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Understanding The Difference Of Sativa Vs Indica

sativa vs indica

In a world where countless breakthroughs have changed the landscape of cannabis use and consumption, there are quite a number of things to understand when it comes to marijuana. But however complex weed may get, it will all boil down to mainly one thing: Sativa vs Indica. Now, many people may be familiar with the way these types of marijuana strains work. But for some, most especially beginners, it may be hard to differentiate them if they do not know what to look for! 

Here, we are going to take a look at the difference between indica and sativa. How do they grow? What are their different effects? Which one of them is actually superior? Sativa vs Indica, let the battle begin! 

Varieties Of Cannabis Seeds

Did you know that there are actually different varieties of marijuana seeds, all with unique traits that differentiate themselves from one another? That’s right, cannabis plants primarily come in three (3) different varieties. These are the Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Sativa, and Cannabis Ruderalis. Now, as these species and strains are bred together, they form what are called Cannabis Hybrids

Telling them apart

The different varieties of cannabis are quite easy to tell apart. This is because they are quite different from one another in every particular characteristic. Now, growing cannabis seeds may look similar to one another. But as the cannabis plant develops into mature and flowering plants, growers could practically observe what type of cannabis plant they are dealing with. The difference is night and day! So, what exactly are these cannabis species?

Cannabis Indica: Where do they come from?

Indica strains are known to originate in the Himalayan Hindu Kush Mountain Ranges, where it grows abundantly up until this day. It is also a cannabis species that is indigenous to places like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Turkey, and other places in Southern Asia and Indian subcontinent. 

Unlike Sativa, Indicas actually discovered much later in the history of the world. It was first classified by French botanist Jean Baptiste-Lamarck who first observe the plant during one of his visits to India during the 1700s. He noted that there was a distinct profile in these certain plants that made it look different from Sativas. Additionally, it also show a different tolerance to certain growing conditions.

Growing information:

Cannabis indica plants are quite easy to spot because of its unique qualities. Strains of indica are usually very short and stout plants. These plants may also tend to look quite bushy and dense. Because of the robust plant structure that they have, they usually require more space in between plants. Indica plants have a very compact structure that grows around 3 to 8 feet in height. The broad and outspread leaves of this plant display a much deeper shade of green. 

What do they look like?

Cultivating it in cooler conditions can bring out a certain purple hue to many indica strains! While the buds of these indica aren’t the biggest in size, they are much heavier and dense. Indica strains are also famous for producing frostier buds that are full of trichome.

Cannabis indica plants have short flowering periods of only 8 to 9 weeks on average. Because they come from different parts of Southern Asia, they are capable of growing well under cool or dry climates. While indica strains enjoy a much more sun-inclined weather, they tolerate the cold better than sativa strains do. Additionally, the heavy and thick buds also give growers bigger yield rates to growers.

Effects and Uses of Indica:

  • Recreational effects:

Indica strains are famous for producing a rather relaxing and soothing body high. The effects lean more towards providing a “physically stoned” feeling that sends body buzzes throughout the whole high. Many indica dominant strains help provide a very peaceful and tranquil state to a user that often causes them to feel lazy, unmotivated, and drowsy. This is why indica strains are better for nighttime uses. 

Cerebral Effect

Smoking and consuming indica strains may lead to some very sleep-induced feelings! While indica strains mainly target a person’s body, they may also induce  a cerebral and dreamy effect. But unlike sativas, this head sensation massages a user’s temples and pulls them away to dreamland! However, users must be careful with indica strains as they are capable of causing couch-lock, a sensation that numbs your body and glues you right to your seats for long hours.

  • Medical uses:

As for the medical uses of indicas, they deal more with physical conditions that cause muscle aches and discomfort in patients. The relaxing and calming effects of indica strains are usually recommended for: 

  • Lessen chronic pain
  • Treat joint inflammations 
  • Prevention of seizures
  • Reduce anxiety levels
  • Pain relief/ Natural painkiller
  • Counters insomnia 
  • Helps ADHD patients relax

Best Indica/Indica-Dominant Strains:

  1. Master Kush – Master Kush is a great indica-dominant variety that induces incredibly relaxing effects and soothing sensations. It is the birth-child of two very famous genetics: Hindu Kush and Original Skunk. With a THC level of around 18%, Master Kush provides a sensational clear-headed feeling that soothes your whole body down to the last inch.
  2. Girl Scout Cookies – Girl Scout Cookies, also known as GSC, is a very sweet and minty indica-dominant strain which has been a staple for many growers around the world. The THC level of 25% to 28% may be quite high, but this ensures maximum relaxation all the way! You will surely find yourself stuck onto your beds and couches as you hit away on this indica monster.
  3. Purple Kush – Often dubbed as one of the best premium strains in the royal Kush family, Purple Kush produces a plethora of bitter notes coupled with some of the most body-massaging stones. With a THC level that ranges from 14% to 25%, Purple Kush is sure to make your night! A couple hits of this hashy strain will help transport your mind to a world of pure calmness and tranquility. Soon after, you will find yourself dozing off to sleep while under the effects of this indica champion.

Cannabis Sativa

Where do they come from?

The very first type of weed that was consumed by human race was Sativa. Due to the medical benefits and psychotropic effects that came with it, cannabis in general was considered as a “spiritual plant”. That led to numerous uses and contributions to the culture and tradition of these communities. However, cannabis sativa wasn’t classified up until the year 1753 by Swedish botanist Carl Linneus. This was an important feature to differentiate sativa vs indica.

What do they look like? Growing information:

Sativa strains are easy to distinguish as they are practically opposite with indica strains in every aspect of appearance! Sativa weed plants grow up to very tall and lanky heights. An average sativa plant will likely measure an average of about 16 to 20 feet in height! This makes them more viable for indoor planting due to the open space that allows them to expand more. Also, this gives them a better exposure to light sources. The leaves of sativa strains are also much more thin and slender. The finger-like structure gives it a more similar appearance to a hand as opposed to indica leaves. Sativa strains will also have a generally lighter shade of green and yellow in their plant structures. 

Growing Sativa

Sativa weed plants grow well under long hours of sunlight and dry climates. This makes them slightly less durable when grown under cool and damp environments. Sativa strains will also have longer flowering periods that may take as long as ten to 15 weeks to fully mature. And despite the sativa weed plants producing bigger buds, they tend to weigh less than the dense nug of indica strains. 

Effects and Uses of Sativa:

Recreational effects:

Perhaps the most evident way of differentiating cannabis varieties is through their effects and uses. Sativa strains induce a more energizing and uplifting high as opposed to giving off a body stone. Because it is primarily cerebral in nature, the strong euphoric effects may either give you a light-headedness or a strong psychedelic sensation. Either way, sativas work great for amplifying a user’s focus, productivity, as well as enhancing a person’s mood. One highlight of sativa strains is the ability to cause strong cases of the munchies.


Because of the vibrant and invigorating feeling that you get after having some sativa weed, it works best when used during the daytime. Some particular strains are capable of giving strong energy boosts that help people stay focused and productive throughout the day. It is also important to note that sativa strains generally have more CBD in them vs indica ;CBD ratios. 

Medical uses:

As stated above, sativa weed focuses more on the mind and cerebral part of the high as opposed to physical sensations vs indica. With the ability to have your senses sharpened, sativa strains offer a lot of medical value vs indica. Despite the low CBD content that comes with most sativa strains, the mind effects Here are some of its most common uses:

  • Reduced anxiety levels with improved mood
  • Reduce proneness to stress and depression
  • Battles ADHD by stimulating focus and clear thinking
  • Improves and stimulates appetite
  • Energizes people feeling drained and fatigued
  • Great for avoiding lazy days

Best Sativa/Sativa-Dominant Strains:

  1. Agent Orange – Agent Orange is a very zesty and citrus-based sativa strain that gets users feeling giddy, up and about. The strong energizing effects may be quite psychedelic for some due to the potent THC level of 20%. Overall, it is a great mood enhancer that sharpens your senses and leaves you focused for many hours.  
  2. Blue Dream – With parent strains such as Haze and Blueberry, Blue Dream boasts a very pure genetic makeup that has contributed greatly to the success that it has had over the years. For both newbies and veterans alike, Blue Dream is often considered as the perfect strain for practically any occasion. With a THC level that clocks in at 17% to 24%, the very intense cerebral sensation coupled with some of the best berry and fruity flavors is something you need to try to truly understand it. 
  3. Kali Mist – The Queen of Cannabis herself, Kali Mist, delivers quite the experience as this sativa strain starts lighting up your mind. Because of the 19% THC level, users are drawn to a world of pure energy and euphoria. The sweet and lemon tastes along with a strong cerebral buzz helps sharpen a person’s overall mood and boosts his social awareness levels.  

Cannabis Ruderalis against Sativa vs Indica

A glimpse on Cannabis Ruderalis

Time to turn our focus away from sativa vs. indica for a second. Did you guys know about the Cannabis Ruderalis subspecies? This is the third and newest variety of cannabis that has recently been discovered. It is famous for being responsible for the autoflowering quality that many strains come in today! 

The cannabis ruderalis plant is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Asia as well as Eastern and Central Europe, with its native place often being cited as Russia. In these regions of the world, the climates and weather conditions are very harsh and extreme. The less-than-ideal growing conditions have forced ruderalis plants to develop the ability to thrive and prosper under bad weather climates. Thus, autoflowering qualities were born.

Growing information of Ruderalis and Autoflowering Strains:

Cannabis ruderalis are very short and minimal plants. Their heights measure only up to 1 to 3 feet on average. Now, it is important to remember that ruderalis plants will contain only a minimum amount of THC, which means that they are not potent enough to induce any psychoactive effects. Instead, ruderalis genetics are bred into indica and/or sativa strains to produce autoflowering versions of these strains. 

More on Autoflowering

Autoflowering plants will usually also display very small and short plants. They are extremely fast growers that only take around 50 to 70 days from germination before they are fully ready for harvest! While the effects, properties, and some aspects of appearance may depend on which strains they are bred with, one constant highlight remains: autoflowering strains will thrive regardless of the light that they receive! This is the main attraction of autoflowers and the sole reason why many people opt for them. In addition, these are also feminized strains in nature.

Drawbacks of Autoflowering:

Now, it really does seem as though autoflowering strains are all sunshine and rainbows doesn’t it? Well, not exactly. Autoflowering strains will carry slightly lower THC levels than non-autoflowering strains. Also, the yields of these strains will also be much more minimal due to the small, popcorn-sized buds. 

Best Autoflowering Strains:

  1. Cheese Autoflower – With the bitterness and sourness packed into the delectable Cheese strain, people would find it lovely to know that it now comes in autoflowering versions. This super simple and easy to grow strain is capable of thriving in environment. With the high THC levels and balance effects, Cheese offers a relaxing effect that helps anyone get long hours of tranquility and euphoria. 
  2. Bubblegum Autoflower – This indica-dominant autoflower strain is a great addition to have in any garden. Because of the simple and super quick growing time, Bubblegum is an ideal choice for beginners. While the THC level may differ depending on how you grow them, expect an uplifting and dreamy high that will leave you chilling for long hours. 
  3. Pineapple Express – Pineapple Express is one of the strongest and most potent autoflowering strains there is. Despite the ruderalis genetics bred into this strain, it is still capable of carrying a THC level of up to 26%! Along with some tantalizing, tropical flavors, the effects of Pineapple Express are sure to give users an intense mind-altering high. As your mind starts piling up all those hidden happy thoughts inside your head, you will feel rejuvenated after smoking a joint of this strain.   

What are Cannabis Hybrids?

We have talked extensively about the neverending debate of Sativa vs. Indica. However, no one said that they both wouldn’t get along! Through the breeding of both cannabis sativas and indicas, people have frequently used cannabis hybrids as their go-to strains. In fact, aside  from landrace genetics, it is quite rare to see growers opt for anything else other than the hybrids that are present today.

Put simply, cannabis hybrids give growers and users the best of both worlds. Depending on the strains used and the genotype of each parent strain, hybrids may either turn out as indica-dominant or sativa-dominant

Properties of Cannabis Hybrids:

How a hybrid strain looks, grows, and performs will also depend entirely on which genetics are used! There really is no formal blueprint in developing hybrids. You can use as many strains of indica and  sativa as you want! 

Also, the effects that they will induce vary according to their genetic makeup. Some hybrids lean more towards sativa-dominant effects while others are use for their indica-dominant highs. 

More on Sativa vs Indica

There is so much to learn about marijuana and cannabis plants. But familiarizing yourself with the different varieties and subspecies of cannabis is definitely one thing that you should not overlook. So, which one prevails in the longstanding battle of Sativa vs Indica? To be honest, it will depend entirely up to you!

Choosing over Sativa vs Indica is something that will boil down to a grower or user’s personal preferences. As this affects every way that a grower and/or smoker uses weed, it may very well be considered as the foundation of your weed knowledge!

We hope that this article may serve as a guide for both beginners and long-time growers alike to help them in any way possible with their growing experiences. For more information and weed seed shopping, head to the shop page and Enjoy!

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