Indica vs Sativa With more than 1,000 strains of cannabis having been bred during the past several decades, it is critical that patients are aware of the different types of efficacy available to Here are all the differences between indica and sativa hemp seeds and why everyone is talking about them. > Click here! Indica, Sativa & Hybrid Seeds: the differences, strengths and weaknesses The terms ‘indica’ and ‘sativa’ are not scientifically accurate in the strictest sense. Most cannabis consumers will know
Indica vs Sativa
With more than 1,000 strains of cannabis having been bred during the past several decades, it is critical that patients are aware of the different types of efficacy available to them in terms of cannabis medicine. Some varieties of cannabis are most appropriate for particular diseases and ailments, but not others. Choosing the right strain is critical to ensuring that patients receive the best therapy possible.
Cannabis is a species of flowering herb that is split into three subspecies: Indica, sativa, and ruderalis. Ruderalis plants are small and yield relatively little medicine; what they do provide lacks potency and is generally not appealing to patients. Because of this, ruderalis strains are typically avoided by breeders and cultivators; the focus of the medical cannabis community is on indica and sativa strains.
Indica and sativa plants differ not only in their physiological effects, but also in their appearance. Indica plants are short and stocky, featuring leaves that are broad and “chunky.” Sativa plants tend to be taller and skinnier and may even be lanky in appearance, with leaves that are thin and pointed.
The most important difference between these two subspecies of cannabis, however, is in their medical effects and how they influence energy levels and productivity. Indicas tend to decrease energy and are better for consumption in the evening or at night, after the conclusion of the day’s work and activities. Potent indica strains may give some patients what is called “couchlock,” a condition in which they become so relaxed that they care barely get up from the sofa.
Sativas, on the other hand, are uplifting and cerebral, enhancing creativity and productivity. Indicas provide what has been called a “body high,” while sativas deliver more of a “mind high.” Unfortunately, sativa plants require longer to grow and yield less medicine (flowers) than indica varieties. This is why indica strains have traditionally dominated those available on the black market, where there is no concern for patient need and the sole focus is profit.
The fact that patients are given no choice of subspecies or strain when purchasing from the black market is a major reason it should be avoided. Patients should never trust or consume cannabis medicine without knowing its exact strain and that it was properly grown, dried, cured, and laboratory tested for purity and potential contamination.
Modern cultivators of medical cannabis purposefully breed and grow a wide spectrum of strains within both the indica and sativa categories for the purpose of making available the right medicine for a particular patient’s unique combination of disease, preference, and lifestyle. Often, patients must maintain jobs or family responsibilities that demand a particular energy level and can’t tolerate the sedative properties of many indicas. Other times, patients must seek the most potent non-opiate painkiller possible. Given the choice of chronic pain or the mellowing effects of a strong indica of a particular strain known for its medical benefits, most patients will choose the latter.
Because cultivators and dispensaries are sensitive to the subjective efficacy of particular strains for different patients, they grow and make available as many strains as possible for targeted ailments. Major conditions of focus include HIV/AIDS, cancer, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, Parkinson’s, all types of arthritis, and epilepsy, among many others.
In terms of particular ailments, sativa strains tend to be better for psychological disorders like depression, PTSD, and anxiety. Indicas are often the best for pain and inflammation and, thus, are beneficial for patients with arthritis, fibromyalgia, and cancer. However, because so many diseases are accompanied by side effects like depression and insomnia, a patient must consider treating both their core disease and also its daily symptoms. In the end, each patient will favor multiple strains that will likely fall within the categories of sativa, hybrid, and indica.
When it comes to aroma, indica strains tend to emit musty, earthy, and skunky odors, while sativas smell sweet, fruity, or spicy. This difference in aroma is the result of terpenes, the molecules within the plant that are cousins to cannabinoids like THC and CBD. While these chemicals provide sometimes stunningly pungent odors, their greatest benefit to patients is actually their medicinal efficacy.
Hybrids are simply new and unique strains that are bred from parents of different types. A hybrid theoretically possesses many or most of the beneficial medical properties of both its parents. Breeders can “cross” any two strains they desire in an effort to create a new strain that delivers the best possible medical efficacy, sometimes for particular diseases like lupus, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, and epilepsy.
It should be noted that any two strains can be mixed to create a hybrid. While indica/sativa mixes are common and often noted for their “alert mellowness” and productivity, medical cannabis breeders can also mix indicas with other indicas or use two sativas as parents.
With so many hybrid strains available to patients, many are a compromise that possess the ability to kill pain and fight inflammation while not putting a patient to sleep in the middle of the day. Patients who must medicate in the morning or mid-day, typically for nausea and pain, often prefer a sativa-dominant hybrid, but will switch to an indica-dom strain in the evenings and for maximum pain relief.
Hybrid strains that display more indica than sativa traits are labeled “indica-dom,” while those that lean toward sativa are similarly dubbed “sativa-dom.” Often, strains are labeled with a sativa/indica ratio, like a 60/40 sativa/indica. Other times a strain will indicate only a percentage, such as “70 percent indica” or “80 percent sativa”.
Landrace Strains & Heirlooms
Landrace strains are those that evolved naturally within their native environments. Because they weren’t bred and aren’t hybrids, landrace strains offer a very pure example of sativa or indica, with no interference from humans. In fact, landrace strains are typically 100 percent indica or sativa, the result of tens of thousands of years of inbreeding in a particular weather climate and geography.
Heirlooms are landrace strains that have been grown outside of their native environment, such as plants or seeds professionally grown in Illinois that originated on the other side of the world. While sought for their pure indica or sativa characteristics, such strains lose some of their unique characteristics when grown outside the climate in which they evolved.
Examples of landrace strains include Durban Poison, a sativa from South Africa; Afghan Indica, from Afghanistan; Malawi Gold, a sativa from Southeastern Africa; and Panama Red, a sativa from the country that bears its name.
Landrace sativas appear in Asia, Anatolia, and Northern Africa. These climates provide the long summers and intense sun in which such strains have evolved and adapted to thrive. Indicas are located in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Such strains will not reach their potential if grown within indoor or outdoor conditions that don’t match those of their native environment.
Eastern Europe, the Himalayan region of India, and Siberia are home to ruderalis landrace strains and are among the least desired of these naturally evolved plants. Often, as in the Himalayas, such plants are used to create traditional hand-rolled hash, with impoverished villagers in such regions subsisting on black market sales of the concentrate that eventually appears in smoking cafes throughout Europe.
What Determines Sativa or Indica?
Readers have already learned that the sometimes pungent aromas produced by many strains of cannabis are the result of terpenes, the special molecules in the herb that are similar in many respects to cannabinoids like THC and CBD.
While many might guess that a particular strain of cannabis is categorized as indica, sativa, or hybrid based on the presence or absence of a particular cannabinoid, or a cannabinoid in a particular volume, it is actually a terpene that determines this important status of a strain.
Myrcene, the most common terpene in cannabis, is known to help patients sleep, battling conditions like anxiety and insomnia. If present in a specific strain in a volume greater than 0.5 percent, the strain is considered an indica. If the amount of myrcene is under one half of one percent, then the strain is deemed a sativa.
This dynamic is a good example of the entourage effect, a theory that cannabinoids and terpenes work together in harmony to deliver medicinal efficacy to patients. Many terpenes buffer or enhance the effects of major cannabinoids like THC.
New Strains Constantly Being Created
New strains of cannabis, many of which are hybrids of existing strains that display exceptional analgesic (pain killing) or anti-inflammatory qualities, are being created on a regular basis. While some strains are better at dealing with the nausea associated with chemotherapy (used to treat patients with cancer and Crohn’s, among other diseases), most types of cannabis are very good at this.
With such dramatic differences between indicas and sativas in terms of medicinal efficacy and the experience of the patient, those legally using medical cannabis should work with their physician and dispensary to experiment with various strains that are already known to deliver exceptional benefits to other sufferers, especially those with the same condition.
Patients must strive to find the strains that best deal with their particular disease or ailment and its symptoms, including the side effects of any pharmaceutical drugs or therapies. This is typically not an overnight project and may require months or even years of diligent effort. In fact, patients are encouraged to continually experiment with new strains in search of greater potency or a superior cannabinoid profile that delivers improved relief.
Because this efficacy is so subjective, the advice of other patients can be given only so much weight. The true test of a particular strain of indica or sativa occurs only when used by an individual patient when they most need it, such as during bouts of pain, nausea, or insomnia.
Cannabis indica or sativa? Here are the main differences
The difference between cannabis indica and sativa (and their seeds)
Take a look at our auto-flowering, and feminized seeds offer, and you will undoubtedly notice the different types of “Genetics” for each product. It specifies whether the cannabis seeds have indica or sativa predominance. The terminology “Indica” and “Sativa” often determine the buyers’ choice.
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These two genetics have very different characteristics: both in terms of aromas and effect. Besides, they are also different in terms of the growth and development times of the plant.
The difference between indica and sativa cannot be reduced to the simple fact that “the sativa gives euphoria, and the indica relaxes”, but it is necessary to better explain all the peculiarities of these plants.
Furthermore, it must be considered that each strain has its unique characteristics. The Green Tiger seeds and the OBG Kush seeds are not the same plants. They do not have the same effects and taste although they both have a genetic 20% sativa and 80% indica (we rarely found varieties 100% indicates or 100% sativa).
Each cannabis strain has its unique aromatic profile, effect, growth, shape and colour of flowers. Therefore, it makes no sense to limit yourself to always buy the same strain and genetic. That is why marijuana enthusiasts love – usually – tend to diversify.
Despite this fact, there are general characteristics that indica and sativa have in common. Let’s see which ones, starting with the origins of these two macro-categories.
Origins of cannabis indica and cannabis sativa
Cannabis indica and sativa are varieties originating from entirely different regions. Several studies have determined that Sativa is a cannabis native from tropical climate regions such as Colombia, Thailand and Mexico. Indica, on the other hand, was born in areas with colder temperatures, especially in winter, such as India and Nepal. That’s why, not surprisingly, the cannabis indica is often called Indian hemp.
These two species were classified in the second half of the 18th century (the sativa by the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus and the indica by the French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck). Besides, in 1930, the Russian botanist Dmitrij Janischewsky identified a third subspecies of cannabis: the cannabis ruderalis.
Indica and sativa are therefore not the only existing cannabis varieties (although they are the most common). There is also a third variety called ruderalis, whose flowering is automatic after about 20-40 days after germination. Therefore, flowering does not depend on the seasons but on the age of the plant. As you can imagine, autoflowering cannabis seeds are born precisely from the union between the ruderalis and an indica or sativa.
Now that you know a few more details about the discovery of the types of cannabis. Let’s go deeper into the topic of the article: the difference between indica and sativa.
Let’s start with the seeds.
Are there differences between Cannabis Indica seeds and Cannabis Sativa seeds?
Usually, the cannabis seeds are large, ovoid and have numerous black or dark brown streaks over their entire surface. The cannabis sativa seeds, on the other hand, are smaller, round and with little or without stripes.
However, consider that most of the species on the market are hybrid. It is why seeds can have mixed characteristics and not 100% reflect this difference – even if they tend more to one genetics rather than another.
That being said, we know that the main inequalities between indica and sativa are noticed during the stem and flowers growth.
But be careful: here we are explaining the potential of marijuana seeds and the characteristics of the various strains. However, we advise you against planting seeds. European law strictly prohibits the germination of THC marijuana seeds (i.e. classic marijuana, not CBD). Depending on the size of the cultivation, growing these seeds is considered a criminal or administrative offence. For this reason, our online shop only sells autoflowering and/or feminized collectable seeds.
The differences between the cannabis indica and the cannabis Sativa plants
The stem of cannabis indica, or Indian hemp, grows slower than the sativa plants. However, at the opposite, it blooms faster than its “sister”.
The differences between the two species are clear from the stem characteristics:
- Cannabis Indica plant: its stem has a shape that looks like a small Christmas tree, and develops large and short, decidedly squat marijuana leaves. Besides, its height rarely exceeds 150 centimetres if grown outdoors (slightly lower if grown indoors).
- Cannabis Sativa plant: its structure is slenderer than the indica, so much so that it can reach up to about 5 meters if grown outdoors in favourable conditions (it will not be as tall if it grows indoors). Also, it has a candelabrum structure and very long and tapered leaves.
These characteristics are less accentuated in hybrid strains. Still, it is possible to note, from the features of the plant, if a variety of marijuana has specific genetic-characteristics that tend more to the indica rather than the sativa and vice versa.
Let us now look at the flowers and effects of the two species.
Flowers and effects of Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis indica
Generally, the indica plants generate cannabis flowers (also called buds) that grow in clusters around the nodes of the branches and stem. These flowers are very close to each other. The cannabis sativa buds, on the other hand, tend to grow all along the branches and are larger than those of indica.
Cannabis indica flowers usually have extremely relaxing effects, sometimes anticipated by a short spurt of euphoria, especially in hybrid varieties. However, the sativa inflorescences typically stimulate a burst of intense laughter and energy and often increase the creative talents of those who hire them.
For these reasons, the indica varieties (or most indica genetics) are often appreciated by those who need relief from physical pain and/or relaxation. Also, some marijuana connoisseurs say that the sativa is perfect against anxiety, depression or, more generally, moments of sadness.
Where to buy the best collectable cannabis seeds?
You can buy high-quality feminized seeds and autoflowering seeds (also fast-flowering ) on SensorySeeds.
The seeds in our online shop come from one of the best seed banks: BSF Seeds, famous all over the world for its attention to the product and the generation of seeds of the highest quality.
What are you waiting for? Take a look at our varieties of marijuana seeds on Sensoryseeds.com now!
Indica, Sativa & Hybrid Seeds: the differences, strengths and weaknesses
The terms ‘indica’ and ‘sativa’ are not scientifically accurate in the strictest sense. Most cannabis consumers will know what are considered to be the main differences – indicas are short, bushy plants with wide leaves, whilst sativas are essentially the opposite. Indica buds are dense and compact, and produce a body high (the couch lock effect), whilst sativa buds are airy, and give a more cerebral, energetic high. Whilst there is a certain amount of truth to this, research has increasingly shown that it’s far from being that simple.
For the purposes of this guide, though, we’ll stick to what’s generally accepted, at the risk of not being entirely scientifically accurate. Just bear in mind throughout that there will be exceptions to any rules.
INDICA vs SATIVA
As outlined above, indica varieties can typically be told apart from their sativa brothers and sisters by their short, bushy stature and broad leaves. Sativas on the other hand tend to be far taller (up to 25ft) with noticeably thinner leaves. There are also differences to be found in the buds produced by each variety – indica buds are typically more compact than the fluffy, wispy flowers of sativas. As well as these physical differences, indicas vary from sativas in other, less obvious, ways. Some of which are only apparent after their flowers have been consumed.
If you’ve consumed both 100% indica and 100% sativa varieties of cannabis, you’ll know that the different effects each can produce could hardly be more obvious. To oversimplify massively, indicas tend to have much more of an effect on a users’ body – they produce an intensely relaxing sensation, and can cause users to become ‘couch-locked.’ This is no doubt where the lazy stoner stereotype originates, after all we’ve all experienced what happens after a serious indica session, and how difficult it can seem to make that short trip to the fridge to satisfy your munchies.
Conversely, sativas, which are less abundant (particularly in countries without a regulated market – something we’ll come onto shortly) are more likely to produce a feeling of euphoria in a user. The effects are widely referred to as a ‘head high,’ in that they are more profoundly mental and cerebral than they are physical. Essentially, then, they are the polar opposite of indica’s couch-lock.
The other main difference between the two varieties is also the reason why – in prohibitionist states at least – it is usually far more difficult to get your hands on a decent sativa. To put it bluntly (and to pun badly): sativas take a lot longer to grow than indicas. They are also not so well suited to indoor growing, thanks to their size, and as a result are not generally considered to be economically viable for cash-croppers and black market dealers.
Recommended Indica Strains
- Indica strains are typically compact and short in stature with broad leaves
- Indica strains usually effect the user more physically, while sativas have a more cerebral effect.
Recommended Sativa Strains
- Sativa strains tend to be taller with noticeably thinner leaves.
Now that we’ve covered the main differences between indicas and sativas, it’s time to throw a spanner in the works. As you have probably figured out by now, in today’s world it is becoming increasingly rare to come across a strain that is 100% indica or sativa. Most are what is known as hybrid strains. What this means is that through the selective breeding of different strains from both varieties, growers have been able to pick and choose the traits and effects they want to be present in their new strain.
The utilization of selective breeding has led to the proliferation of hybrid strains, and for good reason. There are positives and benefits associated with both indica and sativa varieties – and these are different from individual to individual – and the ability to create strains that are almost tailor-made to each individual’s needs means that purely sativa or indica strains have become a lot less prevalent. Because of this, every hybrid strain will have unique effects and characteristics, but you can make a good guess as to what those will be by looking at the genetics of that particular strain and working backwards.
Recommended Indica & Sativa Strains
- Hybrids have traits of both indica and sativa strains
- Every hybrid strain has unique characteristics and effects
- Hybrids are the most popular and most cultivated strains
Germination and cultivation of cannabis seeds is illegal in most countries. Seedsman.com sells cannabis seeds as a collectable adult genetic preservation souvenir only and offers advice only to customers in countries where the germination and cultivation of cannabis seeds is legal.