When you first walk into a cannabis dispensary, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the selection. As you’re perusing the strain options, you may notice that they’re divided up into different categories, Indica and Sativa. These divisions give you some insight into what type of effects a particular strain might provide. Here are some of the most common Indica and Sativa effects to know.

What Are Indica and Sativa?

These are the two categories for cannabis plants. One of the biggest factors that determine what category a strain falls under is its physical traits. Indica strains tend to be short, with dark green leaves and thick stems. Sativa strains, on the other hand, are taller, with narrow, light green leaves.

Indica and Sativa Effects

These terms also refer to the types of effects you might expect to feel. Indica strains are generally preferred during the evenings because they often produce effects such as:

  • Deep physical and mental relaxation
  • Decreased nausea
  • An increase in dopamine that can help your body to feel better

Sativa strains, on the other hand, produce effects such as:

  • An enhanced mental state
  • Increased focus and creativity
  • Energy
  • Increased serotonin to help you feel better mentally

Along with the Indica and Sativa categories, you might notice a third, hybrids. Hybrid cannabis strains are becoming more common as growers crossbreed different strains to produce specific effects. These strains often provide effects from both Indicas and Sativas, although many are described as being Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant.


cannabis high

Finding the Right Strain for You

Finding the right strain for you begins with knowing what type of effects you want from your experience. If you want to relax and unwind at the end of the day, you might take a look at a dispensary’s selection of Indica strains. Or, if you’re trying to increase your focus, you might look toward the Sativa options.

Even within these categories, however, every strain is different. While knowing that a specific strain is an Indica or a Sativa (or a hybrid), you should also take a close look at the terpene profile. In a phenomenon that’s known as the “entourage effect,” the terpenes in any given strain can play a role in how the cannabinoids interact with your body. Physiology also plays a role. Even if you and a friend smoke the exact same flower or share the same edible, each of you may have different effects because your bodies are different. Even so, Indica and Sativa can give you an excellent starting point to begin the buying process.

Don’t let the sheer number of available strains get the best of you when you’re looking for a cannabis product to try. While the Indica and Sativa categories don’t tell you a whole lot about a given strain, they do give you a good starting point and can help you to understand the types of effects you might experience. To find the best strain for your needs, don’t hesitate to speak with a budtender during your next trip to your licensed local dispensary.