The choice available when buying weed these days is staggering. There’s an abundance of different strains, each with differences in their effects, tastes, and aromas. Different strains can also look and grow differently. Changes from strain to strain can be subtle, but there are three wider categories marijuana strains are generally labeled by- indica, sativa, and hybrids. So what’s the difference between indica vs sativa vs hybrids?

In general, indicas are more calming and relaxing, sativas are uplifting and energizing, while hybrids give you a balance of both. Indicas generally grow faster and in cooler climates, making them good for indoor growing. The plants are usually shorter and denser than sativa plants. The genetics of different strains can differ widely. For instance, hybrid strains can be more indica or sativa.

The distinction between these different types of strains can often determine which users buy. For instance, some might want indica strains for more therapeutic medical effects. Sativa strains can be stimulating and useful for recreational purposes. Here’s more on the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrid strains.

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrids: What’s the Difference?

Indica cannabis and sativa cannabis are two different types of cannabis plants which grow and look differently. When these plants are harvested and smoked or consumed, they also have slightly different effects on the body. This is why, when you buy weed, you’ll find products split into these categories.

Indica plants tend to be shorter with wider leaves. These usually are quicker to grow than sativa plants and can thrive in colder climates, hence why many growers grow them indoors. Sativa plants usually look longer and thinner with narrower and brighter leaves. They thrive in hot climates and are often grown outdoors.

Once harvested and used, indica cannabis has more of marijuana’s sedating effects. Indica strains are usually high in THC, CBD, and CBN. This gives them more of marijuana’s medical properties, such as potent relief for pain, stress, and anxiety. Indica strains will give you a stronger body buzz, leaving you relaxed and often couch locked.

On the other hand, sativa strains have more of marijuana’s mentally stimulating properties. Users will often feel more energetic, creative, and happy. They’re ideal for counteracting depression and social anxiety. Sativa strains usually have more THC and less CBD than indica strains, offering more of a head high. However, they still have soothing effects on the body.

Hybrid plants have a mix of both sativa and indica properties. There’s a wide variance in how these can look and grow depending on their specific genetics. Likewise, when grown and harvested, hybrid cannabis offers both indica and sativa effects. Some lean more towards the indica or sativa side, whereas some offer a 50/50 balance. For this reason, many people prefer hybrid strains to get the best of both worlds with versatile, balanced effects.

Effects of Indica Strains

Effects of Indica Strains

Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedating effects. They tend to give users full-body relaxation, making them perfect for chilling out and relieving any stress, pain or tension. While they generally give you more of a body-focused high, they’re also incredibly mentally relaxing.

An indica high will usually make users feel relaxed and mellow. You can expect feelings of happiness and euphoria as your body melts into the couch. They make it very easy to sleep, and stronger indica strains might make it hard for you to keep upright. It’s a tranquil, peaceful high that’s perfect for counteracting stress and clearing your mind of any worries.

These strains can be very useful for medical purposes. The intense physical relaxation you’ll get from them is perfect for dealing with pain and discomfort. Whether you have chronic pain from an illness or general pain such as an ache, it can take away the physical distress fast. Likewise, they can also relax your mind, taking away feelings of stress and anxiety. They’re also perfect for treating insomnia and other sleep problems.

Other effects often include an increase in appetite (or the munchies) and dry mouth and eyes, although you’ll often get these effects from any strain. Indica strains are usually better for nighttime use as they’ll help you relax into an eventual deep, relaxing sleep. However, they’re good for relaxation at any time of the day.

Best Indica Strains

If you’re looking for strains that offer potent physical relaxation and a happy, euphoric feeling, indica strains are ideal for you. Here are a few choices of popular indica strains that can suit your needs.

Blueberry Haze is a potent indica strain with THC levels reaching as high as 20%. You can expect a powerful, hard-hitting high with this strain, giving you intense relaxation and a stress-free, euphoric effect. Its potency makes it hard for beginners to handle, although veterans looking for a tranquilizing strain will love the soothing effects. It’s also a joy to smoke thanks to the sweet, fruity flavor.

King Louis XIII is a popular strain that can suit anybody. It has an earthy aroma and taste and some classic indica effects. Smoking this will help you feel physically and mentally soothed, melting away pain, stress, and feelings of anxiety. If you need something that’s going to mellow your body and mind out before you sleep, this is a perfect evening companion.

Chocolate Kush will attract many users with its taste, mixing flavors of coffee and chocolate. But beyond that, it’s a top-notch indica strain with vivid relaxing effects. It can put you in a euphoric, optimistic state, quickly de-stressing you and helping you to relax. It’s more manageable than many other indica strains, making it a prime choice for beginner users.

Effects of Sativa Strains

Effects of Sativa Strains

While indica strains generally give users more of a relaxing body high, sativa strains are known for producing a stimulating and invigorating head high. While you’ll still get a good level of physical relaxation, the mental buzz is the main selling point of sativa cannabis.

A sativa high can actually boost your energy and make you feel more productive and motivated. The high THC levels can produce more cerebral effects. You can expect to experience heightened senses with a more active, curious, and creative mind. As such, sativa strains are perfect for taking in activities such as watching movies and tv shows or reading. The boost in creativity can also make them great for producing art and music.

In terms of medical use, sativa strains are perfect for counteracting depression. The uplifting high will quickly take away negative thoughts and feelings. It can also help you to be more optimistic and motivated. They’re also good for counteracting many types of anxiety, especially things like social anxiety, OCD, and PTSD. You will still get soothing physical effects that can help treat pain and inflammation. They can also help take away things such as headaches and nausea.

Sativa strains are usually better suited to daytime use. The mental stimulation makes them particularly useful for a wake-and-bake strain, helping you start the day off positively. However, once the energizing effects wear off, they can help you relax a lot more and get to sleep.

Best Sativa Strains

If you need a strain that will pick you up and invigorate your mind, sativa strains are perfect for you. Here are just a few choices of popular sativa strains to try out.

Lemon Haze is an enjoyable sativa strain with a citrus taste. It has fairly high THC levels and offers a happy, uplifting high. The effects last for a while and can be great for motivating you to get things done. It’s perfect for counteracting depression and stress. It’s also useful for dissolving physical pain without putting you out of commission. Overall, this is one of the best strains for sativa effects.

MediHaze is a unique strain as it infuses potent sativa strains with extra CBD genetics. As such, this strain is amazing for both recreational and medical use. It offers the mentally stimulating effects of sativa strains, heightening your senses and making every activity more enjoyable. Meanwhile, the extra cannabidiol will offer all kinds of therapeutic effects while helping you physically relax.

Lemon Meringue is another sweet and tasty sativa strain with energizing effects. It’ll boost your mood and cause increased happiness and creativity. It’ll also give you a lot of mental focus, allowing you to be more productive with many tasks. It’s useful for counteracting stress, depression, and fatigue. The body buzz can also help relieve pain and aches. This is another strain that’s great for daytime use.

Effects of Hybrid Strains

Effects of Hybrid Strains

The effects of hybrid strains can be hard to pin down. By nature, hybrid strains have a mix of genetics and, as such, effects can vary widely. Some carry more sativa properties, some carry more indica properties, and some have an even balance of both. You’ll often find product descriptions state the ratio of sativa to indica or which direction they lean towards.

In general, hybrid strains will give you a mix of both sativa and indica effects. As such, they can be very versatile for both recreational and medical use. You can get the tranquilizing physical effects of indica strains along with the cerebral stimulation of sativa strains. They can help effectively kill pain while also lifting your mood and making you more productive.

The mix of effects means sativa strains are some of the most versatile out there. Whether you need a morning strain to pick you up or an evening strain to chill you out, they can often help with both. This makes hybrid strains particularly popular with many users.

Best Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains suit many users as they provide both indica and sativa qualities. These often make the best buying choices, especially for beginner users who aren’t sure which effects they prefer. They can be useful both for daytime and nighttime use. Here are some popular hybrid strains to check out.

Walter White is a potent, sativa-dominant strain that’ll improve your mood fast. It provides a tingly, relaxing body high that’ll make you feel very physically mellow. Meanwhile, it’ll also stimulate your mind and make you more talkative. This makes it a great strain for social activities, although it can also be useful for relaxing on your own and taking in music and movies.

God’s Green Crack is a balanced hybrid with a great mix of effects. It takes the physically tranquilizing properties of God Bud and crosses it with the intense mental stimulation of Green Crack. As such, you can feel physically relaxed and mentally energized at the same time. Whether you’re looking to decrease pain, boost your mood, take away anxiety or improve your focus, GGC can do it all.

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrids: Which Should I Use?

Any marijuana strain can make a good choice and whether you should opt for indica, sativa or hybrid can depend on what you’re looking for.

For the most part, indica strains are better for those who want physical relaxation. You can get a strong body high that’ll help with treating pain, inflammation, and stress. The calming effects are also good for recreational users who simply want a strain to help them mellow out after a long day.

Sativa strains are usually much more energizing. They can wake you up, make you productive, and increase your mental focus. Those who want a powerful THC head high that’ll boost their creativity and help them take on various activities will love sativa strains.

Hybrid strains offer a mix of both effects, making them ideal for those who want both a powerful body and head high. They may lean more toward one or the other, but you’ll get a good deal of both properties whichever way. Hybrid strains are good for beginners as they give you a full gamut of marijuana effects. They also make a lot of sense for those who need a strain for all-day use.


All marijuana strains can offer many great recreational and physical effects, but there are some differences. Indica, sativa, and hybrid plants all produce different kinds of bud, and these offer users different effects.

When making the choice of what to buy, these categories help users get what they need. However, don’t think you’re limited to just one kind. Many people buy a variety of indica, sativa, and hybrid strains to suit their purposes at different times of the day. All of them can be enjoyable and all of them have both recreational and medical benefits.