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Indica v. Sativa

Something that comes up pretty often whenever people discuss marijuana, hemp, CBD, THC, etc., etc. is the difference between indica and sativa. What do either of those words mean, and how is that difference applicable to those of us looking to delve into the world of CBD?

First of all, there are two primary strains of cannabinoids – Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. The plants they come from vary slightly, but more importantly, they can have different effects on you. To put it simply, sativa gives you more of a “head” high, while you’ll tend to feel indica more in your body.

So…what does that mean?

Cannabis Sativa

Sativa is more of a stimulant than indica in the sense that it keeps your brain more active than its more mellow counterpart. That’s not to say you can’t go to sleep while still feeling its effects, but it’s generally recommended for daytime. People have reported feeling energized and inspired after consuming it, and it seems to stimulate creativity, productivity, and out-of-the-box thinking.

Sativa can be found in plants that are long, tall, and slender, and its leave follow suit. The key thing to remember with sativa, though, is that there is more THC than CBD in sativa strains.

Cannabis Indica

Indica strains, named after the region it comes from, looks a little different from its counterpart. The plants and leaves are short and broad, and this plant is more associated with a “body” high, as opposed to the “head” high you get with sativa.

What exactly is a body high? Just that… you feel the effects of the product throughout your entire body, often resulting in feelings of relaxation. These feelings, when intensified, can become lethargic and lazy, so careful with your dosages! On the bright side, it’s also known to reduce nausea and dizziness, and it’s a popular and effective remedy for insomnia.

As you may have guessed, indica strains lean more heavily on CBD than THC.

Cannabis Ruderalis

Oh wait – there’s another one! We won’t go into too much depth about the ruderalis strain, but basically, it’s not commonly farmed or consumed because of its low levels of both THC and CBD. Because of those low levels, it’s not often used for medicinal or recreational purposes.


Often, you’ll see farmers growing hybrids of the sativa and indica plants in an effort to maximize one benefit over another. The goal is usually to produce higher levels of either THC or CBD. By combining the two strains, certain benefits can be achieved easier than they would otherwise be. This also gives growers the opportunity to really customize their product, giving them a competitive advantage over other farms.

Where does CBD come from?

Seeing as to how both strains contain some level of CBD, though indicas tend to have more, CBD can be successfully extracted from either strain. That said, whether the CBD comes from an indica, sativa, or hybrid plant, once it’s extracted, CBD is CBD.



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