If you’re at the point in the process where you’re getting ready to buy medical marijuana then you may feel overwhelmed by the different options out there. Any marijuana you come across will belong to either the indica strain, the sativa strain or be a hybrid of the two. It’s important to know which you’re buying, because different strains do different things and you want to buy what best helps your condition.

Indica vs. Sativa

Sativa strains tend to produce a “mind high” while indica strains produce a “body high.”


Indica strains are the best for relaxing. Indica highs are more physical than their sativa counterparts; these are the strains that make you sleepy and hungry. If you’re a medical marijuana patient because you’re hoping for pain relief than indica is the way to go.

Because of the pronounced physical effects caused by indica strains, they’re ideal for nighttime consumption.

In terms of the plant itself, indicas are short with a dense array of wide leaves. Indicas are ideal for indoor growing (their lack of height makes maintenance, cultivation and discretion all much easier). The plant is a deep green and is higher yielding than sativa plants, due in part to the shorter growing season. The buds mature in less than two months.


While indicas will relax and make someone lethargic, sativas tend to have “cerebral” highs, meaning the effects will be more mental than physical. Sativas stimulate the brain and often make people feel energetic or creative. Choose sativa for daytime smoking, as it won’t make you tired.

Sativa plants are tall and thin with narrow leaves in a light green color. It takes three to four months for buds to mature and sativas require lots of light, making them ideal for outdoors growing. The yield is lower but more potent than that of an indica.


Hybrids are tricky. On the one hand, you could find the best of both worlds, on the other hand you may find a less quality effect due to the cross-breeding. A good hybrid is usally either sativa or indica dominant and will attempt to retain the positives from both while eliminating the negatives. In many ways hybrids are more complex than the pure strands, so there’s a lot of hit-or-miss here.

Consult with your doctor, pharmacist, dispensary operator or caregiver for what would be best for you. Whatever your qualifying condition is to be a medical marijuana patient, they should know the ideal strain for your needs. But feel free to experiment and see what feels the best.