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The Three Primary Types of Cannabis and Their Effects

The Three Primary Types of Cannabis and Their Effects

As medical and recreational cannabis industries break through legislative red tape and become legal in more states, many patients are being introduced to a whole new world of self-medicating. Here’s a brief introduction to the three most popular strains of cannabis and how they can affect your mind, body, and productivity.



Cannabis strains are typically broken into three strains: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.

Indica and Sativa are the two primary types and although they can be used recreationally, they each have important medicinal properties. However, the individual needs of the patient would need to be taken into consideration as the two cannabis types have different effects. It’s common for consumers to use these cannabis types to predict the effects that they’ll experience.


The Indica strain of cannabis is believed to cause patients to become physically sedated. It derives from the Middle East typically from places like Afghanistan, Tibet, and Pakistan. These strains are usually shorter, tend to have wide leaves, grow quicker than Sativa, and are a bit dense. Indica is also often said to contain lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD.

A patient can expect to experience reduced insomnia, deep relaxation, and an increased appetite when dealing with this strain. Increases in alertness and energy have also been attributed to Indica. Easing muscle tension and reducing pain are also common uses of the Indica strain and are recommended for use at night due to its sleep-inducing effects.


The Sativa strain is said to uplift the cerebral effects, invigorate, and energize the patient.  It derives from the warmer and dryer parts of the world typically from places like Central America, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. These strains are usually tall, thin, and have finger-like leaves. They take longer to grow than most cannabis but can grow taller than 12 feet.  Sativa is also often said to contain higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD.

This can be helpful if the patient seeks to reduce stress and anxiety or increase focus and creativity. Patients can expect to experience a more energized and creative higher when using Sativa, which can indeed cause anxiety in some. Sativa also helps headaches, nausea, loss of appetite, and depression.


Hybrid strains offer a balance between the Indica and Sativa strains and are said to reduce anxiety, stress, and ease some of the symptoms associated with chemotherapy and radiation.

Finding hybrid strains that have pure strains of Indica and Sativa are rare and it’s said that most of those strains are actually hybrids that have genetics that they inherited from the Indica and Sativa strains.

According to Leafly, crossbred cannabis strains are historically bred underground to evade the authorities due to its long history. Some of the most popular hybrid strains are Gelato, OG Kush, and Blue Dream among others.

Hybrids are usually grown in an effort to increase their level of THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), each having unique rations of the two cannabinoids, which are primarily responsible for the therapeutic and recreational effects that cannabis causes.


Research has shown that the type and category of cannabis may not fully portray the effects that a patient can experience. 

When looking at the chemical ingredients of the strains, terpenes, and cannabinoids, you’ll even find that there aren’t any clear patterns that explain why a particular type has the effects that it does. It is recommended that patients take a look at the biochemical ingredients of the specific strains before deciding on a particular strain.

Amsterdam BC is Western Michigan’s Premiere Cannabis Center. Situated on more than 5,000 square foot and located across the street from Firekeepers Inn Casino, this luxurious marijuana dispensary is now both medical and recreational. Subscribe to our email list for exclusive product releases and private sales.

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