More than Indica vs. Sativa: Things to Know About Buying Cannabis Flower

April 26, 2021

There are so many options to consider when buying cannabis flower, and if you’ve reviewed our cannabis menu—you know there are so many choices, and making an informed decision isn’t always easy. 

Buying cannabis flower is a bit more complicated than simply Indica vs. Sativa—but those two features are an excellent place to start!

When you review our menu or even talk about cannabis, most people look first to whether a plant is Indica (in-dah-cuh) or Sativa (suh-tee-vuh).

All About Indica

Cannabis plants that are labeled Indica are known for calming, physically sedating and pain-reducing effects. When consumed, it gives more of a whole-body high—you’re likely to feel it from your head to your toes. The strain is best for evening use and for consuming when you’re ready to relax and bring things down a notch. Indicas are also known for appetite stimulation—so be prepared for the munchies. This perceived negative is also one reason why people undergoing chemotherapy or those with gastric and digestive issues might seek an Indica strain. It’s also a strain that helps people with anxiety issues and is less likely to cause racing thoughts or paranoia. Pharmhouse Wellness carries numerous kinds of Indica flower—use our menu to sort and find an Indica that sounds good to you. We often have Ice Cream Cake, an Indica cross between Wedding Cake and Gelato that tastes like it sounds—hints of vanilla and sugar. Yum!

Indica and Sativa plants look different from each other—Indica plants are deep green, broad-leafed, and stout, whereas Sativas are taller, slender leafed and lighter in their shade of green. Indicas grow faster, too, so that might be why you find more Indica offerings on the market.

All About Sativa

Sativa is known for its head high and its energizing properties. It’s great for consuming during the day—and helps stimulate creativity and idea generation. People like Sativas because of the pick-me-up effect—think about being wide-awake and happy or consuming it before a social gathering. It’ll help make you more talkative and animated. Sativas are great for when you have an extensive list of chores to do and need the energy and mood improvement to “get it done.” Sativa cannabis can help lessen anxiety, though it can contribute to paranoid thoughts, so if you’re vulnerable to that but still like the lift, you might want to try a hybrid.

It’s essential to keep in mind that the effect of any kind of cannabis changes from one person to the next. You might find that some Indica strains are more uplifting, and some Sativas will calm you down. The only way you’ll know is to experiment and try different strains for different occasions.

All About Hybrid Cannabis

For many cannabis consumers, a hybrid is “just right,” not too heavy, and not too heady. Hybrids take the best of both plants and marry them into some of the most exciting tasting and smelling flower. In some cases, you can think of a hybrid as the “best of” cannabis. Two very distinct strains are cross-bred, and a new plant is created that features the best of each parent. Hybrids tend to lean in one direction or another of the parent plant, so if you read hybrid, Indica-dominant, you know you’re getting something that’s more like an Indica; the same goes for Sativa dominant. If you’re still trying to sort out the Indica vs. Sativa dilemma, a hybrid might be best for you.


Two of the most prevalent properties of cannabis are THC and CBD. THC is the psychoactive chemical in cannabis, and CBD is a non-psychoactive chemical. THC helps give you a cannabis high, and CBD does not.

Interestingly both CBD and THC have the same molecular structure with 30 hydrogen atoms, 21 carbon atoms and two oxygen atoms. The arrangement of these atoms accounts for how you feel when you consume cannabis or hemp products. There’s something called the endocannabinoid system in your body. This system has cannabinoid receptors similar to the endocannabinoids in THC and CBD, so they react to the cannabinoid receptors inside of you. The interaction of cannabis products aids in the release of neurotransmitters in your brain. These chemicals send messages throughout your body between cells regarding various health conditions like pain, stress, and sleep. 

THC and CBD work best in unison, so THC-rich cannabis with some CBD will help with health issues, and CBD with a tiny amount of THC will be more helpful for better health.

Is More THC Better?

When you look at the Pharmhouse menu, you’ll see cannabis with THC ranging from 16 to 28 percent. Is 28 percent better than 16 percent? It depends on what you’re looking for and your consumption habits. Indeed, 28 percent is more potent—but if you’re new to cannabis—you’ll likely consume less of higher potency flower. Higher THC levels don’t necessarily mean better cannabis. There’s one aspect of cannabis chemistry that completes an excellent cannabis strain—terpenes. 

The Distinctive Smell and Effect of Cannabis 

If you are intrigued by the smell of cannabis—terpenes are the chemical that is responsible for the scent of cannabis.

Every strain of cannabis has a unique terpene profile (or terps for short). More than a hundred different terps are found in cannabis plants, and each strain of cannabis you might buy has several terpenes. It is those terpenes that give marijuana its smell and medicinal properties. These are the primary terpenes in most cannabis strains.

Myrcene—is primarily herbal. It also might smell like hops and lemongrass. It helps with relaxation and mood-lifting.

Pinene—smells like pine, and also rosemary, dill and basil. It helps to boost energy and is suitable for gastric issues.

Caryophyllene—This terpene is peppery in scent, like black pepper, cinnamon and cloves. It’s one of the most distinctive scents and is known for relaxation, and is often found in topicals.

Humulene—smells like Hops (the ingredient in beer) and is woody and spicy in its scent. It’s Humulene that is researched and used for its cancer-fighting properties.

Limonene—is citrus-scented, so think about fruit peels and also juniper and peppermint. It is anti-spasmodic and helps to lift your mood.

Terpinolene—is also fruity but more like tea and nutmeg. It’s a fresh scent and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

Phytol—is flowery in scent and is used for relaxing, sedative and anti-anxiety and anti-inflammatory properties.

Eucalyptol—smells like menthol or mint, and it has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

If you’re intrigued by this aspect of cannabis, read more here.

Keep in mind; you can always call Pharmhouse Wellness and ask about our menu. We’re happy to answer any questions and help you decide on your cannabis flower purchase.