You may have come across the terms Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid when purchasing hemp-derived products from a dispensary or an online website. But what exactly are Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid, and what makes them different from each other? Well, all three are strains that form a major part of the cannabis landscape. 

Before we tell you everything about Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid, you must know what strains are.

What are Cannabis Strains? 

In the context of cannabis, a strain refers to a specific type or variety of hemp/cannabis plant with unique characteristics such as appearance, aroma, effects on body and mind, terpene profile, and cannabinoid profile.

What makes them different?

As mentioned, appearance, aroma, and effects on the body and mind are the characteristics determined by the genetics of the plant, which can be influenced by these factors: the plant’s growing condition, breeding methods, and plant environment. For example, some strains have sedative and relaxing effects, while others may prvide more energizing and uplifting cerebral effects. So what’s in these strains that chemically influence the effects? The answer is the cannabinoids profile and terpene profile. So how would you decide how a specific strain will affect on your body and mind? Or how would you understand the strain effects? Let’s find this out. 

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Cannabinoids Profile

Each cannabis strain can have a different level of cannabinoids profile, such as THC(tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD(cannabidiol), which makes them different from each other and the effects they produce. Below, we have described how CBD and THC levels produce the effect that you want to know.

  •  CBD

CBD or Cannabidiol, is an active ingredient in cannabis that is derived from the hemp plant, and it’s been studied to help ease pain, have anti-inflammatory effects, reduce anxiety, and a lot of other medical issues. High CBD or dominant CBD strains contain very low levels of THC content. High CBD strains are often preferred by beginners or individuals who are looking for therapeutic benefits without the psychoactive effects of THC. On the other hand, Low-CBD strains help with relaxation or counteract the psychoactive effects of THC.

  • THC

THC or Tetrahydrocannabinol is a compound that produces psychoactive effects(Changes in mood, feelings, or behavior); in simple terms, THC is responsible for the “high”, it can relieve feelings of pain and nausea. So the main question is how does THC influence the effects on one’s mind and body? Low-THC strains, associated with milder effects often used for medical purposes without the strong psychoactive effects. In contrast, high-THC strains produce strong psychoactive effects, such as euphoria and increased appetite. However, high-THC strains can also lead to negative side effects such as anxiety and paranoia. 

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Terpene Profile

Recognized by the FDA as safe to use, Terpenes are naturally occurring chemical compounds found in many fruits, herbs, and cannabis plants responsible for aroma characteristics or, in simple words, responsible for the plant’s unique scent and flavor. For example, myrcene is a terpene found in many strains and is known for its earthy, musky aroma. Each strain has its unique terpene profile, contributing to or influencing unique effects and characteristics. There are many terpenes found in cannabis plant; here is the list of the popular terpenes:

  1. Caryophyllene: This terpene creates a spicy, peppery aroma and has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.
  2. Linalool: This floral-scented terpene is believed to have calming and anti-anxiety effects.
  3. Pinene: This terpene creates a pine-like aroma; it is believed to have energizing (a boost in energy) and uplifting effects and may also have anti-inflammatory properties.
  4. Limonene: As the name suggests, this terpene creates a scent of lemon or citrus. Limonene is thought to have energizing and uplifting effects. It is also believed to suppress appetite and kill fungus and bacteria.
  5. Myrcene: It is the most abundant terpene in modern commercial hemp. Mycrene’s aroma is earthy, fruity and clove-like; it is also known as the ”Mother of all terpenes”. It’s said to have sedative and anti-inflammatory properties and may relieve pain and insomnia. 
  6. Ocimene: This terpene creates a sweet, herbaceous aroma, it’s said to have anti-fungal and anti-viral properties.
  7. Humulene: This terpene has a hoppy aroma, and it is believed to have appetite-suppressing effects.
  8. Terpinolene: Are you drawn to fresh, herbal aromas? Terpinolene is to thank for that, it’s thought to have antibacterial applications, exhibiting sedative effects, mainly when combined with Linalool.

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What are the Types of Strains in cannabis?

Cannabis strains are commonly categorised into three main types: Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis, and hybrid. Let’s know about each strain in detail.

Indica Strain

Indica strains are one of the four strains found in cannabis plants and are known for their sedative and relaxing effects. Indica strains have higher levels of CBD and lower levels of THC, which mainly produce relaxing effects. How is a sedative effect produced? It contains higher levels of Mycrene, which is responsible for producing sedative effects. 

Indica Strain Chart

Origin: India, Nepal, Pakistan, Middle East. It is called Indica, “cannabis from India” because the first European botanist after the origin of the first samples of this highly psychoactive plant that reached Europe.

  • Appearance: Indica Plants are short with bushy with short, dark green, wide and broad leaves. 
  • CBD & THC(%): Indica strains tend to have higher levels of CBD, but the THC content isn’t necessarily less. 
  • Terpenes: Limonene, valencene and myrcene. 
  • Benefits and Effects: Anti-stress, sleep, relaxation, sedative, reduce nausea and increase appetite.
  • Aroma and Flavour: Earthy, musky and fruity aroma.
  • Top Indica Strains: Grandaddy Purple, Northern Lights, Purple Kush, Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush.
  • High: Body High
  • Flowering Time: 6-8 Weeks
  • Daytime or Nighttime use: Indica Strain is perfect for evening or nighttime use because of its sedative effects that relax the body.

Indica Strain Product: Cake Delta 8 Disposable

Sativa Strain

Sativa Strains are believed to be energizing and uplifting effects that make you productive. Sativa strains are grown in warm climates means they can take a long time to grow and flower. These strains are perfect for physical activity, boosting creativity or work that requires focus. Sativa strains have high THC and very low CBD levels, depending on the specific strain and how it was bred. As previously mentioned, high THC and low CBD levels are more likely to cause psychoactive effects. 

Sativa Strain Chart

  • Origin: South and Central America, South East Asia and Africa. 
  • Appearance: Tall and narrow/slim with thin, light green leaves. Sativa can grow taller than 12ft. They typically grow in warmer climates. 
  • CBD & THC(%): Sativa strains tend to have higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.
  • Benefits and Effects: This strain is known for energizing, cerebral and uplifting effects. Sativa Strains are often associated with mood-boosting, creativity, and appetite suppression, and you may feel productive, not relaxed. 
  • Aroma and Flavour: Sweet, pine, floral, sour aroma.
  • Top Sativa Strains: Sour Diesel, Jack Herer, Green Crack, Strawberry Cough.
  • High: Cerebral high
  • Flowering Time: 10-12 Weeks
  • Daytime or Nighttime use: Sativa is best for Daytime use because it produces energizing and a “mind-high” effects.

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Hybrid Strain

As the name suggests, Hybrid strains are bred from the combination/mix of Sativas and Indicas. This hybrid strain is bred to have certain characteristics of Indica and Sativa strains, a higher mix of Indica known as Sativa-dominant whereas a higher mix of Sativas known as Sativa-dominant. The equal combination of Indica and Sativa strains 50/50 is called evenly balanced, and the last one is hybrid Autoflower, where Ruderalis strain is combined with Indica and Sativa or both.

Hybrid Strain Chart

  • Origin: As mentioned, it is the combination of Indica and Sativa strains and typically grown on farms or in greenhouses.
  • Appearance: The appearance depends on genetics and the combination of the parent plants. Sativa dominant will have more Sativa characteristics, depending on how the plant has been cross-bred and hybridized.
  • CBD & THC(%): Many hybrid cannabis plants are grown in order to have a more THC percentage. It also depends on its specific genetics. 
  • Benefits and Effects: Evenly balanced hybrid strains with both Indica and Sativa, their effects can vary. The effects and benefits totally depend on which traits derived from the parent plants. 
  • Aroma and Flavour: Depending on the type of parent strain it was hybridized with, Sativa dominant has a spicier, floral flavor, whereas Indica dominant will have an earthy, musky and fruity flavor.
  • Top Hybrid Strains: Wedding Cake, White Widow, Blue Dream, OG Kush, Chemdog, Original Glue, GSC(Girl Scout Cookies), AK-47, Purple Punch and Pineapple Express.
  • High: It depends on which parent Sativa or Indica strains are hybridized. 
  • Flowering Time: Depends on which parent strain is crossbred with.
  • Daytime or Nighttime use: Depends on the predominant effect or parent strain. 

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It is a wild subspecies of the cannabis plant that have naturally low concentrations of THC, typically between 0.2%-.0.3%. It is not a popular cannabis option and not widely used because it doesn’t produce any potent effects, unlike Indica and Sativa strains, which are primarily grown for their higher THC content and other medicinal and recreational properties. Ruderalis on its own isn’t too useful; breeders hybridize Ruderalis with other strains to create hybrids because Ruderalis possesses auto-flowering capabilities.

Ruderalis Strain Chart

  • Origin: Eastern Europe, Siberia, Russia, and the Himalayan regions of India.  
  • Appearance: Small, bushy and stumpy, grow no taller than 1-2 ft.
  • CBD & THC(%): It has low THC and high CBD but it produces no “High”.
  • Effects & Benefits: Ruderalis strains have a very few recreational and medicinal benefits because of its low potency. 
  • Aroma and Flavour: The strain is low potent 
  • Flowering Time: 4 weeks
  • Daytime or Nighttime use: It can be used in the daytime although it produces very few effects.
  • Popular Strains: Ruderalis on its own isn’t too useful and is not a popular cannabis option. 

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Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

They take longer to mature than Indica strains. Because Indica plants are denser than Sativas, they weigh more after drying.

Difference in Appearance

Indica plants are small and bushier with dark green and wide leaves, while Sativa plants are tall and thin with narrow and light green leaves. Hybrid plants’ characteristics depend on the hybridisation of the parent strain. 

Difference in Growing Conditions

Sativa plants grow in warm, high-humidity climates, whereas Indica plants are more tolerant to the often harsh, dry, and cooler temperatures. Hybrid strains are more adaptable in terms of growing conditions; these strains are typically grown on farms or in greenhouses.

Difference in THC and CBD levels

Indica strains tend to have high levels of THC and low levels of CBD, whereas Sativa strains have lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD. Hybrids’ CBD, and THC level depends on the type of specific strain used. 

Difference in Effects on body & Mind: 

Indica strains are thought to have sedative and relaxing effects, while Sativa strains are believed to have energizing and uplifting effects. Hybrid strains can have both effect types, depending on the strains used.

Difference in Medical Uses:

Indica strains are often used to treat anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasm and inflammation, while Sativa strains are commonly used to treat chronic pain, depression, fatigue and ADHD. Hybrid strains are a mix of both Indica and Sativa, and they can offer a range of medical benefits depending on their specific genetics.

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Difference in Aromas & Flavours

Indica Strains have earthy, musky aromas and flavors, whereas Sativa strains tend to have fruity, spicy aromas. Hybrids’ aroma & flavor depend on the specific strains used.

Daytime or Nighttime use

Indica strains are commonly used in the evening or at night time whereas Sativa strains are used during the daytime. Hybrids can be used at any time of the day, depending on their specific genetics.

Wrapping it up

It’s always a good idea to research the specific strain, cannabinoid, and terpene profiles before purchasing it. If you are a beginner or first-time user, It is advised that you should start with a small dose and can gradually increase the dose as per requirements; a higher dose of anything can cause side effects. Go slow when trying a new strain for the first time; most importantly, you should purchase strain-based products from anywhere. You should purchase hemp-derived and strain-based products from a reputable store. D8 GAS is to thank for that; we carry high-quality products from popular brands and strive to deliver quality Indica, Sativa, and hybrid strain products. 

About the author
Adrian Mota

Hi there, I'm Adrian! I'm passionate about cannabinoids – My journey into this fascinating world began with a curiosity to understand how these compounds interact with our bodies. I've been digging into how they work in our bodies and what benefits they might offer. From exploring their various uses and perks to understanding the importance of safety considerations, I'm here to deliver clear and concise information to empower others. My aim is to help everyone get a grasp on cannabinoids so you can make smart choices as you browse through different brands and products.