Medicinal cannabis can be used to treat a wide variety of common medical conditions. Generally, the use of medicinal cannabis to treat the conditions results in the user having a greater sense of physical and mental relaxation, pain reduction, increased appetite, and better sleep. However, there are two main varieties of the cannabis plants and each offers a slightly different set of benefits. Understanding the difference between these two cannabis families is important to finding the right strain for the patient.

If you’ve done any marijuana research, you’ve probably seen strains broken up into three categories: Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids, which are a blend of the two. Each type has its own range of effects on the mind and body resulting in a wide range of medicinal benefits.

Sativas are known for effecting the patient’s “head,” giving an invigorating, energizing feeling that can help reduce anxiety or stress and increase creativity and focus.

Indicas are typically associated with full-body effects, such as increasing deep relaxation and reducing insomnia.

Hybrids present the best of both worlds, inducing a creative energy in the mind while relaxing the body.

The Real Difference Between Indica and Sativa Strains

These physical and mental effects are more directly controlled by the chemical “ingredients” found in the plants known as terpenes and cannabinoids. Interestingly enough, you’ll find stimulating terps and cannabinoids in Indicas and relaxing terps and cannabinoids in Sativas. This is why having an open and honest conversation with your local budtender is always the best place to start when looking for help with your particular needs.

The real difference between today’s Indica and Sativa plants is in their observable traits during the cultivation cycle. Indica plants tend to grow short with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. They also have short flowering cycles, and grow sufficiently in cold, short-season climates. Sativa plants have longer flowering cycles, fare better in warm climates with long seasons, and usually grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves. 

For the last 50 years, crossbreeding has taken the cannabis cultivation world by storm. There’s virtually no such thing as a “pure” Indica or Sativa anymore. Every flower you’ve ever come in contact with has most likely been a hybrid of some sort. Classifying a particular strain as Indica or Sativa usually means that it tilts to one side or the other of an Indica/Sativa spectrum. 

So, How Do You Find a Strain That’s Right for You?

The effects of cannabis strains depend on a variety of factors: the flower’s compounds (terpenes and cannabinoids), consumption method, dosing, and your own biological makeup. 

Paying attention to the aromas of cultivars that really agree with you is a good method. Remember that quite often your nose will know best. As always, knowledge comes with experience. Everyone’s body reacts differently to external influences. All it takes is a little experience and the right information to know what works for you. Ultimately, you are your own best resource for determining which cannabis products will deliver the effects you’re looking for.

Connect With Flora Farms!

Flora Farms is dedicated to supplying Missouri’s Medical Marijuana cardholders with high-quality, affordable marijuana to help manage their medical issues and the symptoms that accompany them.

We pride ourselves in hiring team members who are passionate about educating patients on finding strains that work best for their individual needs. Our budtenders can discuss a strain’s potential positive effects on your individual health and help you find something that suits your needs. Then, you can begin to explore your options. Finding the right option for you may take time – but no worries. We’ll be here every step of the way!