Understanding the Differences: Indica, Sativa and Hybrid

Cannabis grower comparing indica, sativa and hybrid strains

Even new or first-time cannabis users are somewhat familiar with terms like “indica” and “sativa,” but many don’t really understand the difference between the two? What is the difference between indica, sativa, and hybrid?  What do they mean when it comes to enjoying cannabis in a safe and healthy way. As Leafly points out, common knowledge considers indica as a “calming” strain while sativa is more “energizing.” But those descriptions can be misleading.

So what is the difference between indica and sativa?

Let’s break it down.


Indica plants are identified by their stout, broad leaves. These are strains that produce a “full-body” effect and are usually the kinds of strains used to help relax or help with insomnia. They are thought as a calmer strain.

While many believe that this strain can lead to a lack of motivation, this is not true, and will depend on the product you buy and your own tolerance levels.


Unlike indica plants, sativa plants have tall, narrow leaves. This isn’t exact, however, as plants that are technically indica (with stouter leaves) are sometimes categorized as sativa because of the effect they have on people.

Sativa strains are associated with a “head high,” and are often said to sharpen focus and boosts creativity. Some worry that this strain can cause you to become anxious, but again, this will mostly depend on your own tolerance.


Besides indica and sativa strains, there are also “hybrid” strains that utilize elements from both. Due to cross-breeding, most plants today are technically hybrids, but categorized based on which one they’re closest to.

Unlike indica or sativa, hybrid strains are a bit more unpredictable. Whether they’re relaxing or energizing will depend entirely on the product and will depend on its lineage.

Which strain is right for you?

How you will react to a certain strain of cannabis will depend on several variables, including things like cannabinoids and terpenes and your own personal health and tolerance level. Your best bet is to talk with a seasoned budtender in order to identify the best product for you.

Luckily, we’re around to help. Wayne Releaf is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. We proudly serve Wayne County and surrounding Washtenaw and Oakland counties.

Visit our dispensary and our team will help you select the perfect product.

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