Indica vs Sativa: Differences Explained
There are different types of marijuana and different types of high. Most people are familiar with Indica strains and Sativa strains. But what exactly is difference between Indica vs Sativa? And how do these two variations compare to hybrids? Let’s view and read about it!
Author: Galina Boeva
Table of Content
All best-rated indica strains are excellent choices for nighttime relaxation and unwinding after long day or week.
Indica plants are short and bushy. They have wide leaves that are thick and soft.
Effects Of Indica
Indica is often associated with calming effects. Indica is known for its relaxing high and narcotic effects. It’s not surprising that this is most popular type of marijuana to smoke at the end of stressful day.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain or insomnia, indica will help you fall asleep. This type of marijuana also has aphrodisiac effects on body and can boost your sex drive.
Indica is also used for its medicinal properties to treat glaucoma, as it lowers pressure in eyeball that causes condition.
This strains are typically used for feel of relaxation and stress relief. Smoking indica will help you feel calm, and at ease, so it’s best to use this strains before bedtime or after a long day.
Most Indicas have a sweet taste, and this is partly because of their high levels of CBD. That is main compound that gives marijuana its sedative effect.
Strains like White Widow and Northern Lights are great examples of Indica strains with noticeable taste.
Cannabis Sativa originated from tropical regions of world, mainly from areas near equator. It’s capable of growing in warmer climates, and in tropics, length of day is longer than length of night during summer months.
Sativa’s leaves are long and narrow and grow upwards toward sunlight. It’s generally taller variety, with buds that are light colored and thin.
Sativa was first discovered in 19th century in Thailand as landrace strains that was used as hemp fiber.
Sativa is lighter and has more uplifting effect. It tends to have more cerebral highs but still offers physical relaxation.
It’s best used during day time or in evening when you want to go out or socialize. Sativa is also great for inspiring creativity, making it perfect for artists and musicians.
If you’re suffering from depression or stress, then sativa will help you feel a bit happier because of its uplifting properties.
Although Sativa can also be grown indoors, it does better outdoors in warm and tropical climates.
Plant grows up to 3 meters tall and produces long, narrow leaves about 12 inches long and only about 1 inch wide.
This plant has light green color with red and yellow hues appearing near end of its flowering period. Its buds are long, skinny colas with very small leaves.
Effects Of Sativa
Sativa has primarily an energizing effect and uplifting high. This is partly due to chemical compound called THC, which causes high-grade psychoactive effects.
As such, you should expect to feel more focused and mentally stimulated by this type of weed. You’re also likely to feel more awake, with your motor skills enhanced and an improved mood.
Depending on strain, some users also experience an increase in their creativity and an improvement in their ability to concentrate.
Most strains you’ll find nowadays are hybrid. This means that grower took two different strains and crossed them to create a unique plant with specific Indica Sativa characteristics.
Main reason for doing this is to control potency, wich is something that can be quite tricky. By crossing different indica strain and sativa varieties, you can get large variations in effects.
Sativa dominant strains will deliver more uplifting high, while indica dominant strains will deliver heavier body sensation. Combining two strains allows you to get the desired effect without guessing what you will get!
Sativa vs Indica vs Hybrid
By now, you know that both Sativa and Indica are different in their appearance, growing patterns, and effects. But do you know how to recognize hybrid strain?
Hybridization of two or more different strains of Cannabis Sativa or Cannabis Indica is key to most cannabis strains nowadays.
Which one is best for your needs cannabis sativa or cannabis indica or mix of these two?
You can choose between three varieties of hybrids: Sativa dominant hybrid or Indica dominant hybrid, or Balanced Indica Sativa hybrid.
Here is infographic chart with difference between Sativas, Indicas and Hybrid strains.
How To Tell Difference Indica Vs Sativa
Indica is generally more relaxing and narcotic than Sativa. It will make you feel calm, sleepy, and happy, whereas Sativa gives you more uplifting high – it makes you more alert, energetic, and even stimulated.
It’s good to know that it’s not always true that Indica makes you feel ‘stoned’ and Sativa makes you feel ‘high’. You can have Indica that makes you high or Sativa that makes you stoned!
Since nowadays there are so many different hybrids of both strains, difference between effects of Indica vs Sativa isn’t as clear-cut as it used to be in past.
Appearance Of Indica And Sativa Plants
When it comes to terms referring to a plant’s physical structure, there is noticable difference between indica strains and sativa, they are not similar.
Sativa plants are tall and have thin body, usually growing plant size is no more than 3 meters in height. They have long, narrow leafly shapes that can be serrated or smooth.
Indicas are shorter in structure and stockier, growing up to 1.5 meters in height. Their leaves looks are broader and more rounded than those of Sativa plants.
Because of their shape, indicas also grow better in colder climates.
Sativas are more sensitive to cold and need lot of light.
So if you live in colder climate with shorter days (or if you’re growing indoors), it’s best to choose an indica.
Difference In Growing And Flowering Time
Sativas generally grow slower and taller than Indicas and can reach heights of over 20 feet.
This is another difference between Indica vs Sativa.
Since Sativa buds take longer to mature, it’s better outdoors, whereas Indicas are better indoors because they finish faster and can be harvested at the right time.
Sativas are tall and thin plants, Indicas are shorter and bushier. Sativas require more extended seedling period and flowering period.
Both strains have different flowering times because genetics of different plants differ and respond differently to light cycle changes.
It’s important to take this into consideration when planning your grow room setup.
Which Is Best Strain For Indoor and Outdoor Grow
You can grow both indica strains and sativa indoors and outdoors.
But when growing outdoors, you have to take into account that plants will be bigger than indoors.
In order to protect your outdoor plants against animals and rain, you can use netting or greenhouse.
It’s no problem to start your plants in spring and harvest them in fall.
Sativa plants are also suitable for growing outdoors in warm climates like Spain or Morocco.
If you’re growing outdoors, Sativas don’t like colder climates and will die off during winter.
Indicas are better for colder climates because they grow short and wide, meaning they can survive cold.
If you’re growing indoors, Sativa cannabis plants grow faster but take longer to flower compared to Indica.
Sativa is perfect for growing outdoors in summer when you have plenty of sunlight hours.
Indica is better choice for indoor growers who want an easy plant and nugs to look after.
Ruderalis is third type of cannabis plant. Ruderalis was ‘accidentally’ used to develop many modern hybrids.
These days Ruderalis plants rarely appear in commercial grow ops, and there are no strains that can only be classed as Ruderalis.
Remarkably, it’s only one of three cannabis species. Two others are Indica and Sativa.
Ruderalis is landrace strain and can be found in wild throughout Europe. It’s thought to have originated from wild hemp plants, but due to its ability to cross pollinate with both Indicas and Sativa, it has become staple cannabis strain for breeders.
Due to its origin, Ruderalis is renowned for its ability to grow in cold climates. With short growing seasons and colder climates come shorter growing seasons, and colder climates come shorter daylight hours; this is also a trait of Ruderalis.
All cannabis plants require around 18 hours of light per day to ensure they grow as expected. However, Ruderalis can survive with only 12 hours of light per day due to its origins.
As mentioned above, Ruderalis’ ability to cross pollinate with both Indica and Cannabis Sativa is an incredible trait in terms of breeding cannabis strains. However, when used in Indica or Sativa strain, it has detrimental effect on plant characteristics.
Indica Vs Sativa Vs Ruderalis
Cultivars classified as Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis are partly based on origins and on physical appearance of plants.
Sativa originate in warm, tropical climates and are usually tall, thin plants with wide, spreading leaves.
Indica originate in colder regions and tend to be shorter with narrower leaves.
Ruderalis is wild ancestor of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica.
Ruderalis plants are small, low maintenance weeds that spread easily and grow anywhere from roadsides to cracks in sidewalks.
While they vary greatly in appearance due to their feral nature, some ruderalis plants can grow quite large but are usually short in height.
These feral characteristics make them highly useful for breeding projects because they can thrive in a variety of different growing conditions.
Originally, breeders used ruderalis for pest control by allowing their plants to spread near unwanted areas like gardens or fields where other crops grew.
Because of their ability to survive harsh environments, Ruderalis plants have been specifically bred for high-altitude elevation strains of autoflowers such as White Widow and Super Silver Haze and other hybrid strains. which boast beautiful golden trichome crystals but tend to be very low in size overall.
In fact, most commercial hybrid strains available today have been crossed with these landrace varieties at some point during their development, so many modern cannabis strains exhibit traits of Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis varieties depending on what part of world they come from and how they were cultivated during breeding process.
Effects Of Consuming Cannabis
Many people are curious about what exactly happens inside your body when you consume cannabis. Effects of marijuana differ per individual because everyone has different DNA and life experiences.
Effects of marijuana can range from relaxation to memory loss. It’s important always to know what to expect when consuming cannabis, so you can make an informed choice on whether or not to do it.
Consuming cannabis has many medical effects on human body. It influences receptors chemistry in brain and, therefore, influences health, mental state, mood, perception, and metabolism. But what exactly does cannabis do? And which benefits does it have?
- Relieves nerve pain
- It’s good for sleep improvement
- Reduces nausea
- Boosts appetite
- Reduces depression
- Increases creativity
- Enhances mental focus and mental concentration
Some people experience increased anxiety or paranoia when using cannabis. Because of this, it is not recommended for people with mental health conditions such as schizophrenia.
Some studies suggest that regular use of cannabis during teenage years can lower IQ and have other harmful effects on developing brain. There is some evidence that regular use during pregnancy may increase risk of complications in pregnancy and low birth weight in babies.
Many studies have been conducted on effects of cannabis. Some of them even suggest that there are no side effects. This is not true. While overall harmfulness of cannabis is low, it can cause some side effects.
Some people may experience some mild side effects such as:
- Dry mouth
- Dry eyes
- Trouble sleeping
- Increased heart rate
- Decreased mental concentration/memory
THC, CBD And Other Compounds Find In Cannabis
Cannabis contains over 100 different chemical compounds. Most people know THC and CBD.
But what exactly is it, and what does it do?
Delta 9 THC is most known for its psychoactive properties that cause ‘high’ or ‘buzz’ when consumed.
This cannabinoid is responsible for all the effects you feel after consuming cannabis edibles, such as increased sociability and hunger pangs.
After consumption of cannabis, effects are felt within minutes to an hour in regular consumers and up to two hours in first-time users.
Delta 9 THC also binds to CB1 receptor in brain that are responsible for memory function, pain sensation, and coordination of body movements.
Another cannabinoid found in cannabis resin is CBD (cannabidiol); it doesn’t have psychoactive properties but promotes relaxation and relieves pain and instead. CBD also binds to CB1 receptor but only mildly; this explains why consumer doesn’t get high when taking CBD on its own.
What are Cannabinoids?
Cannabinoids are chemical and medical compounds found in cannabis plants. Most notably, these substances contain THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol).
These contain psychoactive substances called THC or tetrahydrocannabinol and CBD or cannabidiol.
They can also contain other chemical substances such as terpenes, limonene, pinene, and linalool. These substances have their own effects on body and mind.
It is possible to find other cannabinoids in these plants, but these two are most important THC and CBD. These chemicals can be used inside human body because they’re lipid-soluble, meaning they dissolve well in fats.
These compounds attach themselves to receptor in our brain and send signals to neurons. Neurotransmitters send information from one neuron to another using electrical impulses.
You can make cannabis medical oil by extracting caryophyllene terpenes from plants into olive oil or any other edible oil.
In this way, you’ll get all beneficial medical terpenes compounds in one go.
Best part? You won’t have to deal with annoying smoke anymore.
Although cannabis medical oil is made from caryophyllene terpenes, it does not contain any THC. Instead, it only contains cannabinoids terpenes.
These are processed and purified, so they contain higher concentrations of caryophyllene terpenes and other terpenes compounds.
Terpenes do not have distinct taste or smell and can be used in cooking or to make tinctures and lotions or in medical purpose.
Most people prefer to eat their cannabis rather than smoke it. It’s because of more substantial effect and pleasant taste.
You can eat cannabis in many different ways: brownies, cookies, waffles, pancakes, or just add it to your meal.
Since THC (delta 9) doesn’t dissolve in water, you have to bake it into your recipe in order for it to become active.
It’s best only to consume low portions of your dish and wait an hour before you eat more because of this long delay effect.
Consuming edibles can be quite different experience compared to smoking and vaping. Since different methods utilize different ways of absorbing cannabis, effects can be quite different.
Edibles tend to have more potent effects than other consumption methods. You might feel extra happy or euphoric, less hungry, or even dizzy or tired. With more powerful effects, there are also some potential side effects you should look out for.
Feel of anxiety or paranoia is common side effect of consuming too much THC. Feel of unusually tired or sleepy is also common side effect and one that you’ll want to avoid if you have something planned for day.
Cannabis gummies are popular among patients who prefer edibles over smoking. These types of candies contain gelatin, which is made from animal protein. These are available in different flavors and shapes.
Many people enjoy eating gummies while watching movies or listening to music. Depending on package, you’ll get dose of 10 to 25 gummies per serving.
If you’re unaware of your tolerance, start with half dose and wait for an hour before consuming rest of them. These are great ways to start experiencing effects of marijuana without having to smoke or vape it.
Myths And Facts About Weed
Not everyone knows what effects marijuana can have on your body and mind. We’re here to help clear up any debate myths about cannabis and provide some facts about marijuana profile.
Myth: Smoking cannabis makes you lazy
Fact: It all depends on type of strain you smoke. Sativas are known for their energizing properties.
Myth: Marijuana is addictive
Fact: THC (delta nine tetrahydrocannabinol) can cause dependence, but it’s much milder than dependence people have on coffee or nicotine.
People who smoke marijuana daily need more of substance to get same effect as someone who smokes only occasionally.
Smoking marijuana does not lead to physical addiction. However, if you’re dependent on THC, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when abstaining from using drug.
Myth: Marijuana causes cancer
Fact: There’s no evidence of this. On contrary, cannabinoids have an antitumorigenic medical effect. In 2006, study showed that THC slowed down growth of tumors in mice.
Myth: Smoking marijuana causes brain damage
Fact: Research has been done on this, and no conclusive evidence has been found. Marijuana is safer than alcohol, tobacco, or any other recreational drug.
Myth: Smoking marijuana lowers your sperm count or makes you sterile
Fact: Studies have shown no change in sperm count or motility after smoking cannabis. In fact, it even improved motility.
Best Indica Strains
We at DSS have selected some of best Indica cannabis you can find on online shop.
Smell and taste of these marijuana strains are so good you’ll want to eat them!
Here are some of best types of Indica seeds we offer at Dutch Seeds Shop; if any of them catches your eye, just add them to carts and buy your seeds; we offer free worldwide shipping and five free seed on orders above 100$.
Marijuana lovers around world are well aware of Afghan Kush. This strain is known for its THC content and CBD content.
Afghan Kush is an Indica strain that has won numerous awards in past years, including Times Cannabis Cup, Seattle Cannabis Cup, and Barcelona Cannabis Expo.
This strain provides an instant couch lock effect thanks to its THC content. It will give you relaxing effect, making it perfect strain for nighttime use.
If you’re suffering from chronic pain and want to relieve yourself of your pain, try smoking Afghan Kush. It will help reduce your pain and relax your muscles at same time.
This strain also helps improve your mood and makes you more calming.
Aurora Indica is an indica dominant strain that originates from crossing an Afghan and Northern Lights cannabis strains. Its THC content is around 18%, while its CBD level is minuscule at 0.1%.
Aurora Indica is strain that is not too difficult to find. It has an earthy taste with slight undertone of citrus.
Aurora Indica strain is great for those who are looking for excellent pain and stress relief while also being able to enjoy some relaxation.
This is strain that is best used at end of day due to its potent sedative effect.
Marijuana, like Aurora Indica, is excellent for those who have chronic pain or need help sleeping. It will also leave you feeling relaxed enough for social interaction.
Best Sativa Strains
If you’re looking for an uplifting and energizing high, then Sativas are best choice.
Best Sativa strains for day time use you can find at Dutch Seeds Shop. Here are some of best cannabis sativa seeds we offer at DSS:
Lemon Skunk is result of crossing two special Skunk phenotypes. It has been an Amsterdam favorite since its creation.
This sativa strain offers consumers an intense smoke that will leave them happy and uplifted. Its buds are dense, light green in color, and smell and taste just like lemons.
This strain has won multiple awards, including High Times Cup in 2007 and 2008.
Lemon Skunk strain is best for daytime use as it is not too strong but still carries some of its effects.
Overall, this strain is highly popular among consumers and carries mostly positive reviews.
Best Hybrid Strains
To give you an idea of what best hybrid strains are, here’s list of most popular hybrid strains that we offer at Dutch Seeds Shop:
Zsweet Inzanity combines Durban Poison and Rainmaker, and Original Glue strains. As you can imagine, taste and effect of this bud are extremely fruity and euphoric.
Zsweet Inzanity is hybrid that is great to relax with, as it will ease your tension while also gently lifting your mood.
Sativa dominant hybrid strains, Zsweet Inzanity, is one of most popular strains in world for its fast-acting, uplifting buzz, and it’s easy to see why.
This strain is renowned for its ability to provide immediate relief from stress, fatigue, and depression, thanks to its high THC content.
Its strong cerebral effects make Zsweet Inzanity an ideal daytime medication for people who need to function throughout day.
Gorilla Cookies is strain that has crossed Gorilla Glue #4 and Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies strains. This strains contains 20% of THC, making it one of most potent strains out there.
This strain is best used for relieving pain and stress, as well as insomnia, thanks to its high tetrahydrocannabinol content.
Smoke this before you go to bed, and you’ll be sleeping like baby in no time.
Cherry Diesel is balanced hybrid strain that combines genetics of Cherry OG (indica strain) and Turbo Diesel (sativa strain).
To keep up with its namesake, this strain is packed with fruity flavours that leave your mouth feeling like you just enjoyed a bowl of cherries.
Cherry Diesel strain offers a sweet and sour taste to your palate and nose that hints of pine, spice and earthy undertones will compliment.
Cherry Diesel cannabis strain also features high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol and significant levels of CBD, making it ideal for medicinal users and those who want to relax.
Here are most commonly asked questions and answers regarding Indicas and Sativas.
What is difference between THC and CBD?
Cannabis contains over 100 chemical compounds. THC (delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol) are most important ones. THC has psychoactive effects on brain, which means that it alters how you think and behave. CBD does not have this effect.
Although THC is responsible for ‘high’ feeling of cannabis, CBD is not without its benefits. CBD has been shown to help with reducing pain, nausea, and other medical conditions.
THC and CBD are different in terms of their chemical structure (different bonding arrangements of atoms).
They also affect your body differently.
What is difference between High and Taste of Sativa and Indica?
Both Indica and Sativa originated in different geographical areas, which led to distinct tastes and high. Sativa is known for its uplifting, energetic high, while Indica is relaxing.
However, today, most strains are crossbreed of both Sativa and Indica to create hybrid with unique effects. These strains are typically yielded indoors or outdoors depending on dominant gene they inherit from each parent strain.
How does Ruderalis compare with Indica and Sativa?
Ruderalis is not as potent as Indica or Sativa strains. Ruderalis plants are likely native to Siberian region and can be found growing wild in cold, arid areas.
They are hardy and resilient, lending them well to harsh conditions. They grow naturally low but can produce big yields of light-colored buds that contain little THC.
Ruderalis plants are bred for their ability to grow quickly in winter and flower in spring – unlike Indica and Sativa strains that need warm summer months before they can flower.
Does CBD counter effects of THC?
There is lot of talk about CBD countering effects of THC. However, research doesn’t support this theory.
While CBD may counteract some side effects of THC (like paranoia), it will not reduce euphoric effect that most people seek when using marijuana.
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