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The Differences Between Sativa and Indica: An Easy Guide

Have you ever searched for marijuana online, browsed the different strains and wonder which one is best? To someone not familiar with cannabis, it can all look the same and with no one there to help you it can all seem daunting. Strains are commonly broken up into two distinct groups: indica and sativa which are two distinct species from the same cannabis family. There is a third, a hybrid which is obviously between the two. They each have different growing characteristics, smells, and of course highs. Understanding the variation can make all the difference for the user, depending on what you are looking for.



The sativa strains are a strong and uplifting high, while indicas tend to produce a more body-centred, stoned effect. While the levels of THC and CBD play a significant role in shaping the high, other naturally occurring substances also play a part in producing these distinct characteristics. For example, over 120 different terpenes (which are aromatic oils that produce the cannabinoids)  influence the effect produced by a particular strain. On average, Cannabis indica pants has higher levels of THC compared to CBD, whereas Cannabis sativa have lower levels of THC to CBD.

If you’re an experienced marijuana consumer, you may notice a tendency for some sativas to be uplifting and other indicas to be relaxing, especially when you might expect the result to be reversed.  Just remember that there’s no hard-and-fast rule when it comes to getting high; while the high depends on the strain, your chemical makeup, body weight, and other personal attributes play a role The great thing about cannabis is that each strain is different and will have a different effect depending on how it’s grown and cultivated.



The name indica originally referred to the geographical area in which the plant was grown: India . During the 1970s, Cannabis indica strains mainly originated from Afghanistan, India, Nepal, and Northern Pakistan, particularly from the Hindu Kush mountain range. Sativa with their airy buds can tolerate hotter, more humid climates, historically they thirve in equatorial regions. Indicas grow in dense and resinous buds as protected agasinst harsh elements and the cold. Not all climates are suitable for cannabis so many people grow their weed indoors with controlled environments which can make the entire process easier.


There are several key differences between how Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa plants look. Indica strains tend to have wide, short leaves with short wide blades, whereas sativa strains have the more familiar-looking long leaves with thin long blades that you see on most marjunana packaging and signs. The buds of indica strains are wider, dense rand bulky, while sativa strains are likely to be long, sausage-shaped flowers.


One of the key difference is how the cannabis plant looks. While it won’t help you choose your bud, it’s good information to know.  Sativa strains tend to grow tall and lanky with slender leaves. On the otherhand Indica strains are usually only between 2-6 feet tall. The height difference is even more noticlable Indica also typically have higher levels of THC percentage than its Sativa counterpart. Indica also have shorter flowering period than sativas, which is why it is better to grown them indoors or in a greenhouse.



Sativa usually have a shorter cycle but once the plant begins to flower it can take between ten and twelve weeks until it is ready for harvest.  On average, the growing period for pure sativa strains is around six months. Sativas average around ten to sixteen weeks to begin producing buds while indicas average around eight to twelve.

The most important differences between indica and sativa are tof course the high. Indica is traditionally associated with feelings of relaxation or sedation good for chilling and watchign Netflix. People who describe themselves as being stoned are usaully using indica strains. Individuals who mention getting high may be referring to sativa plants instead. Again there is no hard and fast rule to this. Sativa effects are also said to make users experience a feeling of uplifting happiness or a more cerebral sensation than the full-body effects that indica generally induce. Indica strains are perfect for relaxing with a movie or as a nightcap before bed while Sativa strains tend to provide more invigorating, uplifting cerebral effects that pair well with physical activity, social gatherings, and creative projects.

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