Indica vs. Sativa: Understanding The Differences


Sativa vs. Indica_ Understanding The Differences

There are 3 different types of Cannabis plants; Sativa, Indica, and Ruderalis. Since Ruderalis isn't known for its THC content, most consumers are unaware it exists. The majority of people don't know the differences and are often too intimidated to ask. So let's look at the main differences between the two most popular types of Cannabis; Sativa, and Indica. 

Sativas are best known for their "head high," a delightful, energizing effect that may help reduce anxiety or stress and increase creativity and focus. 

Indicas are typically recognized for its full-body effects, such as increasing a sense of deep relaxation. A Bud Tender once explained it like this: Indica's make you feel like you've melted into a couch. In Da Couch. (It helped me to remember the difference.)

Strains are distinguished by their cannabinoid and terpene content. These compounds are what determine the strain's overall effects. 


Cannabis plants contain dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. 

These naturally occurring components are responsible for producing many of the effects of cannabis use.

Researchers still don't understand what all of the cannabinoids do. Yet, they have identified two main ones — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — as well as several less frequent and less studied compounds.


THC is the primary and most well-known psychoactive compound found in cannabis plants. It's responsible for the "high" or state of euphoria associated with cannabis use. 

CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it doesn't cause you to feel "high." However, it may produce a wide variety of physical health benefits, such as reducing pain and nausea, preventing seizures, and easing migraines and stress.


Sativa in-depth

  • Origin: Cannabis sativa is found primarily in hot, dry climates with long sunny days. These include Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and western portions of Asia.
  • Plant description: Sativa plants are tall and thin with finger-like leaves. They can grow taller than 12 feet, and they take longer to mature than some other types of Cannabis.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Sativa often has lower doses of CBD and higher doses of THC.
  • Commonly associated effects of use: Sativa often produces a "mind high," or an energizing, anxiety-reducing effect. If you use Sativa-dominant strains, you may feel productive and creative, not relaxed, and lethargic.
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Because of its stimulating impact, you can use Sativa in the daytime.


Indica in-depth

  • Origin: Cannabis indica is native to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. The plants have adapted to the often harsh, dry, and turbulent climate of the Hindu Kush mountains. 
  • Plant description: Indica plants are short and stocky with bushy greenery and chunky leaves that grow wide and broad. They grow faster than Sativa, and each plant produces more buds.
  • Typical CBD to THC ratio: Indica strains often have higher levels of CBD and less THC.
  • Commonly associated effects of use: Indica is sought after for its intensely relaxing effects. It may also reduce nausea and pain and increase appetite.
  • Daytime or nighttime use: Because of its profound relaxation effects, indica is better consumed at night.


The widespread popularity of Cannabis is bringing throngs of uneducated consumers to dispensaries. I hope to help those consumers make their buying decision with a little more education under their belt. Enjoy!


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