There are two main species of cannabis: indica and sativa. Each of these main species has thousands of subspecies, better known as strains. Sativa plants are tall and thin, while indica plants are short, wide and dense.

Generally, sativas contain more THC than CBD, and indicas contain more CBD than THC. THC is the cannabinoid known for its psychoactive properties, whereas CBD cannot get you “high.”

While you can easily read through cannabis reviews online to find the right strain for you, we’re going to discuss which main species is ideal for three of the most common conditions medical marijuana is used to treat.


Those who are suffering from chronic pain will find that both indica and sativa plants are beneficial. The right species for you generally depends on what you plan to do after using your medical marijuana.

If you’re having trouble sleeping and are dealing with debilitating pain, an indica strain will help you sleep and alleviate your pain.

Indica strains are often preferred by those who are suffering from:

  • Arthritis
  • Parkinson’s
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia

It’s important to keep in mind that these strains tend to have a sedative effect, so they’re better suited for night-time use or when you do not plan on doing anything that day.


Cancer-related symptoms, be it from chemotherapy or the cancer itself, can often be alleviated or minimized through the use of medical marijuana.

Indica strains tend to offer the best overall results. This species helps:

  • Alleviate pain
  • Relax muscles
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Promote sleep
  • Stimulate appetite
  • Reduce nausea

The only drawback here is that indica strains tend to have a “couch lock” effect, which makes it difficult to go about your normal daily activities.

Sativa strains can also offer relief, although not as effective, without causing a sedative effect.


When it comes to depression, sativa strains are often the better option. These strains have higher THC levels and lower CBD levels, which creates a more uplifting and stimulating effect. Sativa strains are energizing, increase your focus and creativity, and are better suited for daytime use.

Because of their uplifting properties, sativa strains are preferred by people suffering from depression and anxiety.


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