There seems to be endless names and strains when it comes to cannabis. Granddaddy Purple, Blue Dream, Orange Wifi, the list goes on and on. Besides the seemingly infinite varieties of marijuana, weed novices and veterans alike are also familiar with the terms “indica”, “sativa”, and “hybrid”. There are some, however, that don’t necessarily know the meaning behind them, which can make it a little more confusing when choosing the right flower for you. Luckily, we’ve put together a quick guide on the characteristics of these different types of cannabis.


This type of marijuana plant typically is shorter than its sativa counterpart, with wider leaves and dense buds. Because indica plants produce a more relaxing effect and produces  a strong body high, it’s generally recommended when you need to relax, get your appetite back, get some sleep, or desire pain relief. Some would say that you should stick to using indica strains primarily at night.


If you’re more interested in head highs than body, sativas will probably be more your style. Besides the “headiness” of the high, sativas are also great for alertness, uplifting and euphoric sensations, creativity, and increased energy. This type of cannabis is taller and slimmer, with long, thing leaves and “feathery” buds. Sativas are generally recommended for day time use.


Put simply, hybrids are created when an indica and sativa plant are bred together. These types commonly possess characteristics of both parent plants. The goal behind combining indicas and sativas typically can be traced back to attempting to “cross” the properties from both into a new-and-improved strain for either medical on specific ailments (lupus, cancer, etc.), or for recreational purposes.

It’s easy to skip the step of looking at whether a strain is one of the above types, but simply looking at the THC percent and ignoring the type can mean the difference between getting creative (sativa) or having couch lock for several hours with no productivity whatsoever (heavy indica). So, next time you shop, ask yourself what you want/need out of your flower and then ask your budtender for their recommendation. You never know, the best flower for you might be a type you didn’t expect!

RiverRock Team Note: Remember, the cannabis plant has seen many changes over the last few decades, meaning that it’s tough to say which strains are completely sativa or indica because there has been so much breeding and manipulation of the growing process. Some say the vast majority of plants these days are hybrids, but we’ll let you be the judge. After all, you know how you feel better than anyone!