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Choosing Between Indica and Sativa Strains

 Indica or Sativa;

How do I choose?


The easiest way of differentiating Indica strains vs. Sativa strains is by observing the morphology (appearance) of the plant. Sativa plants are tall, loosely branched and have long, narrow leaves. They can reach heights of up to 20 feet tall. Indica plants, on the other hand, are short, densely branched and have wider leaves.  

Connoisseurs can tell apart strains by attributes such as internodal length, leaf structure, bud size and density, flowering time, odour, flavour, smoke and effects.

Knowing the varying effects of each classification allows us to make informed choices when choosing the best medicine for our symptoms. Indica strains are generally of a relaxing, calming nature and due to this, it is ideal for night use and for easing body aches and pains. Sativa strains are uplifting, energizing, and therefore best for daytime use.

The original classification of Cannabis indica was made by the French biologist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, in 1785. 

There has been debate among scientists regarding the accuracy of the differences between classifications, but history implies it may be very simple.  Lamarck noted that certain marijuana plants from India had an intoxicating effect and could be made into hash. Traditional hemp crops, were more common in Europe, and had no effect on the mind. Lamarck then came up with the name Cannabis Indica to tell apart the Indian Indica from European hemp. Hemp from Europe at the time was known as Cannabis Sativa. During the 1800’s, Cannabis Indica was recognized as a therapeutic medicine in the Western world.

Indica (Left)Sativa (Right)
Dense budsLeafier buds
Relaxing and calmingEnergising and uplifting
‘Body high’ or ‘couch lock’ feelingAnxiolitic (anti-anxiety)
Most recommended for night useBest for morning and daytime use
Higher THC ratioHigher CBD ratio


There are also innumerable hybrids created by gardeners splicing genes, giving us a variety of ratios of THC:CBD among these strains. This can be incredibly beneficial for those who need a specific balance of cannabinoids. Hybrid strains with higher THC will lean more toward the body calming effects of an indica strain but may offer a level-headed but uplifted and awake feeling. Hybrid strains with higher CBD ratio will help calm nerves and anxiety, boost energy and creativity, but also relax the body thanks to THC.

Some examples of Sativa-Dominant Hybrid Strains for energy and anti anxiety:

Juicy fruit budder

Also try Juicy Fruit Budder (pictured above) and Lemon Trainwreck Shatter

Indica-Dominant Hybrid Strains for a stronger body high effect:  

Girl scout cookies dabs shatter

Also try Girl Scout Cookies shatter (pictured above).

50/50 Hybrids for a perfect balance:

Super silver haze buds craft cannabis

High THC strains for sufferers of insomnia and chronic pain:

Also try High THC Phoenix Tears by Zen Medical (pictured above)

High CBD strains for treating inflammation and for a boost of energy:

Also try CBD Capsules by Zen Medical (pictured above)

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