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Sativa vs Indica Edibles: What’s the Difference?

sativa vs indica

You may have heard people refer to cannabis as “Sativa” or “Indica”  and wondered what these terms meant. Or, if you’re totally new to cannabis and edibles, you might have never heard these terms at all.

To put it simply, Sativa and Indica are two variants or subspecies of the cannabis plant, and they both have different characteristics. Here, we’ll discuss some of those key differences.


Cannabis is a unique plant that contains hundreds of different compounds (1). The plant’s main compounds of interest, though, are THC and CBD. 

THC is short for tetrahydrocannabinol, and CBD is short for cannabidiol. These two compounds are of particular interest because they are used for many different therapeutic and recreational purposes. 

Different variants of cannabis plants contain different amounts of THC and CBD. And for many generations, humans have selectively cultivated cannabis plants to manipulate the amounts of THC and / or CBD they contain. 

Archaeologists recently discovered evidence from China that shows ancient humans were using cannabis at least as far back as 750 BC (2). And these people were not just gatherers – they selected and cultivated their own cannabis plants with an eye towards growing plants that had specific, THC-based effects (even if they didn’t know what THC was). 

It’s hardly surprising, then, that humans today still select and grow certain cannabis plants with the goal of growing plants that have desired effects. Humans have been selectively cultivating a range of other plants – such as fruit and vegetables – for millennia.

Two common types of cannabis plants that are selected for growth today are Sativa and Indica. Many people in the cannabis industry like these plants because they have just the right amount of THC or CBD. 


Sativa, pronounced “sa-tee-vah,” is a subspecies of the cannabis plant that contains more THC than CBD (3). Sativa is a tall cannabis plant that has thin, pale green leaves. 

Many people prefer Sativa for recreational purposes due to its high THC content.

Although THC is often associated with recreational marijuana use, this compound also has some therapeutic benefits that should not be overlooked. These benefits include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Pain relief
  • Muscle relaxation 
  • Appetite stimulation 
  • Reduction of vomiting and nausea

Many cultivators extract oil from the Sativa cannabis plant to be used for both recreational and therapeutic purposes. That extracted oil is then added to various products, including edibles and cannabis gummies. 

If you add Sativa oil to your cannabis gummies, then you’ll boost your gummies’ THC content. Depending on the dose you add, you will experience the recreational and therapeutic benefits that Sativa and THC offer. 


Indica, pronounced “in-duh-ca,” is a subspecies of the cannabis plant that has more CBD than THC. Indica is a short cannabis plant that has broad, dark green leaves. 

Indica’s high CBD content makes it the preferred variety for therapeutic uses. 

The therapeutic benefits of CBD include:

  • Anti-inflammatory effects
  • Pain relief
  • Muscle relaxation 
  • Anti-convulsions
  • Anti-anxiety effects
  • Anti-depressant effects
  • Reduction of vomiting and nausea

Cannabis cultivators extract oil from Indica plants, and then that oil is added to various therapeutic products, including edibles and cannabis gummies. 

If you add Indica oil to your cannabis gummies you’ll boost their CBD content. By ingesting them, you will have access to the many therapeutic effects that Indica and CBD have to offer

What are Sativa and Indica edibles? 

Edibles refer to the cannabis products that you can eat or drink. There are several different types of edibles to choose from, including: 

  • Baked goods such as brownies and cookies
  • Confectionery items such as chocolate or cannabis gummies
  • Drinks
  • Supplements

Some edible products include oil that’s extracted from either Sativa or Indica plants or both. Homemade cannabis gummies have also become very popular recently since they allow their creators to have complete control over the amount of cannabis added. 

If you buy or make cannabis edibles with Sativa as the main ingredient, they’ll be higher in THC than in CBD.

Conversely, if you buy or make edibles with Indica as the main ingredient, they’ll be higher in CBD than in THC. 

Which one is better – Sativa or Indica? 

Deciding on which variety is better will ultimately depend on what you are using cannabis for.

For instance, some people prefer Indica over Sativa because they want the therapeutic effects associated with marijuana but don’t want to get high.  However, others prefer Sativa because they are looking for a more recreational experience. 

Indica is a good fit for those looking for pain relief or anti-inflammatory effects who still want to be discreet. Sativa, even though it shares some of Indica’s pain relief and anti-inflammatory properties, still makes you “look high.”

Another aspect to take into consideration is that everyone responds to cannabis differently. Some people might have a good response to Indica and not Sativa or vice-versa.

If you have already tried both, you may have noticed that you respond better to one type. Or, Indica and Sativa might have similar effects on you.

Getting the best of both worlds

Instead of opting for one over the other, some people experiment a little and combine different ratios of Sativa and Indica. Personalization is one of the great benefits of making your own edibles. 

You can start out with a base 1:1 ratio of Sativa and Indica. Then, you could add slightly more Sativa or Indica, depending on our preferences and the desired effect.

Hybrid Sativa-Indica cannabis plants exist too(4). And indeed, you might be able to find a hybrid that is already suited to your exact needs. 

Some cannabis hybrids occur naturally, while others have been created through cultivation As mentioned previously, humans have been growing cannabis for centuries, selectively cultivating the plants that provide the best effects along the way. During this process, some cultivators cross-pollinated Sativa and Indica-like strains, essentially getting the best of both worlds

If you are hesitant to do your own experimenting with combinations of Sativa and Indica, you may be able to find an already-cultivated hybrid that suits your needs. 


There are many subspecies of cannabis plants, and two of the most commonly used are Sativa and Indica. Sativa has more THC than CBD, while Indica has more CBD than THC. Each plant has different effects, and you may discover that you prefer one over the other. 

If you cannot decide which one is better, then you could try combining both until you find the perfect blend.