Legally and scientifically, we cannot identify the difference between Sativa and Indica Cannabis strains because all the plants are considered as Cannabis Sativa.
However, in practice, there are many differences between both the Cannabis strains.
The terms Indica and Sativa are broad categories that help in an indication of a specific strain of Cannabis.
There are many differences such as the growth patterns, effects, qualities, and other different spectra.
The differences are present between Indica and Sativa Cannabis strains because both of them have a remarkable ability to adapt to a different environment.
However, the various plants of the Cannabis family can interbreed and produce different plant forms.
The Indica and Sativa Cannabis strains are two types with different effects and distinctively high properties. Cannabis is considered the oldest crop being cultivated for a thousand years.
Difference between Sativa and Indica cannabis strains
Following is a simple list of indicators which help you identify the difference between Sativa and Indica Cannabis strains:
Difference#1 — Geographic Origin
The marijuana plants are gaining popularity worldwide. However, origins have been identified to general geographic locations. The examples include the following: Indica cannabis strain comes from the Hindu Kush region present in the Middle East, Central Asia along with Indian subcontinents. Others include Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, northern India, and others.
Sativa cannabis strain is grown towards The Equator,i.e., around Mexico, Thailand, Colombia, Southeast Asia, Jamaica and so on.
Difference#2 — Leaf Shape
The easiest way to determine the difference between Sativa and Indica cannabis strains or marijuana plants is to look for the shape of the leaves.
Moreover, if you look for these categories, keep in mind that hybrids may have either form or a combination of both the strains.
- The Indica cannabis strains have broad, densely branched and short leaves while Sativa cannabis strains have slender leaves which are long and narrow.
- The Sativa Cannabis strains are grown outdoors reaching around 20 feet. The Indica strains grow indoors with broad leaves. Indica Cannabis strains are stocky and compact, with dense and fragrant buds.
- The Cannabis plants produce the nodes along with stems at regular intervals. The nodes of the plant are the sites where branches, flowers (buds) or leaves form.
- The Indica buds grow in the formation of dense clusters near the nodes of the branches and stems, with short spaces termed as internodal gaps among each group. The Sativa Cannabis strains grow taller when compared to the Indica Cannabis strains. The Sativa buds increase in growth, and they run along the branch length rather than clustering surrounding the nodes as in Indica strains.
- The weight of Sativa buds is less than the Indica Cannabis strains in dry conditions due to the low density. The buds of the Sativa Cannabis strain have less odor in growing or dry stage in comparison to the buds of the Indica strains.
Difference#3 — Plant Height
If you determine that the plant be mature, then the perfect indication is the size of the plant. It makes Indica cannabis strains more suitable for growing in small spaces while the Sativa Cannabis strains are preferred for growth in outdoor areas. Sativa strains can increase massively and reach the tallest heights in the graphic.
- Indica Cannabis strains – 3-4 FT
- Sativa Cannabis strains – Up to 20 FT
The Indica Cannabis strains gain height rapidly as soon as the flowering begins and they do not grow massively under normal circumstances. During the flowering period, the Indica Cannabis strains increase the height by 50-100%.
In tropical regions, Sativa strains flower and grow at the same time instead of the flowering and vegetative stages.
The Sativa strains proliferate in height during the flowering stage and continue increasing in stature through the budding phase. They gain elevation of around 200-300%.
Difference#4 — Flowering time
The flowering is the phase of the growth cycle where a plant begins the production of buds. As soon as the flowering is completed, the time is to harvest and then cure.
- Indica Cannabis Strains: 8-12 weeks
- Sativa Cannabis Strains: 10-16 weeks
The Indica Cannabis strains have fast flowering variety and their flowering time ranges between 45-60 days.
The significant difference between both the Cannabis strains is that the Sativa takes a longer flowering time,i.e., around 60-90 days for blooming to end.
However, the Sativa Cannabis strains need less time in the vegetative growth phase which is before flowering.
Difference#5 — Yield Size
The plant size plays an essential role in an account of the size of the harvest.
- For Indica cannabis strains the yield size is around 1.5-2.5 ounces for each plant.
- For Sativa cannabis strains the yield size is around 3 ounces to 1 pound for each plant.
Difference#6 — Effects
You need to understand the results of the bud you are smoking so that you can plan the activities accordingly.
- Indica Cannabis strains result in relaxation and sedation, high or stone feelings allowing you to chill on the couch, listening to music and take a deep sleep. The emotions are more centered over the body. The Indica Cannabis strains enhance the physical sensation which includes the touch, taste, and sound.
- Sativa Cannabis strains result in energized feelings with stimulated cerebral part promoting you to perform work and go on adventures. The Sativa Cannabis strains produce energetic, cerebral, giggly, creative and even psychedelic effects. However, these strains are less overpowering when compared to the Indica Cannabis strains and do not promote sleep in users.
Effects of Sativa cannabis strains:
- It results in mood uplifting and energetic effects.
- The effects are cerebral, hallucinogenic and spacey.
- These strains are best suited for the daytime.
Effects of Indica cannabis strains:
- They have relaxing and calming effects.
- These strains are best suited for night time.
Difference#7 — Symptom Relief
Both the Cannabis strains are successful in relieving the symptoms which you might experience such as nausea, pain relief, loss of appetite, moreover the specific strains relief certain symptoms more efficiently. Indica Cannabis strains relief anxiety and insomnia more efficiently while the Sativa Cannabis strains help in relieving depression, fatigue, along with other mood disorders.
Difference#8 — Flavour
The breeding of plants has allowed producing different characters, but the classic characteristics are provided by the most common Indica and Sativa Cannabis strains. Indica strain has a sweet flavor such as strawberry and blueberry. Sativa Cannabis strain has an earthy flavor for example pine.
Difference#9 — Strain Names
The names have been out of control these days. However, few are still conventional to identify the Cannabis strain. The manufacturers have advised such hard names that it is hard to know about the legitimate strain. Some examples of names suggesting the specific Cannabis strain include:
- Indica example: Kush
- Sativa example: Haze
Difference#10 — Uses
- The Indica Cannabis strains are used for relieving stress and helps in sleeping. Indica strains are useful for physical ailments such as inflammation and pain. The Indica Cannabis strains help to treat conditions such as glaucoma, anxiety, decreases the acute pain, multiple sclerosis, Chron’s disease along with sleep disorders, provides relaxing and muscle effects.
- The Sativa Cannabis strains are used for treating the mental conditions such as anxiety, ADHD, mood disorders and depression, due to the energizing and uplifting effects. It also helps in treating chronic pain.
Difference#11 — CBD: THC Ratio
The Sativa Cannabis strains have higher CBD: THC ration while the Indica Cannabis strains have higher levels of THC: CBD ratio. It is because of this reason that both of them have unique benefits.
Choose the Cannabis strain according to your requirements. You can choose from the benefits and uses of each Cannabis strain you want.
The differences are mentioned above which allow you to select the best strain for your health.
Consult your doctor before the consumption of any Cannabis strain and do not overdose with any strain.