Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid Do They Really Matter in Edibles?

Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid Do They Really Matter in Edibles?

Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid Do They Really Matter in Edibles?

Finding something specific to your needs at a marijuana dispensary isn’t usually too difficult. Indicas are typically good for getting some sleep and easing a bit of pain, sativas are better if you happen to lack energy or focus, and then hybrids are going to be a bit of a balance between the two. When looking at marijuana-infused edibles, however, you’ll really only find differences in flavors, without regards to how it will affect you. In truth, there is still much progress to be made with edibles compared to traditional flowers in terms of how it will affect the consumer.

The iconic pot brownie, which has been around since the 1960s, was historically made by simply combining marijuana and butter and using that as one of the ingredients in cooking the morsels. Most edibles nowadays use much more advanced materials making use of butane or carbon dioxide to extract cannabinoids from the plant. This technique is still rather new, and has its share of detractors. Regardless of how it’s made, edibles unfortunately have not had as many studies performed compared to traditional smokable marijuana.


Neuroscience professor Kent Hutchinson (of University of Colorado at Boulder’s Center For Health and Addiction) says that the main biological difference here is that edibles have to go through first pass metabolism, which takes them through the liver, whereas when marijuana is smoked, more of the cannabinoids are getting into your blood, causing them to be processed by your body much faster. Due to biological makeup, there is also a bigger variance of effect from person to person. There’s also the issue that marijuana is usually designed to be smoked, so there is the question about whether or not the characteristics of that can be attributed to its food-based version.


Historically, trim (the leaves surrounding the marijuana plant) was discarded as it has low THC levels and they were thought to be of very little value. Nowadays, however, trim is considered much more important in commercial grow operations that manufacturers will buy, whilst still leaving the flower for those who want to smoke or vape. Companies usually buy their wholesale trim from multiple growers that typically do not sort between indica, sativa, and hybrid.

Max Montrose, who used to transport trim between manufacturers of edibles and growers, said that most companies that make edibles don’t separate the sativa and indica trims. And even in the event that they did do their best to separate them, the trim could still be intermixed, so it’s somewhat of a grab bag on what you’re getting.


With very careful cooking and processing of the flower, separate Indica and Sativa edibles can be delivered to weed dispensaries. Though terpene profiles are typically lost in the production of edibles, the cannabinoid profiles are mostly preservable.

Though some edible products will have labels denoting whether it is indica or sativa, it may not say how you’ll be affected. They are usually just labeled as “sativa” or “indica” without further information. But ask yourself this; if you didn’t know which it was, would you have been able to tell the difference between them?

The differences between the two can actually be very different based on your own personal perception. If you happen to be the kind of person that tends to feel uplifting effects only during the daytime, you might assume an edible that boosts your mood and energy in the afternoon to be a sativa. But if you then ingest the opposite edible at nighttime and it puts you out, you’re probably going to assume that it’s indica (read more here).

The biological makeup of every person is different enough that results will vary when determining the effects of indica and sativa edibles. To get the best results, it’s recommended to start with a relatively small dose edible (5-10mg is a good baseline) and measure how it makes you feel within one to two hours. Determine which one tends to give you a boost of energy, and which one tends to make you want to nap. Listen to how your body reacts to both indica and sativa so you can learn which one is best for you.

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