types of marijuana

Sativa vs Indica | What is the Difference

What is the difference between Sativa and Indica? As time has gone by, scientists have learned more about cannabis, different kinds of marijuana, and what provides the effects on the body and mind. It’s important to know the differences between the two, to ensure that you know which products to use at which times. Some will make you sleepy and relaxed, others will have more of an energizing effect. In this guide, we explore the Indica vs Sativa differences.

Sativa in Depth

What is Sativa? This term was originally coined to refer to hemp types of cannabis, and the sort of plants growing in Europe and across Asia, where the seeds and leaves were used. The term has shifted a little in the description. It now really refers to all of the types of marijuana that have narrow- leaves and usually energetic effects. Sativa plants tend to be tall.

  • Origin: Europe and western Eurasia
  • Plant description: Tall with narrow leaves, usually providing more of an energetic high.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Higher THC
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Daytime (either possible)

Sativa Effects

Sativa is known for being uplifting, and for providing more of a head high. Although there are many different strains of Sativa, they are often stimulating in nature. They are helpful for those experiencing anxiety, and you are able to stay more alert. When considering Indica vs Sativa, a lot of people will choose Sativa for daytime use.

Popular Sativa Strains

The marijuana plant types come in a variety of different strains. Some of the most popular Sativa strains include Durban Poison, Tangie, Super Silver Haze, Jack Herer, and Sour Diesel. Many of the best marijuana store options will be able to advise you on which is most suitable for your needs.

Indica in Depth

What is Indica? To fully understand the differences between Sativa and Indica, we need to know a little about each. Indica varieties are those first discovered in India, where it was used for fiber but also as an intoxicant.
Nowadays, it means stout and broad plants that tend to give us more sedative effects. “Broadleaf” has become a term that goes hand-in-hand with indica.

  • Origin: India
  • Plant description: Broad leaves and shorter, more stout plants.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Usually higher in CBD
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Nighttime (daytime possible)

Indica Effects

Naturally, indica strains are more of a sedating variety, with higher levels of CBD. They often make people feel sleepy, but this does depend on the terpenes and compounds found within the marijuana. Not every indica variety makes you sleepy, and as we’ve learned more about indica and some of the other types of cannabis, and marijuana plant types, scientists have started to understand much more about what makes us high. Indica strains may be used as painkillers or to help people get to sleep.

Popular Indica Strains

Popular indica strains include Bubble Kush, Northern Light, Sherbert Queen, and Sweet ZZ. To obtain cannabis strains you can visit your local marijuana dispensary.

What are Hybrid Strains?

Indica vs SativaWe have more choices than ever when it comes to cannabis product types. Some people prefer vaping marijuana Indica strains, some people prefer smoking Sativa strains. There’s plenty of room for personal preference.
We don’t necessarily have to choose between the two. Over the years, there have been many different hybrid strains cultivated. This means that there is virtually a strain of cannabis for every use. Hybrid strains combine the compounds and terpenes in both, so you can make the choice, there are even strains where you don’t get the infamous “munchies”.

Popular Hybrid Strains

Some of the hybrid strains are actually the most popular out of any type of marijuana. These include Girl Scout Cookies, White Widow, Chemdog, and OG Kush.

How to Choose the Right Strain for You

All the choices we have among marijuana varieties mean that it is tough to make the right decision and decide which weed is for you.
We’ve listed some of the most popular strains below, and what people find the most helpful for. Indica vs hybrid types of cannabis can both be helpful for similar issues.

different kinds of marijuana

  • Bubba Kush – Insomnia and pain relief
  • Purple Kush – Good for muscle pain and spasms as well as sleeping
  • Blue Dream – A hybrid strain good for inflammation and helping people get to sleep, plus pain relief.
  • Maui Waui – This is a good strain for fatigue and it can be energizing as well as treating depression.
  • Afghan Kush – Powerful pain relief.

Indica vs. Sativa FAQs

Which is Better, Indica or Sativa?

There is no definitive “better” option. It’s all about choosing the ideal types of cannabis for your own specific needs. That’s why there are so many hybrid strains, too. There are many different options all with their own unique characteristics.

Do All Indica Varieties Make You Sleepy?

This is something of a myth about some of the types of cannabis plants. Though the type of marijuana plays a big part and gives a strong indication of what type of effects you are going to experience, the terpenes and compounds within are what actually make up the benefits and advantages of different types of weed.


The three main categories of marijuana, Sativa, Indica, and hybrid, have a huge number of varieties within. This is where the value in doing your research lies. You can talk to a dispenser and get a good idea of which types of marijuana will suit your needs, whether you want to stay alert or you are looking for something that can help you get to sleep, and target your anxiety. Some of the most popular strains are hybrids, grown from the seeds of both Indica and Sativa.

Written By

Ian Baker

Ian Baker does content and customer communications with Happy Leaf Collective through the website and blog. With 5 years of total experience working in cannabis niche, 3 were spent as a budtender in Arizona. 2 years ago, following his passion of writing and educating, Ian made the move into content and communications.