Sativa versus Indica


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Hi there.  It’s Dr. Chou and thanks for reading my latest article.  Today we’re going to discuss the different types of THC predominant Marijuana Strains.

Those are

  • Sativa
  • Indica



Traditionally, the marijuana plant has been classified into distinct sub-types, primarily based on how they look and grow.

Sativas are typically taller, longer, and skinnier.  Indicas are shorter, stubbier, and bushier.  They also grow differently.

Along the way, many marijuana users also noted that sativas and indicas also had different effects on patients.



Most people like sativas for daytime use.  Effects are described as energizing, uplifting, clear headed, and body high.  Patients like sativas because they can help with symptoms like pain but still allow a high degree of functioning.

Because sativas are typically energizing, they can be be anxiety provoking or too stimulating for some people.  They can also be too much to use at night.



Most patients like indicas for night time use.  They are described as sedating, lethargy inducing, body relaxing, and foggy headed.  For someone who has come home from a long day’s work, this is a good solution for sedating pain relief.

However, this strain may cause problems for people who need to stay alert and functioning, such as parents with kids or patients with jobs, so daytime use of indicas can be problematic.



More recently, strains of medical marijuana have been bred to produce a “smoother” experience for patients.  These are typically called hybrids, although there may be a predominant indica or sativa expression.


Other Factors

Because sativas and indicas are both high THC types of marijuana, it is theorized that the reason patients receive different effects from the two is not due to the level of THC, but to the level of other constituents like CBD, minor cannabinoids, and terpenes.

In addition, because high THC cultivars are traditionally divided into sativa and indica types based on their botany, there can be a wide variation and overlap in effects when dealing with specific sub-types.

There are also many other factors your doctor will consider when determining your treatment plan besides sativa or indica.

These include:

  • method of administration
  • dosage of medical marijuana
  • timing of dose
  • specific sub-strain of indica or sativa



While it’s useful to classify THC predominant strains into sativa and indica types for purposes of discussion, there are many other factors to consider when determining a patient’s treatment plan.

That’s why having an experienced medical marijuana doctor put together an individualized treatment option for you is so important.


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Doctor Victor Chou, M.D.

Medical Marijuana Clinic of Louisiana