Differences Of Indica & Sativa Cannabis

Browse the digital dispensary shelves of a KushMapper listing, and you’ll see cannabis buds, extracts, edibles, and more coming at you in three broad varieties: Sativa, Indica, and Hybrid. Even if you’re a newbie, you can assume that a Hybrid is a cross of Sativa and Indica. But what makes these types of strains different?

There are many differences between Indica and Sativa, impacting recreational and medicinal users alike!

Indica Vs. Sativa: Shape


CannabisThe differences between Indica and Sativa begin at the bud. Indica buds tend to be wide, dense, and bulky, growing on plants that have broad leaves that are deep green. Sativa buds grow in the shape of long, sausage-shaped flowers on plants with narrow, light-green leaves. 

Most of the differences come from the different climates for which each plant is suited. Indica plants are shorter than Sativa varieties, with thick stems and short flowering cycles; it helps them grow and thrive in colder climates with shorter growing seasons. Sativa plants have longer flowering cycles and are taller, letting them develop better in warm climates with longer growing seasons – but they also take longer to grow and yield fewer flowers than Indica strains.


Indica Vs. Sativa: Aroma Profile


When it comes to aroma, you’ll find general differences between the two strain types. This difference in aromas comes from the different terpene profiles; terpenes are molecules within the plant that are cousins to cannabinoids like THC and CBD. Indicas tend to give off musty, earthy, and skunky odours; Sativa strains frequently have sweet, fruity, or spicy. 


Indica Vs. Sativa: Effects


Kush Mapper – cannabis plants – blog body 3Indica strains are typically associated with full-body sedative effects; this is sometimes called “couchlock” because you won’t want to get up. Sativas are known for their “head” high. They impart an invigorating, energizing effect that can increase creativity and focus while reducing anxiety or stress. 

It’s important to note that everyone is different. How we feel weed depends on our body’s unique series of receptors, a system called the endocannabinoid system. It means you can’t always rely on your body to impart the full effects of an Indica or Sativa.


Indica Vs. Sativa: When To Use


For medicinal users, Sativas and Indicas bring different benefits. Indica strains are best for pain management, sedation, and sleep; Sativa strains can improve energy and mood. 

Indicas are often the best choice for pain and inflammation; they are beneficial for patients with conditions like arthritis and fibromyalgia or who are going through cancer treatment. Sativa strains tend to be better for psychological disorders like depression, PTSD, and anxiety. 

On the market today, there are no “pure” Sativas or Indicas. The amount of cross-breeding means that every bud and strain you’ll find is most likely a Hybrid of some type. Now, you must choose a strain that is “dominant.” They will still impart the effects we’ve listed above, so choose wisely!


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