Differences Between Indica and Sativa

Shortly after diving into the world of medicinal cannabis use, you may have discovered that there are two major species.  When dealing with either an indica strain or a sativa strain it is important to know about the effects and the intended purpose of each.  Although some of the differences are minor, it is critical when deciding what to smoke that you choose the perfect option.  Also keep in mind that there are hybrid strains available that can be used to satisfy nearly every need.

Throughout this article we will discuss how to determine what exactly the differences between Indica and Sativa actually are.  This will be determined through what you can see and what you can feel, as well as the input given to the consumer by the dispensary representative.   If this is not enough, we are building a cannabis strain guide to help users in their journey.

Visual Differences

Indica leaf compared to a Sativa leafThe easiest way to identify the species of plant growing is by the stature while it’s growing.  An Indica plant will tend to stay short and closer to the ground but grow out to the sides and be wider.  Because they are wider and a bit more bushy, for those looking into growing marijuana will find it produces a higher yield than their counterpart.

Sativa plants grow tall and thin with fewer secondary branches.  It can be recognized for the skinny leaf that has been the iconic symbol of marijuana users for over a decade.  Traditionally growers have kept these plants outdoors, they’re perfectly suitable for an established indoors setup.  Due in part largely to the changing legal situation, Indica strains have found their way back into the limelight.

Unless your dispensary allows you to visit their grow room, many users will have to trust their representative as to what strain they are receiving.  Without direct access to the plant, the only other way to attempt to determine what species is being smoked is through the effects it has on the smoker.

Differences in High

A majority of Indica smokers choose to smoke their bud either before bed or at night shortly after dinner.  It is known for causing a very heavy and deep body high that causes drowsiness and a lack of desire to move.  For this reason, they’re great for coping with medium to chronic pain and sleeping disorders.  When it comes to coping with anxiety or high stress levels, there’s no competitor.

Similar effects can be found in Sativa strains, but not necessarily to the same extent.  Instead, it provides a more uplifting mental high and less impact to the body.  This allows the smoker to perform regularly but with a nice light buzz.  Expanding on that, Sativa smokers appreciate creativity and art oriented genres as well as an enhanced mental state.  Pain and stress relief are not as strongly associated with this smoke, but the effects are still prevalent depending on the user.

With all of that information available, one must not forget about hybrid strains.  When growers are attempting to cross breed, they normally have a desired effect in mind.  Through careful work with laboratories, it’s possible to tweak the cannabinoid levels to reach that goal.  Be aware of the differences between Indica and Sativa.  If you’re confronted with a hybrid, don’t be afraid to ask what the preferred use is, or specifically how that particular marijuana strain can help you.  Furthermore, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to recognizing the effects of Indica and the effects of Sativa!