Skip to main content

What is Cannabis?

Is there really a difference between cannabis strains and if so, what are the different strains and their effects? First off, there are two main species of marijuana grown today: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. In addition to the two main strains, many cross bred plants have come about thanks to science and talented cannabis cultivators. The cross-bred cannabis strains are referred to as “hybrid” cannabis plants. Within each strain of cannabis plant there are male and female plants. The flowers of the female cannabis plant contain the highest concentration of psychoactive cannabinoid and terpene compounds, most notably tetrahydrocannabinol, most commonly referred to as THC.

Sometimes people use the term ‘marijuana’ to refer to cannabis leaves or other crude plant material to distinguish it from the plant’s components. Still, the term has fallen out of widespread usage in recent years. The first thing to note about cannabis is that the term itself refers to multiple plants — there isn’t just one variety of cannabis, marijuana or hemp. 

Sativa cannabis plants typically produce more energizing highs, while indica cannabis plants tend to have a more relaxing and sedative effect. There are also cannabis hybrid strains, which combine the effects of both sativas and indicas into one strain and can produce different side effects depending on both the person and the hybrid cannabis strain’s genetic makeup.

What is Sativa Marijuana?

Sativa marijuana plants are tall and thin, with narrow leaves and loose branches. Sativa dominant strains tend to be better suited for outdoor growing in warmer climates. Sativa marijuana is often used to treat depression, chronic pain, and muscle tension. Sativa strains are often recommended for daytime consumption because they can boost energy levels and creativity.

Cannabis edibles, like these baked chocolate chip cookies are "cannabis infused". The process to create cannabis extracts suitable for baking uses both sativa and indica strains of cannabis and extracts contain higher concentrations of THC.

Cannabis edibles, like these baked chocolate chip cookies are “cannabis infused”. The process to create cannabis extracts suitable for baking uses both sativa and indica strains of cannabis. Extracts used for cooking with cannabis and baking contain high concentrations of THC and it’s recommended they be used sparingly.

How is Sativa Different from Indica Cannabis?

If you want to know the difference between sativa and indica cannabis strains, read on! We will tell you all about this critical distinction and how it can affect your weed experience.

The most fundamental difference between indica and sativa is that the structure of their leaves can identify them and the height they grow. Indica leaves are shorter, broader, and have a deep-green color. In contrast, sativa plants are taller with light-green, narrow leaves. While this is an easy way to differentiate between the two types of cannabis, it’s not as simple.

The main difference between indica and sativa is how they make you feel when you consume them. Sativa cannabis strains tend to produce a more energized, heady high that may help you get things done. Indica cannabis strains typically provide a heavier, sleepy body high associated with deep relaxation and couch lock.

Because sativas are known for their energizing effects, they’re also popular among people with depression who want something to lift their mood without making them feel exhausted. 

The effects of indica vs. sativa vary significantly because of the chemical makeup of each plant. The ratio of cannabinoids like THC and CBD in each plant determines its effects on your body and brain when you smoke or ingest it. Althought each strain of flower contains THC, high THC content tends to be associated with cannabis products like concentrates, live resins and relies on an extraction and refining process that removes most of the fibrous material of the plant.

Indica CannabisFor many, the effects of indica cannabis strains are ideal for relaxation, stress relief, and sleep. Indica plants tend to be shorter, with broad leaves and a bushy structure. When they are ready to harvest, their buds appear heavy, dense, and whole.

Sativa CannabisSativa varieties have been traditionally used to increase energy levels, focus, and creativity. Sativa cannabis plants are taller than indica, have thin leaves and a long flowering cycle. When they are ready to harvest, their buds appear large, feathery, and spaced out along the branches.


It’s time for the showdown: sativa vs. indica.

We’ve outlined some of the significant differences between indicas and sativas, including their immediate effects, medicinal benefits, and typical uses. Ultimately, it’s important to remember that everyone is different, so what works for you may not work the same way for someone else – and vice versa! It’s always a good idea to do a little research and experiment with different strains until you find the best ones for you.

Visiting a cannabis dispensary near by can introduce you to many different types of cannabis products available that are derived from either sativa cannabis, indica cannabis or hybrid cannabis plants. The strains come in a variety of different products besides cannabis flower there are cannabis edibles, live resins, vapes, concentrates, dabs, gummies, tinctures and topical products.

A Vibe by California cannabis dispensary near you has knowledgable bud tenders who can guide you through over 500+ varieties of cannabis products available on the market today, including some of the very best cannabis brands in the world. If you’re on the West Coast you’re in luck! There is a Vibe dispensary near by located in 7 regions throughout California and Oregon, USA.