Sativa vs Indica: Check What is the difference Here?

There are two main types of cannabis: cannabis sativa or cannabis indica. This is widely accepted. You might wonder, “What’s the difference in indica and sativa?” Both varieties are thought to have distinct effects and can be used for different purposes. We will be looking at indica and sativa to find out what differences exist and what effects can be expected.

A Brief History

Two types of cannabis were described by the terms “sativa” and “indica” in the 18th century.

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French biologist, named cannabis indica in 1785 after discovering that certain marijuana plants from India were psychoactive and could be used to make hash. This name was used to distinguish Indian cannabis from European hemp which did not have mind-altering properties. It was also used in Western medicine as a therapeutic agent in the 1800s.

Carl Linneaus gave the term “sativa” its name to refer to European and Western Eurasia hemp plants that were grown for their fiber and seeds.

Both terms are used today to organize thousands of marijuana strains that are on the market. The terms have changed to distinguish among a variety of cannabis types.

Indica is a term that describes a marijuana plant with large leaves. It is believed to calm and sedate users.

Sativa is a type of cannabis with a narrow leaf that has energizing effects for those who consume it.

Hemp, which we now call it, is what the original term sativa meant. Hemp is hemp, which is simply hemp. It’s harvested for its fiber, seeds, and CBD.

There are differences between Indica and Sativa

This information is not necessary for buying marijuana, but it can be helpful in growing and general knowledge. You can tell if a plant is sativa, or indica by the signs.

Sativas are taller and have shorter leaves. Sativas are derived from humid regions, such as the equatorial. They are taller to resist mould. Their height increases during flowering and can grow to as high as 20 feet outside.

Indica plants are a different species. They come from dry areas such as the Middle East. Indica plants are usually shorter than sativas. They can grow to be about 3-4 feet tall. To compensate for their lack of height, they are wider and bushier.

To avoid mould, Indicas have shorter flowering times than sativas. Indica plants are not able to thrive in humid conditions and will therefore produce earlier. This is a positive thing for growers because it results in a faster yield.

Indicas flower in 8-12 weeks, whereas sativas take between 10-16 weeks. Indica plants typically produce 1.5 to 2.5 ounces per plant of bud, while sativas make approximately 3 ounces to 1 pounds per plant.

These days, most strains are hybrid. Hybrid plants will combine features of both the indica and sativa varieties.

Sativa and Indica buds have different characteristics. Sativa buds are more dense than Indicas so you will get more value for your money if it is a sativa. Have you ever looked at a bag and felt like you were getting more than you actually got? It is most likely a sativa. Sativa buds will appear taller and more thin.

Indica buds tend to be heavier and more dense. It’s possible to feel a bit ripped when you look at how little you paid for your bud.

Many strains these days are hybrids, so you might see many different sizes and weights depending upon whether it is a Sativa or an Indica. It is more likely to be an indica if it is dense and small, but wispy and thin it could be a sativa.

These differences made indica more fashionable and popular. They have better buds. Indicas are also better for growing.


Indica Effects:

  • Calming
  • Sedative Feeling
  • You are tired
  • Relaxed

Indica strains have a calming and sedative effect. Indicas can give you the “stoned effect”, which is a feeling of being relaxed, calm, and peaceful.

Indicas may cause a loosening sensation in the body which can increase the relaxation effect and allow you to stay on the couch for the rest your life.

When listening to music, eating and touching different textures, you may experience an increase in your senses.

Sativa Effects

  • Energetic
  • Motivated
  • Get more creative
  • Focused

Sativa is associated with energy and motivation. Sativa strains can have the exact opposite effect to indica strains.

When you need to increase your creativity and focus, Sativa is a great choice. You can be more productive and overcome fatigue with Sativa.

Sativas are also associated with the laughter, but they also have the ability to engage in conversation and become social.


Hybrids are a growing problem in the cannabis industry. Hybrids can be described as a mix of a sativa or indica. It can provide you with the best of both or all.

There are three types of hybrids to choose from:

  • Balanced : This is a balanced 50/50 mix of sativa and indica.
  • Indica dominant This hybrid is dominated indica effects. It gives you a strong body high, but also leaves you feeling relaxed. However, you won’t feel able to go to sleep if you have an element of sativa.
  • Sativa dominant– These Sativa domainat strains give you a stimulating headhigh but with a relaxed feeling in your body.

The majority of strains used in medicine are hybrids. You will not find a pure sativa or indica strain.

It’s more than sativa and indica…

If you want to understand how your cannabis strain will affect you, it is not enough to classify cannabis based on sativa or indica.

It is not a good idea to judge a strain’s effect by comparing it to a sativa or an indica.

There are many biochemically distinct strains, but the distinction between sativa and indica is nonsense. It is impossible to determine the biochemical content of any given Cannabis plant from its height, branching or leaf morphology .” Dr Ethan Russo.

This means that not all sativas are energizing, and not all indicas can calm you down. You may be disappointed or completely wrong if you judge the effects of your bud on the assumption that it is a sativa.

This is something you’ve likely experienced yourself.

If Indica and Sativa aren’t predictive of effects, what is?

First, it is important to remember that each person experiences different strains differently. The environment we live in, the circumstances we find ourselves in and our feelings can all impact how we feel.

However, it is possible to get a good idea of the effects by studying two things in particular: terpenes or cannabinoids.

Cannabinoids and their role

Cannabinoids make up one piece of the puzzle in determining how a strain affects you. There are more than 100 cannabinoids, and each one has a different effect on your body.

Two of the most popular cannabinoids in cannabis are delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol, (THC), and caanbidiol.
THC is known for its psychoactive properties. CBD, on the other hand, has a much lower psychoactive effect and gives you a more intense high. CBD can make THC’s effects more tolerable.

Indica strains are more high in THC and indica strains have higher CBD.

Sativa strains tend to produce small amounts of THC. Although this cannabinoid does not have psychoactive properties, it is able to create a clear buzz when combined with THC. It also slightly blocks the effects of THC on memory.

The appearance of a plant can give you an indication of the dominant cannabinoid in it, and thus the likely effect you will get. But the magic happens when you factor in terpenes.


Terpenes are plants’ aromatic oils. These oils are what you smell from the plant.
You already know the importance of terpenes if you’ve ever used aromatherapy or essential oils to relax and boost your energy.

Like lavender, pine needles and other plants, cannabis has terpenes. These terpenes are produced by the same glands as THC and CBD.

The terpenes in cannabis can make us feel more energetic or calmer. This is similar to the effects of aromatherapy oils. It all depends on the type of cannabis.

We do know that terpenes are key in determining the effects of cannabis strains.

It was initially thought that indica dominant strains smelt sweet and fruity, while sativa strains smelt more earthy. There are many effects your strain can have, regardless of whether you’re a sativa, indica, or hybrid.

That smell…

Every bud’s smell can vary. It may smell like citrus or cheese, but it can also smell earthy or more earthy. It may smell like citrus and contain the terpene, limonene, which has a stimulative effect. It may smell like pine needles, which is a sign that it contains the terpene limonene, which can increase memory and boost energy.

It may smell like beer or cloves, which means it contains myrcene. This is also found in hops. Myrcene has a sedative effect that is more similar to what an indica produces. A strain with more than 50% myrcene will give you a relaxing and sedative experience. Myrcene, which is one of the most prevalent terpenes found in cannabis, has been shown to increase THC’s effects.

Common Terpenes

Here’s a list with the most common terpenes that you might have smelled in your bud.

Other Terpenes

These are just a few of the many terpenes found in cannabis. Some combinations work together while others can be antagonistic, causing them to have inhibiting effects. Knowing the terpenes in your strain will help you decide which effects will be amplified or diminished. This gives you a better idea of the type of high that you can expect.

Terpenes and Cannabinoids

Terpenese can work in synergy with or against cannabinoids. Terpenes have the ability to alter the effects of THC on you. Myrcene, for example, works in conjunction with THC to enhance its psychoactive effects.

You can have two strains that have the same THC ratio, but they smell totally different. This is because the terpenes in them will have different effects on you.

They not only interfere with THC’s effects, but also alter how THC is passed through the blood brain barrier. This could potentially impact your neurotransmitters.

Terpenes shouldn’t be underestimated!

A lab test is the only way to find out the level of terpenes found in cannabis.


It is not enough to know if your bud is a sativa, or an indica. You won’t be able to know what it contains by the packaging, but the smell and appearance will provide some clues.

You will be able to predict what to expect if you know your terpenes.

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