When you hear the terms “sativa,” “indica,” and “hybrid,” do your eyes glaze over? Or maybe you have a vague sense of how they’re different, but you’re ready to dive even deeper. If that sounds like you, you’ve come to the right place!
At Maggie’s Farm, we created Cannabis University in order to catch new users up to speed and help veteran users understand this incredible plant even better.
In this section, we’ll go over one of the most basic ways in which marijuana is categorized, and what each of those categories means for you.
The cannabis plant comes in three distinct categories or “subspecies” — sativa, indica, and hybrid. Sativas produce an energetic head high, indicas produce a mellow body high, and hybrids split the difference. However…
Although these categories are a helpful shorthand for predicting a strain’s major effects, everyone metabolizes and experiences marijuana differently, and your high is ultimately a complex interaction between cannabinoids, terpenes, and your unique physiology. So use this guide as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to experiment with strains from each category to see what feels right for you!
With that out of the way, let’s explore the main differences between sativas, indicas, and hybrids.
As a rule of thumb, sativas usually provide more high-energy cerebral effects, well-suited to social situations, creative endeavors, and daytime sessions.
On the other end of the spectrum, indicas contribute to a more relaxing and subdued physical experience, reducing strain on the body and leading to a pleasant couchlock at high doses.
Hybrids, fittingly, tend to fall somewhere in between, depending on the traits they inherit from their parent strains. You can find sativa-dominant hybrids, indica-dominant hybrids, and 50/50 strains that blend the best of both worlds.
A cross between sativa and indica
Note: Any information on potential medical benefits is anecdotal and not intended to be taken as medical advice. To learn more about the current state of medical marijuana research, check out these resources compiled by NORML.
Each of these three categories has its ideal time and place, so it’s up to you to pick the right subspecies for any given situation — with the help of our budtenders’ expert advice, of course.
The most important thing to do is figure out what you want to achieve. Are you trying to crank through your to-do list or lose yourself in an artistic project? Then a strong, reliable sativa might be the best fit. Are you through with your workday and ready to veg on the couch with a bag of snacks and zero obligations? Then the no-brainer is probably a nice heavy indica.
Your specific mood, goals, medical history, and personal cannabis experience should dictate which subspecies you choose — but you’re not quite ready to light up yet. Once you’ve landed on sativa, indica, or hybrid, it’s finally time to pick a strain!