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Indica and Sativa

How to Tell the Difference Between Indica and Sativa

Marijuana is a fun and beneficial kind of drug—fun in the sense that it can present such effects that can be used for recreation and beneficial in a sense that it carries some essential medicinal properties that can be of help in soothing various health conditions. Being a complex plant, marijuana has three major types: the cannabis Indica, the cannabis Sativa, and the cannabis ruderalis.

There are certain factors to put into consideration in order to distinguish an Indica from a Sativa. In this article, we will be discussing how to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa.

Now let us have an overview of their key differences.

In understanding the difference between a sativa and an Indica strain, you must first broaden your knowledge about their cultivation and consumption. Through this, you will be able to identify which one can grow well indoors in your room or which one to consider for your effects preference.

How to tell the difference between indica and sativa

  • Name
  • Origin
  • Structural Growth and Appearance
  • High and Medicinal Effects

The Name and Origin

How to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa. Indica and Sativa come from two Latin words. Indica means India and Sativa means cultivated. Back in the year 1785, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French naturalist, and biologist proposed two species of cannabis which were Indica and Sativa. Indica is a wild cannabis species that grows in India and other neighboring countries, while Sativa is a well-known species that has been widely cultivated in the Western continent.

Structural Growth and Appearance

Cannabis Indica usually requires 6 to 8 weeks of flowering time until it is ripe enough for harvest. It thrives well in a cooler environment. With its short flowering time, its structure is compact and smaller compared to Sativa plants. Being one that can flourish in an indoor setting, Indica species grow bigger with a short height that can range from 4 to 6 feet. On the other hand, cannabis Sativa takes a longer time to finish its flowering phase compared to Indica varieties. It usually requires 9 to 12 weeks to complete its flowering period. Unlike Indica species, Sativa grows well in a warmer environment. With its towering height, Sativa is best grown outdoors. Its height can reach up to 2.5 feet. Talking about their fan blades, the leaves are both green. The only difference is that Indica leaves are much darker compared to sativa leaves. Indica leaves are fuller and broader, while Sativa leaves are thinner and more slender. Talking about their buds, Indica buds look denser and heavier. While Sativa buds are also dense, you will see the difference when you take a closer look. The Indica buds are more solidly dense than Sativa buds. Lastly, due to the Indica’s high-density profile, it is more likely to have greater THC content than the Sativa species.

High and Medicinal Effects


Cannabis Indica can offer a more sluggish and lethargic feeling. Being one perfect for nighttime use, it can produce a heavier body feeling resulting in immobility. This strain is indeed soothing and relaxing. With its sedative properties, using it requires caution especially during the daytime when you are planning to do an activity or finish a required task. Its stoning effect is more bodily rather than cerebral. It can enhance the senses such as hearing, smell, and touch. Not only that, but it can also provide a very relaxing feeling. Cannabis Indica can also make someone sleepy.

When it comes to its medicinal advantages, cannabis Indica is more about giving relief to its users. It can alleviate stress, depression, body-related pains, spasms, and even headaches. It can also be of help in managing seizures. Being one that can aid you with your nausea, cannabis Indica is a very sedating and relaxing strain that is perfect for nighttime use.


If cannabis Indica can present a very relaxing feeling, cannabis Sativa, on the other hand, can produce a very energetic effect on its users, making it ideal for daytime use. The high from this strain is much lighter, counteracting immobility. With that being said, moving and doing some activities will then be coupled with enhanced creativity. These activities become easier with the feeling of motivation. Cannabis sativa also induces focus and alertness. With its all-encompassing effects, Sativa strains are more beneficial for social events and gatherings.

As this strain induces creative thoughts and newer ideas, users can interact freely without even thinking of the topic or an answer to the question.

Talking about its medicinal benefits, the effects of Sativa are more psychological. Compared to an Indica strain whose effect is more bodily, a Sativa strain can cause its users to feel uplifted mentally with its euphoric effects. It can also be of aid to those suffering from appetite loss and social introversion. Boosting creativity and imagination, it is perfect for daytime use as it can give you excitement to finish your tasks for the day.


Though Indica and Sativa come from the same family, their diverse characteristics set them apart. In understanding their differences and knowing more about what they offer, you are very much near to being a cannabis aficionado. You can be capable of identifying which type of cannabis you would need.

Cannabis is truly an interesting thing to understand. While Indica and Sativa vary in their names and origins, they also differ in appearance, effects, and medicinal benefits. Summarizing it, cannabis can surely offer very complex effects to the user, may they be feelings of relaxation or a burst of mental energy.

Knowing the difference is not only helpful in choosing what to use in your smoking session. Understanding the difference between Sativa and Indica can also help those aspiring cannabis growers to identify what type of plant they are attempting to grow and what to expect from it.

With the question of how to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa, hopefully, this article has given you a grasp of its entirety. So the next time a friend asks you about their differences, be like a pro and tell them what you have learned.

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One Response

  1. Hello ,
    I am looking for recommendations for both Sativa and Indica strains offing properties such as indoor growing (height) , moderate growing experience, and of course yield that u offer !

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