There has been a lot of research and anecdotal evidence recently which point towards marijuana being a useful treatment option for a number of serious medical conditions. There has been a lot of promise in this area and it has led to a widespread adoption of marijuana as a viable treatment option.

This has led to legalization of marijuana in many places across the world, and more and more people have access to this treatment method without having to obtain it through illegal means. In general, there are two predominant types of cannabis plants, with both of these options having their own associated pros and cons depending on what aspect you are looking at.

These two main types of cannabis plants are Sativa and Indica. Both of them will affect the mind and body in a different way and they each have their own distinct potential medical benefits. Using the strains which are of a Sativa variety, for example, gives you more of an energy boost, whereas the strains of Indica will lead to a more overall feeling of relaxation.


When you are looking into medicinal marijuana to help with a medical condition you may have, it can be somewhat intimidating when you are first starting off. There are so many different strains to choose from, as well as different ways of consuming it.
Most of the time, you will be dealing with mainly sativa and indica variations, but sometimes you will also see a hybrid between the two types. As mentioned, the strains originating from indica are going to act close to a physical sedative which is ideal for relaxation effects, whereas sativa based strains are going to be more energy focused. Depending on the ratio, the hybrid strains are going to combine aspects of the two different types.
When you go to a dispensary and you enquire as to what sort of strain would be best suited for your needs, the first question that is often asked by the staff member would be regarding which of these types you prefer.

Where did these variations originate from?

Both the words sativa and indica have been around since the 18th Century when they were used to label different cannabis plant types. Often, it was hemp plants which were given the sativa label, common in the west of Eurasia and throughout Europe. It was often used there for its seeds and the fiber it provided.
Indica was based upon the marijuana plants found throughout India, which had psychoactive properties. It was used there usually for its fiber, seeds and the hashish that it produced.
In terms of their physical appearances, sativa these days is usually a plant which is tall and has narrow leaves. The indica plants are usually stouter and have broader leaves. Now, what is known as hemp mainly describes types that are not intoxicating, are industrial and are mainly used for the production of CBD, seeds and fiber.

The difference when it comes to research?

When it comes to deciding between these two main types of plants, you will be mainly looking at a couple of different variables which will help you come to a decision. These are terpenes and cannabinoids.
In terms of what the research shows, it doesn’t really suggest anything about the difference in the effects these two different types when it comes to treating certain medical conditions. You cannot label one of these kinds as being more energetic than the other, because it all depends on the strain rather than what size the leaves are and what the height is of the plant itself.
There are numerous factors which are going to play into how effective a given strain will be as a treatment option. You need to be looking at variables such as the way it is being consumed, dosage, tolerance, the biology of the specific person and the chemical profile of the given strain.

What about the cannabinoids?

There are hundreds of different chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant, and it is through the interaction with one another and with the human body that the positive effects are created. CBD and THC are the most noteworthy of these compounds and they are the main drivers of the effects of marijuana when it comes to both the recreational and medicinal effects.
THC is the compound that will give you that high, as well as helping with the likes of nausea and pain. CBD is a non-psychoactive compound and it is used often to help decrease inflammation, pain and other types of medical issues.
Therefore, you should be looking at the given strain’s breakdown of THC and CBD levels instead of looking at whether it is a sativa or indica type of strain.
Certain strains are going to be dominant in THC, and it usually people looking for a high that are going to be choosing these types. They are also often used by people who are trying to treat their depression, insomnia, anxiety, pain and other issues.
Strains that are more CBD-dominant are only going to have small quantities of THC in them, which means that there is no high. You will notice a relief of symptoms noted with this variation, and it is especially ideal for people who have little to no experience when it comes to consuming marijuana.
Both sativa and indica variations are going to have differing types of THC and CBD; there is not one variation that is more inclined to a certain cannabinoid than the other.


If you are trying to narrow down the selection process of what strain is best suited for your needs, you should mainly be looking at the likes of CBD and THC content and making a final selection based on your needs.
Of course, there is going to be some trial and error along the way, so you may need to try many different strains before you find one that works best for you.