Indica vs Sativa? It can be a tricky question, and even once somebody explains the difference, you’ll probably still forget from time to time.

It wasn’t until I’d been smoking weed regularly for about five years before it finally clicked.

Cannabis sativa L. ssp. indica and cannabis sativa L. ssp. sativa are two different subspecies of the same plant, which is called Cannabis sativa.

Confused yet? No need to be. It’s pretty simple: plain old Cannabis sativa is just an umbrella term for all marijuana plants — indica, sativa, and hybrid.

Besides the plant material that smells and tastes so good, marijuana breaks down to a few key compounds. THC, aka tetrahydrocannabinol, is probably one you’re familiar with: it’s basically the main ingredient in weed, and it makes us relax, giggle, chill out, and catch the munchies.

And CBD, or cannabidiol, is  a cannabis compound that fights off anxiety and comes with other healing effects.


Your average indica has a much higher ratio of CBD to THC than its sister sativa does. Super high-CBD preparations of indicas — namely, custom-made oils — are often used for medical purposes, as they reduce negative neurological symptoms without getting the patient too high.

They’ve got a lot of interesting potential applications, and in recent years, indicas have arguably gotten more attention from professional weedmakers (I’m talking about breeders) than sativas.

Indica vs Sativa: How they Compare to each other

But you won’t be finding that kind of stuff in the club. The indicas we’re talking about here are skunky strains like Master Kush, Lemon OG, and G-13. When vaped, smoked, or eaten, they’ll relax you without making you too silly or wild.

Indicas come with the kind of chill-out high that’s best for a night in or an evening of gaming, so it’s best to avoid them if you’re planning on studying, cleaning the house, or achieving much at all.

That’s where sativas come in. Strains like Strawberry Cough, Jack Herer, and Sour Diesel are lower in CBD but high in THC, which means you’re gonna have a lot of fun. While indicas work like sedatives, a good sativa will get you raring to go.


For the indecisive patient, of course, there’s always the option of a hybrid strain, which is exactly what it sounds like — a splice of an indica and a sativa.

Some call it the best of both worlds, and it may well be: high in both CBD and THC, a well-bred hybrid like White Widow can shoot you to the stars.

Most clubs stock at least a few strains of each subspecies, so the next time you stop at the dispensary, ask your budtender to recommend a sample of each kind.

No two weed strains are the same, but some definitely do the job better than others.

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