a group of two men and one woman about to light up and share a joint with the sunset in the background

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid: Choosing the Right Cannabis Strain

Whether you use cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes, it is easy to get overwhelmed with the plethora of different choices at your local dispensary. I mean, One of the things you will find in different types of cannabis, such as flowers, concentrates, and edibles, is that they come as either indica, sativa, or hybrid. If you are wondering what all that means, you are not alone.

If you are wondering how you can choose the perfect strain, you are in the right place. Let’s talk about the indica, sativa, and hybrid forms of cannabis and about how to pick the right strain for you.

How Are They Different From Each Other?

The main difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid types of cannabis is their botanical properties. Botanical properties such as terpenes and cannabinoid content can cause different effects, so it is a good idea to learn a little bit about both.


If you have ever wondered where that wonderful, distinct smell of cannabis comes from, look no further! Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give weed that familiar and unique smell and taste.

There are many different types of terpenes which all have their own unique taste and smell, and they can be present in your cannabis. That is why you can smell distinct citrus aromas or even skunky or earthy smells coming from your cannabis.

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The two main cannabinoids that can be found in cannabis are delta 9 tetrahydrocannabinol, shortened to THC, and cannabidiol, which is shortened to CBD. The most well-known and researched cannabinoid, THC, is the psychoactive compound in cannabis, which means it is what gets us “high”.

CBD can be extracted from the cannabis plant to create edibles, topicals, oils, and more so that people can get the benefits of cannabis without experiencing the psychoactive effects. 

The ratio of THC to CBD can have a huge impact on the way that cannabis affects you. For example, many report that cannabis with higher THC to CBD content tends to stimulate the mind much more. On the other hand, cannabis with more CBD to THC tends to feel heavier on the body and creates a stronger body high.

several jars of cannabis and a grinder assisting a woman rolling a joint

Types of Cannabis

Now that you know about some of the factors that can change how cannabis affects you, we can talk about the different types of cannabis.


Most people who use cannabis find that indica strains are great if they are looking for a calming effect to relax or to relieve stress. For medicinal marijuana patients, indica can be useful since these strains tend to ramp up appetite, reduce pain, and help with insomnia. 

Indica strains of cannabis tend to feel heavy and sedative so many prefer to use this type of strain at night since it can cause couchlock, where you become so relaxed and carefree that you find yourself having difficulty peeling yourself off of your couch. 


For those that are looking for a strain that provides more of a stimulating head high are usually looking for a sativa strain of cannabis. Sativa also tends to produce an energizing effect as opposed to indica, which can make you extremely tired so they are great as a daytime strain.

Sativa strains are popular with medical marijuana patients for mitigating the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. These are also popular with recreational users who are looking for some creative inspiration or who need a burst of productivity.

These cannabis plants will take a bit longer to mature than indica plants and the plants tend to grow tall but skinny. If you are getting your cannabis in plant or flower form, you may notice that sativa flowers tend to be longer and shaped like corn on the cob rather than the fat buds that you get with indica flowers.


Hybrid strains of cannabis are created by combining sativa plants with indica plants to create a strain that brings the best of both worlds. These strains are created by cannabis growers to target specific aromas, flavors, and even psychoactive effects. Choosing a hybrid strain is a great way to go if you are aiming to get balanced effects that can be used during the day or evening without worrying about couchlock or becoming overstimulated.

Many cannabis companies will have the main terpene profiles, the parent strains, and the cannabinoid content of their hybrids either on the packaging or readily available. This makes it easier for users to purchase the perfect strain for their needs. 

a vibrant cannabis bud growing

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Final Thoughts

Now that you know the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains and what effects they have, you can make the right choice for your medical or recreational purposes. We hope this guide has helped you, but if you still have questions, we recommend that you talk to your local budtender to help you pick the perfect strain for you.