Whether you’re new to cannabis or not, there is a good chance you have heard the primary strands of cannabis — Indica and Sativa. With these two classifications of marijuana come completely different effects. Although Indica and Sativa are from the same plant, they are very different from one another. Each has its own merits and properties that make it unique.

With legalization spreading, there are many newcomers to cannabis. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between cannabis strands that you can use before you go to your cannabis retail store. This will help you get a better handle of what type of cannabis you’re consuming, what strains you may want to try, and which ones might work best for you.

Indica vs Sativa

The first thing that separates the two plants is the way they grow and their appearance. These slight differences may not be noticeable unless you are an avid cannabis user and/or grower, but they’re good to know, nonetheless. Indica plants are the shorter of the two and have large, wide leaves. Indica can stand colder climates with shorter growing seasons, allowing it to grow all over the world in larger crops. 

Sativa is taller than its cousin and appears to be lankier, featuring have thin, pointed leaves, noticeably narrower than those on the Indica plant.

When it comes to the THC and CBD levels of the two plants, typically, Indica plants have high THC to CBD ratios and Sativa plants have high CBD to THC ratios — but this isn’t always the case. Some strands have proved to be the opposite, so when you are purchasing cannabis, be sure to make your selection based on the effects as opposed to the THC or CBD levels of the plant. 

Effects of Indica

Indica is the more calming of the two and may help with anxiety. Many also use it as a sleep aid or for pain. The effects are felt more in the body thanks to its effects as a muscle relaxant. Indica is known for its “couch lock” effect — when you feel so relaxed that you just want to stay still, lay down, and decompress. If you experience physical or muscle pain, nausea, or loss of appetite, Indica can help relieve these types of symptoms. 

Effects of Sativa

Sativa is a stimulant and is more uplifting and euphoric than Indica, giving more of a traditional “head high” than Indica. Sativa promotes energy and increases focus and creativity. For those suffering from anxiety, depression, migraines or PTSD, Sativa is commonly the recommended strand as it tends to be more effective at relieving psychological issues due to its uplifting effects.

Since cannabis legalization, there are constantly new discoveries of the various uses and benefits of the marijuana plant. For more information when you’re purchasing cannabis, check this out and learn about the strains and products available today.

When it comes to Indica and Sativa, the strains have their own unique genetics, resulting in completely different highs. If you are looking to better understand the different strains of cannabis and which is best for you, continue to read up on cannabis studies and research — it will open a whole new world of possibilities.