Sativa, Indica and Hybrid; An introduction to strains & lineage

Sativa and indica are the two main subspecies of cannabis–each with their own set of psychoactive properties. All strains and genetics today are hybrids that can lean indica or sativa with their perceived effects. Let’s break it down, shall we

What are “sativa” and “indica” anyway?

Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica–or “sativa” and “indica” for short– are the two main subspecies of the cannabis plant. The former are taller and grow in warmer regions, while the latter are shorter and bushier and tend to grow in the mountains. Both are consumed for their recreational and therapeutic benefits. 

Do they affect me differently?

Though genetically similar, sativa and indica tend to produce different psychoactive effects: sativa tends to be euphoric and uplifting, while indica is usually more soothing and relaxing. Specifically, sativa tends to offer an energizing and wakeful high, making it popular for daytime use. Because of its stimulating and cerebral qualities, sativa is considered especially psychoactive or “heady.” Indica, by contrast, tends to produce a weightier and more laid back experience–often described in terms of a “body high” or “body buzz”–and is commonly consumed to wind down in the evenings, for pain relief, or as a nighttime sedative/sleep aid. 

So what’s a “strain” then? 

If sativa and indica are the two naturally occurring types of cannabis, a strain is a variety that humans have cultivated on purpose. Strains can be developed from either the sativa or indica plant in isolation–or, what’s more often the case, combine genetic elements from both. Also known as “cultivars,” strains are selectively bred to emphasize a variety of desirable traits–whether aroma, flavor, or psychoactive properties. There are hundreds of pure and hybrid strains available to consume and enjoy. 

So do hybrid strains have hybrid psychoactive properties?

Exactly! Between pure sativa strains and pure indica strains lie a vast range of hybrid strains combining the psychoactive properties of each. Some are lively and sativa-dominant, some are soothing and indica-dominant, and some strike a balance between the two. When it comes to characterizing the psychoactive effects of different strains, however, it is important to note that these characteristics are only tendencies: as individual responses may vary, what matters most is discovering the strains that you like best. 

In short: when it comes to sativa, indica, and the many strains of cannabis that lie between them, no two experiences are exactly alike. Just as flavors and aromas will vary, so will their psychoactive effects.

Stay In The Loop

Marijuana is for use by qualified patients only. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding poses potential harm. Marijuana is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of marijuana.

Marijuana is for use by qualified patients only. Keep out of reach of children. Marijuana use during pregnancy or breastfeeding poses potential harm. Marijuana is not approved by the FDA to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Do not operate a vehicle or machinery under the influence of marijuana.

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