Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid: Cannabis Types Differences

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

If you’re a pot grower, it is imperative to recognize the differences between Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid marijuana.

Each one of these marijuana types is quite specific. Whether you need weed for medical purposes (you’ll need to get a marijuana medical card first!), or you’re using it recreationally, it is crucial to know what’s what.

For example, Sativas usually provide a boost of energy while Indicas have a soothing impact. That being said, if you’re a person who has insomnia, you will probably need an Indica.

Although most cannabis medical experts emphasize their psychoactive features, each one of these marijuana types is different in terms of biological traits, ideal environments, resilience, and so forth.

Furthermore, there might be significant differences between 2 Sativas, or 2 Indicas. All this diversity makes the topic interesting for the marijuana growers and the agricultural experts alike.

In order to uncover differences between Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid cannabis, we’ve written this ultimate guide. We hope you enjoy it!

How did it all start? History of Sativa, Indica & Hybrids

Before we get into nuances, it is essential to know the history of Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrid weed.

Marijuana is a plant that has been used for several thousands of years. However, it is tough to determine when we first started using it. According to some records, the ancient tribes started using it 12,000 years ago, but it is safer to say that it has been used in the last 3 millennia.

There are also indications that ancient tribes knew about its healing properties, and often used it for various ailments. These records originate from Central Asia, which is where Indica was first grown. Unlike Indicas, Sativas are common in Central and South America.

As time went by, these regions slowly become connected. Numerous conquerors such as Genghis Khan, and later on, Alexander the Great, worked hard on creating roads that would transport goods through various Asian regions.

Somewhere along the way, the traders started dealing with cannabis. After a while, more and more people started growing cannabis. Some did it for its medical properties, others as a drug. 

Unlike Indica, Sativa was relatively unknown until the 14th and 15th centuries. When Portuguese and Spaniards started exploring the New World, they stumbled upon this type of cannabis. It didn’t take long for them to transport the weed seeds to Europe.

Besides its psychedelic properties, people were growing marijuana for their seeds and fibers. Cannabis stems and flowers were widespread, which was used for numerous purposes.

In terms of medical properties, the ancient civilizations used cannabis for pain relief and insomnia. It was also used as a part of magical, spiritual, and religious rituals.

Now, that you know the history, it is time to review Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids. Keep on reading!

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid: Main Traits

Indicas and Sativas are almost exact opposites. Although both of them belong to the cannabis family, they have a very different impact on our bodies.

If you’re an experienced marijuana smoker, you will easily notice the difference between the two. Hybrids are somewhere in between. They are created by combining Indicas and Sativas in an attempt to get the most desirable traits of each marijuana type.

Here are some things you need to know about each one of these 3 marijuana types:

1) Indica Strains

Indicas are known for their bushy appearance. They are much shorter than Sativas; their stems are thicker with bigger, broader pot leaves. Furthermore, there is a bigger concentration of buds on these plants, which is why they grow slower than Sativas during their vegetation stage.

According to scientists, this is an evolutionary trait. Indicas were first discovered around the Himalayan Mountains. Their thickness and business is a way for the plant to protect itself from cold and wind. Due to these features (as well as some other things), Indicas are usually grown inside. On top of everything, Indicas provide a higher yield based on space used.

As previously mentioned, this type of cannabis is excellent for people who are suffering from insomnia. They are also very efficient for depression, anxiety, PTSD due to its soothing effects. Indica is the true “stoner” drug draining your energy and putting you in sleep mode. Thus, the plant is a great option for all those who are stressed after work. Keep in mind that it’s much better if you smoke it in the evening; otherwise, you won’t be able to function normally during the day.

2) Sativa Strains

Even though they are often put in the same basket, there are some extreme differences between Indicas and Sativas. In fact, if you’ve smoked marijuana for a while, you probably have specific preferences when making a purchase.

Related: How to Buy Marijuana Seeds – Everything You Need to Know

You can notice the difference between these two just by looking at them. Unlike Indica, Sativa is a very tall plant with thin, scarce leaves. It has a speedy vegetative growth cycle, and there are some major biological differences between the two cannabis types.

A great thing about Sativa is that it doesn’t need that much micromanagement. It is a marijuana plant that you can grow outdoors as long as there is enough light. Given its origin, this makes a lot of sense.

So, if you have a big backyard, or if you have a large county property, you should consider growing this one. But be warned! Due to its humongous size, it is better if you wall-off your property. You don’t want your neighbors to know that you’re growing marijuana. 

Sativa can be regarded as an “upper.” It is a great party drug, and most people use it during the day. Party animals can also use it during the night as it will give them that extra boost.

A lot of artists, designers, and creative workers use it as a way to get their juices going. Sativa has a lot of THC with low levels of CBD. But, keep in mind that this plant may cause some visual trips and paranoia.

Although Sativas can be used for medical conditions, it is much better if you go with Indicas or Hybrids.

3) Hybrid Strains

Hybrids are made by combining Indica and Sativa. And this is where marijuana growing gets interesting.

Although the name “Hybrid” sounds cool, it isn’t anything special in an agricultural sense. People have combined various plants for a long time, so it was only a matter of time until they started combining different cannabis strains.

Like with any other plant species, Hybrids are meant to provide improved features while downplaying drawbacks. They are selectively grown, and each Hybrid has a distinct set of traits. 

It is tough to describe the impact of Hybrids in one article. There are simply too many of them, and each Hybrid may affect you differently. It also depends on a particular grower and growing methods.

A grower can produce two Hybrid plants that are the same in name and origin but may have a different impact on our body and mind. We grow Hybrids to control and change factors such as taste, smell, terpenes, healing effects, and the type of cannabis high

We recognize two types of Hybrids: Indica-dominant and Sativa-dominant. As the name suggests, Indica-dominant will have the traits that are more common for Indicas and vice versa. There are a few Hybrid strains that are in a relative balance. Nowadays, the majority of cannabis on the market are Hybrids.

When it comes to medical and psychoactive effects, each Hybrid will have a specific set of features. In order to determine the potential impact of a strain, you will have to analyze its chemical composition as well as THC/CBD percentages.

CBD or cannabidiol is the substance that carries medical benefits. When you hear that something is a “CBD-cannabis,” this refers to the fact it is meant to help people. 

Back in the day, the Hybrid market was pretty wild. We lacked regulation, so it was hard to determine what is what. Nowadays, the countries are doing their best to streamline marijuana growing and purchasing, thus providing users with better information regarding marijuana’s potential benefits. 

Indicas vs. Sativas: What are the main similarities? 

Although we mentioned that these two cannabis types are very different, they do have numerous similarities (as expected).

The first thing that has to be mentioned is that both of them have psychoactive properties. Sativas, Indicas, and Hybrids can also be used for various medical conditions.

The most common use is for pain, depression, anxiety, insomnia, muscle spasms, and cramps, but they can also be used for some other medical issues. Each day we learn something new about these plants, so don’t be surprised if the list of potential benefits increases in the near future.

They are also very similar when it comes to drawbacks. For example, they can cause fatigue, memory loss, confusion, paranoia, headache, dry mouth, speech issues, depression, and some other problems.

One thing worth mentioning is that the side effects are more common among young people and inexperienced users. If you use marijuana the right way, and if you keep in touch with a medical professional, you will likely be able to minimize these unwanted effects. 

Indicas and Sativas: What are the main differences? 

There are lots of differences between these two marijuana types. Some of them include THC/CBD ratios, growth cycles, resilience, etc.

Stick with us to learn more!

1) Growth cycles 

The first major difference comes in terms of growth cycles. Both of them have similar vegetation cycles, but their flowering cycles are far from similar. Like any plant, they are highly dependent on the amount of sunlight they receive.

Given that the growers usually put Indicas inside, they are able to create a controlled environment. The growth of Sativas is less predictable as the environmental factors can ruin the whole crop.

Indicas require much less time overall. You get much more buds when growing them, and they usually appear close to nodes. The flowering cycle lasts between 6 to 10 weeks.

On the other hand, Sativas flowering cycle lasts between 10 to 12 weeks. Certain strains can last even longer. Keep in mind they also produce a lower yield per plant.

2) CBD and THC

Generally speaking, Indicas will have higher CBD content while Sativas will have a high THC content. But, these are just the general rules. A lot of things depend on a particular strain.

Growing methods can also impact the concentration of THC. Things get even more complex when we include the Hybrids. There is much more variation when it comes to these strains. For example, Sativa-dominant Hybrid can have a higher concentration of CBD than THC.

Related: CBD Seeds: Top 5 Strains in the USA


Terpenes are the third major difference that we will be mentioned in this article.

This substance is the ingredient that gives marijuana its smell and taste. Terpene is an oily residue that is found in leaves and glands. There are over 100 terpenes in cannabis, which makes Hybrids that much more exciting.

According to scientists, terpenes are the key to understanding cannabis. The substance interacts with other chemical substances changing the psychological effect that the plant has on users. It is tough to predict the type of product you’re getting.

So, the best way to find out is by growing a particular strain and then, to try it out by yourself. You can also send it to a lab so that the professionals can give you more information about a plant. This is especially important for commercial entities as they need to provide as much information as possible to customers.

Last thoughts 

If you ever want to compare Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid, this is the best article to start with.

There are lots of factors to be considered beforehand. Each one of these marijuana types is special and unique. Like with other consumables, it is best to try them out and make your own judgment.

If we’re talking about medical marijuana, we suggest that you consult a cannabis doctor before making a purchase. In the end, these plants can be volatile, and you shouldn’t do anything without proper guidance! 

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