With the cannabis scene now taking the world by storm, it would seem inevitable that everyone would eventually be exposed to the different benefits and advantages of marijuana consumption. Now, is this a bad thing? Not in the slightest way. You see, countries and other communities have started seeing weed for what it really is. Because of the many advocacies and positive reports surrounding marijuana, people have slowly begun to accept marijuana as part of their daily lives. Countries such as Canada, Uruguay, the Netherlands, and some US states have all taken action towards the legalization of cannabis for both medical and recreational purposes. Learn the difference between Sativa and indica cannabis.
Now, we should all start shedding some light on the different aspects that cannabis deals with. In order for us to truly accept cannabis in our respective societies, we should first understand the basics of such a plant. Believe me when I say that this is no easy task. With so much debate and conflict going on about marijuana, it is easily one of the most complex topics to learn about. But one great way of expanding your cannabis knowledge is by first learning about the different species of marijuana.
HISTORY AND ORIGINS OF CANNABIS SPECIES
While the two main species of cannabis are on equal footing in today’s markets in terms of fame and reputation, reports claim that these two have their own unique backgrounds that didn’t intertwine with one another up until the 18th century. As such, the cannabis Sativa and indica were discovered in different timeframes and for entirely different purposes. Let’s have a look:
The cannabis Sativa, along with its subspecies the cannabis Sativa L. (later known as hemp) was the very first species of cannabis to have been discovered by humanity. Dating as far back to 4000 B.C. or 12,000 years ago, the cannabis Sativa is widely considered as one of the earliest agricultural crops to have ever been cultivated. During the time of the pre-modern era where early civilizations were still beginning to figure out the different wonders of life, they came across what would later be known as the cannabis plant. This was, of course, of the cannabis Sativa variety. Because the Sativa plant showed promise in being used for multiple purposes, early communities extensively cultivated this plant. Mostly used for medication and various traditions and ceremonies, many people first believed that the cannabis Sativa contained healing deities that possessed the power to treat various conditions and illnesses. On the other hand, the hemp plant was mainly used for industrial purposes such as weaving fine nets and ropes.
The cannabis Sativa was known to have originated on the Asian continent. Because of the warm and sunny climates present in those areas, the Sativa was able to thrive and prosper. Countries such as Mongolia, Siberia, and China have been known to be the first birthing places of Sativa plants. Of course, as time passed, the extensive cultivation of such opened up countless opportunities for the trading industry. Because of the usefulness of both Sativas and hemp, these were particularly high in demand, especially to European and American countries. Not long after, in the 18th century, people found themselves under the industrial hemp era that sought to make use of cannabis as both a medical and industrial tool.
The cannabis indica was the second species of psychoactive marijuana that was discovered during the late 18th century. During this time, a French botanist that goes by the name Jean Baptiste Lamarck was on one of the many cannabis-centered expeditions that he set out on. It was in the Indian subcontinent where he discovered the second species of cannabis. At this point, the industrial hemp era was set in full motion mostly in Europe and the American continents. In order to avoid any confusion with regards to the different species, Jean Baptiste Lamarck officially classified the second species as a medical substance that goes by the name cannabis indica, a name that references its place of origin.
During the experiments done of the two main cannabis species, Jean Baptiste Lamarck took note of the significant differences between the Sativa and Indica plants in terms of effects and plant structure. This prompted the French botanist to come up with his very own marijuana theory. This theory stated that due to the different time periods and climates in which these species came from, they were able to develop unique traits and characteristics that helped them adapt to their respective growing environments. This theory later proved to be crucial in understanding the main differences between Sativa and indica cannabis plants.
GROWING INFORMATION: Sativa and Indica
Cannabis sativa plants display a much taller and slimmer plant structure as compared to the cannabis indica species. Most Sativa strains will typically grow around twelve to fifteen feet in height. Additionally, the leaves of Sativa strains tend to be much lighter and vibrant as opposed to indica strains. These long, finger-like leaves stretch out in all directions as they stretch out as far as they can. Sativa plants have longer stems and branches which are also quite thin. The cannabis Sativa strains produce bigger and wider buds that run along the whole length of the branches and stems. Instead of congesting themselves in one point, these buds fan out and scatter themselves all across the plant.
Sativa strains are known to have longer flowering periods. It is typical for certain Sativa strains to take as long as 10 to 12 weeks of flowering time in order to fully mature and grow. While Sativas do give off a certain tropical scent, it is very subtle, especially in the growing stage.
On the other hand, the cannabis indica variety of weed will display a much shorter and stout plant structure. Typical indica plant strains will display height of around 2 to 5 feet. They are usually described as compact, dense, and somewhat bushy-like with all the leaves and stems tightly-knit together. Compared to other cannabis varieties, Indicas will typically have many darker-colored leaves. They emit this deep shade of green that may sometimes also contain some traces of purple if grown if slightly colder environments. The leaves of Indicas are also much wider and broader with shorter stems. Thick and dense colas are made that way in order to support the robust and compact marijuana buds that grow from indica plants. These marijuana buds are slightly heavier than those of Sativas despite being smaller in size. They are also known to produce a more pungent and skunky smell when being grown and ground.
DIFFERENT EFFECTS OF SATIVAS AND INDICAS
The most profound way of differentiating the two main psychoactive species of cannabis is by comparing and contrasting the effects that they induce. On one side of things, we have Sativas. These particular marijuana strains are known to cause effects and highs that are much more uplifting and cerebral. Sativas are known to produce a more cerebral “high” as opposed to an Indica’s classic “stoned” feeling. As such, Sativas are primarily used for daytime use. They provide quick boosts of long-lasting energy that can help smokers get through their days with ease. Additionally, cannabis Sativa strains are also well-known mood-enhancers, capable of increasing a person’s sociability and creativity.
While they are quite mind-altering and disorienting, certain Sativa strains that contain low to moderate levels of THC are a better choice for beginner marijuana smokers.
On the other hand, we have cannabis indica strains. As opposed to what Sativa strains have to offer, cannabis Indicas are much more therapeutic and soothing to the mind and body. They are primarily described as being capable of inducing a very strong physically “stoned” feeling that gets users lazy and fairly sleepy. Strong indica strains with high THC levels will often lead to a state of couch-lock which will keep users stagnant for long periods of time. The strong sedating effects of indica strains are often used to treat patients who suffer from insomnia. Furthermore, unlike Sativas that make it rather hard to eat, indica strains are the main reason for people experiencing the munchies, a sensation that stimulates a person’s appetite.
This does not mean that Indicas do not have the ability to induce a mind-altering high. Indicas also target the mind by giving smokers a very soothing and relaxing head massage. This provides them with a very deep and dreamy sensation that may lull them to sleep. These characteristics mean that indica strains are ideal for nighttime use for those who are looking to chill out and relax after a long and stressful day.
Well, there you have it. Those are basically the principle differences and distinctions that Sativa and indica strains have with each other. With a long history that goes way back to thousands of years ago, it should come as no surprise as to how these species were able to form and develop such characteristics. Through time, they were able to evolve and adapt to certain conditions that made it ideal for them to grow. So if you still don’t know which type of marijuana strains to use and cultivate, try reading about the different growing information and effects that each species offers. This will definitely help you understand more about how these strains work.