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Sativa vs. Indica vs. Hybrid vs. Ruderalis

If you are one who regularly consumes cannabis or has any interest, then you’ve probably heard the many terms related to the plant including hybrid, Sativa, Ruderalis, or Indica. While these are commonly used in the cannabis community, one question still remains — what exactly are their differences, if any?

Yes, they all come from the same cannabis plant family, yet, if you are new to consuming, there are a number of factors you should consider before making your first purchase. To help you decide which kind of cannabis to choose, in this article we share a bit about the true differences between Sativa, Indica, hybrid, and Ruderalis. We not only hope it helps you make an informed decision but that you also learn something completely new today!

The Different Types of Cannabis

You've probably heard them before — marijuana, hybrid, weed, cannabis, Sativa, Indica. These are terms often used interchangeably in the world of cannabis and while some of this terminology has been around for years, changing all throughout x However, one thing is for certain — these different types of cannabis flower are indeed not the same.

Before we learn about all of their differences, it’s important to understand that marijuana is a plant species that belongs to the cannabis family. Popularly known and widely used, marijuana plants cause a high sensation in the body, due to a chemical compound known as THC. Typically, stronger strains of marijuana contain higher levels of

tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) however, there is also a cannabinoid called cannabidiol, better known as CBD along with a number of other chemical compounds. The concentration of CBD in marijuana plants is lower, but it is present.

Different types of cannabis like Indicas, Hybrids, Sativas, and Ruderalis all contain THC and CBD however, this can vary based on the strain bred by cultivators or product made by manufacturers. Ultimately, the concentration of these two well-known and well-studied cannabinoids found in different types of cannabis will determine the effects a person will experience.

As we said before, THC is a cannabinoid that causes psychoactivity which can alter your cognitive abilities, alertness, mood, and others. On the other hand, CBD is commonly used medicinally as it’s considered to possess great therapeutic potential due to its lack of psychoactivity.

Different types of cannabis and related products are generally chosen based on their effect. Cannabis is a very personal experience, thus, its effects will be experienced by everybody in a different way. Though it's important to make a note that the delivery method you choose to consume your cannabis – no matter if it’s via ingestion or inhalation – will also influence the impact of the type of cannabis or cannabis product you purchase. Interested to know about their differences? Finally, we learn about the fundamental differences between each kind of cannabis below!


Origin: Afghanistan origins

Physical Characteristics: Indicas grow in colder, mountainous temperatures and typically appear short and bushy. They sport beautiful full, dark-colored leaves along with herbaceous, resinous bud clusters.

Effects: Typically Indicas contain low concentrations of CBD and high concentrations of THC. Due to this fact, Indicas tend to provide consumers with a sedative effect that is both mentally and physically relaxing. This may be the reason this strain is commonly chosen to make products to assist with sleep and physical pain, popularly known for producing a ‘body high’ effect. Medicinal Uses: This strain is useful for those who have experienced issues with headaches/migraines, sleep, chronic pain— even fibromyalgia and appetite loss. A study found that patients noticed a decrease in pain as well as improved sleep after consuming an Indica strain.


Origin: Various regions in South Africa and Mexico

Physical Characteristics: Sativas have adapted to grow in warmer, tropical locations and can reach a height of nearly 12 feet or more. They sport thin, long leaves and depending on the variety of Sativa, may require lighting conditions of complete darkness for 11 or more hours, every day.

Effects: Sativas contain low levels of THC and high levels of CBD, unlike Indicas. They are also well known for providing a “head high” that’s energizing and cerebral. This kind of cannabis not only improves focus but has also been reported to increase creativity in some individuals — certainly creative juices going — certainly a strain for creative types.

Medicinal Uses: Terpenes found in Sativa provide a therapeutic effect that offers the potential for managing a number of ailments including low mood, loss of appetite, pain, exhaustion, and more severe health problems such as depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Origin: Hybrid strains can be found globally, as they are made by cross germinating seeds of Indica and Sativa cannabis varieties — in fact, today most cannabis are hybrids.

Physical Characteristics: Hybrids are made by exceptional cannabis innovation, typically bred so consumers can experience the best of both worlds. Of course, the physical characteristics of hybrids will vary according to the “parent” strains used.

Effects: The effects of hybrid cannabis will depend on if it’s a Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant strain. Consumers will experience either an energizing effect from Sativa-dominant strains or a sedative effect from an Indica-dominant — it all depends

Popular Hybrids:

  • Blue Dream

  • Sour Diesel

  • Purple Kush


Origin: Russia, China, and Poland.

Physical Characteristics: This type of cannabis doesn’t grow very tall and appears hearty equipped with thick, small leaves and a few fibrous branches.

Effects: When consuming a Ruderalis strain, the effects will vary. While it does contain pretty low concentrations of both THC and CBD cannabinoids, it’s possible to produce an Indica-dominant, Sativa-dominant that possesses the auto-flowering traits and resilience of a Ruderalis, allowing consumers to experience the best of both strains and all they have to offer.

Popular Hybrids:

  • Gorilla Glue Auto

  • Haze Auto

  • Girl Scout Cookie Auto\


So there you have it! This is a brief overview of the different types of cannabis. Sure, their differences may not seem too different from one another, but as we’ve learned, they each possess characteristics that make each unique in their own right.

All in all, we hope that knowing the differences between these different strains of cannabis not only taught you something new but also leads you in the right direction of choosing a cannabis-based product that will best suit your needs.

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