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Cannabis Sativa: What is Sativa?

Sativa cannabis plant on plate

If you’ve shopped at a marijuana dispensary, you know your options tend to include sativa, indica or a hybrid. So what is sativa? Don’t worry, in this guide, we’ll explain: 

  • What is Sativa? 
  • How is Sativa Different from Indica?
  • What are the Popular Sativa Strains?
  • How Do you Ingest Sativa? 
  • Is Sativa Right for Me?

What is Sativa?

Cannabis sativa is a cannabis cultivar with lighter-colored, long, thin fan leaves that can grow up to 12 feet tall. It was first discovered in the middle of the 18th century by Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist. 

It’s commonly thought that sativa produces a more uplifting psychoactive experience than its counterpart, indica. However, what we have since learned is that Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are incredibly similar. So similar, in fact, that researchers have realized that there’s actually really only one species of cannabis: Cannabis sativa L. 

So why are we still calling things indica, sativa, and hybrid? Because it’s the only classification system that we have. Until we’re able to identify a better system, everyone from growers to distributors is holding on to the three-type marijuana system. But as a consumer, it makes it difficult for you to know what you’re getting with each strain you purchase, and that’s why it’s important to consider not just whether it’s indica, sativa, or a hybrid, but also the terpenes, cannabinoids, and flavonoids in each strain. 

Pure sativa strains are difficult to find, but you can learn more about the Mexican landrace sativas in our guide.

What Are the Popular Sativa Strains?

If you’ve consumed cannabis, chances are, you’ve heard of some of these sativa strains. But if you’re new to cannabis, and interested in exploring a sativa, give these strains a try the next time you’re at your local dispensary.

  • Jack Herer or JH, The Jack, Premium Jack: There are several phenotypes of Jack Herer, and each has its own unique features and effects, so it is possible to try one type of Jack Herer and have a different experience from another type of Jack Herer. Overall, this sativa-dominant strain has been popular since it was created in the Netherlands in the 1990s, and it has even won some awards. 
  • Durban Poison: If you love earthy scented flower, you’ll enjoy Durban Poison. It has a sweet, woodsy scent to it and giant resin glands, making it a great strain to pick in concentrate form. Because the buds are so big, they also have a plentiful coating of trichomes on them. 
  • Green Crack or Mango Crack, Green Crush: This beautiful green bud packs a citrus flavor and aroma with a fruit flavor that makes it a pleasure to consume. If you can’t find it at your dispensary, make sure you ask for it by its alternate names, which have less of a negative connotation and are becoming more widely accepted. 
  • Super Silver Haze aka SSH: This three-time first prize winner at the High Times Cannabis Cup packs a citrus-y punch that is rich in the myrcene terpene. This sticky marijuana bud was created by crossing the popular strains Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze. 
  • Candyland aka Kandyland: Combine a thick layer of trichomes with tight, camouflage-colored buds, and you get the sativa strain Candyland. Candyland gets its name for its array of colors and sweet flavor, making it both a fun-looking and pleasant-tasting bud to have on hand. 

Depending on the dispensary you visit and whether you have a medical marijuana card, you may find different medical and recreational marijuana strains available for purchase. Experts are available at marijuana dispensaries to answer any questions you might have about the cannabis products available. 

How Do You Ingest Sativa?

Sativa can be consumed the same ways that any marijuana product can. You have edibles, flower, concentrates, beverages, oils, tinctures and more available, and many of them come in a sativa variety. You may notice as the products get further away from the actual cannabis flower (like a cannabis beverage), they are no longer classified as sativa, indica, or hybrid. This is due to the fact that many of those products start to only contain specific cannabinoids, like THC isolate. If you truly want to experience sativa, and experience the cannabinoids, terpenes, and flavonoids of each strain, you should look into different cannabis flower consumption methods. 

Is Sativa Right for Me?

If you’ve read more than a couple of articles on our blog, you know what we’re about to say to this: only you know the answer to this question. First, do a little research. Many dispensaries have their products listed online, making it easy for you to search through strains and consumer feedback to find a few you want to try. Next, visit the dispensary. Some people get a little nervous walking in for the first time, and we totally get that. But we have experts on hand for a reason: to help you make the best decision for yourself. 

Recreational Cannabis is not available in all states. Cannabis is for medical use only and may only be used by certified patients in Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania. State laws impact what dispensaries can and can’t sell to recreational customers and medical marijuana patients. Not every type of product, consumption method, dosage form, or potency mentioned on this blog will be permitted in all locations.

This website contains cannabis information and is restricted to individuals 21 years of age or older. Please confirm your age:

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