of use: Cultivators are strategically marrying parent cannabis strains with a set of cannabinoids that when combined, gives off specific effects the grower desires. These effects could range from stress-relief, analgesic properties, and more.
Daytime or nighttime use: This depends on whether the predominant trait of the hybrid is sativa or indica. Other hybrid strains were designed to be useful in both daytime and nighttime.
Popular strains: Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, and Blue Dream.
Products to try: Check out DD8 shop’s hybrid products here.
How to Find the Right Chemovar for You?
In cannabis consumerism, the rule is – cannabis strains under sativa are energizing while indicas are relaxing. However, some experts argue that cannabis varieties are far too complicated than that to be haphazardly placed under three general categories. They describe individual cannabis plants to have varied effects even though they’re under the same cannabis type. For example, Acapulco Gold and Panama Red strains are categorized as sativa but it doesn’t mean that both have the same type of effects.
For customers, the physical traits of the plant wouldn’t matter much, it’s the chemical composition that they are focusing on. Why? Because the chemical composition (the cannabinoid and terpene profile) of the strain is the chief manager of its effects.
The chemical compositions of cannabis plants are distinguished by their individual cannabinoid and terpene content. As you probably know by now, cannabinoids such as THC and CBD and their level of concentration dictate most of the overall effects that a cannabis strain would give off.
Hence, it’s wise to not be obsessed with choosing cannabis strains by just looking at whether they’re a sativa, indica, or hybrid. Relying on these three categories gives less information on what you’re getting. Instead, look for the “cannabinoid profile” of the product. Above everything, the cannabinoid profile best describes the effects a strain would have.
If you’re in the process of looking for a strain that best suits you, here are some important factors to keep in mind:
1. What am I trying to achieve?
Trying to pinpoint what effects you want from a cannabis strain helps you narrow down your options until you get to that specific strain. Talk to budtenders about your goals. Whether you’re trying to have a good night’s rest or simply get high to the heavens, there is a strain for you.
2. Determine your tolerance
Are you a newbie or a regular consumer? If you’re a newbie, your tolerance level would probably be low to average. You’re best suited to beginner-friendly strains such as Pineapple Express.
Potent strains with high levels of THC might be too overwhelming for beginners.
3. Consider your current physical and mental health condition
While all cannabis strains are organic, they have effects that might not be compatible with certain health conditions.
Cannabis and its properties can possibly interact with your medications.
To be on the safe side, ask your professional health provider about the potential risks of cannabis on your current health. He will determine whether the potential benefits weigh more than the risks.
4. Determine the best method of consumption for you
Cannabis is commercially translated into different products such as vapes, joints, tinctures, edibles, and topical solutions. Some products are smoked, sublingually applied, topically applied, or simply ingested.
Each consumption method has pros and cons. For example, edibles might take a while to kick in but their effects last longer. Smoking cannabis enables you to feel the effects almost in an instant but the period of lasting effects is relatively shorter.
Choose the best consumption method for you.