Indica, Sativa or Hybrid?

| by: Purspirit Cannabis Co.

For those new to medical cannabis, one of the first things you’ll realize is that not all cannabis is the same. If you’ve looked over our menu, you’ve probably seen different products labeled as indica, sativa or hybrid. These labels indicate different strains of the cannabis plant, and each has different effects and often a very different user experience. Because this is the most common question asked by our customers, today we’ll be talking about the differences in indica, sativa and also hybrid strains of medical marijuana.

A Brief History of Cannabis Strains

The main reason we have the names “sativa” and “indica” results from the fact that the cannabis plant was discovered by two different scientists roughly 50 years apart. The Cannabis Sativa plant was first classified by Swedish scientist Carl Linneaus in 1753 and noted its psychoactive properties. Then, 32 years later, another scientist, French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck classified the Cannabis Indica plant discovered in India as a different species, based on its appearance and flowering cycles.

All About the Terpenes

Cannabis plants of both the sativa and indica varieties may contain the same amount of THC. What creates the differences between the strains (and the different varieties within each, including hybrid varieties) is all the other cannabinoids in the plant, referred to as terpenes. There can be as many as 100 different terpenes in a single cannabis flower, and the combination of these ingredients creates the unique experiences associated with different marijuana strains and varieties.

Mind and Body

Traditionally, products made from the cannabis sativa plant are thought to produce a “head high,” while those made from the indica strain are often referred to as a “body high.” In truth, these generalizations can be helpful but sometimes misleading. “Sativa” or “indica” is perhaps a better indication of how the plant is intended to make users feel than how “pure” the plant is compared to some ideal original strain. That said, these differences are real and should be considered when choosing the right treatment at the right time.

What to Expect from Sativas

Products on our menu labeled as “sativa” tend to produce an energetic response in users. Many sativa users claim they feel creative and inspired. Typically, sativa varieties are more likely to affect a user’s mood or mental state. As a result, representatives of this strain tend to be more helpful in treating mood disorders by disrupting normal thought patterns. Put another way, sativas are far more likely to affect your perception, resulting in a “head high” or a more cerebral experience than its counterpart.

Understanding Indicas

Containing equal amounts of THC and CBD as sativas, indicas can produce a very different experience for users, one often referred to as a “body high.” Less cerebral than their counterpart, indicas tend to be much more calming, some to the point of being sleepy. Because of their side effects, indicas are typically used to treat pain, reduce anxiety, increase appetite and act as a sleep aid. Unlike sativas, indicas cause fewer, less intense effects on mood, making this strain ideal for many treatment applications.

Ask the Experts

If you have any questions about any of our products or how they might affect you, just talk to your budtender, or you can research the variety you want to buy and get feedback from other users. Questions about interactions with other treatments? Call our budtender and get the answers you need.


The statements made on this website about Purspirit products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Our products are not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any disease and should not be considered a substitute for or alternative to advice from a healthcare professional. The efficacy of our products has not yet been confirmed by FDA-approved research. Please consult your doctor or healthcare professional about potential interactions or complications before using any cannabis product.