Indica vs. Sativa

June 18, 2020

Nearly all states have passed some form of legislation legalizing or decriminalizing medical and recreational cannabis inviting more people to revisit cannabis or try it for the first time. One of the most intimidating aspects of walking into a dispensary for the first time can be the sheer amount of choice available to you. If you do not know much about cannabis or know the differences between indica vs sativa, the large variety of strains and options in front of you can be overwhelming.

Dispensary employees are friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable and are a great resource if you are new, but knowing the basics can help you to describe what you are looking for and can help employees in assisting you.

Indica vs. Sativa

One of the best starting points for understanding which cannabis strain is right for you is understanding the difference between the two main varieties of cannabis – cannabis Indica and cannabis Sativa. Each variety has its own range of effects on the body and mind resulting in a wide range of medicinal benefits. Indica strains generally provide a sense of deep body relaxation. Sativa strains tend to provide a more energizing experience.

Another key difference between Indica and Sativa strains are the levels of CBD and THC present in each. Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two primary natural compounds present in cannabis. Although CBD and THC have many of the same medical benefits, they have different psychoactive effects, with CBD being a non-psychoactive compound and THC being a psychoactive compound. CBD can be helpful for patients with seizures, inflammation, pain, psychosis or mental disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, nausea, migraines, or depression. THC can be helpful to people with pain, muscle spasticity, glaucoma, insomnia, low appetite, nausea, and anxiety. Additionally, because CBD and THC bind to the same cannabinoid receptors in the body, CBD can keep THC from activating receptors and help to lessen the psychoactive effects of cannabis if desired.

Cannabis Indica

Typically, cannabis Indica plants are short, bushy plants with wide leaves. Indica plants typically grow faster and have a higher yield than the sativa variety. Medicine produced from cannabis Indica plants have higher CBD and lower THC counts.

Effects: Indica is known for producing more of a “body high” than a “head high.” It is typically used for relaxation, stimulating appetite, aiding sleep, and pain relief.

CBD vs. THC: Indica often has higher CBD and lower THC counts.

Daytime vs. nighttime: Nighttime

Plant: Sativa plants are usually short (approximately 3 to 6 feet high), with short, wide, bushy leaves and are a darker shade of green than Sativa. Indica plants typically grow, mature, and require less light than Sativa plants, and also produce more buds.

Climate: Cannabis Sativa is originally native to harsh, dry climates, such as Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey.

Benefits of Indica Cannabis

  • Increased mental relaxation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Decreases nausea
  • Decreases acute pain
  • Increases appetite
  • Increases dopamine (a neurotransmitter that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers)
  • Good for nighttime use, aids sleep

Popular Indica Strains

Cannabis Sativa

Effects: Sativa is known for producing more of a “head high” than a “body high.” It is typically associated with increased alertness, uplifting and euphoric feelings, heightened creativity, and increased energy.

CBD vs. THC: Sativa often has higher THC and lower CBD counts.

Daytime vs. nighttime: Daytime

Plant: Sativa plants are usually tall (approximately 8 to 12 feet high), with long, thin, finger-like leaves and are a lighter shade of green than Indica. Sativa plants typically take longer to grow, mature and require more light.

Climate: Cannabis Sativa is originally native to hot, dry climates, such as Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and western portions of Asia.

Benefits of Sativa Cannabis

  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-depressant
  • Treats chronic pain
  • Increases focus and creativity
  • Increases serotonin (a neurotransmitter involved in the regulation of learning, mood, sleep, anxiety and appetite)
  • Good for daytime use

Popular Sativa Strains


While dispensaries offer a variety of Indica and Sativa strains, they will often also offer what are known as Hybrid strains. Hybrids are essentially blends that are the result of breeding Indica plants with Sativa plants. Hybrids come in varying levels of Sativa-to-Indica ratios, usually ranging from 20-80 or 30-70 ratios to evenly balanced 50-50 ratios.

Reach Out to Your Local Cannabis Dispensary

Pure Oasis is Boston’s first and best cannabis dispensary, revolutionizing how you buy adult-use marijuana. Our boutique shop offers a user-friendly experience, with knowledgeable staff to guide you with information and advice on all of our high-quality products.

We pride ourselves in giving adult consumers the information to help them make the best choices for their individual needs. Our easy-to-use menu includes THC percentages and gradings that guide you toward your desired effect. Looking for a calming variety? We have you covered. Something to energize? No problem. In need of pain relief? We have something just for you. Many cannabis users report positive benefits such as increased appetite, reduced anxiety, better sleep, improved mood, and less pain and inflammation.

Whether you are a first-time cannabis user looking to explore the benefits of marijuana use or a long-time connoisseur, Pure Oasis is focused on your needs and making your shopping process smooth, efficient and enjoyable. Our coffee-shop style dispensary is designed to make shopping a breeze and our knowledgeable staff is here ready to guide you through our many choices. Contact us today.

Shop Cannabis