Cannabis Strains: Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids

Though cannabis is biologically classified as the single species Cannabis Sativa, there are at least three distinct plant varieties (though the last is rare):

  1. Cannabis Sativa
  2. Cannabis Indica
  3. Cannabis Ruderalis

Different strains of cannabis contain different proportions of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds–and therefore have different effects on the body. When selecting a strain, it helps for the patient to know what type of effects they want to experience.


The general effects are on the body. Indicas generally produce sedated feelings, and are preferred for nighttime use.


The general effects are on thoughts and feelings. Sativas generally are stimulating, and are preferred for daytime use.


Strains bred from crossing two or more varieties—with typically one dominant. For example, a sativa-dominant cross may stimulate appetite and relax muscle spasms. Crosses are reported to work well to combat nausea and increase appetite.


As mentioned, various strains can address different medical conditions and ailments. Check out the following articles to learn more: