Although it’s often a topic of much debate, cannabis generally has three strains of flowers: indica, sativa and hybrid. We’re going to explain the difference, but first you’re going to have to sit through a little lesson about apples.

If they had grocery stores in the 1700’s, the apple aisle would have just one or two, varieties of apples. These apples would be of the tasteless crab apple variety, also known as “common apples”. Fast-forward three hundred years later, there are now over 7,000 varieties of apples grown throughout the world.

Apple varieties have evolved over time, and now include many different crossbreds for different qualities. For instance, Braeburn apples are known for having a long shelf life and Fuji apples are known for being crisp. So, if you wanted to create a long-lasting and crisp apple variety, you would breed the two kinds together by injecting pollen from one variety into the flower of the other.

Cannabis has evolved in much the same way. Thousands of years ago, their where original varieties of cannabis that had very distinct properties. These varieties are known as “landrace strains”. Due to thousands of years of crossbreeding (some accidental and some intentional) these original landrace strains are nearly extinct. You can see some cannabis enthusiasts try to track down these original landrace strains on Strain Hunters.  

Nowadays, most cannabis strains are commonly broken into three distinct groups: sativas, indicas, and hybrids.


The espresso martini of Cannabis. Sativas strains tend to be high energy, non-drowsy, creative and bright. These strains are a contrast to generic “street weed”, which can sometimes leave users feeling tired and lethargic. Sativas are known to help stimulate appetite, aid against depression and reduce stress. Depending on the person, Sativas strains can sometimes increase anxiety, so if you’re prone to being stressed, tread lightly.


The “go to sleep” variety of cannabis. Jokingly nicknamed “in da couch” because that’s where you’ll be if you consume a heavy Indica. Many consumers find Indicas strains to be sedative and relaxing and are often used to promote sleep.


A cross breed between Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica plants. It’s true that, taxonomically, all cannabis strains are, technically, hybrids; however, as a categorical description, the term “hybrids” is used to describe more balanced strains. Great for relaxing, these hybrid strains are known for promoting a relaxing dreamlike effect amongst users.

Always approach a new strain with caution. Take it low (quantity) and slow (over a long amount of time), to see how it affects you. This is especially true with edibles because they take much longer to take effect. Keep in mind that if smoked, cannabis usually takes 20 minutes to reach peak effects. With so many strains available, there’s probably a cannabis strain out there that can help treat any problem you may be experiencing.  

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