Sativa vs Indica

Sativa vs Indica: Difference, Uses & Benefits

You are thinking about trying cannabis, but you have no idea where to start. The market offers thousands of strains, and it’s not easy to choose. The good news is that all strains can be divided into several types, with the main options being Sativa and Indica.

Which is a better fit for you, how to choose between Indica and Sativa at cannabis dispensaries? This guide discovers all details to help you pick the perfect cannabis strain for you!

What Are the Types of Cannabis?

Before we enter the Indica vs Sativa comparison, let’s discuss different cannabis types. The term cannabis doesn’t refer to one plant but rather an entire family. That family is Cannabaceae, and it gathers about 170 species. We can divide this flowering herb into several main types that we’ll describe below.


Cannabis Indica has origins in the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The experts believe it originally grew in regions like Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Tibet.

Indica plants can handle dry and harsh climates. They have chunky and bushy leaves. Indica grows faster than Sativa, so it’s a wise choice for beginner manufacturers. It’s famous for delivering a relaxation effect and pain relief.


Cannabis Sativa originates from Central America, Africa, and also Western and Southeast Asia. Its leaves are thin and tall, and some even say they remind them of fingers. Their height often goes over 10 feet, but they take longer to grow than Indica.

Cannabis Sativa delivers an energy boost and reduces anxiety. It can help tap into your creative potential and increase focus and concentration.

indica vs sativa


As cannabis popularity increases, people experiment with hybrids more than ever. The basic definition of a hybrid is a mixture of two strains. Most strains are hybrids that can be Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant.

The reasons why people might grow hybrids include:

  • Combining the effects of different cannabis strains and types
  • Creating a more powerful plant combo
  • Designing a plant that offers a high yield
  • Developing a strain that’s easier to grow

Hybrids allow growers to focus any two strains on achieving the intended goal. Many aim to tackle certain health conditions, while others focus on delivering the strongest possible effects.
The hybrid description could include the Sativa/Indica ratio. If the stain has an 80/20 in favor of Sativa, it’s a Sativa-dom herb. But if it’s 70% Indica, it is “Indica-dom.” Some growers aim to achieve a balance between the two plant types. You can find thousands of hybrids in the market. They range from different cannabinoid quantities to various flavors and aromas.


Cannabis Ruderalis is the least famous of all cannabis plants. It originated in Russia, Siberia, and Himalayan India. Although it can handle the extreme environment, manufacturers don’t like Ruderails. The reason is that it contains only a limited CBD quantity and even less THC. The majority of Ruderalis plants don’t have enough of these cannabinoids to deliver significant benefits.

This type features bushy and small plants. Their growth is often from 10-12 inches. However, they can develop quickly and be ready for harvesting in a month. Ruderalis doesn’t even require cultivator assistance for growing.

Sativa Indica and Hybrid

Indica vs Sativa Comparison

If we analyze the chemical composition, we find that there are different levels of cannabinoids present in Sativa and Indica plants. But regardless of their amounts, these compounds don’t decide the strain’s type. It’s the terpene profile and genetics that determine the Sativa vs Indica placement.

It’s not the only difference since you can notice physical distinctions between the two cannabis types. Sativa is a skinny and tall plant with thin and long leaves. It’s easy to distinguish between Indica vs Sativa leaves. Indica has wider and shorter leaves, and its plants are also bushier and shorter.

When You Should Use Sativa or Indica

Let’s say that a long and hard day is ahead of you. You already feel an energy drop when thinking about all the activities and problems you’ll face. That’s when cannabis Sativa is a fitting choice. It delivers an energy boost and uplifts your mood. You might feel some euphoria, but the critical thing is it will improve your concentration. By boosting your focus and alertness, you’ll be ready for all the challenges. That’s why Sativa is a better choice for daytime consumption. You can get through the day better, and its effects will wear out until sleeping time.

oregon strainsOn the other hand, Indica plants are more suitable to use in the evening. Unlike Sativa, which focuses on delivering a “head high,” these herbs focus on a “body high.” That means you’ll feel calmer and experience stress relief. It’s great for those who experience anxiety or feel annoyed about something that happened during the day. Indica plants also promote optimal sleep patterns. They can help you deal with insomnia and get that night’s rest you deserve.

Indica types can provide pain relief, too. It can be important to those dealing with chronic pain and sports injuries. It can also be connected to promoting optimal sleep. That’s another reason why using the Indica plant is better in the evening. These herbs also act as appetite stimulators. It’s convenient if you are working on gaining weight. Some cancer patients even use Indica as an appetite booster during the treatment.

Ian Baker handles content marketing at Happy Leaf Portland. There are 5 years that he is deeply involved in the cannabis field. He had 3 years of experience as a Budtender and thanks to his desire to achieve more, he has a career move. Currently, he works as a content manager.