HomeCannabisDifference between Sativa-dominant and Indica-dominant Hybrid

Difference between Sativa-dominant and Indica-dominant Hybrid

Cannabis has been present in people’s lives since times immemorial, helping them address a variety of health problems and doing good service as a source of fiber, material for cloth manufacturing, etc. Despite its broad application in various industries, weed is still the best-known for its cerebral high effect and the ability to relax the consumer, relieve pain and anxiety, and take all the troubles away.

Yet, some consumers with little experience with weed varieties may fall into the trap of the wrong choice; they get a couch-locking effect instead of a joyful, cheerful party or get unnaturally energized before bedtime. Why does this happen, and how can cannabis serve two opposite goals at the same time?

That’s because of Sativa and Indica gene dominance in specific cultivars, which makes some weed types energizing and creatively boosting and others – sedating and relaxing. Here is a guide to Sativa-dominant and Indica-dominant hybrids that will inform your choice and help you determine the right weed variety suited to your goals and health needs.

Indica vs. Sativa: The Difference

Let’s start with the basics – what are Sativa and Indica? These pure, generic weed types come with an absolutely different set of properties, look differently, and grow well in different conditions. Here are the key distinctions you should know.


Indica was first discovered as a wild-growing weed species in India, thus the name of this variety. However, it doesn’t grow exclusively in India; other typical areas of its cultivation are Pakistan, Turkey, Nepal, and Afghanistan. The Afghani Kush strains are the best-known and most popular weed varieties among users.
Indica plants look short and dense; they often develop side branches, which makes them look bushier than Sativa plants. Their leaves are broad and come in dark green to purple colors.
Indica weed produces a high on the user’s body, causing the feeling of body stone and relaxation. Therefore, Indica is more often used for improving sleep quality, relaxation, and pain relief.
Indica plants are much easier to grow, as this variety has successfully survived in harsh, turbulent climates over the centuries. So, cultivators prefer Indica-dominant weed if they live in moderate or cold climates and cannot provide plenty of warmth, sunshine, and humidity to the crops.


Sativa was the first weed type discovered and officially described in modern times. Its first scientific description was done by a Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, at the beginning of the 18th century. The species originated in the hot, dry Asian regions but quickly spread around the world as growers borrowed the plants and brought them to different European countries and further to the West.
The common geographical spread of cannabis Sativa includes African countries, Central America, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. It thrives in these climates because of plenty of sunlight and high temperature all year round. Sativa plants grow tall and have skinnier, more spacious leaves than Indica plants.
Sativa weed possesses energizing properties and creates a pronounced cerebral high on the user. Therefore, its common use cases are anxiety, a lack of creativity, and diminished focus.
Sativa cannabis is more recommended for daytime use because it is a natural energy booster and can disturb the user’s nervous system before bedtime.

These are the features of pure Sativa and pure Indica plants and the weed they produce. However, the genetic engineering and crossbreeding industries don’t stand still, and tons of hybrids with varied genetic makeups emerge day by day. Thus, a user can get the best of the two worlds today, with some traits dominating the others. Let’s discuss what a consumer may expect from a hybrid with one species’ dominating features and in which cases they should choose one over the other.

What to Expect from an Indica-Dominant Hybrid? An Example of Pink Panties Seeds Feminized

Though the sativa genes can affect a hybrid in a specific way, Indica-dominant hybrid cultivars usually offer the following characteristics:

Less THC but higher CBD contents
Help with pain, nausea, and anxiety
The dominance of myrcene, limonene, caryophyllene, and pinene in the terpene profile
Potent sedating properties

Some famous Indica-dominant strains are:

Northern Lights
Bubba Kush
Blue Cheese
Hindu Kush

Let’s exemplify these features by looking at the famous Indica-dominant seeds – https://askgrowers.com/seeds/pink-panties-seeds-feminized. This weed cultivar was developed using the genetics of two glorious strains – Burmese Blackberry Kush and OG Kush, so it contains the best Indica properties and can be confidently called an Indica-dominant variety.

It is high in THC, with weed buds containing 16% to 24% depending on the cultivation conditions, but its CBD content is higher than in Sativa cultivars – around 0.2-0.4%. Besides, following its Indica lineage, the Pink Panties plant is typically around 130 cm high (though plants grown outdoors can reach up to 220cm). Smoking this weed helps users relax and prepare for bedtime, so it is recommended for evening use and can be of much help to insomniacs. Besides, Pink Panties is known for painkilling and sedating properties, which are also a primary feature of Indica weed.

How Will Sativa-Dominant Hybrids Help You?

Now, let’s proceed to Sativa-dominant hybrids. Just like with Indica-dominant varieties, these cultivars may exhibit various characteristics depending on the percentage of each type’s genes in their profiles. Thus, if Sativa dominates the strain’s genetic profile, it may be commonly expected to have the following properties:

The cerebral high boosts focus, concentration, and mood
Presence of pinene, limonene, myrcene, and valencene in the terpene profile  
Optimal use during the daytime
Euphoric effects
Higher THC content and negligent or zero CBD

Some famous Sativa-dominant strains are:

Durban Poison
Green Crack
Sour Diesel

How to Choose an Optimal Strain for Yourself?

Now that you know that there are hundreds of marijuana varieties, which one can suit you the best? It’s vital to understand your needs and expectations before picking the strain, as it may make or break your acquaintance with weed and its therapeutic properties. We recommend focusing on the following parameters in the selection process:

THC and CBD content you need. Most people enjoy the benefits of CBD alone in THC-free or low-THC products. Indeed, CBD is more therapeutically beneficial for combating stress, anxiety, and pain without the psychoactive effect of THC. Yet, the truth is that THC aids CBD in creating a more pronounced painkilling, sedative, or antidepressant effect. Thus, people who experience chronic pain or feel nausea should opt for higher THC content, while those with anxiety and depression may benefit from CBD-high strains.
Favorite flavors. The wide spectrum of available strains makes the choice of aromas and flavors a pleasure. You can opt for sweet and fruity cultivars that smell and taste like candies or choose more earthy, diesel varieties to enjoy an authentic smoking experience. It’s up to you and depends entirely on your preferences.
Effects. Here, things are pretty simple; if you want to have a giggly party or boost your mood at the beginning of a hard, stressful day, you should choose Sativa-dominant hybrids. If you experience challenges with falling asleep or need full-body relaxation because of chronic pain, it’s better to opt for Indica-dominant weed.

The pro tip: if you’re a complete newbie, go to a local dispensary and talk to a consultant, explaining your health condition and sharing your expectations from weed use. They will surely advise you on a couple of strains ideally fitted to your profile; after trying them, you can search for strains with similar qualities and scan the Internet to expand the spectrum of strains that help you the best.

Final Word

Picking a favorite strain may be a challenge. Still, if you approach this task with due diligence and do some preliminary research about Indica and sativa effects, you’re sure to start your acquaintance with weed on the right note. Scan the Web, talk to people around you, and try several different hybrids – all these small steps will guide you on a path to a rewarding cannabis user experience.

This article’s author is Tia Moskalenko, an experienced professional in CBD use in pets and humans and a full-time writer at AskGrowers. Tia is always on the frontline of CBD market research to share her finds with consumers and educate people about the benefits of CBD for their health.

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