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Indica, Sativa, Hybrid Cannabis: Risks and Effects

Learn more about indica, sativa, and hybrid cannabis strains, hybrid weed effects, and options for treatment if addiction occurs.

Understanding Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid Cannabis Strains

In recent years, cannabis, also known as marijuana, has become a popular form of treatment for a variety of physical and mental disorders. In fact, as of 2021, an estimated 3.5 million people utilized cannabis in their treatment plans.1

There are two different strains of cannabis – sativa, and indica. There is also a hybrid strain that combines these two. Although they share many similarities, the different strains of cannabis have their own unique characteristics that allow them to be used as treatments for different conditions. 


Indica, or cannabis indica, is one species or strain of cannabis. It is most commonly known for its ability to relax someone using this strain, as well as for its calming qualities. It is native to countries like Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey, where there is a drier, mountainous climate.   

Along with helping to produce general calming effects, indica is also beneficial in treating nausea and increasing appetite. Because of this, more research is being done on its ability to help treat the symptoms of cancer.2   


Sativa, or cannabis sativa, on the other hand, is better known for its energetic qualities. It thrives in warm areas with lots of sunshine, such as Africa, Central America, and parts of Asia.

While it also works to help calm the mind, making it beneficial for anxiety, it isn’t as relaxing as indica. Instead, sativa can make the patient feel more productive and energized.3 


Hybrid cannabis is created by combining indica and sativa. While this doesn’t occur naturally, because both species are so similar, it can be easily done in a greenhouse or similar area. The exact effects of hybrid cannabis depend on the parent plants, which leaves room for variety.  

What Does The Cannabis Plant Look Like?

A cannabis plant’s appearance can vary based on the exact species. Some are smaller shrubs, while others grow much taller and thinner. These appearances can impact other parts of the plant as well, such as growing times and production.

Indica Cannabis

Indica is a shorter variety of cannabis. It’s also stockier, like a shrub. It has large, broad leaves that grow in thicker bunches. Compared to sativa, indica tends to have shorter growing times with an increased number of buds.

Sativa Cannabis

Whereas indica grows short and stout, sativa grows tall and thin. They can grow to be up to 12 feet tall, and their leaves are long and thin, almost resembling a hand. Because of their impressive heights, they can take longer than indica to grow, and they also produce fewer buds.

Hybrid Cannabis

Just like with hybrid cannabis effects, the appearance of this plant depends on the parents. Depending on the genes passed over to the new plant, it may more closely resemble an indica plant or a sativa plant.

Medical Benefits of Sativa Strains

Because sativa produces calming effects without the lethargy of indica, they are a common and effective option for treating anxiety, depression, and similar conditions during the day. Sativa strains and their potential medical benefits will be detailed below.

Popular Sativa Strains

There are several different subspecies of sativa, each with its own unique benefits and effects. Some of these can include:

  • Panama Red
  • Acapulco Gold
  • Sour Diesel
  • Durban Poison
  • Jack Herer
  • Green Crack
  • Super Silver Haze
  • Lemon Haze

Are Sativa Strains Right For You?

Because sativa produces different effects than other types of cannabis, it may or may not be the best choice for you. Learning how it may impact the body and mind are some of the first steps to deciding whether to incorporate sativa into your treatment plan.

Effects of Sativa

Some of the positive effects and symptoms improved by using cannabis sativa strains include:

  • Easing headaches
  • Decreased sadness
  • Increases appetite
  • Decreases nausea
  • Improved focus

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Our team is standing by to discuss your situation and options. Your call is fully confidential, and no obligation is required.

Medical Benefits of Indica Strains

Indica is useful for helping individuals relax. It is also notable for its ability to increase appetite, which can help fight malnourishment in those with difficulty eating.

Popular Indica Strains

Like sativa, there are different indica strains. Some of the most common include:

  • Granddaddy Purple
  • Hindu Kush
  • Northern Lights
  • Bubba Kush
  • Purple Kush
  • Blue Cheese

Are Indica Strains Right for You?

Learning more about the effects of indica can help determine whether or not it is right for you:

  • Reduced nausea
  • Relieving body aches
  • Easing insomnia
  • Increasing appetite
  • Reducing anxiety

Medical Benefits of Hybrid Strains

Hybrid cannabis effects combine those of both indica and sativa. Which effects are most prevalent depends on the parent plants. However, because hybrid strains act as a middle ground between the calming effects of indica and the energizing effects of sativa, they may provide unique benefits that can make the difference in treatment. 

Popular Hybrid Strains

Because hybrid strains are made up of the combination of different plants, there are many different types. Some of the most popular hybrid strains are:

  • Trainwreck
  • Fire OG
  • Blue Dream
  • Pineapple Express
  • White Widow
  • OG Kush

Are Hybrid Strains Right for You?

Hybrid strains may be best for you if you are looking to benefit from both indica effects and sativa effects.

What Are The Side Effects And Risks Associated With Using Sativa, Indica, And Hybrid Cannabis?

Although cannabis can be beneficial in treating a variety of conditions, it’s not without risks. There are many adverse hybrid cannabis effects to be aware of. While many of these aren’t more severe than traditional pharmaceutical medication, it is important to be aware of the risks. 4 

Symptoms and Risks

Some of the side effects and risks associated with using cannabis as a treatment can include:

  • Decreased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dry eyes
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia
  • Lethargy
  • Anxiety
  •  Irritation in the lungs

Indica vs. Sativa vs. Hybrid Edibles

Edibles are one form of taking cannabis. While the effects don’t vary much from other forms of administration, onset and longevity may vary. Edibles provide a way to use medicinal cannabis without the complication associated with other methods.

Get Treatment For An Addiction To Sativa, Indica, Or Hybrid Cannabis at Ripple Ranch

Although cannabis can be a beneficial part of treating different conditions, there are significant hybrid cannabis effects to be aware of. This can include addiction.

At Ripple Ranch, you’ll find a variety of evidence-based treatments set on a 20-acre campus. This allows you to take advantage not only of our dedicated team of licensed health care professionals but also of the healing beauty that nature has to offer. No matter where you are in your recovery journey, Ripple Ranch is ready to meet you where you are and help you recover.

Are You Ready to Regain Control Over Your Life?

Don’t let mental health challenges, addiction, or co-occurring disorders keep you from living the happy and fulfilled life you were made for. Contact Ripple Ranch Recovery Center today and begin the path toward sustainable healing.

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