Cannabis Strain Guide: Understanding the Different Strains

cannabis strain guide

Cannabis Strain Guide: Understanding the Different Strains

How do cannabis strains differ from one another? Follow our cannabis strain guide so you can learn more about which strain is best for you.

Keyword(s): cannabis strain guide

“What are you looking for?” If you don’t know that much about types of marijuana strains, this question posed by a well-meaning budtender can cause anxiety. Um, something to get me high?

That may have worked for your dealer in high school, but it won’t work in modern times where the choices fill cases and walls full of jars. You need to know what you’re looking for, what type of high you want, and strains you like or dislike.

That’s why we’ve created this Cannabis strain guide for you. Learn everything you need to know about how strains are classified and made below.

What are The Types?

There are three ways we categorize weed. Indicas, Sativas, and Hybrids. Each one has different physical characteristics, and in the case of hybrids, some of both.


Let’s say you were wandering around your neighbor’s house and you open the door to see – a bunch of weed plants. Some are low and bushy while others soar to the sky. Do you know which is Indica and which is Sativa?

The short one is Indica. Someone once told me they remember it because the country of India is short and wide (no shade to India).

There are two properties people seek out in marijuana. THC and CBD. You’ve seen CBD oil all over your newsfeed as the next cure-all. CBD doesn’t get you high – that’s THC.

Indica has a higher percentage of CBD than it does THC. This means you get less of an active high. When you think of someone smoking an Indica blend, that’s the kind of uber relaxed stoner who can’t leave the couch.

People who use Indica (especially for medicinal purposes) are less nauseous, have less pain, get the munchies, and they can more fully physically relax, which leads to mental relaxation.

Indica is the type of strain most medical marijuana patients use to treat unfortunate symptoms or side effects.


Let’s go back to that room in your neighbor’s house with the short and the tall plants. If the short ones are Indica, the tall ones are Sativas.

Sativa has the long, skinny leaves you usually see on pot stickers and paraphernalia. Not that Indica’s aren’t the same shape, they’re just more stubby.

Smoking a Sativa gives you a different type of high. It’s less medicinal for pain-related disorders and more for mental issues.

When people smoke Sativas, they’re not so much couch potatoes. They’re more the type to get into really in depth, yet strange discussions. Many people who smoke weed before work or daily activities (not that we condone being high at work) smoke Sativas because they take the edge off without making it difficult to function.

Its specific high characteristics include reduced anxiety, sunny mood, less pain, more creativity, and more social behavior.

If you want, you can think of it as Indica treating the body, while Sativa treats the creative brain. The relaxant vs. the wacky tobacky fueled artist.

Type 3: Hybrids

The idea of hybrids is like the idea of fantasy football. What would happen if you took the best of separate entities (plants/teams) and put them together to make one super-team?

That’s exactly what growers and breeders do. Some of the most famous strains are hybrids of other famous parents.

When you walk into a dispensary and ask for a hybrid, you generally face three types. There’s the fifty-fifty Indica Sativa blend – a true hybrid.

Or you can get a hybrid with a higher percentage of Sativa, say 60% to 40% Indica. The same works the other way around.

If you’re looking to branch into the category you don’t usually smoke, starting with a hybrid is a good way to see if you like it. You can start with a high regular strain and introduce the new one gradually.

Or smoke a half-and-half – it’s up to you.


Let’s talk about how they create hybrid plants. No, it’s not when a mommy plant and a daddy plant love each other very much.

People are the ones that breed hybrids. That means they take the pollen of the male and impregnate the female with it. Very sexy.

The plants they chose have a purpose, it’s not random. If people are loving one Sativa for how energetic it makes them, they may breed it with a sleepy Indica to give it a kick. Now you have a strain of Indica that won’t knock you out but still makes you relaxed.

The same is true with tastes and colors of strains. There’s a reason you hear things like “purple haze” or “Blueberry Kush”. The plants from those strains have a purple and blue tinge, respectively.

The limits of breeding strains? At this point, it’s only our imagination. There’s pretty much nothing budtenders can’t create. Since both Indica and Sativa are from the same plant – they’re related, all the right parts fit.

Cannabis Strain Guide

Next time you’re at the dispensary, or before you go, figure out what kind of high you’re looking for. Something more relaxed and all-encompassing? That’s an Indica.

Or maybe you want something to take the edge off but need to be high-functioning. That’s a Sativa. Hybrids are a bit of both, some more different than the others.

We hope you enjoyed our Cannabis strain guide. Feel free to bookmark this page or screenshot the next time you have a strain choice.

You control your high by picking what you smoke. Which strain will you choose?

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