The modern world of marijuana is extensive, to say the least. If you’re new to the cannabis scene, you’ve probably noticed that aside from the myriad of different strains available that weed is categorized into different types. There are three distinct types of weed and each is responsible for offering a different effect. The three types of weed are known as sativa, indica, and hybrid. If you plan on being a cannabis consumer, it’s important to know the differences between them. All three types of weed will get you high. But the high you experience is going to be different depending on which kind you consume.
Types of Weed 101: Sativa vs. Indica
Sativa and indica are the two original types of weed. A hybrid strain is a combination of the two. Hybrid strains might be a 50/50 sativa indica cross, or can be more dominant in one type or the other. When you see a strain described as a “sativa-dominant hybrid”, it means the strain contains both sativa and indica genetics but is stronger on the sativa side.
Not only are the effects of the various types of weed different, but so are where they originated from. While sativa strains originated in hot, dry, equatorial climates (think Mexico and South Africa), indica strains of cannabis are native to colder climates at higher mountain elevations (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India).
Cultivation and Characteristics
Sativa strains do best in warm climates and grow to be very tall. Leaves of a sativa cannabis plant are long and thin and buds tend to be airy and light, often with red, orange, or rust colors. Sativa typically flowers in 60-90 days and is best suited for outdoor cultivation.
Indica strains, on the other hand, are native to colder, mountainous climates. They grow short, thick, and become very bushy. Leaves are fuller and rounder than those of a sativa plant. Indica buds are dense and compact, often with an extremely strong aroma. Indica typically flowers in 45-50 days.
If you’re looking for a stimulating strain that increases your energy and focus, sativa should be your go-to. Sativa strains are famous for their uplifting effects. Looking for a bit of inspired creativity? Sativa. Need a little motivation to get through that spring cleaning? Sativa.
Contrary to what some people assume, not all weed makes you stoned and lazy. Some yes. But not all. Sativa is not that weed. Sativa is mentally exhilarating, offering more of a “lifted” effect than anything. This invigorating type of weed is awesome for social situations, stimulating conversations, and creative pursuits. Sativas also make the best “wake and bake” strains, just in case you’re interested in smoking pot in the morning. Not a bad way to start the day in the slightest.
Popular sativa strains include:
Indica strains are known for their sedating effects. Think of the classic, stereotypical stoner zoned out on the couch and you’ve got an idea of how an indica will affect you. Indicas are awesome for anyone who is looking to relax after a long day. Indica strains produce more of a body high than a cerebral one, but this isn’t to say that an indica doesn’t get you high, because it most certainly does. You’ll experience a head change for sure, but its more of a relaxed, dreamy high that keeps you comfortably locked to the couch than a sativa that might have you up cleaning the kitchen.
Indicas are great for watching movies and relaxing. These strains are also excellent for anyone who suffers from insomnia, as they’re known to lull users to sleep with their sedative effects.
Popular indica strains include:
Hybrid strains offer the best of both worlds. Many of the strains you’ll come across are hybrids, a crossbreeding of both sativa and indica strain or strains. In fact, because of how much cannabis has been bred, most strains you find will typically be a hybrid variety.
Hybrids often take on qualities of both strains, eliciting more of a balance rather than a straight body or head high. As mentioned, you’ll often find hybrid strains described as “sativa-dominant” or “indica-dominant.” This means that particular strain holds stronger characteristics of that type of weed. A sativa-dominant hybrid, for example, will offer more of an elevated cerebral high, while an indica-dominant hybrid will have more relaxing, sedative effects.
Popular hybrid strains include:
What Type of Weed is Right for You?
Most cannabis consumers have a preference of one type of weed over the other. There are people who smoke sativa all day, and there are people that only smoke indica after a long day when it comes time to wind down and relax. If you’re wondering what type of weed is right for you, the first thing to ask yourself is what you’re using it for.
Do you want invigorating mental stimulation? Feel a need to tap into your creative side? Looking for a bit of motivation to get through your to-do list? Sativa (or a sativa-dominant hybrid) is your best bet.
Do you want to relax at the end of a long, stressful day? Need a little help getting to sleep at night? Feel like doing nothing but zoning out on the couch with a good movie? Look into an indica (or indica-dominant hybrid).
One of the best things about deciding what type of weed is best for you is testing out different strains. You can easily pick up small amounts of both sativa, indica, and hybrid strains at your local recreational dispensary. A gram is typically the smallest weight amount in which weed is sold, and averages right around $10.
If you’re new to cannabis, save strain testing for your days off when you don’t have much to do. The last thing you want to do is take a hit of sativa before work if you’ve never smoked weed before. Do yourself a favor and seriously just don’t. Give each a go, allowing yourself at least 4-5 hours between each type. Your best bet would be to try each on a different day, so you can feel the true effects of each. We’re confident you’ll soon find what type of weed is right for you and have a sneaking suspicion you’ll have a great time figuring it out.