September 21, 2018

Cannabis Species: Medical & Recreational Cannabis Species

Welcome to the Cannabis Supply Co. educational series! We’ll be taking a look at the three medical and recreational cannabis species: sativa, indica and hybrids. In part one of this series, we learned about the four species in terms of where they came from, how the species are different, and how these types of cannabis are used today.

In part two, we’re taking a look at medical and recreational cannabis – the cannabis with cannabinoids like THC and psychoactive effects that is cultivated for its flowers. What is it and how can it help you medically? How has is been used throughout history? And why did it get prohibited in the first place?


Medical Cannabis: What’s the difference between species?

Medical cannabis species

For medical and recreational use, sativas, indicas and hybrids are used. All of these species will have varying THC and CBD content, along with a host of other cannabinoids – 113 cannabinoids have been identified so far! Unlike industrial cannabis that is cultivated to use all other parts of the plant, medical and recreational cannabis plants are cultivated just for their cannabinoid-rich flowers. Let’s take a look at their different effects of these amazing flowers:

Sativa Hybrid Indica
What are the effects? Uplifting or stimulating. Referred to as a “head high”. Commonly used during the day. Hybrid plants are categorised by the percentage of indica and sativa. Ie: 60% indica, 40% sativa.

You will feel both effects, but more of the dominant species

Calming, commonly described as a “body high”. Commonly used in the evening and nighttime.


Sativas will provide what is referred to as a “head high” and you will likely remain feeling alert and aware. You may feel heightened sensations like taste and sound. Sativas are generally used during the daytime for this reason: you will get the effects of the cannabinoids (THC & CBD) but won’t feel sleepy or slowed down like with an indica.

Indica strains will provide what is referred to as a “body high” and you will likely feel calm or relaxed and may have slower cognitive operation than normal. Because of this, indicas are most often used in the evening and at bedtime to aid in getting to sleep and staying asleep. Indicas are typically  used for people wishing to treat racing thoughts that come with anxiety because it helps to slow the thoughts and calm the mind and body.

Hybrid species will have a blend of both indica and sativa properties and are usually categorized with a percentage denoting the blend. For example a plant could be 40% indica and 60% sativa. With that information, you can infer that you will feel a blend of effects from both sativa and indica, with the sativa effects being dominant. Hybrids are popular because of their blended effects and are available through Canadian Licensed Producers.

Book Online Banner

What conditions can be helped with each species?

Sativa Hybrid Indica
Common Effects Increased mental focus, heightened sensations (sound, taste, sights and smells), uplifting Combination of effects of both Sativa and Indica plant with either strain being dominant. Relieves pain & nausea, anti-anxiety, stimulates appetite, causes sleepiness
Conditions that may be helped Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and more The combination of effects make hybrids capable of helping any of the listed conditions Arthritis, migraines, fibromyalgia, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and more



Once you know the type of effects you’d like to feel by the cannabis species, you will then look at the cannabinoid content as your next choice. Cannabis species can have any level of THC and CBD so it’s important to always know the content of your cannabis so you don’t end up with effects you don’t want to experience. In the chart below, you can see a brief overview of THC and CBD and their effects. Stay tuned for  our next article on cannabinoids!

Common Effects THC is the psychoactive compound that makes you feel “high”

  • Heightened sensation
  • Muscle relaxation
  • Pain relief
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-nausea
  • Anti-spasm
  • Sleep aid
CBD will not make you feel “high” and can counteract the psychoactive effects of THC

  • Anti-anxiety
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-nausea
  • Anti-convulsant
  • Anti-spasm or tremor
  • Muscle relaxant
Conditions that may be helped Late stage cancer pain, nausea from cancer treatment, PTSD, insomnia and sleep issues, and more Epilepsy, MS, muscle spasms, chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and more


Stay tuned for our next article: Cannabinoids!

Book Online Banner

Stay tuned for the rest of Cannabis Supply Co.’s educational series on all things cannabis!

Past Educational Posts:

About Catherine