Most stoners have their preference at this point — maybe you prefer an Indica, Sativa, or a cool balance between the two. Some people may even be picky about their preference, only accepting Indicas or Sativas depending on how it makes them feel.
But how big of a difference is there really? Some researchers suggest there might be less of a difference than people actually think.
We want to take a look at some of the myths that are abundant in the cannabis community when it comes to strain varieties. What are the real differences between Indicas and Sativas? Does one get you more stimulated or relaxed than the other? Let’s take a complete look at everything you need to know!
Breaking Down the Myths
There are Hybrids, Pure Sativas, and Pure Indicas
All cannabis strains are considered hybrids only
In fact, some experts suggest pure Indica and pure Sativa strains simply don’t exist anymore. Throughout the past few decades, there’s been a plethora of breeding to optimize different active ingredients like THC, CBD, certain terpenes, and more.
So what does it mean when a product is labeled as a Sativa or an Indica? Is it false advertisement? A mislabel?
On the contrary, cannabis products simply carry dominant genetics that are either more Indica or more Sativa, depending on the specific strain. Being dominant with one type over the other just means it’s more likely to exhibit the effects that are more like that one type. They differ from products that are labeled as merely hybrids, where you can expect some or all effects from both types.
Take our Oregon Guava, for example. It’s an Indica-dominant hybrid, and we specify that to the tee. It being dominant on the Indica side means it’s going to exhibit traits more like that type rather than Sativas. Our Blue Orchid, on the other hand, is a Sativa-dominant hybrid, so it can potentially exhibit the opposite effects in comparison. Canna Tsu, alternatively, is a good middle of the road CBD bud; an ideal and truer hybrid.
Sativa Strains Stimulate and Indica Strains Relax
Indica and Sativa strains are defined by their appearance, not their effects
It comes down to a matter of plant biology rather than what an Indica versus a Sativa can do to you. In reality, Sativa-dominant strains have taller, lighter green leaves than their Indica counterparts, which are typically shorter and have thicker stems. Indicas have broader, dark green leaves, while Sativas are often more narrow.
The two are different, so how far a strain leans towards one dominant side or the other will help determine how fast it grows, the amount of sunlight and heat required, and every other variable in between.
Indica strains are usually able to absorb more heat and sunlight, making them the preferable strain to grow in colder climates and months. They also have a shorter flowering time, so they’re a go-to for those that like to save on energy when warmth and light are less naturally abundant.
While Sativas do grow narrower and taller, with bright green leaves, they offer their own pros to growing. Ideal for a longer growing season, they thrive in warmer climates or controlled environments like indoors.
There’s a misconception that all Sativa strains can make you feel energized, stimulated, and focused — ready to take on the day!
The truth of the matter is that it all comes down to the contents inside each strain. The amount of each cannabinoid, the variety of terpenes and flavonoids, and all other cannabis compounds in each strain determine what it’s going to do to you.
A “Sativa” strain could very well make you sleepy and exhibit other common Indica effects on you if it has the right combination of THC, CBD, other cannabinoids, and the appropriate terpene profile to go with it. Sativa-like effects may come from alpha-pinene, beta-caryophyllene, limonene, and more terpenes that help prompt focus or feeling energized.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, caryophyllene, terpinolene, Myrcene, linalool, and other terpenes are all known to help encourage sleep and relaxation to some degree. Higher levels of CBD may also help inspire the ability to rest easier, unwind, and feel calmer or at peace.
Using terpenes and the other compounds that come in a strain to help identify the effects it might provide makes it far easier to classify cannabis strains. Once we understand the effects it might trigger, then we determine what to identify it as from there.
So – Do Sativas and Indicas Actually Exist?
Yes — but also no. There are really only hybrids in the world, and our original understanding of how to easily classify them has been dispelled. Still widely used today, however, it’s important to explain why brands still use Sativa and Indica in their product labels.
We also hope we could help you better understand why some “Sativa” or “Indica” strains may have stimulated other results besides the ones you’re used to for that type. In the end, it comes down to the cannabinoid, terpene, and other compound profile of each plant to determine how it’s going to make you feel.