Difference between Indica and Sativa

We are all aware that cannabis is a flowering herb that has numerous uses. More research about this magical plant is quite promising. Even though much about this plant is scientifically proven, there are still numerous hearsays out there. Looking at the medical side of it, the plant comes in two main varieties- Sativa and Indica.

These are the widely known strain of cannabis. As a cannabis enthusiast, this is a crucial consideration you should check out before making a decision. If you are new to marijuana use, this might sound strange to you. You may fail to understand the difference between these two strains. However, you should not worry.

Luckily for you, we are going to help out.  Cannabis plant is a wide topic that we can talk on and about for decades, but today we are going to restrict our discussion on the differences between Sativa and indica.

From a scientific point of view, cannabis indica is a marijuana plant that produces THC. Hence it gives you psychoactive effects. Cannabis sativa, on the other hand, is marijuana that has non-psychoactive effects.

Difference between Indica and Sativa: Origins

Did you know that cannabis is one of the oldest plants in the world?

In fact, the plant can be traced back to ancient cultures. It is believed that the plant has been used for more than 6000 years.

Origin is an essential parameter in determining the difference between indica and Sativa. But before we discuss the origins of each, let’s understand the real meaning of indica and sativa. Well, indica means broad-leaf plants. Sativa, on the other hand, means narrow-leaf plants.

Ideally, most indica varieties come from central Asia plus the Indian sub-continent. However, it is important that the strain first originated in central Asia. Then, the plant spread to other parts naturally and through the help of man.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck became the first European to classify this type in the year1975. This strain is well adapted to withstand harsh weather conditions in this part of the world. Cannabis indica has broad leaves, deep color, and thick, stout buds.

Cannabis sativa on the hand is said to originate from equatorial regions – Thailand, southern India, Jamaica, and Mexico. Well, cannabis sativa boasts as the first cannabis variety to be documented and given scientific name.

Physical differences

 You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to note some differences in terms of physical appearance between indica and sativa varieties. As mentioned earlier, the names sativa and indica provide an overview of what to expect in terms of physical characteristics.

Cannabis indica is known for growing long. This strain is known to produce large and deep green broad leaves. Also, the leaves are thick and can have up to 9 tips. The branches never grow too much. They are only 1.5m tall. The roots are generally stronger and sturdier. This works perfectly well in helping the plant to absorb nutrients.

Cannabis sativa plants, on the other hand, are known to have light green leaves. The leaves are long, thin, and serrated. Unlike indica variety, sativa strain can grow up to 2m tall. You are going to notice that the step is thin and bendy.

 It produces loads of branches. This strain has airier buds that are not as compact as those of cannabis indica. The buds grow out over all the branches without clustering together. This is because of the wide gap between nodes on the sativa plant. 

Flowering Times

Are you asking yourself about the flowering duration of these two strains? Relax; we give you all the information about the flowering times of indica and sativa.

Generally, indica have a short flowering period compared to sativa. On average, the plant begins the flowering process in 40-60 days. In their natural setting or habitat, the plant needs to finish up much earlier. This alienates the plant from bad weather such as low temperature.  Forty days provides the plant with ample time to produce flowers and stay alive for a more extended period.

Sativa tends to have a more extended flowering period. They are grown in areas where summer stays constant up to the end. The plant can take 12 weeks on average to begin the process. Sativa plant isn’t that stress-resistant, but it does incredibly well during the rainy seasons.

That’s said, it is essential to note that sativa plant takes less vegetative period prior to flowering compared to indica species.

The Difference in Effect – Indica vs. Sativa

Well, to most people, describing the effect of indica and sativa is tricky and complicated. This is true, especially if you have never used any psychoactive substances. However, we are going to break down the difference between indica and sativa in terms of effects in a layman’s language.

But to dispel any doubts, each of this strain has its effects. Have you ever heard of Lamarck’s theory? Well, according to this theory, indica gives you uplifting and mood-enhancing effects. This is the right strain for social settings. Sativa, on the other hand, gives you sedating and calming results.  You can use pressure as a way to manage stress and pain. You may assume that these differences are attributed to the genetic variation of both plants. But there is more to this.

Again, it is said the plant produces high amounts of THC alongside small amounts of CBD. This explains the psychoactive effect you get after consuming this strain. Sativa produces CBD, not all. It provides high levels of THC and THCV. The psychoactive effect produced by this plant is quite intense.

Today, scientists agree that it is simply untrue to argue that the differences in physical appearance and genetics attribute to differences in effects between the two plants. According to them, the difference in impact is as a result of chemical make-up.

That’s said, you must also understand that there exists a significant difference between the plants in terms of genetic profile.

Medical efficacy

Medical efficacy provides grounds for differentiating indica and sativa.  This is because both strains contain varying medical effects. Also, they influence both energy levels and productivity. You can use indica in the evening after your day’s activities. This is because it tends to reduce energy levels. Potent indica strain can give you what is referred to as a ‘couchlock.”  In that, you don’t feel the urge to get up from the couch.

Sativa, as mentioned earlier, gives you an uplifting and cerebral enhancing creativity. With the emergence of the black market, you hardly get accurate information on the strain profile of marijuana. For that reason, you should avoid the black market at all costs.

When it comes to aroma, indica strain emits musty, earthy skunky odors.  Sativa, on the other hand, smells sweet and fruity. Their difference in the aroma is a result of terpenes and molecules in the plants. Even though these chemicals results in the difference in odor in these two strains, they contribute significantly to medical efficacy. 

What Determines Whether Marijuana has Sativa or Indica Strain

You might be among the few people who believe that a particular strain is categorized as sativa or indica based on the absence or presence of certain cannabinoids. However, to dispel any hearsay, it is the terpenes that determine this crucial information.

Myrcene is a common strain that is found in the cannabis plant. It can help you if insomnia has become part of you or battling with anxiety and stress. If it is present in a particular strain and is more than 0.5%, it is right to conclude that strain is indica. If it less, then the strain is said to be sativa.

Bottom line

Having given you the key differences between the strain, now the ball is on your court to choose the right strain for you. It is good to consult a medical practitioner to help you decide on the right strain. However, even before you seek help from a medical practitioner pay attention to the following;

  • Know your goals and what you want to get. If you don’t have any knowledge about the strain, go ahead and consult a medical specialist. Always weigh on the positive and negative effects of every strain. Choose the one that meets your needs.
  • Cannabis is a herbal plant that has intense effects. Therefore, ensure you have a clear understanding of your medical history. in some cases, using marijuana may not do well with some medication 
  • When it comes to consuming, choose the right method of ingestion by considering the pros and cons of each technique.
  • Exercise discipline and diligence when taking cannabis.
  • Well, above all, ensure that the country you are in legalizes the use of marijuana.

We hope that this article provides you with all the information regarding sativa and indica. This helps you to get out the most from your cannabis plant.