Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid: A Crash Course in Cannabis Genetics

The world of cannabis can often seem complicated and difficult to navigate for newer consumers. After all, there are thousands of different strains to try, each with their own unique effects, and beyond this there is an entire universe of terminology that must be parsed in order to know one’s way around a dispensary. One common question for inexperienced cannabis customers concerns the difference between indica and sativa strains, which are both renowned for imparting distinctive effects. Here’s what to know about indica vs sativa and everything in between.

What is Indica

What is an Indica?

Indica strains are perhaps the most common and popular type of cannabis strain, and represent many of the “traditional” qualities individuals think of when discussing cannabis. For example, indica strains are well-known for inducing a deep sense of relaxation in those who smoke them, and many who suffer from conditions like insomnia or chronic pain seek out indicas to assist with their treatment. In addition to managing chronic pain, many medical patients prefer indicas vs sativas when they want to chart a path to relieving stress and anxiety. 

Furthermore, indicas have a reputation for possessing thick buds that are often sticky and require effort to pull apart. The best indica strains have flowers that are full, dense, and rich with trichomes, with these qualities often being accompanied by a deep, earthy scent. Some indicas also stand out for their distinctive purple hues, which will typically be featured prominently in the name of the strain.

In fact, names can tell you quite a bit about whether you’re smoking indica vs sativa buds. If you’re sparking up a strain with “Kush” or “OG” in its name, chances are it’s at least indica-dominant, if not an outright pure indica.

What is a Sativa?

If indicas are known for their relaxing attributes, sativas provide an alternative experience, embodying bubbly, clear and energetic effects. Individuals who smoke sativas usually report a lucid high that evokes natural creativity, often highlighting the absurd or comical aspects of mundane situations.

Unlike their indica counterparts, sativas are generally somewhat fluffier in their appearance, and offer a smoother burn. Many sativas emphasize their earthy and herbal qualities, which they share with indica strains, but some sativas are especially popular owing to the fruity or tropical aromas expressed in their genetics.

Sativas have some physical characteristics that differentiate them from indicas, too. One major example is their height. Sativas are much taller and lankier than their indica cousins. They appear more like a “cannabis grapevine,” with long, thin stalks in between hard, dense “grapes” of buds. In addition, sativa leaves are significantly longer and thinner vs indicas, which are thicker and broader.

Names can tell you a lot about sativas, too. Generally, if you’re smoking any kind of “Haze” variant, it’s going to be sativa-dominant.

Hybrid Cannabis

Beyond the indica vs sativa debate, we have hybrids. At dispensaries or your local marijuana delivery menu, you may have come across examples of hybrid cannabis that blend together the qualities of indica and sativa strains. Many hybrids have staked out storied reputations of their own, so be sure to ask around to determine the best hybrid strain for your specific purposes.

Indica vs Sativa Strains

Indica vs Sativa Strains

Indicas and sativas are drastically different, and each suit different occasions. Those who experience trouble getting to sleep at night, or simply want to settle into a tranquil state of mind while watching their favorite movies at home, may want to explore indica strains to discover their effects.

Sativas, however, are ideal for gatherings of cannabis consumers, or passing around with friends in general. The easy burn of sativas and their gregarious nature make them the perfect choice to bring any group of people closer together, as the shared joy of the strain will be virtually guaranteed to brighten everyone in attendance.

Those differences extend beyond just flower, though. You may notice a difference between the high provided by indica vs sativa edibles, as well. That’s because edibles created with entire plant extracts will have a similar chemical makeup to the flowers they come from. With a similar cannabinoid and terpene profile, they’ll affect your body in a similar way.

At Green Goddess Collective, our Venice Beach dispensary offers sativas, indicas and hybrids, sourced from the best cannabis growers. You can experience the entirety of Green Goddess offerings by visiting our menu, or check out the Green Goddess website today to learn all about our commitment to cannabis.

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