If you’re a cannabis enthusiast, or simply curious about the plant, you might be wondering how to spot the differences between two of its most popular strains: Sativa and Indica. While both are classified as Cannabis sativa plants, they have different characteristics that set them apart from each other. Here, we’ll cover everything you need to know to tell Sativa from Indica.
Understanding Cannabis Strains
Before diving into the differences between Sativa and Indica strains, it’s important to understand what exactly a strain is. A strain refers to a particular variety or subspecies of cannabis that has unique physical and chemical characteristics. These characteristics can include differences in color, aroma, potency, and effects on the body.
There are hundreds of different strains available today, each with their own unique combination of traits. Some popular examples include Durban Poison , OG Kush , and Blue Dream .
It’s worth noting that while there are distinct differences between Sativas and Indicas, many strains actually fall somewhere in between these classifications as hybrids.
What Is Sativa?
Sativa is a subspecies of Cannabis sativa plant known for its uplifting effects on mood and energy levels. Its leaves tend to be thin and long with narrow blades that grow further apart than those on an Indica plant. As such, Sativas typically appear tall with long internodal spacing between their branches.
Some common characteristics associated with Sativa-dominant strains include:
- Increased creativity
- Cerebral high
- Energetic buzz
- Stimulating effect
- Reduced appetite suppression
What Is Indica?
Indica is another subspecies of Cannabis sativaplant known for its more relaxing effects on mind & body. It’s often said Indica strains create a ‘couch-lock’ effect, due to their calming, sedative properties. Indica leaves tend to be wider and shorter than those of Sativa, with denser foliage that grows closer together.
Some common characteristics associated with Indica-dominant strains include:
- Sedative high
- Soothing effect
- Physical relaxation
- Pain relief
- Appetite stimulation
How To Tell Sativa From Indica
There are several physical differences between Sativas and Indicas that can help you tell them apart, including:
Sativa plants typically grow taller – often reaching over 12 feet in height when grown outdoors – with sparser foliage and longer internodal spaces between branches.
In contrast, Indicas usually grow much smaller and bushier – often less than six feet tall. They also have more densely-packed buds forming a compact structure.
To identify the plants by visual appearance look for thin long leaves , which are known to be light green in color or broad short leaves , which tend to be darker in color. However, it is crucial to note once again that selecting based on length of the leaf will not always result in an accurate conclusion as these subspecies commonly grow as mixed hybrids consisting of wide ranges from shapes variations within this categorization classification.
Smell is another easy way to tell the differences between Sativas and Indicas. Generally, sativas carry a fruity aroma with citrus notes while both piney & earthy characterizes an indica strain’s scent profile.
Arguably one of the easiest ways to spot differences between these subspecies is their effects on mind & body post-consumption via inhalation or ingestion. Sativas are well-known for being energizing uplifters providing wave after waves of cerebral experiences, while indicas usually leave consumers feeling sleepy or heavy sedated with their relaxing calming effects. One should always remember that despite this general guideline some strains may have opposite effects therefore it is important to do research on specific strains in question or speak to an expert before use.
One less common difference between Sativa and Indica strains is their flowering time. Sativas tend to take longer times to reach full maturity than indicas due to the amount of branching that occurs during vegetative growth stages.
Now that you understand the physical differences between these botanicals logically one may be curious about tips and tricks for determining which strain they hold at hand from a dispensary store, farmer’s market booth, or any other place where the plant’s cultivators offer them up for sale!
Here are some tools you can use when trying to determine whether you’re holding Sativa or Indica:
As mentioned above, Sativa leaves tend to be thin with narrow blades compared to Indica which has wider short leaves. Therefore if your cannabis looks like weed straight out of Willie Nelson’s touring bus filled with leaflets resembling fan-blades elongating skywards then congrats- you have got yourself a Sativa! But when those leaves look more like pancake-shaped mechanisms hugging tightly together then a potent aromatic indica flower most probably is what you’ve got your hands on. Keep in mind as we mentioned previously certain hybrid subtypes only showcases partial characteristics as such observing solely active characteristic will not yield reliable results in deciding between these two types.
The bud structure also offers significant help in identifying differences among plant species. Sativa plants often display long slender hillocks growing along loosely spaced branches providing beautiful blur glistening buds creating light airy compositions due higher THC content levels within the trichomes coating . Indica flowers are the opposite, typically being more compact with less space between buds forming a thick, dense structure to hold up heavy trichome loads.
If all else fails or you’re just that curious about the herb’s potency levels, Sativas tend to have higher THC contents than their counterparts Indicas.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Which Type Is Better For Medical Purposes?
The choice between Sativa and Indica strains for medical purposes depends on the ailment at hand. While Sativa is often used to combat depression, anxiety, and fatigue, Indica strains are preferred for those seeking pain relief or better sleep quality.
Q: Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Cannabis?
Using cannabis can lead to short-term side effects such as dry mouth, red eyes, nausea, anxiety, panic attacks but extended consumption that extends beyond moderation or interaction which other substances could potentially cause long-term consequences related to respiratory damage.
So there you have it! Now that we’ve covered everything from leaf shape and smell to flowering time and potency levels nuanced by hybrid mixing proportions. As always when partaking in anything due diligence is research before use so make responsible choices when exploring these mind-opening plants!