The 18th century has played a pivotal role in the discovery and classification of Cannabis strains.

Ever since then, botanists and scientists have proceeded to make a breakthrough in the botanical discoveries.

They have been using their information to create authentic genetic hybrids. Cannabis or Marijuana has been quite popular in various parts of the world, partly due to its intoxication, and majorly due to the psychosomatic and therapeutic effects it produces.

What exactly is cannabis strains?

Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis ruderalis, and Cannabis Indica are apparently three naturally occurring species that have been quite popular for their androgynous effects when cultivated separately or bred together artificially.

However, Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are the two species that are popularly consumed as pure Cannabis strains or grown within genetic hybrids.

Cannabis strains comprise of these two species that have been either grown naturally or cultivated artificially to produce genetically selected hybrids.

These Cannabis strains might vary, depending on the structure and therefore, a dominance of either of the Cannabis species.

Over the years, these Cannabis strains have progressed into a variety of sub-divisions in accordance to their lineages, morphology and miscellaneous differences.

Cannabis SativaCannabis Sativa

  1. Geography

    Historically known as the Cannabis strain that was discovered long before Indica was, Cannabis Sativa is usually cultivated in geographic locations that have warm temperatures since they cannot battle against ruthless climates.

    It is usually found near the equator, that is, at a latitude of 30 degrees north or below, such as Mexico, India or even Thailand.

  2. Morphology

    Cannabis plants are quite unique in their structure, which makes it quite easy for you to spot them individually.

    Cannabis Sativa comprises of a thin and tall composure, which makes it quite distinctive from Cannabis Indica which is short, wide and fairly bushy.

    In some cases, Cannabis Sativa can grow to be as tall as 19 ft. while there have been incidences where it can reach a height of 25 ft and easily take over your yard and home.

    Its scraggly and narrow structure comprising of thin and long leaves has made it quite easy for people to grow it outdoors.

    It has been known that Cannabis Sativa might take its own precious time to flower properly, and unlike Indica’s strains, it might consist of lesser yields as well. Cannabis Sativa can take as much as 12 to 14 weeks to flower properly.

    With a fruity taste and sweet aroma, a healthy plant of Cannabis Sativa is known to possess reddish buds in warmer climates and purplish ones in cold weather conditions.

    Strains of Cannabis Sativa are identified to be more abundant in THC cannabinoids and low in CBN levels, thus making them ideal for inducing energetic and cerebral effects.

  3. Therapeutic and medicinal benefits

    Cannabis Sativa is also the strain that is the most popular among all age groups since it has more therapeutic and invigorating benefits.

    Another reason for its popularity and immense consumption is the fact that you cannot get high too by simply smoking it, or consuming it in food, by drying it or cooking it.

    Similarly, Sativa is accessible for being used in a variety of culinary dishes as well.

    Cannabis Sativa has been known far and wide for having reasonably large cerebral and mental health benefits.

    It is also known as a day-time energizer and powerful stimulant that not only helps you to indulge in positivity and creativity but also helps to influence stability, enthusiasm, and zeal in all walks of life.

    Mentioned below are some of the major medicinal and therapeutic effects that Cannabis Sativa has on the human mind.

Enhances alertness, focus and creativity

Cannabis Sativa is mainly consumed in the day-time due to the stimulating effect it produces on the mind.

Known to enhance creativity and thinking exposure, Cannabis Sativa can be used as an additive or a replacement to caffeine to influence energy and potency.

Helps to relieve anxiety, depression and mood swings

Several strains of Cannabis Sativa have been known to relieve anxiety and stress by enhancing the release of serotonin in the brain.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for influencing the changes in our emotions.

The lack of serotonin plays a pivotal role in altering circadian rhythms of sleep and thus, influences agitation and terrible mood swings resulting in bipolar or other mood and personality disorders.

Cannabis Sativa is therefore known to act as an anti-anxiety and anti-depressive agent. It not only helps to relieve you of stress, confusion, agitation, and depression but also helps you to engage in laughter, euphoria and immense happiness.

Cannabis IndicaCannabis Indica

  1. Geography

    Having strived through the turbulent weather conditions of the mountainous regions, most of the natural growing strains of Cannabis Indica owe their resilience and properties to the popular variety grown in their parent land, that is, the Hindu Kush region.

    Due to the extreme conditions of the Hindu Kush area, strains of Cannabis Indica have been genetically able to protect themselves with dense resin coats which are richer in CBN levels as compared to THC cannabinoids.

    As compared to its counterpart above, Cannabis Indica is found in areas that lie between the latitudes of 30 and 50 degrees from the equator.

    While Sativa grows in warmer climates and optimum conditions, Indica can withstand harsher weather climates, and thus produce yields more quickly and in larger quantities.

  2. Morphology

    Strains of Cannabis Indica can be identified by their shorter stocks and stubby appearance.

    Their foliage comprises of wide-spaced and bushy leaves, thus granting them the ability to grow indoors and in less sunlight as compared to Sativa’s requirements.

    Strains of Cannabis Indica flower in shorter periods of time than those of Cannabis Sativa, and eventually give gardeners more flowering cycles, and thus produce more to enjoy and thrive with.

    Ideal for winters and fall, you can grow them indoors, and in gardens where there is not much sun exposure.

  3. Therapeutic and medicinal benefits

    In contrast to the Sativa, strains of Cannabis Indica are associated with generalized effects of relaxation, and physical and mental relief.

    Smoking Cannabis Indica can also make you feel drowsy and high. That’s why they are said to be typically like narcotics in the effects they produce apart from just being sedating, relieving and alleviating.

    Mentioned below are a few of the significant medicinal and therapeutic benefits that strains of Cannabis Indica have on the human mind and body.

Sedative effects

Since it is richer in CBN cannabinoids, it is used typically in hashish and is thus smoked by stoners to produce that ‘high’ effect and eventually cause immediate relief.

For a good night’s sleep, Indica is by far, one of the best sedatives used.

It not only helps you to fall asleep quickly but also allows your mind to be stress-free and relaxed.

Originally known to produce ‘couch-locking’ effects, Cannabis Indica is more popular with people who wish to relax after a long day at work.

It helps those suffering from insomnia or sleep apnea and wanted to sleep peacefully at night.

It’s a ‘night-time snoozer,’ and very ideally fits the description.

Pain relief

Cannabis Indica is also known to help relieve chronic pain and muscle spasms associated with diseases like multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia as it allows muscles to relax adequately.

In some incidences, several strains of Cannabis Indica may also help alleviate a chronic headache and migraine as well.

Anxiety relief

Since it helps your mind to relax, strains of Cannabis Indica have been known to alleviate anxiety by allowing you to stay relaxed and away from stress-inducing triggers and thoughts.

By making you comfortable, strains of Cannabis Indica have also been known to stimulate your appetite and thus help to culminate hunger pangs and associated nausea.


Over the years, scientists and botanists have researched on the taxonomic variations of the types of Cannabis which have paved the way for hybridization and artificial cross-breeding techniques.

Hybridization has helped to produce a variety of Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant strains allowing people to enjoy the effects of both the strains by smoking or devouring a single Cannabis plant.

Since the strains of Cannabis Indica and Sativa are profoundly different in their morphology, growth patterns and the effects they produce, gardeners and stoners prefer growing hybrids or strains that comprise of traits like their parent lineage.

For instance, by cross-breeding strains of Cannabis Indica with that of Sativa, you might get a mixture of Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant plants that would not only take less time to flower but would also produce more yields cumulatively.

Depending on the dominance of each strain, hybrids may not only have varied morphologies, but also a mixture of prominent traits, effects and benefits.

  1. Sativa-dominant hybrids

    Sativa-dominant hybrids are evidently abundant in strains of Cannabis Sativa, and thus help to stimulate the mind by inducing creativity and provoking ideas.

    With the combination of Indica, Sativa-dominant hybrids tend to produce their effects more leisurely and thus, allow the consumer to feel relaxed and laid back even in day-time.

  2. Even hybrids

    Hybrids which consist of strains of Indica and Sativa equally induce mental and physical relief in perfect balance.

    It’s ideal for consumers who wish to avoid the excessive perkiness of Sativa, and for those who don’t want to get high coupled with obvious clinical signs such as runny and red eyes.

  3. Indica-dominant hybrids

    Indica-dominant hybrids are much preferable for consumers who are suffering from chronic body pain or anxiety and depression. And wish to have their head and chin up despite feeling relaxed and immensely laid back.

    As an adjuvant to modern therapy, Indica-dominant hybrids are ideal for sufferers of autoimmune diseases and have been known to induce immediate pain relief.

    Thus, allowing you to relax in the night, or even in the day at ease.

Jennifer Kurtz studied medicine at the New Jersey School of Medicine (Rutgers). She is passionate about developing her knowledge of Cannabis, Nootropics, Kratom, and nutritional supplements. In addition to attending medical webinars and conferences, she loves to write research-based articles for magazines, healthcare professionals, and medical agencies.