Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid are all the names of the main cannabis strains. This classification system is deeply rooted in the cannabis industry for apparent reasons. It is easy to determine the effects a cannabis plant can deliver by simply distinguishing them by strain type. If you are a true cannabis connoisseur, you know that the more complex model the scientists provide is connected with a chemical profile. But using the model based on strain type is like pointing to the “up,” “down,” and “in-between” to describe how a particular strain will make the consumer feel. Both ways of classifying are valuable, but the first is much easier to use, especially for newcomers.

Even though this is an easy and entrenched classification system, it also needs an explanation when you’re new to the world of cannabis. Whether you’re going to purchase at a dispensary or choose cannabis seeds online at, you definitely want to understand more precisely what lies in the difference between Indica and Sativa and what goes under the term “hybrid strain.” This knowledge will make your first selection quicker and more comfortable. This article gives an overview of the basic information about each strain type. It will make it easy for you to tell them apart before you learn the more complicated classification model.

Short Intro

Firstly let’s dig a little into the history of strain naming. Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus published “Species Plantarum” in 1753, where all cannabis plants were classified into “Cannabis sativa L.” There, the word “cannabis” refers to the genus, and “Sativa” means species. Later, in 1785, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French biologist, provided an update, dividing the species into the two currently known. Sativa plants were described as lankier, taller, and fibrous. Indica strains were stouter but shorter and with more psychoactive properties.

Definition of Sativa

Sativas were originally grown in warm and humid conditions. They grew lanky and long in order to dry out and not absorb too much water content. Warm conditions allowed them to grow and flower for a long time as the climate wouldn’t change to colder or rainier at the end of the growing season.

Sativas are generally thought to boost energy and creativity, enhance focus, and raise mood. While not all Sativa strains will energize, there is a tendency for that strain to produce a “head high” or deliver stimulating effects. Another feature of that strain type is anecdotally reported as stress or anxiety mitigation. Summarizing, the following effects can be identified:

  • mood uplifting;
  • feeling happy and energized;
  • improving concentration, creativeness, and productivity;
  • euphoric effects.

Definition of Indica

Unlike Sativas, Indicas originated in cold, northern climates. Because of that, it became a short and dense plant with a shorter growth cycle to get harvested before the rainy fall or cold winter came in.

Indica strains are commonly associated with relaxation, drowsiness, happy feelings, and also body effects (ex. tingly face or heavy limbs). While Sativas are considered “daytime” strains, Indicas are nighttime ones usually used to provide calm and unwind for a better night’s rest.

What’s in Hybrid Strains?

Hybrid is a catch-all definition used to name strains bred from both Sativa- and Indica-descended plants. Because of cannabis plants’ long history of crossbreeding, it is now extremely difficult to find pure Sativa or Indica lineages.

In fact, nowadays, the majority of cannabis strains that are classified as “Indica” or “Sativa” are hybrids with genetic profiles from both categories. Due to that point, hybrid plants’ effects pull from both parent strains. It depends on the hybrid, but the general effects are feeling happy, uplifted, energetic, or relaxed. If you examine the hybrid’s history in advance, you may be able to get a clearer idea of the impacts that the hybrid will create.

Bottom Line

Considering all that information, one can select the plant type according to their preferences for effects. To use the strain classification method, consider whether you want to relax completely or have a long productive day. In the first case, it’s apparent to choose Indica due to its calm and relaxing properties, Concerning the second, then the better choice is Sativa strains, as they provide energy and productivity for physical activity or completing tasks. If you can’t decide precisely, there is a hybrid type that offers a mix of effects.

Remember that there are additional factors influencing the experience.  Some of them are the dose, individual body chemistry, your current state of mind and environment, and your medical history.