Indica Vs Sativa Vs Hybrids: How to Find a Cannabis That Meets Your Intentions

Indica vs Sativa vs Hybrid

Indica vs Sativa
vs Hybrid

How To Find a Cannabis That Meets Your Intentions

Of the countless ways cannabis can be described, “indica” and “sativa” are two of the terms you’ll hear the most. So, what do they mean, what do they do, and how can you find the strain that will give you the experience you want?

Body Indica vs Sativa

Sativa vs Indica for Beginners

“Indica” and “sativa” come from the Latin names given to cannabis plants way back in the 1700s. The name Cannabis indica was meant to identify plants that came from India, which were known largely for their psychoactive properties, and the name Cannabis sativa was meant to denote the hemp-type plants native to Europe and Western Asia, which were used primarily to make clothing and oils.

But over the past three hundred years or so, those definitions have become looser—and a lot more complicated. Producers tend to use the terms “indica” and “sativa” to categorize and differentiate their strains in the marketplace, even though most of the cannabis varieties out there today technically originate from the Cannabis indica family.

Are Indica and Sativa Really Different?

Would you accept “it depends”? While the plants are different, categorizing cannabis as either “indica-dominant” or “sativa-dominant” have become common ways for people to describe the effects associated with a particular strain. But strangely enough, research shows that the average levels of CBD and THC across indica and sativa strains don’t actually vary that much. As we said, this popular taxonomy has less to do with the actual species of the plant and more to do with how you experience it. But as we all know, everyone experiences the effects of cannabis differently.

Indica Vs Sativa Vs Hybrid

What’s a hybrid?

A hybrid strain is the result of crossbreeding between indica and sativa plants. The truth is, all of the cannabis you will encounter will come from a hybrid plant—there are no examples of “true” indicas or sativas, as the terms have been used differently for the last… 300 years. Hybrids offer a nuanced balance of the effects associated with indica and sativa, which makes them particularly well-suited to intent-based cannabis curation.

Should I be using an indica, sativa, or hybrid strain?

That depends—and not just on what your intentions are. The way any strain of cannabis affects your body is totally unique to your body’s particular biology, your tolerance levels, and how you choose to consume it (pre-roll, capsule, spray, etc). One person’s “in da couch” experience might be very different for another person. So, just because a varietal is categorized as indica or sativa, don’t think you have a clear sense of how it will affect you. That’s why it’s important to start low, go slow, and to remember to get as much clarity about the varietals you’re choosing, as well as what activities they pair well with.

How to Identify Indica vs Sativa

What is Indica?


Strains that are categorized as “indica” are generally thought to have sedative physical effects (thus the slang term “in da couch”).

What is Sativa?


Strains that are categorized as “sativa” are generally thought to be more energizing and mentally stimulating.

What type of cannabis is best for me?

While the indica/sativa classification system can help guide you in a general direction, the vast number of varieties available can make for an overwhelming shopping experience.

At Tokyo Smoke we’ve developed a different way of looking at cannabis. Our Intent System is a tool that categorizes the different indica and sativa products out there, identifies their similarities and differences, and suggests which varietals will work best with your intended cannabis experience. Remember, however, that this system is to be used as a general guide only, and the resulting experience will be unique to each user.

Our Intent System is composed of five unique categories: Go, Rise, Equalize, Ease, and Pause. The organizing principle is simple: what do you intend to do with your cannabis experience?

Learn more about our Intent System and recommended product pairings for any activity ahead, or shop products by Intent to get a sense of which products and formats are available.

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