Table of Contents
Whether you wanna light one up as your day starts or chill out at night right before going to sleep, there is always a marijuana strain to fit your needs. Of course, it is only a matter of knowing how these strains work and what effects they can produce. If you are an avid marijuana smoker, then you have surely heard about the differences between indica or sativa marijuana strains.
For those who are beginners in this industry, then read along to know the difference between two of arguably the most significant terms related to marijuana.
ORIGINS OF THE INDICA and SATIVA MARIJUANA PLANTS
Each species of cannabis have been used extensively throughout the years. As such, there is a rich history and background that surrounds both of them. Documentations and reports have shown that for thousands of years, the cannabis plant (marijuana and hemp) has been a staple in early civilizations for its fibers and medical benefits.
*Cannabis Sativa – The cannabis sativa was the first species of cannabis to have been discovered. Both the cannabis sativa and cannabis sativa L. (also known as hemp) were first utilized by early civilizations located in China, Africa, and various parts of Southeast Asia and Central America. Because of the abundance of cannabis sativa in these parts, people were quick to realize the strong fibers and industrial uses of the plant. It was often used to weave tools such as ropes, fishing nets, pots, and cloth. Additionally, the oils and concentrates from its seeds were frequently extracted and consumed for health benefits. Tribes and shamans also made use of the cannabis sativa plant in their rituals and traditions because of the psychoactive effects that it induced.
Soon after, the sativa and hemp trend reaches the shores of both European and American territory. There, it was used as a trading commodity and paved the way for the opening of the Industrial Hemp era of cannabis. In 1753, it was officially classified as a medical substance by botanist Carl Linnaeus.
*Cannabis Indica – Unlike the cannabis sativa species, the cannabis indica was discovered a little later in the world. It was the result of one of the expeditions of Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French botanist, in the Hindu Kush region of the Indian subcontinent. This took place in 1785 during the peak days of the Industrial Hemp era. In order to avoid any confusion with regards to the cannabis sativa species, this second species was later classified as the cannabis indica, as a tribute to India where it first originated.
DO THEY LOOK DIFFERENT? APPEARANCE AND GROWING INFORMATION
One of the most obvious ways to differentiate an indica or sativa plant is through their appearance and growing information. Of course, hybrids today may develop traits of both species but it may be easier to tell what species is dominantly based on how they look.
When it comes to cannabis sativa strains, they will often display a very tall and lanky plant structure. These plants have the ability to grow up to around 12 to 16 feet in height. As such, they are often cultivated outdoors or indoors in rooms with high ceilings. Cannabis sativa strains also have stems and branches that stretch out across all directions, giving a very loose and spacious appearance. Additionally, the buds of these plants are often scattered throughout the whole length of the branches and colas, as opposed to the compact nature of an indica plant. Cannabis sativas also emit a lighter and more vibrant shade of green, often being mixed with some shades of yellow. When being cultivated, sativas are less pungent. They also take a longer flowering time that averages around 10 to 13 weeks.
As for cannabis indica plants, they display characteristics that are quite the opposite of sativa strains. You will typically observe a very short and bushy plant with indicas. They grow to around 2 to 4 feet in height, making them great for saving up some growing space. Furthermore, the buds of these plants grow nice and compact, often being a lot denser and heavier than those of sativas. They grow closely knitted to each other, giving the plant a very dense appearance with its colas and stems. The leaves of typical indica plants glow a deeper and darker shade of green with some subtle hints of the purple surfacing if grown in cooler conditions. During the cultivation process, you can immediately distinguish the dankness and skunkiness of fragrance that indicas emit. They also take much faster to fully mature with their flowering period taking up to around 8 to 9 weeks.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES IN EFFECTS? INDICA OR SATIVA
Is indica or sativa the better choice for you? In all honesty, it really does depend on what growers and smokers are looking for in a cannabis strain. Because of the variation in the traits and qualities that each of these species possesses, they are both capable of giving useful benefits to those who need it.
One quality that stands out for sativa strains is that they typically contain higher CBD levels than indica strains. This means that medical strains will generally lean more towards sativa varieties. In addition to this, sativa strains are also known to have a more euphoric and uplifting effect. It is often described as inducing more of a “mental high”. Some of the most common effects of sativa strains are:
- Stimulates your mind
- Creativity and productivity
As such, sativa strains are often used during the daytime. The much-needed energy charges work great for helping people ease through the day without worrying about much. Because of the mental stimulation, sativas are often credited with mitigating symptoms of depression, anxiety, and stress levels.
Indica strains are known to contain much higher THC to CBD ratios, which means that they are often hard-hitting strains that can pack quite a punch. Famous for being able to induce a “couch-lock” effect that keeps people in place, cannabis indicas are known to produce a physical stone rather than getting you high. Here are some of an indica strain’s most common effects:
An indica strain is also known to induce sleep. This makes it a great choice for those who are experiencing sleeping disorders such as insomnia. Additionally, indica strains stimulate a person’s appetite, often causing the sensation of munchies. In terms of the medical value that indicas carry, they are great for alleviating any pain and physical discomfort that you may be feeling. From migraines to chronic pains, indicas provide very therapeutic sensations. Furthermore, they also release any pressure that may be building up in your system which makes them perfect for easing any fatigue.
Cannabis indica or sativa each serve a specific set of purposes and choosing which one works best depends entirely upon what you are looking for. We hope that reading this article sheds a little more light on how these strains work in our respective bodies. Understanding the different species of cannabis can really help narrow down the choices of strains that you may be looking for when purchasing your very own pack of weed seeds.