marijuana strains

From Indica to Sativa: A Beginner’s Guide to Marijuana Strains

Green Gorilla shares everything you need to know about marijuana strains, from content to uses, and tips on choosing the right strain for you.

A 2018 study found out that American adults are more inclined to use cannabis on a daily basis, while teenagers use cannabis less than usual. By 2022, the cannabis industry is projected to be worth $25 billion. And by the end of this year, it is expected to hit $33 billion.

But, just like you wouldn’t walk into a car shop and buy the first car you see, you shouldn’t walk into a cannabis store and resort to the first strain at your disposal.

Cannabis buds might seem similar to one another, but various sub-species and varieties are available on the market. If you are new to the cannabis world and want to learn the basics, we have you covered.

What are Marijuana Strains?

Marijuana strains represent different types of cannabis plants, divided by their main characteristics, effects, and growing techniques.

Like other plants, marijuana is bred by botanists as genetically evolved and cross-pollinated. Marijuana strains name are formed uniquely depending on the terpene and cannabinoid profile.

Suppose you have already tried marijuana or read extensively about it. In that case, you are most likely familiar with the key types of marijuana strains out there: sativa, indica, and hybrid, all of which boast different effects, have different production methods, and look different as well.

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid

Indica is known for its excitable and bubbly effect, whereas sativa has more mellowing and relaxing effects. Still, keep in mind that each individual reacts differently to each marijuana strain. Therefore, it is wise to learn as much as possible about the different effects of marijuana strains and their proper dosages.

Many people struggle to distinguish the main subspecies, or hybrids, indica, and sativa, and think of them as separate species. However, it is hard to recognize the specific cannabis type by just looking at its branching, height, and leaf appearance. Experts claim that the only way to check out the chemical composition is by analyzing the biochemical assay.

cannabis indoor plantation

How to Choose the Best Strain?

It all depends on the effect you desire to achieve. Cannabis is not only used for recreational purposes; many people use it for medical purposes and claim that some strains are better than others for treating specific conditions.

To treat a medical condition, consult your doctor before trying any marijuana strain. Your doctor will check your medical history and recommend you a specific cannabis strain with the appropriate amount of THC and CBD according to your wellness performance.

Even if you are looking for a marijuana strain for recreational purposes, you should do good research on the options at hand to avoid side effects such as dry eyes and mouth and dizziness, and instead, enjoy the desired effect.

Let’s have a look at the main strains you can choose from and why you’d want to go for each option.


Marijuana plants contain many chemical compounds known as cannabinoids. These natural components might bring positive and negative effects.

The main components in cannabinoids are as follow:

  • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) can be classified as the primary psychoactive compound responsible for the state of euphoria. Since growers are trying to create many hybrids, the THC content in these products may vary.
  • Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-euphoric compound that does not cause a stimulating effect; it also reduces seizures, migraines, pain, and nausea.
  • Cannabinol (CBN) eases the symptoms of some neurological health issues like seizures, epilepsy, and uncontrolled muscle stiffness.
  • Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) is similar to THC, and very often, it is used to reduce signs of autoimmune diseases and arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, and ALS.
  • Cannabigerol (CBG) is said to help with reducing symptoms of anxiety, OCD, depression, and post-traumatic stress.


Are you wondering what causes the plant’s smell? Terpenes naturally affect the smell of marijuana, but they can also impact the specific strain.

The most common terpenes include:

  • Bisabolol
  • Caryophyllene
  • Linalool
  • Myrcene
  • Ocimene
  • Pinene
  • Terpinolene
  • Limonene
  • Humulene
  • Eucalyptol

Believe it or not, just the smell of a good marijuana strain can improve your mood and relax you. From floral to fuel smells, terpenes have a major role in making any weed strain taste good.


What most researchers and users are focused on is the level of THC and CBD that marijuana provides. THC and CBD are both cannabinoids but have quite different effects on the body since they target different brain areas.


Those who use higher THC weed products may experience psychoactive effects, euphoria, and sensitivity to taste and color. On the other side, paranoia and anxiety are some of the side effects of products with a higher THC content. Consume them in moderation.

THC may come in a variety of forms:

  • Smokable products
  • Tinctures
  • Oils
  • Capsules
  • Edibles, such as brownies


Opposite THC, CBD is a psychoactive compound that reduces anxiety, improves nausea, vomiting, or pain, and is non-intoxicating. CBD has many positive physiological effects on conditions like opioid addiction and schizophrenia, but it still needs to be further researched in the medical field.

CBD is available in the following forms:

  • Gels
  • Gummies
  • Supplements
  • Oils

The FDA Stamp of Approval

The FDA has approved the following cannabis-related products used for medical purposes:

  • THC synthetic medication for treating anorexia due to AIDS
  • Synthetic cannabis product for treating vomiting and nausea due to chemotherapy
  • Cannabis-derived CBD for children that suffer from seizures.

cannabis plants indoor

Sativa vs. Indica

Sativa and indica are the two main cannabis strains classified based on various characteristics. They differ in both appearance and ingredients.

Depending on their physical traits, cannabis indica plants are shorter and have dark green and broad leaves. Meanwhile, cannabis sativa is a much taller plant with thin and pale green leaves.

If your goal is to achieve a more relaxed high effect, cannabis indica is the right choice for you, although the strain is believed to contain a high level of THC. Meanwhile, sativa will give you a more energetic and exciting experience.

The components of the sativa and indica weed strains also differ from each other.

Be cautious of such generalizations since each individual may react differently to different strains. If you are not sure about the ingredients of the cannabis product, analyze the biochemical assay that the manufacturer provides.

Beware of the following cannabis components that cause psychoactive effects, as well as sedation:

  • Myrcene
  • Alpha-pinene
  • Linalool
  • Limonene

Here’s a deeper look into the differences between sativa and indica weed strains.

Sativa Origins

Sativa strains require dry, hot climates and sunny days. So, sativa is primarily found in Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. These cannabis plants can grow up to 12 feet and have finger-like leaves. Compared to cannabis indica, they may take longer to mature.

Sativa THC vs. CBD Content

Regular cannabis consumers often compare the CBD and THC ratio. In general, sativa has high doses of THC and low doses of CBD compared to indica. The high THC level can reduce anxiety and gives energy. Therefore, sativa may wake up your creativity and productivity and reduce the lethargic mood you may have. You can use sativa in the daytime even if your daily activities require physical activity or a high level of social interactions.

Sativa Effects

Cannabis sativa strains may have the following effects:

  • Energizing
  • Uplifting
  • Increased creativity
  • Mind-expanding
  • Sharper focus

Regarding these effects, cannabis sativa users may take it to treat the following conditions:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • ADHD

Before you try to use sativa for medical purposes, bear in mind that cannabis for medical purposes still requires further research.

Indica Origins

Cannabis indica originates from Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. These plants do well in this dry, harsh, and turbulent climate. The main characteristics of the indica are stocky and short plants, chunky leaves, and bushy greenery.

Indica THC vs. CBD Content

Compared to sativa, indica grows fast and produces more buds. Also, the level of CBD is higher, but the THC level is more or less the same.

Indica Effects

Cannabis consumers that look for intensive relaxing effects should go with indica. Additionally, this cannabis strain can be used as a pain reducer, it can help with nausea, and it could significantly increase the appetite. Since indica has a relaxing effect, we recommend that users consume it during the night so that it wouldn’t affect their productivity.

Effects associated with indica strains:

  • Relaxing
  • Sedating
  • Appetite-inducing
  • Pain-relieving
  • Nausea-soothing

Side Effects and Risks of Cannabis Strains

Although cannabis is often used for medical purposes and has a significant effect on improving the general health, there are some possible side effects, including:

  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Paranoia
  • Anxiety
  • Lethargy
  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate

These effects are mostly connected with the level of THC. Still, any cannabis plant may produce some side effects depending on the method of use and individual tolerance.

Vaping and smoking cannabis may cause slight irritation on the airways and lungs, leading to respiratory and coughing problems. However, gummies and cookies will less likely cause any respiratory issues.

marijuana strains

How to Choose the Right Cannabis Strain?

Different marijuana strains affect you in different ways. So before you start looking around for marijuana products, it’s important for you to narrow down what you’ll use the product for and what effects you want to achieve.

To make a more informed decision and choose the right marijuana strains for you, here are the steps to consider.

Determine the Goal You Want to Achieve

This can either narrow your options or open a new world for yourself. For example, some users want to treat insomnia, reduce anxiety, increase their energy level, or improve their general mood. If you’re going to use marijuana for medical purposes, you should contact a professional and check your medical records and health issues.

Be Aware of Your THC and CBD Tolerance

“Entry-level” strains like Pineapple Express are recommended for new users because of their tolerable and mild effects. Don’t try to go above your limits until you’re comfortable and familiar with the use of marijuana; high THC cannabinoids can be potent for recent users.

Recheck Your Medical History

Although cannabis is “just a plant” and is all-natural, it can cause some intense effects. Therefore, if you have any concerns or doubts, ask a doctor about the possible interactions with your pre-existing medical conditions along with potential risks and benefits.

Decide on the Consumption Method

If you’re looking for a way to amp up your cannabis experience, you should try bongs. For inexperienced users, we recommend gummies since the effect takes longer. However, each method of consumption has its drawbacks and benefits.

Check the Legality in Your State

Cannabis laws are constantly evolving; a while ago, cannabis was illegal in many states across the United States. But, now we can enjoy legalized cannabis in almost every state. Some states allow cannabis only for medical purposes, so check out your state’s laws before you use or purchase marijuana.

Cannabis is available today more than ever, mainly for recreational and medical purposes. However, each customer should be aware of the physiological and mental effects of marijuana to choose the most suitable product.

Knowing only the product’s composition is not enough; you should also be familiar with your state’s laws and make sure you don’t go against them. To avoid legal consequences, bear in mind that cannabis is still not legalized under federal law. So, we recommend deep research on the laws of your state since they are changing rapidly.

Find the Best Weed Strains for You with Green Gorilla MD

Enter a new era in the marijuana world with Green Gorilla MD! As an innovative cannabis delivery service based in Maryland, our main goal is to provide customers with high-quality cannabis products for medical and recreational use. Top-quality strains at affordable prices are part of our distinguished selection.

Visit our shop to view your options for sativa, indica, or hybrid edibles, flower, pre-rolls, and more!

Green Gorilla MD is one of the most innnovative medical cannabis delivery services in Maryland. Fast-Delivery Services, Top-Shelf Strains and Amazing Discounts, offers new strains & products weekly.

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