The Difference Between Sativa, Indica, and Hybrids

Thousands of medical cannabis strains exist, and each falls into three main categories: Sativa, indica, and hybrid. Each strain differentiates based on their potency of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

(THC) and its cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabinol (CBN).

THC binds to existing cannabinoid receptors in your brain and produces mind-altering feelings of euphoria, while CBD, a non-psychoactive compound, is a serotonin receptor agonist with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effects.

The overall benefits of medical cannabis include anti-nausea, tremor reduction, sleep induction, appetite control, and anti-anxiety. Peninsula Alternative Health explores the differences between the best cannabis strains in appearance, aroma, medical benefits, and more:

Sativa
Fast Facts:

  • This strain is mainly known for its effect on the mind.
  • Its psychoactive effects are often described as “euphoric”, “uplifting”, and “stimulating”.
  •  A sativa plant is tall and skinny like the recognizable cannabis icon.

Sativa plants can grow upward of 25 feet, but most stay around 12 feet tall. They produce light green leaves that are long and thin like the stereotypical marijuana icon. Their aroma is softer, more floral, and grassier due to their outdoor origins.

Quality sativa leaves contain less CBD and CBN with a moderately high amount of THC, which affects the mind more than the body. Contrary to popular belief, sativa strains are known for a more stimulating effect than a mellowing one.

Sativa plants are best used during the day because the medical benefits of cannabis sativa include symptom relief from chronic pain, tight muscles, anxiety, ADHD, and depression. They also stimulate appetite and reduce nausea while improving the qualifying patient’s mood.

Indica
 
Fast Facts:

  • This strain is mainly known for its effect on the body.
  • Its effects are often described as “heavier”.
  • An indica plant is short and stout.

Indica plants originate from Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the surrounding areas. They’re usually less than 6 feet tall and have fat, deep green leaves. Their aroma is sweeter or sourer, according to Organic Authority, a digital publication that focuses on “a conscious healthy lifestyle”.

Quality, compact indica leaves contain a moderately high but balanced amount of CBD, CBN, and THC, leaving the qualifying patient feeling more relaxed.

Most physicians prescribe indica plants for nighttime use because the medical benefits of cannabis indica includes stress relief, while stronger varieties can induce sleep. This is great for those suffering from insomnia, night terrors, muscle spasms, chronic pain, and stiffness.

Hybrid
Hybrid strains are a crossbreed of indica and sativa strains that maintain the best aspects of each. They can be indica- or sativa-dominant and contain regulated levels of CBD and THC based on what a qualifying patient needs.

Hybrid plants help multiple symptoms for the mind and body. Sativa-dominant strains offer the stimulating, uplifting feeling with a calming effect on the body. Indica-dominant strains offer physical pain relief with a lesser stimulating feeling.

Note: In the state of Maryland, a qualifying patient can have only 36 grams of THC in a strain per month.

It’s important to remember that medical marijuana isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for qualifying patients. According to medical marijuana industry leader United Patients Group, potency, dosage, personal tolerance, and your qualifying condition will all play a role in finding the right medical marijuana strain for you.

To find the best cannabis strain for your qualifying condition in Maryland, it’ll take some trial and error with your registered physician. However, being informed about which strain is responsible for which effect can help shorten the search.

For more information about which strain is best for your qualifying condition, contact the health and wellness experts at Peninsula Alternative Health in Salisbury, Maryland by clicking here.

Quality sativa leaves contain less CBD and CBN with a moderately high amount of THC, which affects the mind more than the body. Contrary to popular belief, sativa strains are known for a more stimulating effect than a mellowing one.

Sativa plants are best used during the day because the medical benefits of cannabis sativa include symptom relief from chronic pain, tight muscles, anxiety, ADHD, and depression. They also stimulate appetite and reduce nausea while improving the qualifying patient’s mood.