The two most commonly known types of subspecies of cannabis plants are cannabis Indica and cannabis sativa, but the reality of their distinct effects is more complex. But when it comes to Indica vs. Sativa, there seems to be an equivalent amount of lovers between the two, with a growing interest in the effects of different strains. So what sets Indica and Sativa apart?

Different strains, including Blueberry Kush and Candy Glue, are derived from various cannabis Indica and Sativa strains. Most notably, Indica strains are typically associated with a relaxing body high, while Sativa strains are known for their more energizing, cerebral effects, known as the head high.

So whether you want to chill out with one strain or spark your imagination with another, you’ll find the perfect strain. It makes sense – they both get us high, and both strains have a fascinating history and a wide range of effects that can suit any mood or occasion. That said, let’s explore the origins and characteristics of these popular strains and how they can enhance your experience and well-being.

cannabis tutorials indica vs sativa

The Effects Of Indica Vs. Sativa: What You Need to Know

Indica and Sativa strains have distinct effects on the mind and body, making them suitable for different situations. 

  • Sativa strains are loved for their energetic and uplifting effects, focusing on creativity and alertness. This makes them an excellent choice for daytime use or social gatherings. 
  • Indica strains have a more relaxing and calming effect on the body, making them ideal for unwinding after a long day or before going to bed.

This difference is reflected in the effects of the strains they produce since Sativa strains provide a cerebral high that enhances mood and creativity, while Indica strains provide a body high that helps with relaxation, sleep, and pain relief.

The Origins Of Indica And Sativa: A Brief History And Identity

Sativa and Indica were first used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes thousands of years ago. Indica strains are said to have originated in the Hindu Kush mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan, while Sativa strains are known to have come from Central and Eastern Asia and later distributed to tropical countries like Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand.

Over time, the distinct characteristics of these two types of cannabis plants were identified. 

  • Indica plants are bushier and shorter, with wider leaves, and they typically grow faster than Sativa plants. 
  • Sativa plants, controversy, are slimmer and taller, with thinner and longer leaves.

And today, many cannabis industries are moving away from the term “strain” and using “chemovars” instead. This refers to a strain’s chemical variety or profile, which is scientifically becoming increasingly important in understanding the effects of different cannabis varieties.

Chemovars are classified into three types: 

  • Type 1 – which is higher in THC and lower in CBD
  • Type 2 – which is balanced in THC and CBD
  • Type 3 – which is higher in CBD

But despite these recent developments, the history and origins of Indica and Sativa strains remain an essential part of cannabis culture and continue to play a significant role in our beloved cannabis industry today.

cannabis tutorials indica vs sativa

Examples Of Indica And Sativa Strains And Their Effects

As the cannabis industry continues to grow, the plant varieties keep evolving, with each new one exhibiting different effects from the other. One popular strain that has been in the market for a while now is Kush, known for its potent effects and distinct aroma

Kush is an excellent example of the diversity of cannabis cultivars, and we’ll be taking a closer look at it, as well as some other popular strains, as seen below:

  • OG Kush: OG Kush is an Indica-dominant variety of cannabis that comes from the cross between Chemdawg and Hindu Kush. It also became popular in the early 1990s among the cannabis community in Florida. A moderate-potency strain will make you happy and hungry after a blunt or two.
  • Citrus Dream: This Sativa-dominant strain is a cross between Lemon Bean and Firewalker OG. It’s known for its high potency and ability to provide focus and an uplifting feeling. It was popularized in California in the early 2000s.
  • Blueberry Kush: This Indica strain is a hybrid of Blueberry and OG Kush that brings on a heavy body sensation, helping users forget their pain and relax. With a fresh berry aroma and hints of earthy herbal harmony, Blueberry Kush is best for evenings or before bed.
  • Afghan Kush: As mentioned before, this potent indica lineage traces its roots back to the Hindu Kush mountain range near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. It is revered for its rich resin content and heavily sedating effects, making it a top choice for anyone looking to chill after a long day.
  • Mango Skunk: Another Sativa-dominant breed, Mango Skunk is a cross between Jack Herer and Skunk 1. It was popularized in the Netherlands in the early 1990s. It has a moderate potency and is known to create a tingly and hungry feeling.
  • Pineapple Kush: The fragrance of this variety boasts a delicious pineapple scent with hints of butter and creamy caramel, while its flavor is a delicate, sweet pineapple with a refreshing hint of mint. The breeder of the pineapple types of kush strains is unknown, but its parents are Pineapple and Master Kush.
  • Space OG: This Sativa-dominant strain is a cross between GSC Forum Cut Cookies and Snow Lotus. It was popularized in San Francisco in the early 2000s. It has a moderate potency and is known to promote talkativeness and focus.
  • Vanilla Kush Strains: Vanilla Kush, a cannabis strain with an enticing aroma and flavor profile, was created by Barney’s Farm in Amsterdam. It is a hybrid strain that was bred by crossing Afghan and Kashmir varieties. This strain was awarded 2nd place overall at the prestigious 2009 High Times Cannabis Cup in the coffee shop and seed company category. Vanilla Kush is known for its unique blend of lavender, vanilla, and citrus notes that make it a treat for the senses. 
  • Candy Cookies: A cross between Girl Scout Cookies and Candyland, Candy Cookies is another Sativa-dominant strain. It has a moderate potency and is known to provide energy and uplifted feelings. It was popularized in the late 1990s in the Bay Area of California.
  • Strawberry Kush: Strawberry Kush is a strong but not overpowering strain, typically found as a cross between the sweet Strawberry Cough and the pungent OG Kush. It produces a calming heavy body sensation and is a potent Indica for novice consumers.
  • Princess Leia: This Sativa-dominant strain is a cross between Lemon Alien Dawg and Lemon Alien Dawg. It has a high potency and produces a creative and euphoric feeling. It was popularized in 2011 in Denver, Colorado, and is a great choice for Star Wars fans who want to experience the force of the hit.
  • Sour Kush: This cross between Sour Diesel and OG Kush is a daytime pain relief favorite. Sour Kush exhibits energizing effects, making it one of the best choices for daytime use.

Indica Vs. Sativa: Which Is Better for Medical Use?

When it boils down to medical cannabis use, the effects of cannabis Indica and Sativa strains can vary widely. While both can offer potential health benefits, the choice ultimately depends on the user’s needs.

Indica varieties are often favored for their relaxing, sedative effects that can help relieve pain, muscle spasms, and anxiety. They may also be effective for treating insomnia and promoting sleep

In contrast, Sativa strains are known for their elevating and invigorating effects, making them a popular choice for treating depression, fatigue, and attention disorders.

That being said, it’s important to note that the specific chemical profile of a strain, or chemovar, is also an essential factor to consider for medical use. For example, some chemovars may be higher in CBD, which can offer additional benefits such as anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects. In contrast, others may be higher in THC, which can be more effective for treating pain and nausea.

How To Choose The Right Indica Or Sativa Strain For You

Though it may differ from person to person, here are six elementary considerations you may want to keep in mind:

  1. Firstly, knowing what you are trying to achieve and what effects you are looking for is essential. If you want a more relaxing and soothing effect, cannabis Indica varieties may be more suitable for you, while sativa types are typically more energizing and uplifting. However, remember that these effects can vary from strain to strain.
  2. Understanding your tolerance is also crucial. If you are a new cannabis user or have a low tolerance, starting with strains with lower potency levels is recommended. On the other hand, cannabis connoisseurs with higher tolerance may want to opt for strains with higher THC content.
  3. Flavor and aroma are also essential factors to consider.Different types have varying flavors and aromas, ranging from spicy and earthy to fruity and floral. It is worth experimenting with different strains to find the ones that suit your taste.Growing methods are also often a preference to consider.
  4. If you prefer to grow your own cannabis, it is essential to research which weed breed is best suited for your preferred growing method. Some strains are better suited for indoor budding, while others thrive outdoors. And some cannabis aficionados prefer smoking indoor grown rather than outdoors and vice versa.
  5. Another vital factor to consider is the potential medical benefits of different strains. Both cannabis indica and sativa have unique benefits and can offer plenty of adventure to cannabis users. Still, to help decide which strains may be most effective for your specific condition, turn to a healthcare professional if you’re interested in cannabis’ medicinal properties.
  6. Finally, budget is also a consideration. Some strains may be more expensive than others, so finding a type that fits your budget is essential.

Choosing the right cannabis strain involves considering desired effects, tolerance, flavor and aroma, growing method, medical benefits, and budget. Considering these factors, you can find the strain that best suits your needs and preferences.


Cannabis is a magical plant that can transform your mood and well-being in amazing ways. Whether you crave a soothing or stimulating experience, there’s a strain for that. You can find your perfect match by learning the variances between Sativa and Indica strains and their assortments. And with many exciting strains to take you to the moon and back, there’s always something new to explore and savor.