Marijuana Strains 101: Guide to Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid Cannabis

Marijuana has been a versatile plant for centuries for numerous recreational and medicinal purposes. It contains various compounds, including cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. Each of these chemicals has unique properties that contribute to the unique effects of marijuana strains.

Hundreds of different strains are available, each with its unique combination of cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids. The three major types of marijuana are Indica, Ruderalis, and Sativa, further divided into sub-categories. 

Cannabis indica strains tend to produce a calming, sedative effect, while Cannabis sativa strains are more uplifting and energizing. Recently, a third type, Cannabis ruderalis, has been growing in popularity; hybrid strains are also common.

For a novice, the vast array of choices can be overwhelming. However, understanding the difference between marijuana strains and their effects can help make the selection process easier. 

Below, we’ve provided a brief overview of the most popular types of marijuana and their effects. There are a few sources online where you can have any of these strains sent to you. Please check Vapekit.co.uk or grow your own with seeds. But first, this guide will help you choose the right strain for your needs.

What Are Cannabis Indica Strains

Cannabis indica strains are native to the Hindu Kush region of the Himalayas of India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan; they like colder and drier climates with mild and short summers. They are also more resistant to pests and mold and tend to be shorter and bushier than Sativa, with broad, dense leaves and buds, with a deep green hue. 

As they’re usually smaller and easier altered than Sativas, they’re more often chosen for indoor growth. They also flower pretty fast, allowing for multiple harvests in a year. As for the small, Indicas should produce a more prosperous, sweeter taste.

Indicas typically have a higher THC content than Sativa, which contributes to their more sedative effects. These effects are well-known and popular among marijuana users. Indica strains are known for producing a deep sense of relaxation and couch-lock.

This makes Indica a good choice for those who want to relax after a long day or for those who suffer from chronic pain or anxiety.

Cannabis indica strains are also often used to treat depression, insomnia, and appetite loss. They can also help manage multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and cancer symptoms.

Afghan Kush

Afghan Kush Strain

Afghan Kush is a classic Indica that’s been around for centuries, perfected over the years to produce potent, high-quality buds. It is a pure Indica that originates from the Hindu Kush mountains. It’s a popular choice for those who want to relax and unwind, as it produces strong couch-lock effects. It has a sweet, earthy taste and aroma with hints of citrus.

Northern Lights

Northern Lights THC Strain

Northern Lights is another classic Indica that has been around for decades. It’s a pure Indica that was created in the 1970s in the United States, and it has since become a popular choice for indoor growers. It’s a short and stocky plant with dense buds that produce a sweet, earthy, and pungent taste and aroma with hints of citrus.

Granddaddy Purple

Grandaddy Purple THC Strain

Granddaddy Purple is a well-known and beloved Indica. It was created in California in the early 2000s by crossing Purple Urkle and Big Bud, and it has become a staple in many medical marijuana dispensaries. It gets its name from its large, purple buds and its potent effects. It has a sweet, grape-like taste and aroma, with hints of lavender.

What Are Cannabis Sativa Strains

Cannabis sativa strains are native to regions with warmer climates, such as Mexico, Colombia, and Thailand. They tend to be taller and thinner than Indica, with long, narrow leaves and wispy buds adapted to long and humid summers.

Because of their characteristics, Sativas are best for outdoor growth, provided they’re cultivated in a warm, tropical climate. In the right environment, Sativas can grow to 3m and beyond, as the plant is known for its stretching abilities (it’s a result of hormonal changes caused by the changing light). Their smell is earthy, a bit fuel-like.

Sativas typically have a lower THC content than Indica, contributing to their more energizing and uplifting effects. This makes Sativa a good choice for those who want to enjoy a social event or for those who need a boost of energy.

Cannabis sativa strains are often used to treat fatigue, depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. They can also help manage symptoms of ADHD, PTSD, and eating disorders.

Super Lemon Haze

Super Lemon Haze Sativa Strain

Lemon Haze is a well-known and beloved Sativa. It was created in the Netherlands in the 1990s by crossing a Lemon Skunk and a Super Silver Haze. It’s popular for those who want an uplifting high, as it produces strong cerebral effects. It has a sweet, lemon-like taste and aroma with hints of pine.

Strawberry Cough

Strawberry Cough Sativa Strain

Strawberry Cough is a Sativa developed in the United States in the 2000s by crossing Strawberry Fields with Haze, a classic Sativa. Perfect for users who want an energetic high. It has a sweet, strawberry-like taste and aroma with hints of earthiness.

Durban Poison

Durban Poison Sativa Strain

Durban Poison is a pure Sativa that originates from the city of Durban in South Africa. It is one of the most popular Sativa strains, producing strong, energetic, and uplifting effects. It has a sweet, crisp, anise-like taste and aroma with a bit of citrus.

What Are Cannabis Ruderalis Strains

Cannabis ruderalis is a lesser-known type of marijuana native to Central and Eastern European regions with colder climates, specifically Russia. Ruderalis plants are shorter and stouter than both Indica and Sativa, with broad leaves. It is a hardy plant that can withstand harsh climates and is known for its ability to flower quickly.

It is not as popular as Indica or Sativa strains, but it is gaining popularity due to its unique properties. Ruderalis has a lower THC content than Indica and Sativa, contributing to its more mellow effects.

The plant also gets more popular among growers and breeders. This is because Ruderalis has a unique ability to autoflower, meaning it does not rely on light cycles to determine when it should flower. This makes it easier to grow Ruderalis in various climates and environments.

Cannabis ruderalis strains are often used to treat anxiety, stress, and chronic pain. They can also help manage symptoms of cancer and various mental health disorders.

Ruderalis strains are usually hybrids with a mix of Indica and Sativa genetics.

Auto Blueberry

Auto Blueberry Ruderalis Strain

Auto Blueberry is an Indica-dominant auto-flowering Ruderalis hybrid. It was created by crossing Blueberry with Ruderalis genetics. It’s a popular choice for those who want a fruity and relaxing high, as it produces strong couch-lock effects. It has a sweet, blueberry-like taste and aroma with hints of earthiness.

Auto Sour Diesel

auto sour diesel cannabis

Auto Sour Diesel is a Sativa-dominant auto-flowering Ruderalis hybrid. It was first developed in the United States in the 1990s and has become a popular choice for indoor growers. It’s a tall and lanky plant with dense buds that produce a sour, diesel-like taste and aroma.

Royal Haze Automatic

royal haze automatic Ruderalis Strain

Royal Haze Automatic is an automatic version of Amnesia Haze, a classic Sativa hybrid. It was created by crossing a Haze with Skunk and versatile Ruderalis genetics. Ideal for cannabis lovers looking for an upbeat and energetic high with creativity-boosting effects. It has a sweet, citrusy taste and aroma with hints of earthiness.

Other Hybrids Strains

In addition to the three main types of marijuana, there are also many hybrid strains available. These strains are created by cross-breeding different types of cannabis to create a plant with the desired characteristics.

Hybrid strains can be Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant, or evenly balanced between the two. They can also be auto-flowering strains, which means they will flower regardless of the light cycle.

They are usually created to combine the best features of both Indica and Sativa strains. For example, an Indica-dominant hybrid may be created to provide the plant with the short stature of an Indica but the high THC content of a Sativa.

Girl Scout Cookies

Girl Scout Cookies Hybrid Cannabis Strain

Girl Scout Cookies is a classic Indica-dominant hybrid. It was created in California in the early 2010s by crossing OG Kush with Durban Poison. It’s a powerful sleep aid that can also provide pain relief. It has a pungent taste and aroma with hints of dessert-like sweetness.

Gorilla Glue #4

Gorilla Glue #4 Hybrid Cannabis Strain

Gorilla Glue #4 is a Sativa-dominant hybrid first developed in California in the early 2010s. It’s a powerful strain that is known for its ability to provide pain relief. It has a strong, diesel-like taste and aroma with hints of chocolate and coffee.

Pineapple Express

pineapple express hybrid Cannabis Strain

Pineapple Express is a Sativa-dominant hybrid. It was created in the early 2000s by crossing a Hawaiian and a Trainwreck. It promotes focus, awareness, and creativity while also providing pain relief. It has a sweet and sour, pineapple-like taste and aroma with hints of earthiness.

How to Choose the Right Cannabis Strain For You

Now that you have a better understanding of the different types of marijuana strains and their effects, you can begin to narrow down your choices. If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips:

  1. Decide what you want to use marijuana for. Are you looking for relief from pain, anxiety or depression? Do you want to increase your appetite or improve your sleep? Knowing what you want to use marijuana for will help you choose the right strain.
  2. Consider your experience level. You may want to start with a less potent strain if you’re a novice. If you’re more experienced, you can try a hybrid or a strain with a higher THC content.
  3. Talk to your dispensary about your options. The staff at your local dispensary can help you choose a strain that’s right for you. They can also provide advice on how to use and store it.
  4. Start with a small amount. It’s always best to start with a small amount, especially if you’re trying a new strain. You can always take more if necessary, but you can’t take less once you’ve consumed it.
  5. Be patient. Marijuana takes time to take effect, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t feel anything right away. Give it at least 30 minutes before deciding if you need more.

Side Effects For Beginners Of Cannabis

Marijuana is generally considered safe, with a low risk of serious side effects. However, like any drug, it’s important to be aware of the potential risks before using it.

The most common side effects of marijuana include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Dry eyes
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia

If you experience any of these side effects, staying hydrated and taking breaks as needed is essential. If you start to feel anxious or paranoid, try to relax and focus on your breath. If the feeling persists, it’s best to stop using marijuana and seek medical help.

It’s also important to note that marijuana can interact with other medications, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before using it if you take any prescription or over-the-counter drugs.

The Bottom Line

Marijuana is a versatile plant with a wide variety of strains, each with its own unique effects. When choosing a strain, it’s important to consider what you want to use it for, your experience level, and your personal preferences. Talking to your dispensary about your options can also be helpful.

However, the most important thing is to be patient. Start with a small amount and give it time to take effect. Remember, you can always take more if you need to, but you can’t take less. And as with any other new substance, be sure to talk to your doctor before trying marijuana, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking any prescription medication.

Zak Voss

Lover of geography, statistics and trends. Likes to think he can pull huge bowls but can't like he used to.

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