Sativa VS Indica – Differences And Similarities

What We Know About Sativa And Indica

In 1937, the government began to prohibit the manufacturing, storage, transportation and sale of cannabis. Some citizens did not take too kindly to these laws. In fact, many ignored the laws and continued business as usual, but under concealment.

Not only did the prohibition change how people could access cannabis, but also limited research efforts. So, the differences between the cannabis strains, indica and sativa, is purely subjective.

However, with the new laws that permit both medicinal and recreational cannabis use, researchers are starting to focus their interests on the three cannabis species, sativa, indica and ruderalis.

Sativa And Indica Effects

The terms, sativa and indica, are often utilized to describe the effects of both cannabis strains and species. They are never utilized to describe growth patterns, development, lineage or climatic and geographic regions of origin.

With this said, there are only a few landrace strains that qualify as pure ruderalis, indica and sativa, while hybrids make up 95 percent of the cannabis strains.

According to reports from users, both indica and sativa produces a “high” or eutrophic effect. However, these effects are described as being slightly different in nature, as sativa produces an “uplifting and energetic high,” while indica produces a “relaxed and sedative high.” 


Cannabis experts continue to believe that users should never refer to the effects of cannabis as sativa and indica. While the varying ratios of cannabinoids are believed to attribute to these effects, some experts feel these effects are influenced by “terpenes.”

Terpenes are an extremely large, diverse class of “organic compounds” produced by a broad range of plants, including cannabis. Terpenes protect the plants from herbivores, by attracting parasites and predators of herbivores.

In addition to this revelation, each cannabis user has a unique chemotype, which will determine the effects they experience.

THC is classified as a “natural energetic,” so it produces a dynamic, intensive high. This high is known as a “sativa high”. Even though some strains of indicas have a much higher level of THC than sativa strains, they will produce completely different effect.

Some users have described these effects as a “stoned feeling”.

However, these effects are subjective and everybody’s chemical makeup is unique, so you should not expect to have the same experience as others.

The Appearance Of The Sativa Plant

For proud growers and cultivators the appearance of a plant could mean everything. And, when it comes to appearances the sativa plant has without a doubt got to be the king of the jungle. It rightfully earns this name, as sometimes the plant can grow up to twelve feet in height when grown outdoors.

All the leaves, buds, and colas will be spread far apart from each other, as they typically grow in an upwards motion. In fact, the branches of this powerful plant almost look like they are stretching up to the sky.

In addition to this, the buds grow closer to the stalk when compared to any other strain, and not all the useable plant material begins growing half way up the stalk.

Due to its large size and growing habits, this plant usually need to be grown outdoors in order to truly flourish and produces a sizeable yield.

The last notable feature of the sativa plant has got to be the leaves. The leaves are really thin, almost giving off a scrawny, pencil like appearance. However, this is one of the features that give this plant its classic look and makes it stand out amongst the competition.

Sativa plant

The Appearance Of The Indica Plant

If you are limited on growing room or more interested in growing indoors, the indica strain is without a doubt one of your better options. The indica plant is extremely smaller in size when compared to the sativa plant, as it typically only grows around six-feet tall.

While the indica does have a smaller size pattern, this is one of the most popular strains amongst growers due to its dense growing patterns.

In fact, the shape of the indica plant is very similar to that of a pine tree. The branches form a point at the top and become denser as they near towards the bottom. The useable plant material will flourish at the root of the stalk, leaving little space from the bottom of the plant to the top of the soil.

Another feature that makes this strain extremely popular is the bud growing patterns. The buds will be extremely thick and hearty, which allow this small plant to yield high colas and flowers.

The leaves are also wide, fat, and flat in shape, which makes it stand out from the sativa plant. Although, the leaves grow in the same pattern as the sativa leaves, the indica leaves almost look like they have swollen to double the size of the sativa.

Indica plant

Which Is Better For Recreational Use?

There have long been many debates between the sativa and indica strains. Some individuals will claim that the indica strain is better for recreational use, while others will swear by the sativa.

Which is truly better and what kind of highs can you get from them?

Indica For Recreational Use – The indica strain is highly known amongst stoners for its physically sedating effects. In fact, this plant has such a sedating effect that it is often times referred to as the “in da couch” strain, as it just makes you want to sit on the couch and relax.

If you want to sit around with friends and relax while you watch a movie or listen to music, the indica strain is without a doubt your better option. If you want to unwind after a long, hard day of work go with the indica.

Sativa For Recreational Use – Sativa strains, on the other hand, are highly known for their inspiring mental effects. After smoking a sativa bud you will feel uplifted and invigorated. This makes this strain extremely popular for social gatherings and when pursing music, art, or writing.

If you find yourself with a case of writer’s block never be afraid to turn to the sativa, as it will inspire you.

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