If you’re new to cannabis culture, you’ve probably noticed the words “Indica” and “Sativa” getting thrown around a lot. These terms are used to describe every marijuana strain. Why? Because they refer to the original species of cannabis that have been cultivated into all the strains we know and love today.

Though everyone has their own unique experience when using cannabis, most people notice some significant differences between Indica and Sativa strains. If you’re trying to decide between an Indica or Sativa, it helps to understand exactly how these types of marijuana differ. Here’s how different types of cannabis will affect your body and how to choose the right type for you.

How Indica Strains Affect the Body

Indica plants are generally shorter and bushier, and their leaves are generally wider and shorter. Similarly, Indica buds tend to be dense and rounder, with “popcorn” or “fluffy” buds being less common.

When you consume an Indica strain, you’ll notice most of the effects in your body. This is what’s known as a “body high.” Indica strains generally relax your muscles and may make you feel like you never want to leave your couch. Other common effects include an increase in appetite, drowsiness, and a reduction in pain from tense or inflamed muscles. Most people prefer to use Indica strains at night, so they can fall asleep without interrupting anything.

How Sativa Strains Affect the Body

Sativa plants are more or less the opposite of Indica strains. The plants are taller, slimmer, and less “chunky” overall. Buds may be ovals or even pointed, and they’re often larger and lighter.

The effects have some important differences, too. Most users report that Sativa strains mostly affect the mind, not the body. A Sativa high is known as a “head high” for just that reason. These strains often make people feel happy or even euphoric. They encourage creative thoughts and make people feel more alert.

Finally, some people find that consuming a Sativa strain even gives them more energy, the exact opposite of Indica plants. For these reasons, Sativa strains are most often recommended for daytime use, because they can make it harder to fall asleep later.

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Which Is Right for You, Indica or Sativa?

If you want to think about it in simple terms, the choice between Indica or Sativa is simple: when are you using it? When you’re looking to smoke something during the day, Sativa may be better. In the evening, you might prefer an Indica.

You can also consider what you want to get out of the experience. Indica strains are generally more laid-back, while Sativa strains can make people talkative and interested in adventure.

Of course, not every strain is just an Indica or just a Sativa. Hybrid strains are incredibly common. These strains often lean one way or another, with 70% Sativa genetics and 30% Indica heritage, for example. These hybrids are a nice combination of both worlds, so you can get a buzz and relax your muscles at the same time.

There’s no single strain that’s perfect for everyone. However, knowing the difference between the two fundamental types of cannabis can help you find the strain that’s right for you.