Medical cannabis patients have a lot of options these days. People choose to become medical cannabis patients for many different reasons. Medical cannabis is known to help with a plethora of different medical conditions. All too often, prescription drugs fail people. They come with too many unwanted and unpleasant side effects.

Medical cannabis is legal in over 30 states across America. This means more people have legal access to medical cannabis than ever before since the prohibition of cannabis began. For this reason, more people are becoming medical cannabis patients each day. As of December 2020, there were an estimated 3.6 million+ legal, medical cannabis patients in America. This number has and will only continue to grow.

Now, back to those options, we started talking about that medical cannabis patients have. Medical cannabis isn’t about just smoking. In fact, there are many different methods for cannabis consumption these days. Medical cannabis patients in many places have legal access to multiple options like cannabis flowers, concentrates, edibles, topicals, beverages, capsules, oils, tinctures, and more.

Medical cannabis patients utilize these options to help them control the symptoms of pain, arthritis, stress, depression, anxiety, PTSD, migraine headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, menstrual cramps, and more. Some patients utilize the therapeutic attributes of cannabis for medical conditions such as cancer, Crohn’s disease, neuropathy, certain types of epilepsy, and other severe and often debilitating medical conditions.

Regardless of the method of consumption a medical cannabis patient chooses or the condition they are trying to treat, the medical cannabis they use comes from one of three different types of cannabis. Those three varieties are indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis. 

This can be a confusing area for those new to cannabis as well as for those who are seasoned cannabis consumers. When you walk into a medical cannabis dispensary to make a purchase, the budtender behind the counter will often ask what you’re looking for. Typically, this points them towards cannabis flowers, concentrates, edibles, or other products. When it comes to cannabis flower and concentrate, the next question is typically are you looking for indica, sativa, or hybrid.

What does that mean, though? What is the difference between the three? Typically, Indica varieties of cannabis are considered to be relaxing. They are known to produce heavy sedating couch-lock-type effects. Then there’s sativa. Sativa cannabis is known for helping spark creativity and producing energizing effects. So now we have Indica to help settle us down and sativa to pick us up. But what if you’re looking for something in between? That’s where hybrid cannabis comes in.

Hybrid cannabis is a combination of indica and sativa. Hybrid cannabis strains can lean heavily towards one side of the spectrum or the other. Typical hybrids fall around a 50/50 sativa/indica combination or a 60/40 leaning heavier one way or the other. Many people are left wondering whether indica, sativa, or hybrid actually matters. Does one truly make me sleepy? Will one really make me want to do my yard work, and will the rest make me want to do my yard work followed by a nap? The short answer is no.

Let’s look at some of the most popular indica, sativa, and hybrid strains of medical cannabis.

Indica Cannabis Strains

·         Northern Lights

·         God Bud

·         Purple Urkle

·         Sensi Star

·         Purple OG Kush

·         Hash Plant

Sativa Cannabis Strains

·         Sour Diesel

·         Blue Dream

·         Super Silver Haze

·         Tangie

·         Trainwreck

·         Strawberry Cough

Hybrid Cannabis Strains

·         Cherry Pie

·         OG Kush

·         Gorilla Glue

·         Girl Scout Cookies

·         Chemdawg

·         Wedding Cake

Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid Cannabis

Indica, sativa, and hybrid are names given to varieties of cannabis that demonstrate particular characteristics during their growing cycle. Someone associated these strains with characteristics that seem to have stuck somewhere along the line. I have been a cannabis consumer for several decades. I personally do not believe in the indica, sativa, hybrid hype. I believe that cannabis can treat each individual a little bit differently. I find that I enjoy all varieties of cannabis, not just one, and this is the popular consensus among many cannabis consumers. I don’t find sativa strains to trigger anxiety, nor do they make me want to work out, do chores, or any of the sorts. I also don’t find that all Indica strains make me want to lay around on the couch and do nothing. I have never consumed a hybrid strain and felt up one moment and down the next. I truly believe cannabis consumption and its effects greatly depend on the quality of the cannabis along with the mood and environment in which it’s consumed, in addition to other aspects such as the terpenes in which particular varieties contain.

Indica is a term that cannabis cultivators use to describe a variety of plant that grows short and bushy. The leaves on an Indica plant resemble maple leaves. Much of the Cannabis grown in the US was sativa up until somewhere in the 60s. An old hashish trade route hippie by the name of Maple Leaf Wilson was said to have brought a variety of cannabis down from Canada into California that looked like maple leaves instead of the long fingery sativa leaves Californians were used to.

Sativa cannabis plants grow tall and lanky with long finger leaves. When it comes to sativa, hemp falls into this category. There are many instances where people talk about the calming effects they receive from CBD. There are even scientific studies that dive into the calming and therapeutic attributes of CBD. However, if CBD from hemp comes from sativa plants, then wouldn’t that mean that all hemp-derived CBD should pick people up? Once again, I truly believe the way cannabis affects someone occurs on an individual-to-individual basis. 

Hybrid cannabis plants can demonstrate the growing characteristics of both indica and sativa. In fact, almost all cannabis today comes from hybrid varieties of the plant. There’s only a handful of solid indica and sativa genetics out there. A great way for you to know the truth is to try them out for yourself. Get your hands on some indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis. Consume one each day around the same time while in the same frame of mind or same mood. See what the effects are and take note of them. If you think that you only like Indica because sativa makes you too hyper or that you only like sativa because Indica makes you too sleepy, you could be missing out on some of the most amazing attributes of medical cannabis.

Another trait associated with the different varieties of cannabis is the way they taste. Sativa varieties of cannabis tend to have sweeter, fruitier flavors, whereas the indica varieties of cannabis are known for more earthy tones. Hybrids, of course, would be a combination of the best flavors from both worlds, having earthy tones like skunk and spices mixed with sweet notes of candy and floral undertones or vice versa. This is due to the terpenes in which they possess. But this isn’t always the case either. There are many factors that determine the final outcome of cannabis. This leaves researchers as well as cannabis connoisseurs in a great debate as to whether or not these classifications offer any value in relation to the direct effects that strains produce.

Disclaimer: The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this article is for informational purposes only. No material from this article is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before undertaking a new health care regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.