What Medical Marijuana Strain Is Best For Your Condition - Sativa or Indica?

Julie Gardener

New Member
What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?
There are three distinctly different kinds of marijuana-cannabis. Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Cannabis Ruderalis is a type that grows wild in parts of Eastern Europe and Russia. It’s occasionally used in hybrids (an intentional crossing of two different types of cannabis) to help the resulting plants be better able to cope with the cold weather. We grow in-doors using hydroponics and therefore Ruderalis strain is not required. Leaving us with 2 main cannabis strains and that is Sativa and Indica.


Sativas and Indicas are very different, like night and day. They are tall, thin plants, with much narrower leaves and grow a lighter green in color. They grow very quickly and can reach heights of 20 feet in a single season. They originally come from Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and Southeast Asia. Once flowering has begun, they can take anywhere from 10 to 16 weeks to fully mature. Flavors range from earthy to sweet and fruity. The high of a Sativa is cerebral, up and energetic. Sativa’s offer more of a “head buzz”.

This type of high is the one most associated with hilarious fits of laughter, long discussions about nothing, enhanced audio and visual senses. You hear things in songs you’ve never heard before, see things in movies you’ve watched a dozen times but never noticed before.

A brightly-lit malls becomes a whole new and exciting adventure. Therefore, smoking a pure Sativa or mostly Sativa hybrid will make you feel great! Energetic and social and ready for fun! And depending on the particular strain of Sativa-Indica cross you smoke, you may get a good measure of pain relief in the deal as well.

Consuming (eating) either strain or hybrid of the two results in a stronger, longer-lasting high. But it doesn’t feel as good as smoking the herb does to many who have tried it. It’s a matter of experience and personal taste. It really depends on what effect you are looking for when making your selection and choosing a way to ingest it for your condition.


Indicas originally come from the hash producing countries of the world like Afghanistan, Morocco, and Tibet. They are short dense plants, with broad leaves and often grow a darker green. After flowering starts they will be mature in 6 to 8 weeks. The buds will be thick and dense, with flavors and aromas ranging from pungent skunk to sweet and fruity. The smoke from an Indica is generally a body type high, relaxing and laid back.

The “high” a person experiences when smoking a sufficient amount of pure or mostly pure Indica, such as Medicine Man or Warlock is more of a heavy “body buzz”.

You may feel lethargic, tired, unwilling to attend to reality tasks. Very laid back, lazy. You may just want left alone to sit and think deep, intellectual thoughts as you enjoy the pain relief.

You may find it very hard to stay awake as well, so this sort of strain would be good for those having trouble sleeping. This is the best sort of “high” for easing pain and most of the other symptoms these conditions.

A good Indica/Sativa cross can also offer the best of both worlds. There are many breeders who work hard to develop strains that will accomplish just that to give you a great head high coupled with a relaxing and definitely medically beneficial strong body stone.

Combining different indicas, different sativas or a combination thereof creates hybrids. The resulting hybrid strains will grow, mature and smoke in relationship to the indica-sativa percentages they end up containing.

All Strains are Potent:

The success of the eventual outcome will depend on your personal tastes and the conditions in which they are grown. Tests of THC percentages of most strains is rare and we are not really sure what the numbers mean when disclosed. THC is found in the resin glands that form on the plant during the maturation process. These glands act as a shield to protect the seed from the searing heat of the sun. From our experience this is needed more in a hot, dry atmosphere, than a hot humid one. To maximize resin production drop the humidity in the room for the flowering stage, the lower the better. But no matter how much resin you induce on an indica it's still not going to give you the stone of a sativa, so it does have a lot to do with your personal tastes and expectations.

All of the yields for the strains are approximate and depends a lot on how they are grown and the quality of the environment. Indoor lights don't penetrate down very far so it is better to grow a larger number of smaller plants to achieve the highest yield of top quality bud. Maximum yields indoors are coming from indicas and mostly indica hybrids, while the more sativa in the mix, the lower the yields tend to be.

The yield indoors is really limited only by the amount of light available, not the strain you choose. Given that it is a good growing environment, you can expect the yield to be about the same from any strain in relationship to its indica/sativa content. It is up to your designated marijuana grower to maximize the plant's potential in his space.

The most desirable strains for medical use are ones that have been genetically developed by experts to have an extremely low CBN concentration while maintaining an available range of THC concentrates.

Effects of Indica (lower THC, higher CBN/CBD):

Indica generally more physical than cerebral (however, the relief of physical symptoms can have a positive psychological effect)

Sedation, pain relief and relaxation
Best for later in the day and bedtime
Perhaps better for anxiety than depression

Benefits of Indica (lower THC, higher CBN/CBD):

reduces pain
muscle relaxant
relieves spasms, reduces seizures
reduces inflammation
aids sleep
reduces anxiety and stress
reduces nausea
stimulates appetite
relieves headaches and migraines
reduces intra-occular pressure
bronchio-dilator and expectorant

Effects of Sativa (high THC, low CBN/CBD):

More stimulating and uplifting
Energizing and thought provoking
Increases focus and creativity
Supports immune system
Best for use in daytime

Benefits of Sativa (high THC, low CBN/CBD):

Reduces nausea
Stimulates the appetite
Fights drepression
Positive, uplifting, cerebral effect
Energizes and stimulates
Promotes creativity
Relieves headaches and migraines
Relaxes muscles, relieves pain
Acts as an expectorant

Selecting the Best Strain and Dosage

The efficacy of cannabis is directly related to strain selection. Care should be taken when selecting strains that will benefit you. Potency and dosage vary with different strains, conditions and individuals. The idea is to consume as little as possible of the most appropiately potent strains available in order to reduce costs and potential side effects.

Hybrid Stain Crosses:

Most cannabis seeds and medicine available today are from hybrids - crosses of Sativa and Indica varieties. This allows cultivators to enjoy and select for various desired characteristics of growth, appearance and effect.

The genetics and hence the effects of one lineage will usually be dominant. For example: Indica-dominant crosses are for pain relief, with the sativa component helping with energy and activity levels.

Sativa-dominant crosses are good for stimulating appetite, with the indica component helping to reduce body pain and increase relaxation.

Cannabis has been proven helpful in relieving the symptoms of thousands of conditions, including:

Pain from various ailments and injuries
Arthritis, bursitis
Multiple sclerosis
Hepatitis C
Nausea and low appetite
Cancer, chemotherapy
Muscular dystrophy
Epilepsy, parkinson's
Asthma, emphysema
Glaucoma and other intra-ocular disorders
Skin diseases such as pruritis and psoriasis
Back pain and muscle spasms
Paraplegia and quadriplegia
Insomnia and other sleep disorders
Study finds THC promotes death of brain cancer cells and shrinks tumors *

Active Ingredients: (Cannabinoids)

There are approximately 60 indentified cannabinoids and each of an infinite number of strains of cannabis has its own cannabinoid profile.

The active cannabinoids each have unique physiological effects and many combinations actually appear to have synergystic and antagonistic effects.

Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC):

Euphoric, stimulant, muscle relaxant, anti-epileptic, anti-emetic, anti-inflammatory, appetite stimulating, bronchio-dilating, hypotensive, anti-depressant and analgesic effects.

Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV, THV), also known as tetrahydrocannabivarol:

A non-psychoactive cannabinoid found naturally in Cannabis sativa. It is an analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with the sidechain shortened by two CH2 groups. THCV can be used as a marker compound to differentiate between the consumption of hemp products and synthetic THC (e.g., Marinol). THCV is found in largest quantities in Cannabis sativa subsp. sativa strains. Some varieties that produce propyl cannabinoids in significant amounts, over five percent of total cannabinoids, have been found in plants from South Africa, Nigeria, Afghanistan, India, Pakistan and Nepal with THCV as high as 53.69% of total cannabinoids. They usually have moderate to high levels of both THC and Cannabidiol (CBD) and hence have a complex cannabinoid chemistry representing some of the world's most exotic cannabis varieties. It has been shown to be a CB1 receptor antagonist, i.e. blocks the effects of THC. In 2007 GW Pharmaceuticals announced that THCV is safe in humans in a clinical trial and it will continue to develop THCV as a potential cannabinoid treatment for type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders, similar to the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant.

Cannabidiol (CBD):

A major constituent of medical cannabis. CBD represents up to 40% of extracts of the medical cannabis plant. Cannabidiol relieves convulsion, inflammation, anxiety, nausea, and inhibits cancer cell growth. Recent studies have shown cannabidiol to be as effective as atypical antipsychotics in treating schizophrenia. In November 2007 it was reported that CBD reduces growth of aggressive human breast cancer cells in vitro and reduces their invasiveness. It thus represents the first non-toxic exogenous agent that can lead to down-regulation of tumor aggressiveness. It is also a neuroprotective antioxidant. Also lessens the psychoactive effects of THC and has sedative and analgesic effects.


Promotes the effects of THC and has sedative and analgesic effects.

Cannabigerol (CBG):

Has sedative effects and anti-microbial properties as well as lowering intra-ocular pressure. CBG is the biogenetic precursor of all other cannabinoids.

Cannabinol (CBN):

A mildly psychoactive degradation of THC, it's primary effects are as an anti-epileptic, and to lower intra-ocular pressure.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I'm a highly active business-owner and I never have to leave my own property (well - very rarely) and I want to try to get off insulin completely. Without going into needless details I have made great strides in diminishing my diabetes symptoms by treating my disease with proper food. I already have the activity thing down.

I haven't smoked pot since my party days back in the 70's but I didn't like the effects of indica's - back then there was a lot of Columbian, Humbolt Bay, and Acopulco Gold which I assume were all indica's (?). They'd knock me out or make me real paranoid if they didn't.

I'm currently growing a few different single-plant strains to learn how to grow, and my goal is to make oil so I can go on the 30 Rick Simpson plan to see if it really can minimize the effects of or even "cure" my diabetes.

With that background, does anyone think that a mostly, or even a pure sativa would be just as beneficial for my situation as indica? I mean, since I don't like indica's I'm hoping that some sativa strains can be just as medicinal. I realize that for cancer etc. where rest is paramount, indica is the way to go. And I have a family member with chron's so I'll be making indica oiul for him but for my diabetes I've not found any in-depth discussion about what strain/s might be best for us Type II types.

Not being overweight has helped but I'd really like to get off insulin completely since I believe it's poison in the long term. Thanks for thoughts.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

This is a great thread! I use sativa for migraines/mood, and indica for back pain or nausea.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I love indica, I smoke at night to help me sleep but I have some
Super Silver Haze that is awesome
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

Sativas have definitely proven, to me at least, to be the best for what ails me, primarily the chronic post-encephalitic disorders not to mention the side effects of all the anti-biotics. If the damage to my entire nervous system (brain included) brought on by the Encephalitis wasn't enough it was all them fucking anti-biotics they pumped into me to fight off the infection, which I'm sure caused a great deal more damage to the rest of my body, and just made things worse.

If the doctors really had any sense of mercy they would have let me die instead of forcing me to live this bullshit, preordained, life of misery. To add insult to injury when I eventually discovered the benefits of using Cannabis on my own - the doctors turned blind, deaf, and then to stone.


I wish I could describe in detail how Cannabis, in general, has helped me...I just dunno. Tried as much with all the doctors in the past but...pffff. It's like everything I said went in one ear and out the other.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I forgot to mention how Sativas help me in dealing with my pains, both physically and mentally.

Rather than covering it up with pain killers, anti-spasmatics, anti-inflammatory meds, and the like AND rather than those stupid anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and whatever other stupid shit they send down the public's throat, tied together with their Cultural Slave Re-integration/Psychological Manipulation and Control Therapy CRAP, Sativas helps with my innermost thoughts and feelings; kinda like taking the edge off of, whatever. Helps me focus, relaxes my anxieties, keeps my thoughts from raging out of control, helps me to like find my center, or something to that effect.

All those benefits I mentions are not just with smoking Sativas alone. I do what I can to maintain healthy eating habits. I'm heavily into physical therapies (Massage, Accu-pressure [a.k.a. pressure point therapy], meditative exercises [external and internal], stretching, etc.,). I'm something of a musical artist for my creative aspects. I'm heavy into critical thinking, realistic aspirations, and so forth.

What the name of holy bat-shit am I rambling on about?

Never mind. Let everything I've written go in one eye and out the other. Don't bother trying to understand it cuz I don't even understand it myself.

Other than that.

Have a good morning, good afternoon, good evening, or a good night. And if you're someone who's got a few different people inside your head, may you enjoy all four at once.

Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

Excellent! Thank you for posting this:peacetwo:
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I honestly cannot tell the difference between one strain and another. I've had Blue Dream, Bubba Kush, OG Kush, Purple Urkle, Phoenix Suns...it all tastes and feels the same to me. But then, that is true for wine as well.

Soon, I will have my first WoWo. I will report on that, but I don't think it will be much different than anything else I have tried. Maybe the big buzz and taste differences are uh, hyperbole.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I mostly use a sativa durig the day and an indica at night right before bed as I am treating multiple conditions. I also use a ruderalis hybrid for general pain but not when I have severe nerve pain, it seems to bring the pain into focus, which is a very bad thing. I've never been able to build up much of a tolerance, so couch lock still hits me hard. We're talking 5-hour nap. Anyway, that's what works for me.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I have Psoriatic Arthritis and it was so bad at one point I could barely walk and always had pain. I use MJ and keep pain free. Found it also resolved part of the condition I have which is something Big Pharma meds couldn't do. I smoke/eat/use indica's, sativa's, and hybrids smoke and oils. I can't recommend a specific since I think each person really needs to find what works for them and there are so many good ones. Plus great ways to mix (ie sprinkle some hash into the weed your smoking or put two hash oils together before applying. Look up Juicing Cannabis on youtube as well for some very important facts and reasons to juice.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

With one exception once, every treatment's effect has been just like the next to me.

The delivery method and dosage seem more relevant than strain type. In my 7 month adventure into MMJ for my condition, I've tested much of the religeous like beliefs I've read on these forums and found more false than true.

Every frickin' cannabis photo I have ever scene looks like the next. Every strain's effect just like the another's. You want to know where to draw the line on claims? Look at states' laws for MMJ. Chronic pain relief, glaucoma, etc., etc., seem to have already been nailed down frm a science as policy view point.

All these freaks out there smoking weed and trying to eat people and gun down cops like Scarface....are they victims of the wrong strain or just psychotic idiots?
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

The best strain to me is the one that on the surface, grows easily in your home and has the most subjective benefit.

It won't have a legitimate phenotype and name. It may be the first or last plant one tries, it may be a specific delivery method at a certain time. It may be none of the above.

Whatever works.
Re: What Medical Marijuana strain is best for your condition, Sativa or Indica?

I have Psoriatic Arthritis and it was so bad at one point I could barely walk and always had pain.

Same here. Like a lot of afflictions, it's hard to grasp it unless you feel it.

I think I've discovered my first strain differentiator but I'm still analyzing. My chronic psoriatic arthritis pain in my hands seems to be helped significantly more with the Blueberry strain--if in fact that's what it was.

More hope from the Tree of Life.
Great thread; looks it has most f the answers to my questions as an 86 year old newbe. I have one clone growing and it is flowering for about two weeks now. Don't see anything that looks like seeds, but also don't know what they are supposed to look like. Dont even know what strain this thing is. Because of agee and health limitatins (cancer plus a lot more, I perhaps just should buy anoher few clones.
I don't smoke and am not looking for a "high", Just pain relief augmentation to the narcotics I am currently swallowing.
Pain is result of prostate cancer (low back) Arthritis ( (joints), and severe headaches result from WWII head injury. So . . . . . . ? what clone strain should I pick ??? and when to harvest. ??
I did harvest some leaves from my plant, ground them to powder (after drying), cookes them in microwave, and filled some capsules. Don't do a thing though.
Clue me in, I am never too old to learn.
86 could be a record. Really, a WWII vet?

Thanks for your service. I am fairly new too and just over half your age but I'd like to help if I can. I liked the affect of Blueberry.
Thanks for your kind response, Indeed WWII vet. Looooooooong time ago :-(
Meanwhile I pulled the plant up, stripped leaves and flowers?, and dried them in oven.
Next step, according to websites, grind it to powder again, and either wet (oil) fill capsules, or dry (powder) fill them
Ordered two new clones, one sativa, and one indica, will see what it does.
Thanks again,
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