There are hundreds of cannabis strains on the market today. If you’ve ever looked at a dispensary menu, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that the buds (and other products) fall into one of three categories – Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid. These categorizations offer users a general idea of what to expect from their cannabis experience. Let’s take a look at the differences so that you can determine which types of cannabis might best suit your needs.


One of the most noticeable differences between Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids is their appearance. Indica plants are short and bushy, with shorter, wider leaves and more compact, firm buds. Sativa plants, on the other hand, are tall and slender. The leaves are longer and thinner, and the buds are longer and lighter.

Hybrids are interesting. As a mix between Indica and Sativa, they take on the traits of both plants. In general, they may look more like the dominant parent plant. For instance, a Sativa-dominant hybrid may have long leaves that are noticeably wider than a pure Sativa. 



Dispensaries often group plants by whether they’re Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid so that it gives you an idea of what effects you can expect to feel.


In general, Indicas are the plants that cause a body high. They relax you and can make it easier for you to fall asleep. That couch-lock effect you’ve heard of before? That’s likely an effect of an Indica. These plants are also good for treating chronic anxiety, nausea, and pain. Their sedative effects make them ideal for evening use. 


Sativa plants are the ones that produce a head high. They’re energetic and uplifting, factors that make them great for focus, motivation, and a little creative jolt. As they’re more stimulating, they might not be the best if you’re looking to fall asleep at night. Instead, they’re better suited for daytime use. 


Hybrids, again, are a mixed bag. They offer a combination of the traits of the parent plants. For an Indica-dominant hybrid, you’re likely to become heavily relaxed. You’ll also get some of the uplifting mental effects of the Sativa strain. With a Sativa-dominant hybrid, you’re likely to get a good head high with some of the relaxing effects of the Indica. 

Know What You Smoke

With so many different strains of cannabis on the market, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Knowing what you’re looking to achieve with your smoke sesh is a great place to start. If you’re looking to relax at the end of the day, for instance, you might want to look for an Indica. On the other hand, those looking for a little extra energy and mental focus might look for a Sativa. 

While knowing whether a strain is an Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid is a great place to start, remember that cannabis affects everyone differently. You can always read strain reviews or talk to a budtender to help you further narrow down your options. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try a few out. You’ll have a general idea of what to expect when you start, but testing a specific strain will let you know exactly how it affects you.