Indica vs Sativa: Everything You Need to Know

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The two main species of plants used to harvest marijuana are Indica and Sativa. The strains produced by these plants, as well as hybrids of these plants, can produce different effects for people. Learn more about Indica vs Sativa below.

Indica vs Sativa: Everything You Need to Know

When you drop by your local cannabis dispensary in Bay City, MI, you will need to choose between different strains of marijuana to create the desired effects you want. In general, Sativa strains are best for daytime use, since these buds tend to be more uplifting, while Indica strains are ideal for pain relief and nighttime use.

Physical Differences

Sativa was originally located in Western Asia, Southeast Asia, Central America, and Africa. Sativa plants are slim and tall with light green leaves and a fibrous stalk, some of which can grow up to twelve feet tall. Sativa plants take longer to grow on average than Indica plants.

Indica plants, on the other hand, are short, sturdy, and bushy, with a woody stalk and darker green leaves. Indica plants originated in the Middle East, particularly in countries such as India, Pakistan, Turkey, and Afghanistan. Indica plants typically produce more buds than Sativa plants and can grow about two to four feet tall.


In general, Sativa plants typically have a higher concentration of THC and a lower concentration of CBD. This is why Sativa plants are more commonly associated with “head high” and increased focus. People who use Sativa strains can benefit from the reduction of anxiety and depression. For many people, Sativa strains are preferred for recreational use because of the higher THC concentration.

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The cannabinoid concentration in Indica plants skews more heavily toward CBD, but many of these plants also have a high concentration of THC that is comparable to Sativa strains. Indica plants are most commonly associated with pain relief, nausea reduction, and appetite stimulation. Some strains of Indica can be used to manage seizures, glaucoma, neuropathy, and migraines. People who use Indica strains may be able to reduce insomnia, as well.

What About Hybrids?

There is a third cannabis plant type called cannabis ruderalis. However, this plant is mainly used to grow hybrid plants. For some people, a hybrid strain may be more appropriate.

Hybrids can be engineered to produce higher THC ratios in plants that have a naturally higher concentration of CBD, which can help people reduce symptoms associated with pain, stress, and anxiety. Hybrids are typically classified as being Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or balanced. You may want to consider hybrid buds if you aren’t totally satisfied with your experience after using full strains.
The specific type of cannabis you use can have a great impact on the effects you feel. Whether you use cannabis for medical or recreational purposes, it’s important to understand the differences between Indica and Sativa, so you can select the correct bud for you. If you are interested in using marijuana for recreational purposes, Sativa strains may be better, while Indica strains are usually the best option for medical marijuana patients.

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