One of the most exciting features of marijuana is that the multiple types can take you to a unique adventure, so you get to choose a strain based on the activities you’re after. To get started, learn more about The Significant Difference Between Indica vs Sativa.
The two main varieties of cannabis, Sativa, and Indica, are utilized for several medicinal and recreational objectives.
Sativas are appreciated for their “head high,” a refreshing, stimulating effect that can be beneficial to reduce stress or anxiety and enhance creativity and concentration.
Indicas are typically related to full-body results, such as building deep relaxation and defeating insomnia.
Let’s understand The Significant Difference Between Indica vs Sativa in detail.
When scanning cannabis strains or buying cannabis at a dispensary, you might notice that marijuana strains are generally broken up into three separate groups: Indica, Sativa, and Hybrid.
Most users have used two of these three cannabis varieties (Indica and Sativa) as a model for predicting results.
- Indica strains are considered to be physically sedating, which makes them ideal for unwinding with a movie or as a nightcap before bed.
- Sativa strains are assumed to produce stimulating, uplifting cerebral results that match well with physical exercise, social gatherings, and artistic projects.
- Hybrid strains are supposed to settle someplace in between, allowing a balance of Indica and Sativa impacts.
While many might presume that a particular strain of cannabis is classified as Indica, Sativa, or Hybrid depending upon the presence or absence of a unique cannabinoid, or a cannabinoid in a specific amount, it is actually a terpene that defines this vital status of a strain.
To get a strain that will offer the aspired effect, your best chance is to know which chemical elements make up that strain. A more important starting point when thinking about the results of strains would be cannabinoids and terpenes.
Let’s get to know them!
Cannabinoids are the chemical composites located in the cannabis plant. They are what provide the herb its unique variety of effects. Two of the most prevalent cannabinoids that you possibly recognize and love are THC and CBD.
THC, aka Delta-9 Tetrahydrocannabinol, is psychoactive and is what produces the high, whereas CBD, or cannabidiol, is non-psychoactive, indicating it won’t get you high.
Both THC and CBD boast therapeutic potential. THC is appreciated for easing nausea and pain, plus much more. As for CBD, CBD is supposed to reduce infection, pain, and stress, along with other illnesses.
But these are only two cannabinoids. There are over 100 various cannabinoids in cannabis, all of which produce their own effects.
Knowing what cannabinoids are in a particular strain and how much makes it simple for medical patients to shop for their ideal strain—the same works for recreational users.
There is no regulation as to which cannabinoids are located where, either. Sativas and Indicas can have the same cannabinoids. One strain kind might just possess more or less than the other.
Terpenes are the fragrant composites located in cannabis and other plants and fruits too. When you take a smell of your bud and notice a pine, berry, or skunky aroma, that’s the terps you’re inhaling.
In the way of aromatherapy, terpenes have the capacity to excite and sedate you. The effect you get from each depends totally on the terpene. Here are some of the most popular terps, what they smell like, and what they produce:
- Limonene– Citrusy, euphoric, stress-relieving.
- Pinene– Piney, increases alertness, promotes memory retention.
- Myrcene– Earthy, sedative, numbing.
- Linalool– Floral, ease anxiety, sedative.
- Caryophyllene– Spicy, or woody, anti-inflammatory, reduces distress and anxiety.
Like cannabinoids, there are numbers of terpenes in cannabis. You can locate them on Sativa and Indica flowers inside the trichomes. They do not differentiate, although some are seen more often in certain strains than others.
For instance, any variety of lemon strains, such as Super Lemon Haze, nearly always carries the terpene limonene. But again, any strain, whether it be Indica or Sativa, can host any terpene.
Indica vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference
The actual difference between today’s Indica and Sativa plants is in their visible characteristics throughout the cultivation cycle.
Indica plants manage to grow small with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. They also have quick flowering periods, and grow adequately in cold, short-season environments.
Sativa plants have longer flowering cycles, fare high in hot environments with extended terms, and typically grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves.
For the last 50 years of cannabis breeding, crossbreeding has been the star of the game. As a consequence, there’s practically no such thing as a “pure” Indica or Sativa anymore.
Every flower you’ve ever come in touch with has most probably been a hybrid of some kind. Assigning a particular cultivar, or strain, as Indica or Sativa usually indicates that it shifts to one faction or the other of an Indica or Sativa spectrum.
Genesis of Indica and Sativa
The names “Indica” and “Sativa” were originated in the 18th century to explain different cannabis varieties: Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.
The term Sativa defined hemp plants located in Europe and western Eurasia, where it was grown for its fiber and seeds.
Cannabis Indica relates to the psychoactive species found in India, where it was produced for its seeds, fiber, and hashish making.
Although the cannabis species people use primarily originate from Cannabis Indica, both terms are related—even if erroneously—to coordinate the thousands of strains wandering the market today.
Here’s how names have moved since their earliest botanical descriptions:
- “Sativa” applies to tall, narrow-leaf kinds of cannabis, believed to produce energizing effects. However, these narrow-leaf drugs (NLD) variations were originally Cannabis Indica ssp. Indica
- “Indica” has come to represent stout, broad-leaf plants, estimated to give sedating effects. These broad-leaf drugs (BLD) types are technically Cannabis Indica ssp. afghanica
- “Hemp” relates to the industrial, non-intoxicating species grown mainly for fiber, seeds, and CBD. However, this was initially named Cannabis Sativa.
With the mass commercialization of marijuana, the taxonomic differences between cannabis varieties and subspecies got turned on its head and calcified.
THC: CBD Ratios in Indica and Sativa
All strains and cannabis products have varying THC: CBD degrees. The two most popular cannabinoids in cannabis are THC and CBD.
THC is the psychoactive composite in cannabis that gets you high.
On the other hand, CBD is non-psychoactive and can even prevent a THC high. CBD also aids in developing an array of ailments, making it a favorite option among customers.
Commonly speaking, Sativa strains typically have more THC than CBD. The high THC content is a component of what makes Sativa strains boost strength, creativity, and sharpness.
Indica strains frequently have more CBD than THC. This helps produce the relaxing effect of Indica, including its muscle relaxant characteristics.
However, these laws don’t always apply. A Sativa strain can have a high CBD ratio, while other Indica strains carry high THC levels.
Stay acquainted by regularly checking the THC: CBD proportions of any cannabis strains or goods you inhale or consume. When it comes to edibles, always remember, begin with a lower dose and work your way up.
To know more about THC vs CBD, Click Here!
Cultivation of Indica and Sativa
Indicas are the quicker flowering species and usually have a flowering period of 45 to 60 days.
A significant difference between Indica vs. Sativa is that Sativas take longspun to blossom. They will ordinarily require between 60 and 90 days to complete flowering.
However, they require less time for vegetative growth prior to flowering than Indicas do, so the overall time needed for Sativas is around the same as for Indicas (and sometimes limited in terms of ‘light hours’).
Indicas and Sativas originate from various parts of the world, with clearly distinct environments. Indicas basically came from the Middle East and Near Asia, including Afghanistan, Turkey, Nepal, and Morocco.
These regions tend to be warm, dry, and arid. Consequently, Indicas tend to be small, wide, and bushy. To most efficiently catch the sunlight, their leaves tend to be thick and broad.
They also culminate much faster than Sativas, have quicker flowering periods, and have higher yields than Indicas.
Sativas track their roots to Southeast Asian territories and Latin America (e.g., Colombia and Mexico). It grows well in environments near the equator, which tend to be humid.
Sativas are recognized for their thin leaves. They also get much taller than Indicas due to evolving under humid conditions. In fact, when they’re raised outside, they can reach incredible heights, up to 20 feet. Their tall height supports to protect them from becoming contaminated with mold.
Sativas take a lot longspun to mature than their Indica relatives, taking as long as 10 to 18 weeks. They also require a lot more light.
Visit this link if you want to grow your cannabis outdoors.
Cannabis Sativa is inherent to warmer latitudes closer to the equator in regions like East Asia, while Cannabis Indica belongs to areas with colder climates.
These variations in climates give the strains their distinguished appearance, but do they result in a contrasting high? Let’s try to find out the answer!
The appearance of Indica and Sativa
The Indica cannabis strain might be defined as a hidden hero of species. Much shorter than its Sativa sibling, Indica weed typically develops about half the height of Sativa – normally no more than 6 feet tall.
Even if its size pales compared to Sativa plants, Indica cannabis is undoubtedly a fan favorite among pot-growing experts as its compact, hardy nature usually makes for few wellness problems and high yields.
The average plant shape of Indica cannabis is actually pretty similar to that of an evergreen tree. Its branches originate from a point at the top and become thicker as they reach the bottom.
The available plant material typically begins growing almost at the root of the stalk, with not much place from the bottom of the plant to the top of the soil.
Additionally, Indica buds tend to be more solid and better than Sativas, providing incredibly high-yielding colas and flowers.
The most obvious way to identify an Indica strain? By its fat, full, and flat-leaf appearance. Compared to Sativa’s leaves, the Indica typically has the same design, but it seems almost as if the leaves have expanded to double – if not triple – their usual width.
Sativa is appreciated as the King of the Equatorial Forest – ruling supreme over vast areas of mild foliage, and enlightening many creatures who tread under its damp, life-bearing canopy.
In other words, Sativa cannabis is local (at least in a geographical sense) to mild, somewhat tropical areas close to the equator. Also, its results are usually viewed as uplifting, creative, and even energetic – hence, the reason it is usually utilized as a relief for conditions like despair and anxiety.
In terms of the physical appearance, Sativa strains are appreciated to become giant, sometimes as tall as 12 feet high when grown outdoors!
The leaves, buds, and colas of a Sativa cannabis plant are extended far apart and tend to develop in an upward direction with the branches extending themselves into the sky.
This variety of cannabis strain often needs a lot of room to expand, due to its sometimes huge size and branches that need a place to reach towards the heavens.
It can also be one of the reasons why Sativa usually does better than Indica when planted outdoors.
Lastly, the leaves of the Sativa plant are much slimmer than that of an Indica strain. You’ll see scrawny, nearly pencil-like leaves that assemble at a point on the base, giving the leaves its classic ‘marijuana leaf’ look.
You can think of Sativa as a stereotypical basketball player (tall, lean, and thin), and Indicas as football quarterbacks (short, stocky, and super sturdy)!
Effects of Indica and Sativa
|Provides a substantial body high
|Offers a stimulating cerebral head high
|Promotes sedation and sometimes couchlock
|Increases appetite (e.g., gives you the munchies)
|Reduces anxiety (however, in some users it can actually raise anxiety)
|Eases the mind and body
|Boosts focus and creativity
|Relieves illness or vomiting
|Encourages an overall sense of well-being
|Reduces physical pains and aches
|Can suppress appetite
|Might be helpful with headaches and migraines
|Suitable for daytime use
|Alleviates spasms and seizures
|Best for night-time usage
The legends of Indica is that it is thought to be perfect for night-time use. Indica is sold as producing similar effects to a tranquilizer, suitable for relaxation or attempting to sleep.
Part of this myth is that Indica is said to have higher consistencies of CBD and lower THC concentrations.
That impact on the body can also be of great aid for pain relief. The relaxation element indicates it is often prescribed for anxiety, which is an essential part of the medical marijuana drive.
It is also known to be a hunger stimulant for some. Thus, Indica strains are recognized for giving users more of a body high than a head high.
What is it about specific strains of cannabis that can create these reactions? According to some studies, the terpene myrcene, in addition to producing an earthy smell, may have sedating effects.
Another terpene that is prevalent in strains that are sold as an Indica is linalool, which is said to help relieve anxiety in addition to sedating.
These may be observed more often in marijuana advertised as Indica, but as more crossbreeding points to hybrids, they can probably be found in some Sativa strains as well.
Whereas Indica’s honor is one of a sedative that gives you a body high, Sativa is said to produce more cerebral effects, perfect for the day time.
These impacts are far more stimulating, encouraging one to feel more alarmed and uplifting to take a physical activity or creative tasks.
Medically, these Sativa effects are known to help not only with pain but stress, depression, and attention troubles.
One reason for a Sativa strain creating these effects and potential medical advantages is that cannabinoids like THC and CBD – mainly, those Sativa strains are supposed to have higher THC concentrations. Another is the terpenes.
Cannabis terpenes that could probably generate these effects include limonene, which has revealed the potential for anti-depression benefits, and pinene, which has anti-inflammatory traits.
The “Indica vs. Sativa” structure has drawn debate, and for a good reason. As you examine breeders online, you might keep coming up against the same phrases to describe
Sativas as “cerebral,” “heady,” “uplifting,” “energizing” and
Indicas as “relaxing,” “sedating,” “full-bodied,” “couchlock,” “stoney.”
It’s still absolutely valid to explain effects as “Sativa-like” or “Indica-like,” as long as you learn that Sativa or Indica-like effects don’t significantly match with a plant’s Sativa or Indica lineage.
This is where hybrids come in the picture. You’ve apparently marked how hybrid breeders have become as famous as Indicas and Sativas, if not more so. It’s a hint that cannabis marketing is picking up to reality.
All new cultivators prefer to grow hybrids, but the plants people officially label as hybrids are the intended crossbreeds of Indicas and Sativas to provide specific features and effects. Often, budtenders favor hybrids for their highly functional effects, flavors, and fragrances.
Medical Benefits of Indica and Sativa
The most crucial distinction between these two subspecies of cannabis is in their healing effects and how they affect energy levels and productivity.
Indicas tend to reduce energy and are better for using in the evening or at night, after the end of the day’s work and projects.
Potent Indica strains may provide some patients what is termed “couchlock,” a situation in which users become so comfortable that they hardly get up from the couch.
Sativas, on the other hand, are uplifting and cerebral, improving creativity and potency. Indicas produce what has been known as a body high, while Sativas offer more of a mental high.
Sadly, Sativa plants require longer to develop and yield fewer medicine flowers than Indica species. This is why Indica strains have traditionally controlled those available on the black market, where there is no interest in patient requirements, and the main focus is profit.
The point that patients are given no option of subspecies or strain when buying from the black market is a significant reason it should be withdrawn.
Patients should never believe or use cannabis medicine without knowing its specific strain and that it was adequately grown, dried, preserved, and laboratory tested for purity and possible infection.
Indicas are often the most helpful for pain and inflammation and are useful for sufferers with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and cancer.
However, because side effects like depression and insomnia accompany so many diseases, patients must think of treating both their primary disease and its recurrent symptoms.
In the end, each patient will pick multiple strains that will probably fall within the divisions of Sativa, Hybrid, and Indica.
Let’s understand some common side effects of cannabis!
Adverse Effects of Cannabis
Although cannabis usage is frequently connected with potential advantages, it can also generate undesired side effects.
- dry mouth
- dry eyes
- increased heart rate
- lowered blood pressure
Most of these effects are connected with THC, not CBD or other cannabinoids. However, any cannabis product can generate side effects. The way of usage might increase your risk for side effects, too.
For example, smoking or vaping marijuana can irritate your lungs and airways, which might cause coughing and respiratory difficulties.
Oral cannabis products, such as gummies or cookies, are less likely to harm your overall respiratory health.
What all this information implies is that not all Sativas will stimulate you, and not all Indicas will sedate you. You might notice a tendency for so-called Sativas to be uplifting or Indicas to be relaxing, mainly when you assume to experience one way or the other.
Just remember that there is no hard-and-fast rule, and chemical data doesn’t indicate a clear picture.
Understanding the difference between Indica-like or Sativa-like effects is just a starting point in determining which cannabis products to use. You’ll be able to make much more thoughtful choices once you start giving attention to cannabinoid and terpene content.
Paying attention to the fragrances of plants that really agree with you is an excellent method. Keep in mind that quite often, your nose will know best.
As always, knowledge comes with practice. Everyone’s body responds uniquely to outer influences. All it takes is experience and the correct knowledge to know what goes for you.
Eventually, you are your own best source for deciding which cannabis products will produce the effects you want.
Watch this amazing video on The Therapeutic Potential of CBD.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What should you look for to understand strain effects?
Instead of looking at the variety alone — Sativa or Indica — look at the information the grower and dispensary provide.
Does Sativa gives you the munchies?
Sativa strains may aid excite your hunger and give you the munchies, but it depends on your body chemistry.
Will Indica makes you feel paranoid?
If you’re inclined to anxiety or paranoia while moderate, Indica strains might make your paranoia more critical.
What is Indica used to manage?
Indica strains utilized for medicinal objectives are assumed to treat diseases related to insomnia, anxiety, and inflammation.
Does Sativa give you power?
While there is no scientific proof that Sativas give you strength, they are considered to be uplifting and euphoric.