Indica VS Sativa VS Hybrid | What's the Difference?
Updated: Feb 19
Whether you are new to the cannabis industry or not, you probably have seen these terms floating around.
Different strains have different effects on the body and mind so it's important to have the proper information so you can make an educated decision regarding your cannabis use.
Earlier classification systems just used indica, sativa, and/or hybrid.
However, we are lucky to have been able to classify Cannabis by a few other factors since then which we will touch base on later in the post.
Let's take a deeper look:
Many factors play into classifying cannabis such as growing environment/location, soil nutrients, temperature, humidity, altitude, etc. which means that say, a sour diesel grown in California could have the same genetic makeup as the same strain grown in Colorado but a completely different flavour and effect profile.
No matter how you classify your cannabis, we are going to offer you some information that will give you further insight into Cannabis and it's possible effects.
In the past indica's have been known for a relaxing body high. Sativa's were most known for being an energizing "head high". Research is now saying there are a few other things you can look into to ensure you are selecting the best strains for your usage.
Let's look at the makeup of cannabis: the naturally occurring components in the plant contain dozens of chemical compounds called CANNABINOIDS.
We don't understand everything they can do but we have identified two main ones:
THC (TetraHydraCannabinol) - the main psychoactive compound in cannabis plants. It’s responsible for the “high” or state of euphoria associated with cannabis use. Levels of THC have been increasing as growers try to create hybrids with a greater concentration of the compound
CBD (Cannabidiol) - is non-psychoactive. It doesn’t cause a “high.” This is the compound that provides more physical effects on the body
As well as a few smaller components:
CBN (Cannabinol) - mildly psychoactive cannabinoid found only in trace amounts in Cannabis, and is mostly found in aged Cannabis. Pharmacologically relevant quantities are formed as a metabolite of tetrahydrocannabinol
THCA (TetraHydroCannabinol Acid) - Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid is a precursor of tetrahydrocannabinol, an active component of cannabis. It is also an effective neuropertectant.
CBG (CannaBiGerol) is the decarboxylated form of cannabigerolic acid, the parent molecule from which other cannabinoids are synthesized. Cannabigerol is a minor constituent of cannabis.
The next thing you can look at is Terpenes:
What are Terpenes?
Terpenes are naturally occurring compounds that are also in Cannabis. They affect the smell and can also influence the effects.
According to Leafly.com common terpenes include:
Bisabolo - With notes of chamomile and tea tree oil
Caryophyllene - The peppery, spicy molecule
Linalool - Linalool is said to help improve relaxation and boost mood with its floral notes.
Myrcene - The most common terpene, this an earthy, herbal molecule
Ocimene - This terpene produces notes of basil, mango, and parsley
Pinene - As the name suggests, this terpene produces an intense pine aroma
Terpinolene - Cannabis with this compound may smell like apples, cumin, and conifers.
Limonene - Bright, zippy citrus notes come from this terpene
Humulene - This terpene is deeply earthy and woody, like hops or cloves
Eucalyptol - With notes of eucalyptus and tea tree oil, this molecule is refreshing and invigorating
There are over 100 discovered terpenes and they all have varying flavours and effects. This more specific type of classification lets us more effectively predict the effects of each strain. However, more research needs to be done to solidify results.
For more information about terpenes visit the link below:
Now that you have a bit more information on what is in Cannabis, how do you know what to buy?
First, why are you using it?
Once you know that you can start looking at the percentages of THC and CBD each strain contains and go from there. If terpene information is available this will also help you narrow down your choices.
Indica's typically have higher levels of CBD than sativa's and this is measurable. This is why you will still see Cannabis under both classification methods to make it a little easier for you when shopping.
Or BETTER YET, stop by either one of our Best Bud locations and have one of our amazing budtenders help you find the perfect strain for you!