What Are the Different Strains of Cannabis?

If you want to get into smoking cannabis, whether it’s marijuana or CBD hemp flower, it’s important to understand how the different categories of strains work. While cannabis is generally the same, there are distinct variations in certain kinds that will have slightly different effects.

Depending on why you want to smoke cannabis, you may find you prefer a particular strain. In general, there are four different strain families. Here’s a quick guide describing each of them, along with what they are good for.


Indica Strains

The Indica strain of cannabis is grouped together because they all originate from India and the surrounding countries, like Pakistan or Tibet. Their plants are usually shorter and look more dense in terms of leaves and flowers. They are typically better for growing indoors because they do not grow very tall, so they do not take up as much space.

Indica strains are also most known for their calming and relaxing effect. It’s better for people who are looking to smoke cannabis to reduce pain, relieve stress, and/or help them get a better sleep at night.


Sativa Strains

Sativa is the other ‘main’ cannabis strain type that you will find. In general, most of the pure strains will either be sativa vs indica. As a plant, Sativa grows to be much taller and is more difficult to grow in colder climates. This makes it a more rare strain to cultivate in North America and western Europe, since its size makes it more difficult to grow indoors as well. As a result, it is mostly grown in South America and Southeast Asian countries.

Sativa cannabis is a much more energizing strain, and is better for helping people with depression, fatigue, and nausea. It also helps with pain in a different way than Indica: it helps reduce pain and give you more energy to get things done. Its energizing factor can also lead to paranoia and irregular heartbeats, making pure sativa cannabis more rare for medical purposes.


Hybrid Strains

Hybrid strains take the two groups above and combine them together, giving you a bit of a ‘best of both worlds’ scenario. However, when you have a hybrid strain you will still usually have either Indica or Sativa being more dominant.

Indica-dominant strains still have the calming and relaxing effects, while Sativa-dominant strains are more energizing. With a combination of the two, you can have a more calming Indica-dominant hybrid strain that also helps with nausea or fatigue better than a pure Indica strain would.

It’s important to note that the three groups of cannabis strains mentioned above should be taken as general trends, not universal truths. There is enough variation in each strain group that you can have a specific cannabis strain from the Indica family that is more energizing than another from the Sativa family. These groups are just meant to give you a rough idea about the properties a specific cannabis product has when you are shopping around.


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