the difference between cannabis strains

The Important Difference Between Indica, Sativa and Hybrids

When sifting through a seemingly endless list of cannabis strains, you’ll always find the same three labels: indica, sativa, and hybrids.

These common categories each hold useful information, which empowers you to decide which strain is right for you.

Join us as we mark the defining line between these three groups so that you make the most informed decisions.

cannabis strains

This belief that indicas, sativas, and hybrids deliver distinct effects is so deeply rooted in mainstream cannabis culture that budtenders typically begin their strain recommendations by asking you which of these three types you prefer


Where Indica Strains are From

Indica strains are a group that is commonly found in dry, arid, and mountainous conditions.

They’re native to regions such as Nepal, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Northern India, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and Morocco.

Indica Strain Characteristics

Indica cannabis strains are distinctive from other groups due to their characteristic traits.

The leaves are broad, and the leaf blades are much wider than that of sativa strains.

They grow short but bushy and generally have a densely branched structure to accommodate dense and resinous buds.

Common Indica Effects

Indica strains are commonly referred to as individuals that require a sleepy effect.

The reason behind the sedative (“couchlock”) properties of indicas stems from the commonly found terpene myrcene.

Terpenes are organic compounds found throughout the plant kingdom, and myrcene happens to be abundant in indica strains.


Popular Indica Strains:


  • Popular Indica Strains
  • Purple Punch
  • Northern Lights
  • Bubba Kush
  • Purple Kush
  • Blackberry Kush


    Where Sativa Strains are From

    Sativa cannabis strains are found in tropical to subtropical regions, such as:

    • Thailand
    • Mexico
    • South Africa
    • Vietnam
    • Panama
    • Colombia
    • Malawi
    These cannabis strains have evolved and adapted to humid and hot conditions, leaving them ideally suited for long and wet summers.

    Sativa Strain Characteristics

    Sativa strains contain an iconic leaf structure: long and slender blades that catch the little light found below the canopy.

    Sativa cannabis strains grow tall and lanky, akin to a Christmas tree in shape.

    To accommodate the high humidity, sativa strains have airy buds to prevent mold from growing during their lifecycle.

    Common Sativa Effects

    Most sativa strains have a fruity flavor, and this is because they generally have a high amount of the terpene limonene.

    Limonene is also responsible for an elevated mood, which could potentially explain why sativa strains are known for giving users an energy boost, creativity, and motivation to complete a task.

    sativa cannabis

    Sativa strains are said to provide invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects

    Popular Sativa Strains:

    • Popular Sativa Strains
    • Super Silver Haze
    • Green Crack
    • Jack Herer
    • Sour Diesel
    • Durban Poison


    How are Hybrids Made?

    Hybrids are what the vast majority of cannabis strains are today.

    Hybridization has reduced the number of native indica and sativa strains drastically.

    A hybrid occurs when a sativa and indica (or vice versa) create seeds.

    What Kind of Effects Do Hybrids Give?

    Since hybrid cannabis strains contain both traits from indicas and sativas, it’s common to find many different types of growth structures, flavor profiles, and effects.

    Hybrids have the ability to give users euphoria or an energy boost at first, and then drop them into a deep couchlock for the latter half.

    Do Hybrids Have Terpenes?

    Hybrid cannabis strains are known to have many terpenes, which makes them the most flavorful varieties available.

    New hybrid strains are created for unique flavor profiles that have become popular in the cannabis community.

    Popular Hybrid Strains:

    • Gorilla Glue #4
    • Blue Dream
    • Girl Scout Cookies
    • Cherry Pie
    • OG Kush

    Now that you understand the differences between indica, sativa, and hybrids; it’s time to enjoy what each of these has to offer.

    linalool cannabis terpenes

    Linalool terpene, found in cannabis as well as in lavender. It has a floral aroma and is believed to promote soothing and calming effects


    There’s no better time than now to reduce your tobacco fixation and replace it with a genuinely organic substitute: Real Leaf’s Organic Terpene Herbal Smoking Blend.

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