• Sativa vs. Indica - a Look at the Strains

Wellspring Fields
November 22, 2020

The world of medical marijuana may seem complex upfront. With more than 1,000 strains of cannabis, patients can try many different types to find relief. Some are more appropriate for pain relief, while others might like a different strain or type for anxiety. It all depends on the person but it also depends on the subspecies. Indica and sativa are two strains that are helpful to know when looking into medical marijuana. 

Know the Strains

Sativa is a taller, slimmer plant. It is usually longer than indica, which has shorter and bushier leaves. Sativa is more ‘in the head’ for a high, whereas indica is felt more in the body. This helps aid in relaxation, pain relief, and sleep. The use of sativa is more uplifting, which increases energy, brings on euphoric feelings, creativity, and higher alertness. The best time to use sativa is during the day, while indica is best at night. 

Medicinal Qualities

Medically speaking, there is a big difference between the two. While sativas are uplifting, indicas are more in the mind as far as relaxed feeling. Sativa plants require longer to grow and yield fewer flowers than indica. Indica strains, for this reason, can tend to dominate the market but sativas are out there for people who want to try them. Knowing the strain, growing process, and testing is key for getting the highest quality medical marijuana on the market. While some people like the sedative properties, others desire the energy they get from sativa. The choice is up to the patient and their doctor when going over various strains, types, and uses for each. 

How to Use Them

Sativa strains have been known to help people with issues like depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Indicas are well known for their pain relief and support for inflammatory diseases including arthritis and cancer. Side effects of having these major disorders may include depression and insomnia so patients have to treat many symptoms with multiple varieties. Sometimes a hybrid of the two works best for patients. 


Hybrids are a new strain that comes from parents of different types. Some medical properties of both parents exist in a hybrid, which makes it suitable for people with complex conditions that meet a variety of needs. Breeders can ‘cross’ two strains to create a new one that delivers in efficacy and helps support diseases like epilepsy or multiple sclerosis. With so many hybrid strains available, it is important to talk to qualified professionals at dispensaries who can help outline the benefits and risks of use for all the strains, including hybrids, and note which ones might work best. It can be a trial and error experience at first, but it will help to keep a journal that outlines how to get the most out of the experience possible. 

Patients can work with their dispensaries and doctor to determine what will work best. With chronic diseases, it might take a while to find the right fit and may require changing the course of treatment throughout to adjust to the person’s needs. Patients are encouraged to experiment with dosage, strains, and kinds of medical marijuana to land on one, or a few, that provide the relief they seek.

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