Indica vs Sativa: What you need to know

When people refer to marijuana, they mean one of two widely known species of the cannabis plant; Indica or Sativa. Their differences lay both in the way they look and also in their potential benefits.

Ten Differences
  1. The easiest way to tell Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa apart is their leaf shape. Indica’s leaves are broad and Sativa’s are narrow.
  2. Even though marijuana spread worldwide, the two plants are from completely different locations on the planet. Indica grows in colder climates and it came from the Hindu Kush region, in countries like Turkey, Morocco, and Afghanistan. Sativa grows in places near the equator, such as Colombia, Mexico, and Thailand.
  3. Another clear difference is the plant’s height when it is mature. Sativa can grow up to 20 ft high, whereas Indica only reaches 3-4 ft.
  4. Based on the plant’s size, the cultivation places are different. Indica can be grown indoors, even in the comfort of your own home, where Sativa needs open space to reach its full height.
  5. The time it takes for each plant to grow and be ready for harvest, is also different. Indica needs 8-10 weeks to be ready. Sativa’s time is almost double that of Indica at 10-16 weeks.
    marijuana leaves
    Can you tell this is Indica or Sativa?
  6. The size of the harvest depends on the size of the plant. Indica gives about 1.5 to 2.5 ounces per plant, while Sativa produces 3 ounces to 20 pounds per plant.
  7. The classic flavors of the two plants are quite different. Indica has a sweet taste, like strawberries, while Sativa’s taste is earthy, like pine.
  8. Another way to tell them apart is their strain names. People usually refer Indica ¬†as “Kush” and Sativa as “Haze”.
  9. Indica has a sedating and relaxing effect on the body and it’s the one associated with the phrase “getting stoned”. Sativa, on the other hand, is known to get you energized and its effects are described as spacey and even hallucinogenic.
  10. Both types can relieve symptoms such as pain, nausea, and loss of appetite; and many more. For example, Indica is used to treat insomnia and anxiety, and Sativa is used for fatigue, depression, and mood disorders.
In Review

It’s very important to understand these basic differences between Indicas and Sativas. The two types differ in many ways and can affect both their recreational and medical use. Growers also need to be familiarized with the two types because they tend to blend them, making hybrids with the characteristics they want. Hybrids are crosses between an Indica and a Sativa plant, these can have effects, appearance and aroma of either parent plant.