Indica, Sativa and Hybrid - What's The Difference? Which One To Pick?
If you're a newbie to CBD, you might have heard the words Indica or Sativa before. They're the two main hemp flower strains, after all. But you might not be sure what exactly, that means. Just what is the difference? Which one is best for you? What is the best hemp flower for pain? What is the best hemp flower for energy?
No worries! That's why we're here, to help you sort it out. The short story is:
Indica stimulates the body, and is best for relaxation or sleep. Sativa feeds the brain. It's a daytime smoke that doesn't make you tired. It keeps you energetic, alert and focused. Hybrid blends elements of both.
But we're not done yet! That might be the tl;dr version, but there's a lot more to know. Keep reading to learn more about the differences regarding Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid strains. We'll cover the differences, the effects, and more, so you can decide which one is the right one for you!
Indica, Sativa, Hybrid: What Are They?
Indica: This hemp strain tends to stimulate the body. It's great for stimulating your appetite, or helping manage pain. It can ease nausea. This is also the best choice for relaxing your body, and helping you get to sleep.
Sativa: While Indica has more effect on the body, Sativa feeds the brain. It relaxes your mind. Many people report that it makes them more creative. It provides energy and alertness. It's the idea choice if you need help to focus. It can also decrease anxiety and depression, while increasing serotonin. Just remember that it's usually not a great choice before bed.
Hybrid: A blend of the first two, this one gives you elements of both, while avoiding the strong reactions you might have from a particularly potent strain. If you want a little of Sativa's alertness, but Indica's help with pain, you might need a hybrid cannabis strain.
Indica Vs. Sativa
Both Indica and Sativa grow as cannabis plants, though there are slight differences Cannabis Indica plants tend to be short, bushy and faster growing. They have wide leaves. Sativa plants, on the other hand, are tall with long, thin, lighter-green leaves.
With Cannabis Sativa, the bud structure tends to lean towards airy and fluffy. The cannabinoid and terpene content vary between types of cannabis plants as well. These strains also tend to have fruity or floral terpene profiles. This is different from Indica, which have more earthy and gassy flavors.
In marijuana plants, a Sativa strain typically has higher THC than Indica. For this reason, some people don't prefer it - the high levels of THC can cause a psychoactive effect for some users. However, with hemp, that's no longer an issue.
All hemp buds, both Indica and Sativa strains, have lower levels of THC in order to remain legal. The THC and CBD levels are different in hemp than weed.
Because of this, you won't get that same "high" that you do from marijuana strains, even if you're sensitive to Sativa. In fact, some people who have used medical marijuana for the health benefits have now switched over to hemp because they'd rather keep their "mind sharp" even when smoking.
What Is The Difference Between Indica And Sativa?
Of course, the difference between Indica and Sativa strains isn't just how the plant looks or smokes.
Even though they're both hemp flower, they tend to work in different ways. Indica is often thought of as being relaxing on the body. Meanwhile, Sativa tends to have an energetic effect, and is mentally stimulating. Some people say that Indica is a body-high, and Sativa is a head-high.
Is This True? Is There Proof?
It's important to point out that these advantages and disadvantages that we just listed aren't set in stone. Anecdotally, this is what most people report. The common reactions follow these patterns, but it's not fail-proof.
Plus, there's no long term studies actually proving it. Science hasn't been done to back these claims up. Plus, these reactions are based off how your body responds to each strain. "Most" people might find Indica relaxing - but every once in awhile, someone actually finds it to have a stimulating affect. Everyone's different.
In addition, these stereotypes might have been true (or at least truer) at one point in time. But breeding to obtain desired characteristics, and eliminate others, has changed what you can expect from a modern plant.
It's less likely to find a pure Indica or Sativa strain, in the first place. Plants today really are just Indica or Sativa dominant, with some elements of both - so it's no longer possible to judge a plant just by the "type".
You can use these criteria to help you decide on the right cannabis product, based on your goals. If you want to use CBD for chronic pain relief, for example, you might want to try Sativa first.
But many people try a variety so that they can compare and decide which one suits them best. The reaction you get will depend more on the cannabinoids and terpenes of that strain - regardless of what kind of plant it's labeled as. If you're interested in checking out a few different kinds, try our sampler pack.
Advantages Of Indica
As a general rule, one of the notable side effects of Indica is that it acts like a sedative. This can be good, or bad, depending on why you're using it. It is best for night time use, and not something you'll want to take before a busy day. Many people report that it makes them a bit lazy - a common joke is that "Indica puts you in-da-couch."
There are lots of great reasons to use Indica. Consider it for:
- A sleep aid or for relaxing before bed.
- Pain relief, especially acute pain.
- Stimulating appetite.
- Managing stress.
- Dealing with nausea.
- Relaxing muscles.
Our signature hemp strain, "Kimbo Kush," is one of our best selling, popular strains. Kimbo Kush has a classical Indica effect. It offers the typical gassy, skunky flavors that you might expect. Learn more about Kimbo Kush.
Advantages Of Sativa
Sativa tends to wind the user up a bit more. It's ideal when you want something that kicks your brain into gear, helps you focus, or gives you a burst of energy. But for this same reason, it's best in the daytime.
Sativa is a good choice for:
- Managing chronic pain (unlike Indica, which deals with acute pain).
- Increasing serotonin, which can improve mood, focus, and sleep.
- Anti-anxiety. It also works as an anti-depressant.
- Stimulating the brain and creativity.
- Increasing alertness.
- Making you feel more upbeat.
"Eden" is one of our favorites, with funky floral aroma. Reminiscent of the cannabis strain, "The Chronic" in phenotype, this CBD Bud is light and fluffy with a strong calming effect. It's also one of our more popular Sativa dominant strains.
Great for anxiety or pain relief, Eden will have you in a state of calm, similar to walking through a serene garden.
What About Hybrid Hemp Strains?
There's also a third kind of hemp flower strain. It's called "hybrid" - and as you might guess, it's a cross between Indica and Sativa. They give you a mixture of all the benefits. But by blending the two in hybrid hemp strains, it helps avoid the strong reactions that you might get from a purer strain.
Since hemp derived CBD isn't the same as marijuana, it doesn't have the same high levels of THC content. As a result, it also doesn't have the same psychoactive properties. People who find one kind of marijuana makes them anxious shouldn't have this problem with CBD. However, hybrid options can still sometimes be more preferable. Try a few kinds and see what you like!
One of our highest rated and best recommended hybrids is Immortal. The hemp buds are covered in resinous CBD goodness. At 15% CBD, she packs a punch, both in flavor and effect!
Conclusion: Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid - Who Wins?
Consider what you want from your CBD to make the best choice for you. If you want pain relief, relaxation, or help sleeping, try Indica. If you don't like the sleepy vibes, or want something that gives you energy and focus, check out Sativa. For the best of both, consider a hybrid. Even better, try a few different kinds and pick your favorite for yourself!
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