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Indica vs Sativa—what’s what? Chances are you’ve heard of both. And if you’ve already dabbled with cannabis, you’ve likely smoked one of these varieties or a Hybrid of the two. If you’re trying to take your experience with medicinal marijuana to the next level, it starts with knowing the ins and outs of the product, and these are the main characters in the cannabis industry. From the physical aspects to the effects, benefits and differences, here is your guide to Indica and Sativa.

The History of Indica vs Sativa

While the oldest records of cannabis crops date back to more than 6000 years ago, the two major species of cannabis, Indica and Sativa, were categorized in the 18th century. Cannabis Sativa was the first marijuana species to be given a name and was classified by Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name comes from the Latin word “cultivated,” which fit its role, as these hemp plants were cultivated for their fiber and seeds that were found in Europe and Eurasia. Not long after in 1783, French naturalist Jean-Baptistes Lamarck discovered another species, Cannabis Indica, from the Hindu Kush mountains of the Middle East. This plant was harvested similarly for its seeds and fiber and also hashish, which is resin.

The Difference in Growth and Appearance

The Sativa species originates from areas near the equator, including Colombia, Mexico, and Thailand thus, it evolved to thrive in hot climates that have plentiful amounts of sunlight. It typically grows between 8 – 12 feet in height but can reach as high as over 20 feet. The leaves are long and “finger like,” giving it the ability to take in generous sunlight and they often have red or orange hues. They favor warmer climates with longer seasons. The total growing period for Sativa strains takes about 16 weeks. Once the plant begins to flower it can take around 10 – 16 weeks until it can be harvested. While they take longer to grow than Indica plants, Sativas tend to produce large yields for patient cultivators.

Indica strains, which originated from rocky, mountain environments of the Middle East, grow very differently from their Sativa marijuana counterpart. The plants grow to around 3 – 4 feet high, and the densely branched, broad leaves have a dark, forest green color. The species evolved to be able to protect itself under harsh, turbulent conditions. Not only does this characteristic make it very adaptable to rougher climates it also produces resin as a form of protection. This resin causes Indica to be extra potent. The species requires a shorter cultivation time than Sativa, flowering for about 8 – 12 weeks before harvesting.

What Are the Different Effects of Indica and Sativa?


Probably the most relevant information you need to know about the weed you get is its specific effects. When choosing between Indica vs Sativa, it’s extremely beneficial to know their signature differences. Indica, for one, is known for its ability to create a body high. While it tends to heighten physical senses, it works to relax limbs and muscles and act as a sedative in a way, which is usually ideal for night time use. Try Indica for an evening that consists of winding down to music or a movie after a long stressful day.

Sativas, on the other hand, are typically more fit for daytime use due to their uplifting and energizing effects. The cannabis strain promotes creativity and increased mental focus along with productivity. It also tends to increase sensory perception, enhancing the lights, sounds and happenings surrounding you. Because of its collective, head high effects, Sativa can be a good supplement for social gatherings or creative experiences entailing art, music or writing.

Medicinal Benefits of Indica and Sativa

The effects of Indica and Sativa go hand in hand with its medicinal benefits. Sativa is a natural alternative to prescription medication. Medicinal strains of Sativa can combat depression, treat chronic pain and increase serotonin levels. Its psychological benefits are numerous and extremely helpful for those dealing with mental disorders. Some medical illnesses and diseases that Sativa has been linked to combatting include mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder, ADHD, HIV/AIDS, glaucoma and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Indica strains serve a medicinal purpose as well. Its effects can benefit the body by increasing mental relaxation, muscle relaxation, decrease nausea and acute pain, increase appetite and raise dopamine levels. Indica is often used to relieve symptoms caused by cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, lupus, sleep apnea, anxiety-related disorders such as OCD, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and panic attacks, Parkinson’s Disease, arthritis, PMS, inflammation, Crohn’s Disease, and epilepsy.

Popular Strains of Cannabis

When you’re shopping for different strains of cannabis, it can be helpful to familiarize yourself with the names of the most popular ones. Under the Indica umbrella, strains including Platinum Kush, Grandaddy Purple, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, Purple Kush, Blueberry Kush, God’s Gift, Presidential OG and Skywalker. As for Sativas, look to Durban Poison, Green Crack, Super Lemon Haze, Tangie, Maui Wowie, Pineapple OG, Sour Diesel, Candyland, Jack Herer, and Island Sweet Skunk. These strains have become staples in the world of weed, so keep your ears perked the next time you might hear a name drop.

What Gives Cannabis its Characteristics?

The chemical compounds responsible for giving a particular weed strain its flavor, aroma and effects are called terpenes and cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are responsible for giving a strain the ability to produce a specific effect. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (Cannabidol) are two of the most popular cannabinoid compounds. The difference between these two cannabinoids lies within their psychoactive impact. THC causes a high while CBD is non-psychoactive, thus no high is experienced with it.

Is your bud piney, fruity or skunky? Terpenes are in charge of the aromatics your weed gives off. They also have to ability to produce an effect of stimulation or sedation. You can know what type of effects you’ll experience based off the type of terpene that is your Indica or Sativa. For example, the terpene Pinene, has a piney aroma and raises alertness while the terpene Myrcene is more earthy and has a sedative and numbing effect.

If you’re deciding between Sativa vs Indica, there are various cannabinoids and terpenes in each, and one strain is not tied down to just one compound, but knowing at the very least if your strain has THC and CBD is a good start.

What’s a Hybrid and What Does it Have to Do with Indica and Sativa?

While Indica and Sativa cannabis is used separately for their designated effects and benefits, who’s to say you can’t have the best of both worlds? Enter the Hybrid strain. A Hybrid cannabis strain is the product of a cannabis plant that has pollinated to produce new plants that have characteristics of both Sativa and Indica. You can, for instance, have a Hybrid that gives you Sativa’s signature euphoric effect but also produces a sense of body relaxation with its Indica component.

The different types of Hybrids on the market include Sativa-dominant, Indica-dominant and a balanced breed. Each of these typically provides a consistent outcome. Sativa-dominant Hybrids usually pair a stimulated head high with a relaxed body high together. Indica-dominant Hybrid strains are slightly different in that they produce a more intense body high with the similar sedated feeling but don’t produce a mental high that’s strong enough to make you want to sleep. The balanced Hybrid is exactly what the name says. It’s a 50/50 mix of Sativa and Indica characteristics that effects both the mind and body.

It’s important to note that when you’re buying medicinal cannabis, you’re likely getting a Hybrid. Although a strain can be more dominant in Indica vs Sativa, many medicinal strains aren’t 100% purely one or the other.

What Strain Is Best for You?

Only you and your body can ultimately decide what strain is the best for your needs. Think about what you will be using your cannabis for. Is it to increase alertness, relax your muscles or both? Are there certain situations or ailments that one strain would assist you in getting through? You can mix and match strains based on what’s right for the scenario. Between daytime and night, Sativa vs Indica or a balanced Hybrid, you can use medicinal marijuana to your benefit on your own accord.

Buy My Weed makes it easy to look through a wide variety of strains that can address any of your cannabis desires. Our selection includes both Sativa and Indica dominant strains, Hybrids, and different levels of potency to create a truly customizable experience. Additionally, our online marijuana dispensary has cannabis accessories that can be the perfect partner to the strains you choose. Use the new-found knowledge you now have on Indica vs Sativa and shop online for your medical cannabis weeds at Buy My Weed Online.


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