What is the difference between Indica vs Sativa

Indica and Sativa- Everything That You Need To Know!

More than 1,000 cannabis strains have been bred over the past several decades. Botanists divide the groupings of these and all other marijuana plans into three subspecies- Indica, Sativa, and Ruderalis.

  • Ruderalis is a small medicinal plant that lacks potency and has no significant benefits.
  • As a result, most cannabis-related research and discussions are dictated by Indica and Sativa.

Though Indica and Sativa are sub species of the genus Cannabis, they differ in origin, physiological effects, highs, medical effects and their appearances as well. Let’s compare the two.

FACT: The Cannabis you buy will either be Sativa, Indica or a combination of the two.

Most discussions around Cannabis relate to either the Indica, Sativa or a hybrid strain.


Indica and Sativa have been the foundation of the Cannabis plant spectrum in the US and Australia since the mid-1700, but they actually originated from different parts of the world. Most of the Indica varieties come from Indian subcontinent including- Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet, Northern India, Nepal, and Tibet. Sativa, on the other hand, originates in the equatorial regions of the world including- Mexico, Jamaica, Southern India, and Thailand.

Physical Appearance

Indica plants are short and have broad and chunk leaves, while Sativa is taller and has a more elongated look, with thin and pointed leaves. Since their inception, cultivators have used their physical appearance to differentiate between the strains.

The most important difference between these two is their medical effects, the ‘highs’ they instill, and the ways in which they influence users’ overall productivity and energy levels.

How Do They Influence Your Highs and Energy Levels?

Overall, Indica is the more dominant strain. Using it provides people a light, more relaxed feel. It can help users get to sleep. It’s Indica which provides a body high and turns you in to a couch potato.  Indica tends to decrease users’ energy levels and, proponents say, is best for consumption, later in the day. If you are planning to binge on Netflix and munchies, Indica strain is what you should go for.

In terms of medical efficacy, consumption of this strain relaxes muscles, relieves the body pain, spasms, headaches, nausea, and migraines. As a result medicines produced by Indica have higher CBD and low THC counts.

On the flip side, people who consume Sativa, are more likely to feel focused, thoughtful, and experience a stimulated ‘brain’ high. Sativa highs are, again, proponents say, lighter than Indica. The difference in effects come from the fact that Sativa has lower CBD and higher THC counts. Sativa plants have a ‘fruity’ aroma and work the best when you are up for some adventurous activities like trekking, mountain, hiking, or other outdoor pursuits. Depending on the dosage, Sativa sometimes lifts your cerebral thinking, enhances your productivity and might even distort your thoughts in high does.

When it comes to its medical effects, Sativa provides feelings of well-being, energizes users, and also, potentially, fights depression. Overall, sativa is ‘less-popular’ than Indica as they take time to grow and yield fewer medicines.

What Determines Indica or Sativa?

  • It’s actually the amount of ‘terpene’ another of the nearly 400 compounds that constitute CBD, that determines the designation of a strain.
  • Myrcene is the most common type of terpene that is available in cannabis.
  • If Myrcene is present in a volume greater than 0.5 percent, it is Indica, and if it is under 1 ½ percent then the plant is determined to be Sativa.

Indica High or Sativa High- Which Is Right For You?

When it comes to choosing between them, both the strains have their own effects. Deciding which type of high you want, brain or body is your personal choice. These days, there are a wide variety of plans, brands and methods by which you can consume cannabis. Users can tie together ‘cocktails’ for optimal results under different conditions and according to the high you want.

That the way Cannabis is consumed is also related to the type of high you feel. Those that smoke the strain through their lungs, you will experience a head high. Alternatively, those who consume an edible are far more likely to receive a body high.

To experience both, you can also try both Indica and Sativa and spend some time testing each one of them. Our advice is to make sure that you find a pure Sativa or Indica strain to try them for the first time. (Where it is legal to do so.) You can also ask your budtender to find you the product which will suit your needs.

Published by Neil

Neil believes Cannabis has medical benefits and should be prescribed by a Doctor. This site aims to provide accurate information on the science and legality of Cannabis so you can make informed decisions.

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