Marijuana Basics

The two main types of cannabis, sativa and indica, are used for a number of medicinal and recreational purposes.

Sativas are known for their “head high,” an invigorating, energizing effect that can help reduce anxiety or stress and increase creativity and focus.

Indicas are typically associated with full-body effects, such as increasing deep relaxation and reducing insomnia.

Sativa
  • Origin: Cannabis sativa is found primarily in hot, dry climates with long sunny days. These include Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and western portions of Asia.
  • Plant description: Sativa plants are tall and thin with finger-like leaves. They can grow taller than 12 feet, and they take longer to mature than some other types of cannabis.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Sativa often has lower doses of CBD and higher doses of THC.
  • Commonly associated effects of use: Sativa often produces a “mind high,” or an energizing, anxiety-reducing effect. If you use sativa-dominant strains, you may feel productive and creative, not relaxed and lethargic.
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Because of its stimulating impact, you can use sativa in the daytime.
  • Popular strains: Three popular sativa strains are Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, and Durban Poison.

Indica
  • Origin: Cannabis indica is native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. The plants have adapted to the often harsh, dry, and turbulent climate of the Hindu Kush mountains.
  • Plant description: Indica plants are short and stocky with bushy greenery and chunky leaves that grow wide and broad. They grow faster than sativa, and each plant produces more buds.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Indica strains often have higher levels of CBD and less THC.
  • Commonly associated effects of use: Indica is sought after for its intensely relaxing effects. It may also reduce nausea and pain and increase appetite.
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Because of its deep relaxation effects, indica is better consumed at night.
  • Popular strains: Three popular indica strains are Hindu Kush, Afghan Kush, and Granddaddy Purple.

Hybrid

Each year, cannabis growers produce new and unique strains from different combinations of parent plants. These cannabis hybrids are often grown to target specific effects.

  • Origin: Hybrids are typically grown on farms or greenhouses from a combination of sativa and indica strains.
  • Plant description: The appearance of hybrid strains depends on the combination of the parent plants.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Many hybrid cannabis plants are grown in order to increase the THC percentage, but each type has a unique ratio of the two cannabinoids.
  • Commonly associated effects of use: Farmers and producers select hybrids for their unique impacts. They can range from reducing anxiety and stress to easing symptoms of chemotherapy or radiation.
  • Daytime or nighttime use: This depends on the predominant effects of the hybrid.
  • Popular strains: Hybrids are typically classified as indica-dominant (or indica-dom), sativa-dominant (sativa-dom), or balanced. Popular hybrids include Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, and Blue Dream.