What’s the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?
Two very commonly known distinctions among the Cannabis plants are Indica and Sativa. The difference lies in the terms of classification. Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica are two subspecies belonging to the genus Cannabis.
Cannabis Sativa is a native of the hotter climates near the equator like East Asia, while Cannabis Indica is a native of the colder climates. The environmental differences give rise to their distinct appearances.
A general perception that the Cannabis Sativa gives a head high, while the Cannabis Indica strains mainly give a body high exists among several people. Despite the popular belief, all the effects are associated with cannabinoids and terpenes found in Cannabis.
The Indica plant
Indica plants are characterized by broad leaves, short statures and greater yields. Their short flowering season makes them a popular choice among Cannabis enthusiasts. These plants can be grown easily in less hot climates.
During the transition from one season to another, Indica plants are more likely to grow than Sativa plants.
Effects of Indica
Indica is generally believed to be ideal for use at nights. Indica is said to have sedative effects that are good for relaxation and ease of sleep. It contains high concentrations of CBD and low concentrations of THC.
Therefore, it is a great aid to the body for pain relief and relaxation. Cannabis Indica is often suggested as a remedy for anxiety. It is also used for stimulating appetite in some people. Thus, the Indica strain is known to be giving its users more body highs than head highs.
A terpene that is commonly found in most Indica strains is Linalool. In addition to the sedative effects, Linalool also provides relief from anxiety. Another terpene, myrcene with its soil like aroma, can provide benefits of sedation.
The Sativa plant
Sativa plants are characterized by tall and spindly leaves. They prosper in warmer climates with long summers and take long periods to fully flower compared to Indica. Cannabis Sativa plants have taller and thinner leaves when compared to Cannabis Indica. The height of Sativa plants can make it difficult for its growth indoors.
Effects of Sativa Plant
Indica is reputed for being a sedative that gives a body high. Sativa is known to create more cerebral effects that give you a head high.
Therefore, it is perfect for the daytime. The effects of Sativa do not deprive you of your mental alertness and are uplifting when you want to take up a physical activity or push those creative buttons!
Medically speaking, the effects of Sativa not only help in pain but also aid in treating anxiety, attention disorders and depression. One plausible explanation for a Sativa strain giving this impact and potential medical gains to its users is the presence of certain cannabinoids.
Cannabinoids like CBD are present in good amounts; while THC is available in higher concentrations. Besides cannabinoids, Cannabis Terpenes are also present in Sativa which could possibly be responsible for these benefits.
Limonene is known to be a potential antidepressant, while Pinene has good anti-inflammatory properties.
There are many reputed hybrid strains of Indica and Sativa available. These hybrids can have different combinations of terpenes, cannabinoids and associated effects. But Indica and Sativa are not the definitive terms any longer and hence the term ‘hybrid’ is used to accurately describe how it is grown and cultivated.
Depending on what plants are crossbreeding, everything from how a hybrid grows and looks to how much it will yield, can be understood.
Few hybrids are named based on the dominant strain if the strains are not distributed in a balanced manner. For example, an Indica Dominant or Indica-dom, as is clear from the name, is a hybrid whose nature is dominated by the Indica strain. Similarly, Sativa dominant or Sativa-dom, is undeniably a hybrid whose dominant nature matches that of a Sativa strain.
As the usage of Cannabis gains legal support and becomes more mainstream, the differentiation between Indica and Sativa becomes unclear and does not matter anymore.
But what will continue to matter is the distribution of Cannabinoids and the Terpenes whose effects will become the centerpiece of the medical industry.
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