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Have you ever wondered where the cannabis plants first came from? The answer to that question may surprise you. Cannabis Indica has a very rich background filled with many facts that are supported by various scientific evidence and documentation. Its history can be traced back to thousands of years ago when early civilizations first made use of cannabis plants as a medical and recreational tool. As such, it is one of the very first cultivated plants known to humanity.
The cannabis plant is primarily classified into two main species: the cannabis sativa and the cannabis indica. While they both belong to the same Cannabaceae family of plants, they each have some individual traits and characteristics that allow growers to differentiate them from one another. In this article, we are going to focus on the different areas surrounding the Cannabis Indica variety.
ORIGINS AND BACKGROUND OF THE CANNABIS INDICA
The cannabis indica was the second species of marijuana to be discovered subsequent to the cannabis sativa variety. During 1785, a French botanist that goes by the name Jean-Baptiste Lamarck took an expedition to the mountainous terrains of India. There, in the Himalayan region of the Hindu Kush mountain ranges, he found another subspecies of the cannabis plant. Around this time, the cannabis sativa (both sativa and hemp varieties) was extensively being used in many parts of the world as part of the Industrial Hemp era of the modern economy. In order to avoid any confusion with regards to the different species of cannabis available, this second type was later classified as Cannabis Indica, a reference to the place where it was first discovered.
Jean-Baptiste Lamarck and other scientists further studied the cannabis indica species. They later found out that it was also indigenous to places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and other countries in East and Southern Asia. They were also able to distinguish the different qualities and effects that the indica had in contrast to sativa strains.
Early uses of the cannabis indica:
Since the cannabis indica was discovered much later than the sativa and hemp varieties, its prior uses and benefits are much like what they are used for today. During its early days, the unique and newfound effects of indica strains provided medical sectors with a new alternative to traditional medicines.
The relaxing and therapeutic effects that normally came with indica strains was a breakthrough for a number of common illnesses and medical conditions. Of course, the same still carries over today as indica strains are consistently being used to treat medical patients.
Cannabis Indica Strain Information:
As stated above, there are many contrasting qualities between the cannabis indica and sativa species. Here are some of the characteristics that you will typically observe in purely indica and indica-dominant marijuana strains:
*Plant Structure and Appearance:
One of the main ways to differentiate the various species of cannabis is through their plant structure and appearance. Indica variants will often display a much shorter plant that grows around 3 to 6 feet. Often described as “stocky and bushy”, indica strains develop plants that are quite compact and dense. Their stems and branches are also a lot thicker and darker in color. These sturdy parts give them the needed support in order to sprout the dense and heavy marijuana buds that are typical of indica strains. These dank and resinous buds are often grouped together along with the colas of the plant. This gives indica variants a very “heavy” appearance.
Additionally, the leaves of indica strains are a lot broader and wide. They expand into a palm-like structure that emits a dark green color. If grown in slightly cooler conditions, indica strains do have the ability to develop subtle purple hues in both its leaves and buds. This gives it a very attractive appearance that you can only get from indica-dominant strains.
Indica strains also grow quite differently from sativa strains. Since they only display a short plant stature, they are ideally cultivated in indoor setups in order to save up some growing space. Indica strains are also more accustomed to growing in areas with cooler climates in order to stimulate the development of their potency and the purple shades in their leaves and stems. While they will still need long hours of light, they usually have the ability to grow and thrive in places where there is less sunlight.
Indica strains also have shorter flowering cycles as compared to sativa strains. With around 8 to 12 weeks of flowering time, they would be ready for harvest. When being cultivated, indica strains will also normally impart a much more dank and pungent scent. This means that you will need an ideal ventilation system if you want to avoid any smells leaking out from your growing area.
THC and CBD Levels:
There is actually a very subtle difference between the cannabinoid and terpene composition in both indica and sativa marijuana strains. While it isn’t something that really poses a material difference, it is worth noting that indica strains will generally have a more balanced THC-to-CBD ratio as compared to sativa strains. This means that you will normally find more CBD-focused indicas rather than CBD-focused sativas.
COMMON EFFECTS AND MEDICAL BENEFITS OF THE CANNABIS INDICA
The most common way to distinguish cannabis indicas and sativas is through the effects and highs that they produce. Researchers and scientists have extensively studied each species in order to fully understand how they work and what purposes they serve the best.
Indica strains, as you would know, are more inclined towards causing a physical stone rather than getting users high. This means that the effects and highs of indicas target the body more than it does the brain. Its therapeutic and calming effects make it more ideal to smoke and consume during the nighttime as it tends to cause feelings of couch-lock. This couch-lock feeling refers to the sensation of being too stoned to move and get up, often causing people’s bodies to feel numb. Here are some of the more common effects associated with indica strains:
- Soothing and calming
- Therapeutic body buzz
- Massage-like feelings in the head and body
- Stimulates sleep and appetite
- Reduces pressure in the body that are caused by stress and anxiety
These strains also provide a number of medical purposes and advantages. The relaxing and calming sensations that are felt in the body are often used to treat chronic pains, body aches, and virtually any discomfort that you will feel. It is also known for mitigating nausea and vomiting feelings. Additionally, anyone who has trouble sleeping at night will find solace in the sedating effects of these strains.
Indica strains are a great choice for people who wish to chill out and relax during the nighttime. As such, medical patients will also find the different effects of this strain useful in treating their various health conditions. Because of its unique highs, Indica strains have been just as popular as the cannabis market as sativa variants.
There really is no telling which species is superior as it will depend entirely on a user’s preferences and needs. But one thing that we do know is that Indica strain will continue to be developed for many years to come.