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What Is The Difference Between Sativa And Indica?

cannabis plant

Did you know that there are two species of cannabis? You may have heard of Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica, but the differences between them go beyond the high, but they share many features, too. What are these differences, and how can you choose the right strain for your needs?

Sativa Vs. Indica: What Do They Look Like?

The differences between Sativa and Indica start with their appearances. Indica buds are shorter and stockier, with Sativa buds being slender and pointier. Indica plants also grow more quickly than Sativas, though not nearly as high – Sativas can get to over 12 feet.

The separations have much to do with their growing environments. Sativas, with their slender leaves and stalks, are better suited for warmer climates, thriving in growing zones across Africa, Central America, and Southeast Asia. The squat Indica plant is native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey, where the cultivation took place in colder, mountainous regions with thinner air.

But what about where it matters: what about the high you can expect from Sativas and Indicas? 


Sativa Vs. Indica: What’s In The Cannabinoid Profile?

The cannabinoid profiles are essential, but what are cannabinoids? They are compounds in the plants that give the users the recreational and therapeutic benefits they seek. There are more than a hundred cannabinoids in weed, but the majority of them are THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC is the psychoactive ingredient, creating the characteristic high; CBD is known for its therapeutic benefits, though it also influences how THC affects the body.

Sativa strains often have lower amounts of CBD and higher levels of THC. They are known for imparting a “heady” high, and many users turn to them for invigoration. Sativas are also known to make many users feel productive, focused, and creative, while others turn to them to reduce anxiety or stress.

Indica plants tend to have more CBD content than Sativa, with the CBD to THC ratio being almost as high as 1:1. This type is associated with “full-body” highs and their attenuating effects – usually deep relaxation and reduced insomnia. Some users call it “in da couch” for how the high keep you on your seat. Indica is a popular choice among medicinal users, who turn to it for reducing nausea and pain while stimulating their appetite.

What Effects Can I Expect From Sativa And Indica?

Sativas and Indicas have more appropriate settings, depending on how you enjoy weed. If you’re someone who likes an energizing, “psychedelic” high and consuming weed during the daytime, then Sativas are the ideal choice. Because they won’t drain your energy, they are perfect for parties and gatherings. 

Indicas, as we have mentioned, are great for medicinal users. Recreationally, these strains are great for after a long day of work, enhancing nights where you’re staying in and watching television, or for when you need to relax. 


What Are “Hybrids”?

Hybrid strains are crossbreeds of Sativas and Indicas. These kinds of weed produce effects characteristic to both types, leaning towards whatever plant type is the “dominant” strain. Most consumers choose hybrids because they can be both energizing and relaxing, depending on the specific lineage. The label will tell you if it’s an Indica-dominant or Sativa-dominant strain. 

It is important to note that some scientific research does not support these claims. Some Sativa plants may be energizing while others may not be; the same goes for Indicas. It all comes down to your body interacts with the weed, so if one strain type isn’t working for you, give the other a shot!

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