The term that you would often see in cannabis apart from getting high and smoking weed are the terms Indica and Sativa. Indica vs Sativa has been largely debated on whether which strain produces a more positive experience to the user. If you are new to the world of cannabis, you would rather have more information about the types of cannabis that you want to use. Most of the time, you would encounter the choices between Indica and Sativa.
While the two have been debated for over a few decades on which one is the best, it is still highly recommended to know the difference between the two. You will begin to notice different types of cannabis strains that have different flavors, aroma, and effects when you visit your nearest dispensaries. These are tied to which strain that usually belongs to or which strain has the majority of its genetic composition.
Typically, growers use these terms to categorize them based on their traits and other profiles. This will help them market different cannabis strain by categorizing them into the different effects they often produce to people. Over the years, these terms are still being used and even to this day, they are commonly used to fully segregate the different strain.
Where Do They Come From?
During the mid-1750s, a Swedish botanist named Carl Linnaeus discovered Cannabis sativa which had psychoactive effects on humans. The identification and the study of the plant were published in his work – Species Plantarum. The Sativa subspecies was the first classification of cannabis to be discovered. It was, later on, found out that another cannabis subspecies has been discovered by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck who was able to identify Cannabis indica strain.
In the early 1930s, another subspecies was discovered by Russian Dmitrij Janischewsky who identified it as Cannabis ruderalis. While the plant does not have any unique features which were not the same for both Sativa and Indica, the ruderalis strain was known for its flowering cycle.
It was not until the late 1970s when scientists were able to fully study and examine the different aspects of these cannabis strains that allowed them to fully diversify and categorize them. During this time, it was discovered that cannabis plants have a chemical compound called cannabinoids that affect different aspects of the human body however, the brain and its functions were highly affected. These cannabinoids were called THC which was the psychoactive compound and CBD which was the non-psychoactive substance but was still potent enough to affect body functions.
Difference Between Indica and Sativa
When both strains were first discovered, each of them had very different physical attributes. Indica had dark green leaves that were wide while Sativa had very narrow leaves that were lighter in color and tone. Other physical attributes that led to the differentiation of both strains include their height and physical stature. Indica strains typically grow short and bushy. They also grow much faster and often produce a higher yield. Meanwhile, Sativa strains are the exact opposite as they grow tall but with frail thin stems and branches. These plants also take time to fully mature and often require more lighting to grow and produce enough yield.
The study of each subspecies of cannabis led to the discovery of cannabinoids and how it affected human functions. This also allowed scientists to fully distinguish both strains to be very different based on their cannabinoid content.
Sativa produced high THC levels with low levels of CBD while Indica strains often presented both high THC and CBD content. This meant that Indica strains were highly preferred as cannabis for recreational purposes. However, human intervention has marred these data over the last few decades due to the hybridization process. Crossbreeding different strains with different profiles has blurred the lines between Indica and Sativa’s cannabinoid content such that there are Indica strains that have low cannabinoid content than Sativas and vice versa.
Psychoactive Properties and its Effects
The debate over Indica vs Sativa all boils down to which one has the best effects on the human mind and body. The psychoactive properties are based on the cannabinoid content of each subspecies however, the two have very distinct effects on humans. This is why you often see them being classified as either energizing or sedating.
Sativas are generally the uplifting and energizing strains. They provide a very cerebral experience to the user. Indicas however have a more relaxing feel to the smoke. They often produce a sedating experience that would lead to couchlock.
Cannabis and its cannabinoid content have to hold tremendous medical value within the medical community due to its beneficial effects on the human body. The major difference between these two strains is often connected to their effects on the human body.
Indica often produces a steady and gradual mental relaxation that is also accompanied by physical relaxation through the muscles. Indicas are also known to lower the onset of nausea and acute pain while increasing the levels of dopamine in the body. Dopamine is a hormone produced by the body that controls the pleasure centers. Due to its relaxing effects, Indicas are often recommended for night time usage.
Sativa is often recommended for mental health issues like anxiety and depression. While Indica presents relief from acute pain, Sativas are highly prescribed for long term or chronic pain. It is often consumed to increase creativity, focus, and attention. The strain is also known to increase serotonin which is used to regulate normal body functions such as sleep, mood, and appetite. With its energizing effects, Sativas are highly chosen for day time usage.
Indica vs Sativa has a long history of debates on whether one is better than the other. Knowing the difference between the two should allow you a more informed decision based on your recreational and medical needs. You should start paying attention to its cannabinoid content and different profiles so you can decide which kind of cannabis you would want to use. In the end, it is still up to you which type of cannabis is best for your mind and body.