Everything to Know About Cannabis Sativa

If you’re new to the world of cannabis, it can feel like you’re learning an entirely new language – and in many ways, you are. There are so many different words, terms, and labels that you’ll encounter in your local dispensary, but we’re here to help you navigate them all with ease.

In this comprehensive guide, we’re deep diving into an essential topic: cannabis sativa.

What is Cannabis Sativa?

Cannabis sativa is a cannabis plant used for various purposes by humans for thousands of years. The species includes a wide variety of marijuana and hemp varieties.

The cannabis sativa plant is typically taller and slimmer than other varieties, featuring narrow leaves and a lighter shade of green. It thrives in warm, tropical climates and has a longer flowering period than other cannabis plants.

Sativa strains are known for their uplifting and cerebral effects, often described as energizing and promoting creativity. They’re also characterized by their uniquely pungent aroma, manifesting as fruity, sweet, citrusy, peppery, piney, or earthy.

Differences Between Sativa and Indica

The cannabis plant can be classified into two main types: cannabis sativa and cannabis indica.
While both belong to the same species, they each exhibit varying characteristics in terms of appearance, growth patterns, cannabinoid content, and effects. Here are some key differences between the two:


Cannabis sativa plants are taller and have narrower leaves, while indica plants are shorter and bushier with broader leaves. Sativa plants can grow up to 12 feet or even taller, with their leaves featuring a lighter shade of green compared to indica varieties.

The branches of sativa plants are more spread out, allowing for better light penetration and airflow, essential for their growth in warm and tropical environments. In contrast, indica plants are more compact, often growing between 3 to 6 feet tall, with a darker green hue to their leaves. Their bushy structure allows them to efficiently capture and utilize light, making them well-suited for cooler climates.

Growth Patterns

Sativa plants thrive in warm climates and have a longer flowering period, whereas indica plants prefer cooler climates and have shorter flowering times.

Sativa strains typically have a flowering time of 10 to 12 weeks or more, and they require ample sunlight and warm temperatures to reach their full potential. Due to their preference for tropical conditions, sativa plants are often grown in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America.

On the other hand, indica strains have a shorter flowering time, usually between 7 to 9 weeks, which allows them to complete their life cycle before the onset of harsher, colder weather. Indica plants are native to regions like the Hindu Kush mountain range in Afghanistan and Pakistan, where the climate is cooler and more temperate.


Sativa dominant strains are known for their uplifting, cerebral effects, while indica strains are more associated with relaxation and sedation.

The unique effects of each strain type can be attributed to their distinct combinations of cannabinoids, terpenes, and other chemical compounds found within the plant. Sativa strains tend to produce a more energetic and stimulating high, often described as “heady” or “cerebral.” Consumers frequently report feelings of increased creativity, focus, and sociability after consuming sativa strains, making them popular choices for daytime use or activities requiring mental clarity.

In contrast, indica strains are known for their calming and sedative effects, which are commonly referred to as a “body high” or “couch-lock.” Indica strains are ideal for evening use or when seeking relaxation and relief from physical discomfort, as they can help to soothe muscles, promote sleep, and alleviate stress.

Cannabinoid Content

Sativa and indica strains often differ in their cannabinoid profiles, particularly concerning THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) levels.

THC is the primary psychoactive component in cannabis, responsible for the plant’s intoxicating effects. It is known for inducing euphoria, relaxation, and heightened sensory experiences. In general, sativa strains tend to have higher THC levels compared to indica strains, which contributes to their more cerebral and energetic effects.

CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that has gained popularity for its potential therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and analgesic properties. Indica strains typically have higher CBD levels compared to sativa strains, which can contribute to their more soothing and relaxing effects.
Keep in mind that the specific cannabinoid profile of a strain can vary widely depending on its genetics and cultivation techniques.

What are the Effects of Cannabis Sativa?

Cannabis sativa strains are often described as refreshing and uplifting, with effects that can impact both the mind and the body.

Some of the most commonly reported effects of sativa strains include:

  1. Increased energy: Consumers often feel more energetic and alert after consuming sativa strains.
  2. Heightened creativity: Many individuals say that cannabis sativa enhances their creative abilities, making it a popular choice for artists and writers.
  3. Improved focus: Sativa strains can help improve concentration and focus, making them suitable for tasks requiring mental clarity.
  4. Mood elevation: Cannabis sativa also has mood-boosting properties.

What are the Potential Uses for Cannabis Sativa?

Thanks to its unique properties, cannabis sativa has a wide range of potential uses, both medicinally and recreationally. Some of the most common include:

  1. Body Discomfort relief: Cannabis sativa has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for pain, and recent research has supported its potential for pain management.
  2. Mood: The uplifting effects of sativa strains can be helpful for mood, with many patients describing increased positivity and reduced stress.
  3. Fatigue: The energizing properties of sativa strains make them an attractive option for individuals with sluginess or low energy levels.
  4. Appetite stimulation: Some sativa strains have been said to stimulate appetite, making them potentially useful for patients experiencing loss of appetite due to medical conditions or treatments.

Popular Sativa Strains

Countless sativa-dominant strains are available, each with a unique blend of flavors, aromas, and effects. Some of the most popular and sought-after sativa strains include:

  • Sour Diesel: Known for its pungent, diesel-like aroma, this strain offers a fast-acting, uplifting high that is perfect for combating stress and fatigue.
  • Jack Herer: Named after the legendary cannabis activist, Jack Herer is a well-balanced strain that offers both cerebral and physical effects, making it an ideal choice for creative endeavors and social settings.
  • Green Crack: Despite its often-controversial name, Green Crack is a favorite sativa strain known for its invigorating energy and focus-boosting properties.Super
  • Lemon Haze: A zesty strain with a strong lemon aroma, Super Lemon Haze delivers an energetic and uplifting experience that can help combat fatigue and improve mood.
  • Durban Poison: Originating from South Africa, Durban Poison is famous for its sweet, earthy aroma and clear-headed, stimulating effects, making it an excellent choice for daytime use.
  • Strawberry Cough: This fruity, sweet-smelling strain is popular for its ability to induce a positive and uplifting high while also being said to provide some relief from stress.

Learn More about Cannabis Sativa and Marijuana

Are you interested in more information about how cannabis sativa could be a good addition to your lifestyle? At the Giving Tree Dispensary, our experienced team is always available to answer your questions, provide recommendations, and walk you through finding the best cannabis products to suit your needs.

Visit our Phoenix dispensary to browse our full selection today!


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