Cannabis plants grow in three different species, but two of the most well-known and widely used strains are Sativa and Indica. While both Sativa and Indica plants are part of the same cannabis genus, they have distinct differences in the effect they produce. Let’s first identify each strain and then differentiate between the two.
Sativa plants are known for their tall, thin, and lanky appearance. They are visually characterized by their narrow leaves and light green color. Sativa plants are also known for their high THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) content, which is the psychoactive compound that produces the "high" associated with marijuana use.
Energizing and uplifting, Sativa has a more cerebral and “heady” effect, associated with helping increase creativity, focus, and sociability.
Indica plants are known for their short, stocky, and bushy appearance. They are visually characterized by their wide leaves and dark green color. Indica plants are also known for their high CBD (cannabidiol) content, which is a non-psychoactive compound carrying medicinal benefits.
Relaxing and calming, Indica plants have a more sedative and body-centered effect, most associated with helping reduce pain, ease insomnia, and cause muscle relaxation. Though high in CBD, Indica does contain lower levels of THC, but not enough to be considered THC-dominant.
One of the biggest differences between Sativa and Indica plants is the effect they have on the user. Sativa strains are known for producing a more uplifting and energizing high, while Indica strains are known for producing a more relaxing and sedating high. This is why Sativa strains are often used during the day, and Indica strains are used at night.
Another difference between Sativa and Indica plants is their growth patterns. Sativa plants are known for their tall, thin growth pattern and take longer to mature. Indica plants, on the other hand, are known for their short, bushy growth patterns and tend to mature more quickly than Sativa plants. Because of its fast maturing time, Indica is a better choice for indoor growing, and Sativa is better suited for outdoor growing.
In terms of medical use, Sativa strains are often used to treat conditions such as depression, chronic fatigue, and attention deficit disorder. Indica strains are often used to treat conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia, and muscle spasms.
It's also worth mentioning hybrid strains, which are a combination of both Sativa and Indica. These strains can vary in their effects and have different levels of THC and CBD, depending on the specific combination of strains used.
Sativa and Indica are two distinct species of cannabis that have differences in their appearance, growth patterns, and effects. Sativa strains are known for their uplifting and energizing effects on the mind, while Indica strains are known for their relaxing and sedating effects on the body.
Both offer unique advantages and can be used for different purposes, whether medically or recreationally. It's important for users to understand the effects of each strain’s “high”, know its potency, and choose the one that best suits their intention for use.