If you’ve ever researched cannabis and its effects, you have probably wondered: “What are the differences between sativa, indica, and hybrid strains? “

Although these types of cannabis have distinctive traits associated with them, the differences are not always as clear-cut as conventional wisdom might have you believe.

However, to get the most out of your cannabis experience, it is crucial to understand the distinctions between these cannabis classifications.

What Are the Main Differences Between Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids?

These general classifications hold true for the most part and they are commonly used in retail.

Originally, the terms “indica” and “sativa” were used by growers to describe the cannabis plant’s appearance. Indicas are typically shorter, stockier plants with broad leaves, while sativas are taller and skinnier with narrower leaves. Meanwhile, hybrids, as the name implies, are somewhere in between those two.

But enough about what the plants look like. Let’s talk about how they’ll make you feel!


Best For


Relaxing, Body High

Insomnia, Pain, Seizures


Energizing, Cerebral

Stress, Anxiety, Depression


Depends on CBD:THC ratio

It varies


Indicas are known as a “downer” in the sense that it promotes strong feelings of relaxation. If someone describes the effects as a “body-high”, they’re talking about an indica. Because of that, sometimes these strains are jokingly described as “in-da-couch", and their deeply relaxing effects make them better suited for nighttime use.

Since it can cause full-body relaxation and feelings of sleepiness, indicas are typically used to treat ailments such as insomnia and chronic pain when used medicinally.


Sativas are sometimes referred to as “uppers” as they can boost energy and increase creativity. Since sativas produce a more energetic state of mind, it is usually best to use them during the day.

These strains are sometimes used medicinally for reducing stress and anxiety and are known for their “head high” effect.


As the name suggests, hybrids have a combination of effects found in both strains. Hybrids can be further classified as either indica dominant, sativa dominant, or balanced. Many hybrids are carefully crafted to treat specific ailments or have special flavours or effects.

Even though most cannabis strains can be classified as either an indica, sativa, or hybrid, it is not a hard-and-fast rule. The most reliable way to predict any particular strain’s effects is to look at the cannabinoid levels and terpenes. Different cannabis consumption methods and your body’s chemical composition also make a difference.

Which is best?

You might be wondering which is better sativa, indica, or hybrids? It ultimately depends on your body, preferences, and your reason for doing cannabis.

There are many differences between hybrids, indica, and sativa, and now that you know the differences between them, you are that much closer to finding the perfect strain for your needs.

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