Strain Profile Lane: Sativa, Indica, or Hybrid

Written by Manila Hoang October 12, 2021
The Plant

Now that cannabis is more readily available, especially with legalization in some states, it’s much easier to approach a budtender and ask which product is the best for you. There is a plethora of flowers, vapes, and edibles to choose from and too many strains to count, but which strain is best suited for your needs? 

Let’s start with the basics - What does sativa, indica, and hybrid all mean and how do they differ?

Indica will get you in-da-couch

Indica is known for its strong, heavy-eyed effects. Some users choose indica to aid in falling asleep or getting a better night’s sleep. Its uses also help with pain management for those who have chronic ailments and even helps alleviate pain associated with menstruation. It’s best to use indica in the evening or at night since it may cause drowsiness or even “couch-lock” you.

A close up picture of an indica flower still attached to its parent plant.
Sometimes purple but definitely darker in color, indica is often used for pain relief and or sleep.

The indica plant itself takes a shorter amount of time to mature than the sativa plant. It will give off a darker green hue and will come in varieties of purple as well. The leaves are typically shorter and stockier than that of the sativa. They tend to be classified as stinky, pungent, or “skunky.”   

So what makes the indica, indica? Myrcene, also found in hops to make beer, is a terpene that is commonly found at higher concentrations in indica strains. It helps to induce a dream-like sensation and relaxes the body-- an ideal choice to pair with a candlelit bath and your favorite beverage if that’s your style.

What’s a terpene, you ask? Terpenes are what gives the cannabis its fragrance and offers a sort of aromatherapy. They are the aromatic compounds produced by plants. Terpenes are naturally occurring in several plants including flowers and fruits. We’ll get more in depth with this topic later on.

Psyched for Sativa

Sativa strains are known for giving more of a cerebral high and tend to be more stimulating than its counterparts. If you’re looking for something that’s going to motivate you to do your chores, study for that big test, or just help you focus on your daily tasks, then sativa may be a great choice for you. You may end up cleaning your whole house with a sativa strain. 

Image of a person holding dried sativa leaves in their hand.
Consumed for its uplifting and head-high effects, sativa is great for productivity.

The time it takes for the sativa plant to grow takes a much longer time than that of the indica plant. The buds are a lot slimmer, and the leaves are thinner. Effects of the sativa strains offer a cerebral high, and the scent could be profiled as sweet or spicy, too.

Although sativa is also used to increase productivity and treat depression, consumers should be advised that the mood enhancing effects may over-stimulate and could cause anxiety-inducing thoughts. It could have adverse effects if the consumer is a novice to this strain.

Some cannabis consumers may find that using sativa strains before bedtime makes it harder for them to fall asleep since the high is more uplifting. The reason why sativas would make someone feel more stimulated is because of the concentration of the terpene called limonene, which promotes mood elevation.

What’s in a Hybrid?

Unlike the sativa and indica, hybrid gives you the best of both worlds without having to compromise. Maybe you want to bring some cannabis to a pool party that will make you want to socialize and also give you a calm, tingly sensation while swimming-- there’s a hybrid for that. You can almost customize your experience depending on the ratio of the strain.

Not all hybrids are made the same, however. Some strains are more sativa dominant and others are more indica dominant. Both sativa and indica strains have been crossbred so much that most of the cannabis you might find at the dispensary will be a hybrid strain. It is rare to find strains that are purely indica or purely sativa.

So what’s a terpene, again?

Terpenes are the property that produces the scent of the cannabis plant. We like to think of terpenes as essential oils that provide aromatherapy as aforementioned. As the plant ripens, the scent of the terpenes increases substantially. 

A strain isn't complete without the right terpenes to produce its particular scent and effects.

The actual material of the cannabis plant doesn’t really have an effect of the high. What does produce the effect of cannabis are the frosty and glandular bulbs found on the surface of the bud itself, which are comprised of cannabinoids and terpenes. Any sample of weed will come with a variety of combinations and concentration of terpenes. 

Cannabinoids like THC, CBD, and CBN combined with terpenes go hand in hand when it comes to the effects of cannabis. Terpenes enhance the properties of the cannabinoids as it will not give an effect on its own. The terpenes also increase the permeability of cannabinoids to go through the blood-brain barrier, which makes it easier for the consumer to feel high. Essentially, they go together like milk and cookies.

No matter which strain you decide to try, your experience is curated by you and your needs.

And there are so many strains to choose from. 

Blackbird Go provides product descriptions that you can filter through, whether you want some sleepytime weed, something that will aid in your next art project, or possibly both. You can easily narrow down your search options. Flavor profiles are also provided if you are looking for a more curated experience with cannabis.

Popular sativa strains include Durban Poison, Sour Diesel, and Blue Dream. The Sour Diesel cartridge is the perfect size to bring along on a hike. 

Indica strains Northern Lights, Blueberry, and Granddaddy Purple. Blueberry Gummy Belts are available for those who want to consume cannabis in candy-like form.

You’ll have the most options with hybrids which include OG Kush, White Widow, and Wedding Cake for example. Perhaps you like your cannabis in its traditional form - flower. You can find Wedding Cake ready to order at your local dispensary.

All products listed are available on BlackbirdGo. Please visit to order your favorite products at the tips of your fingers.