Sativa also has a much higher THC to cannabidiol (CBD) ratio than indica, leading to stronger psychological effects, such as hallucinations and paranoia, and long-term health problems, such as memory loss and cognitive function. Both plants are used to grow hemp, a long-lasting fiber from the stem of the cannabis plant. Sativas, on the other hand, are stimulating and cerebral, and improve creativity and productivity. Indicas provide what has been called a “body high”, while sativas provide more of a “mental high”.
Unfortunately, Sativa plants need more time to grow and produce less medicine (flowers) than indica varieties. This is why indica strains have traditionally dominated those available on the black market, where there is no concern for patient needs and the only goal is benefit. Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica have different botanical properties. Knowing if a cannabis plant comes from the indica or sativa strain doesn't always provide much information about the relative amounts of THC or CBD it can contain, as people tend to believe, but it can be useful.
While there is some truth to the myth that indica-dominant strains can produce a heavier body high, while sativa-dominant strains provide a more invigorating cerebral high, this is not always the case. As cannabis becomes more popular and support for legalized marijuana becomes more acceptable, the idea of an indica or a sativa has become more confusing. Hybrids can have various combinations of terpenes and effects, but because indica and sativa are no longer the definitive terms they used to be for strains, the term hybrid is used more precisely with respect to how it is grown and cultivated. When it comes to aroma, Indica strains tend to give off musty, earthy, and skunky odors, while Sativas smell sweet, fruity, or spicy.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Sativa is more energizing and Indica is more relaxing, but the scientific reality is much more complicated. Patients who must be medicated in the morning or at noon, usually for nausea and pain, often prefer a sativa-dominant hybrid, but will switch to an indica-dominant strain in the evening and for maximum pain relief. Some examples of native varieties are Durban Poison, a sativa from South Africa; Afghan Indica, from Afghanistan; Malawi Gold, a sativa from Southeast Africa; and Panama Red, a sativa from the country that bears his name. While many may assume that a particular cannabis strain is classified as an indica, sativa, or hybrid based on the presence or absence of a particular cannabinoid, or of a cannabinoid in a given volume, it is actually a terpene that determines this important state of a strain.
All strains available in a dispensary are truly a hybrid; some are more indica-dominant and others are more sativa-dominant. The two main types of cannabis, Sativa and Indica, are used for a variety of medicinal and recreational purposes. Although anecdotal evidence and some marijuana dispensaries claim that indica is more calming and sativa is more energizing, some experts say such claims are misleading. The literal difference between the two is in terms of classification: Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are two of the subspecies of the genus Cannabis.