Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid

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The Differences Between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Strains

We’d estimate that thousands of different cannabis strains have existed throughout the history of time. With all of the various options out there, it can be hard to determine which type of cannabis is best. For just about any strain, you can find top tier cannabis at our dispensary in Federal Heights. Even when you know it’s hard to go wrong, there’s still some desire to identify which cannabis strain is the very most appealing.

This leads people to categorize cannabis intro groups. That way, theoretically, it should be easier to identify which specific strains will offer a particular type of effect. Every cannabis strain is unique, but lumping them together by primary characteristics makes it easier to narrow down the options on a dispensary menu. One of the most classic ways to talk about cannabis is in terms of Indica versus Sativa.

    • Indica Strains – Indica strains are what people typically think about when they imagine enjoying cannabis and dozing off while a movie plays.
    • Sativa Strains – Sativas are popular among people who like to be more active after enjoying cannabis. They’re associated with physical activities, social gatherings, and creative pursuits.
    • Hybrid Strains – This is a category to catch all of the strains that can’t necessarily be considered either an Indica or a Sativa. Hybrids can be dominated by Indica or Sativa characteristics, or they may be very balanced. 

Some budtenders will be able to make a strain recommendation based on what you typically prefer. While even two strains of the same general type can have dramatically different effects, this is probably the best place to start your education on different varieties of cannabis. Learn more about the differences between Indicas and Sativas before diving more into the nuances of individual strains.

Indica Strains

Indica cannabis strains usually come from short, bushy plants. Indica strains typically grow in slightly cooler climates than other types of cannabis. They’re often purchased by people who like to enjoy cannabis at night. If you want to put a movie on, read a book, or just go about your bedtime routine, you may be looking for an Indica that can serve as a nightcap. People often refer to the effects of Indicas as a “body high.”

Sativa Strains

Physically speaking, Sativas typically grow on taller, thinner plants. These strains seem to grow most naturally in warm or tropical climates. Of course, any type of cannabis can be grown effectively just about anywhere now, thanks to indoor growing facilities. Sativa strains are a popular choice for the morning or the middle of the day, especially among people who plan on doing something active.

Hybrid Strains

Some say Indicas are for eating snacks and getting comfortable, Sativas are for being active and alert, and Hybrids are somewhere in the middle. Truthfully, though, the most significant similarities between categories are physical. That is, Indicas normally grow like other Indicas, and Sativas grow like other Sativas. This is important for growers to know as they cultivate the healthiest cannabis possible, but it isn’t necessarily a predictor of the effects of cannabis.

Some people ask about Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids just because they hear those words get thrown around a lot. An experienced budtender will undoubtedly understand what you mean and be able to help you find an appealing strain. Still, though, it’s better to use terms that more accurately reflect what you want. If you want to feel calm and sleepy, say that. If you want to feel inspired and euphoric, say that. If you’re just sampling different strains to find a new favorite, that’s good to know too.

Calming Cannabis Vs. Uplifting Cannabis

If Indica versus Sativa was the traditional way of talking about cannabis, relaxing versus invigorating is a more modern take. Different strains of cannabis can lead to different experiences, and just talking about a general type of plant isn’t always enough to express the nuances. To do that, cannabis enthusiasts usually like to use words like the following as they hone in on what they’re after:

  • Head High
  • Body High
  • Alert
  • Relaxed
  • Clear-headed
  • Hazy
  • Hungry
  • Relieved
  • Sleepy
  • Happy
  • Giggly
  • Soothed
  • Energetic
  • Creative

If you want to get specific effects from a cannabis strain, you’ll have to dive deeper into that strain’s specific cannabinoids and terpene footprint. CBD and THC results are generally understood, but even plants with the same THC levels can be associated with entirely different experiences. Our body chemistry, mood, and various other things can impact how we experience cannabis, but terpenes are essential things that set strains apart.

What Are Terpenes?

If you’re familiar with aromatherapy or essential oils, you already know something about terpenes. These plants naturally produce these aromatic compounds. They’re what provides the enticing aroma of flowers, fruits, and essential oils. They’re found in lavender, lemons, hops, pepper, pine needles, and cannabis. There are hundreds of terpenes that cannabis can produce at various levels.

Terpenes are responsible for the unique aromas and flavors of different cannabis strains. Different terpenes have different scents and flavors like fruity, sweet, sour, earthy, herbal, and spicy. Cannabis connoisseurs with very refined palates may be able to guess which terpenes are in a strain just by smelling it or tasting it. While we’re all about finding the most flavorful cannabis strains, terpenes might inform so much more than just the aroma.

The terpene footprint of a particular strain may have a massive impact on its effects. Just as people might choose peppermint essential oil while they work and lavender essential oil to relax, the terpenes in cannabis have unique characteristics. It’s also believed that the terpenes present in a cannabis strain may affect how the body interacts with cannabinoids like THC and CBD. This is called the entourage effect.

What Is the Entourage Effect?

Most people behave a little bit differently, depending on the setting. If you bring your rowdiest friends with you to a concert, you might feel more energetic and outgoing. While you’re at dinner with coworkers, though, you may be more calm and thoughtful.

Similarly, cannabinoids might behave differently depending on the entourage of terpenes they bring with them. Like the cannabinoid profile, the terpene profile plays a significant role in determining the overall chemical structure of a cannabis strain. While learning about all of the terpenes is a lot more complicated than just thinking about Indicas and Sativas, it’s much more relevant when shopping for cannabis.

A budtender will be able to help you out, so don’t feel the need to memorize a bunch of information about terpenes. That said, here are just a few of the most common ones in cannabis:

  • Linalool
  • Myrcene
  • Caryophyllene
  • Limonene
  • Terpinolene
  • Pinene

Want the Best Cannabis Strains? Come to Green Sativa!

The best way to ensure you’ll get a great strain is to shop at a trustworthy dispensary. When you do that, you’ll be exposed to a wide variety of options from the best growers in Colorado. Here at Green Sativa in Federal Heights, we’re happy to answer any questions you have while you navigate our dispensary menu.

Featured Image: Shutterstock / Julie Deshales

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