Marijuana Strains: Why Are They All Different?

Since legalized recreational marijuana sales began in Colorado in 2014, the country has begun to shift its opinion on the once criminalized drug. Cannabis products range from traditional cannabis flower, edibles, concentrates, and more. These products can be found behind medical and recreational dispensary shelves and are classified into 3 categories depending on the strain of marijuana used in the product. Cannabis products fall into the categories of indica, sativa, and hybrid marijuana strains. Different types of cannabis produce different effects and can be used for different reasons. Every stain will have a different level of THC and CBD, and while each type is known for its different effects, these effects will vary from person to person. Some strains are better for certain conditions than others, but there are some general effects associated with each type:


Cannabis indica originated in Afghanistan and was traditionally grown in cooler mountain climates. This plant tends to be shorter than its other counterparts and has a bushy appearance. This type of marijuana produces large amounts of THC and low levels of CBD. Indica strains are usually considered a strong cannabis strain due to their high THC qualities. Users tend to find indica provides a relaxing or sedating feeling and creates more of a “body high.” Because of these relaxing effects, those using cannabis for sleep tend to use indica strains.


Cannabis sativa originates from warmer climates like Mexico and South Africa and provides slightly different effects for most users. This plant can be identified from its tall appearance and long, thin leaves. Sativa has lower levels of THC than indica and provides more even levels of THC and CBD. This type of cannabis is said to have a more energizing effect and gives users more of a “head high.” Strains using sativa plants are often used for those with depression, ADHD, mood disorders, and more.


Hybrids are created by cross germinating the seeds of indica and sativa strains. This is often done in an attempt to mix the effects of both plants. Hybrids are often described based on the dominate effect they have. Some might give users a feeling closer to indica, and others might give a closer high to sativa. Most cannabis on the market today is some kind of hybrid.

While most users experience similar effects from each type, people shouldn’t be alarmed if their effects are different. Some users may notice an energizing sativa strain has more of a mellowing effect, or an indica strain might make them feel energized.

Some of the most popular strains you come across in a dispensary will have unique names that describe the appearance, smell, or effects of the strain. See below for a few examples:

  • Girl Scout Cookies

This is an indica dominated hybrid strain that is said to have effects of happiness, euphoria, and couch-lock. This strain is high in THC and is great for those looking to relax. This strain is often used to relieve stress, reduce anxiety, and help with depression.

  • Acapulco Gold

This strain is a sativa strain with motivating and energizing effects for most users. It gets its name from its origin in Acapulco, Mexico, and is characterized by its orange appearance. This strain can be hard to find due to its popularity. It is often used for those looking to reduce fatigue, stress, pain, and nausea.

  • Purple Haze

This strain is a sativa dominant hybrid strain that hits hard and fast. This strain is high in THC and gets its name from its purple hues found on the flower. This strain is used commonly by those dealing with depression, chronic pain, anxiety, and other medical conditions.

  • White Widow

This hybrid is known as one of the best hybrid strains on the market. White Widow is said to give users a cognitive driven high that improves the user’s mood, increases energy, and relaxes all at once.

If you’re still interested in the different strains of marijuana available to you, give us a call at (719) 246-0393 or book an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor.