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Indica, Sativa and Hybrid – What’s the Difference?

Indica vs Sativa

The Cannabis plant is divided into three subspecies, each with its features. The qualities of Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis, and Hybrid strains are all distinct. Moreover, when it comes to cannabis strains, most people are confused about the differences between Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.

The Difference Between Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Most users have utilized these cannabis categories to forecast effects, but what is the difference between them? Medical cannabis users, particularly new patients, may be confused by the phrases. While we won’t go too deeply into medical cannabis vocabulary, there are a few fundamentals that every user should understand before purchasing cannabis. When you first walk into a dispensary or browse through Premium Cultivars online products, one of the initial things you might discover is that products are typically classified based on the type of strain.

What is an Indica Strain?

The physical characteristics of the cannabis plant distinguish the Indica strain. Indicas are short and bushy plants with large, distinct leaves.

What is an Indica strain?
What is an Indica strain?

Indica strains commonly seen in dispensaries include Granddaddy Purple, Northern Lights, Big Bud, and the Hindu Kush. You can buy strains like Grandaddy Purple from legit cannabis seed banks like Premium Cultivars.

What is a Sativa Strain?

Sativa strains are distinguished from Indica by their tall and thin appearance. Unlike the bushy Indica plant, Sativa strains have smaller leaves that develop more distributed on the stalk.

What is a Sativa strain?
What is a Sativa strain?

Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Super Lemon Haze, and Durban Poison are well-known Sativa strains.

What is a Hybrid Strain?

Hybrid strains are created by crossing Indica and Sativa plants. Because of the long record of cannabis strain interbreeding, much of which was done underground to escape authorities, strains having pure Indica or pure Sativa backgrounds are uncommon. Most strains labeled “Indica” or “Sativa” are hybrids having DNA from both types. Looking at a hybrid’s ancestry (parent strains) can give you a better idea of the cross it will generate; for instance, if it has more Indica in its history, it may have characteristics more linked with those strains. Popular hybrids include; Blue Dream, White Widow, Gelato, and OG Kush.

What factors influence Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid strain effects?

Well, if Indica and Sativa aren’t the most accurate predictors of effects, what are they? The impacts of various cannabis strains are determined by a variety of elements, the most important of which are the cannabinoids and terpenes found in the strain and the chemical components found in it.


The cannabis plant comprises several chemical compounds that work together to produce a unique balance, predominantly led by cannabinoids.

CBD leaf
CBD – a cannabidiol found in the cannabis plant

Cannabis includes numerous different cannabinoids, so factor this in instead of selecting a strain based on its Indica or Sativa classification, consider these three categories (both Indica and Sativa strains have these various cannabinoid profiles):


If you have used fragrance to soothe or energize your mind and body, you are already familiar with terpenes. Terpenes are fragrant chemicals found in plants and fruit. They are in lavender flowers, oranges, hops, pepper, and, of course, cannabis. Terpenes, which are produced by the same glands that produce cannabinoids are responsible for the distinctive aromas of cannabis, such as berries, citrus, pine and fuel. There are numerous terpenes found in cannabis, and it is worth becoming acquainted with. The most common are myrcene, caryophyllene, limonene, and terpinolene. They are most likely to appear in high concentrations in cannabis.

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Ed Rushford

Ed Rushford’s impact on cannabis growing is undeniable. Though he tends to focus primarily on 2 areas, plant training techniques and dealing with disease, pests, and other problems, he has offered many insights into how cannabis plants live and grow. That’s not to say that Ed is unfamiliar with the complete life cycle of cannabis, from seed to harvest, but he uses his widespread knowledge to hone in on the minutia and niche areas of growing cannabis. Ed’s goal is to spread knowledge and allow for everyone to become better growers. About this Author

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