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Indica vs. Sativa: Understanding Your Options

Cannabis Marshmallows

If you’re venturing into the world of medical marijuana for the first time, you may find it to be significantly more overwhelming than you had initially imagined. On your first trip to a Maryland medical cannabis dispensary, you’ll find a long list of marijuana options, many of which you’ve never heard of before. It’s important to understand the differences between these strains in order to get the right product for your unique needs.

Marijuana can be grouped into three different categories:

  • Indica
  • Sativa
  • Hybrids

All of the strains carried at a dispensary will fall into one of these three cannabis categories, and the effects you experience will vary based on whether you are consuming an Indica, Sativa or hybrid.

indica vs sativa


Indica plants originally came from India and Central Asia. They take between 45-65 days to finish flowering. They tend to grow in a more controlled manner than Sativa plants and often produce a heavier yield.

In general, Indicas tend to provide more of a body high. These strains can also enhance physical perceptions such as taste, touch and sound. Indicas are an excellent option to help you relax mentally and physically.

Common properties and effects of Indica plants include:

  • Calming, sedating and relaxing feeling
  • Body buzz that often can be intense
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Reduces anxiety and pain
  • Ideally suited for night use
  • Leaves have a wide shape
  • Sweet flavor
  • Only grows to 3-4 feet tall

Indica strains are effective in treating patients suffering from pain, anxiety, seizures or muscle spasms. They can also be used to help you relax or to sleep better.

Indica vs. Sativa Indica


Sativa plants originally came from tropical regions such as Mexico, Jamaica and Thailand. They take slightly longer to finish flowering, with a 60-90 day time period. Sativas also tend to grow much taller in height than Indicas.

You will generally experience more of a cerebral high from Sativa plants. This can enhance creativity while making your feel giggly or energetic. While you may experience psychoactive sensations from Sativas, they tend to be less overpowering than what you will experience from an Indica.

Common properties and effects of Sativa plants include:

  • Energetic and uplifting feeling
  • Appetite stimulant
  • Provides a spacey, cerebral, or psychedelic high
  • Relieves depression
  • Ideally suited for day use
  • Leaves have a slender shape
  • Has an earthy flavor
  • Grows up to 20 feet tall

Sativa strains are effective in treating patients with depression, ADHD, mood disorders or fatigue.


As the name implies, a hybrid is mix between an Indica and a Sativa. These strains can fall anywhere on the Indica-Sativa spectrum, and the effects you’ll experience will depend on whether the strain is more Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant.

Hybrids can provide you with many of the best benefits of Indicas and Sativas. If you mainly prefer the benefits of Indica plants, you’ll want to choose an Indica-dominant hybrid. If you prefer the benefits of Sativas, then you are most likely better off with a Sativa-dominant strain. There are also hybrids that are roughly a 50/50 Indica/Sativa mix.

Which Strain is Right for Me?

Which Strain is Right for Me

There is no cut-and-dry breakdown regarding which category of cannabis will be right for each person. The best way to figure out which strains work best for you is to try a variety. Don’t be afraid to ask your budtender questions regarding the properties of each individual strain. Each strain from a particular category has its own unique properties, so you may find that you prefer one Indica, Sativa or hybrid over other strains from the same category.

Contact Haven to Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about the marijuana strains we carry at Haven, please call 240-650-0420 today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Brandywine and throughout the surrounding areas of Maryland.


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