Indica vs Sativa Cannabis Strains: Definitive Guide of 2021

The debate of Indica vs Sativa marijuana has been going on for years. Every cannabis enthusiast has their own preference when it comes to smoking varieties of cannabis.

But what exactly are Indica vs Sativa strains?

Today, I am going to show all the beginners the difference between indica and sativa varieties of weed. I will also show you the THC and CBD differences as well.

Keep reading, and by the end of this post, I am sure you will know the difference between indica and sativa plants.

If you are a complete newbie, then you might always get confused when people talk about sativa vs indica strains of marijuana. At first, it might seem something complex, but trust me, it is very easy to differentiate between them.

No matter what you smoke, Cannabis indica or sativa, both have their own effects on the smoker. Both of them have their set of advantages as well.

The difference between sativa and indica was invented by research in the 18th century. American farmers at that time started to grow their own marijuana. The seeds which they used were imported from India. As time passed, they classified the two types of weed variants.

Indica strains Vs Sativa strains: The difference in appearance

Indica Vs Sativa

Indica dominant strains were originally found in Asia. These plants were grown in the cold and dry environments there, so they naturally developed a very robust personality and smaller structure.

Indica dominant strains tend to be stout and smaller in size compared to cannabis sativa. They have bigger and wider leaves than their counterparts.

The leaves on cannabis indica broad in size and have a dark green color. Generally, most of the indica plants resemble a bush in terms of their structure.

When growing marijuana indoors at home, people love to choose Indica variants of cannabis as they tend to provide higher yields compared to Sativa ones. Indica strains also flower and mature faster. Typically these plants will provide you flowers in just 8 weeks’ time.

Additionally, Cannabis Indica plants buds also have certain smells thanks to a typical terpene profile found in them. The buds are going to be thin long and will be lighter in weight.

Sativa strains were found in the equator regions where they grew up in hotter climates compared to Indica strains. These strains faced very short casual winters and long summer months.

As a result of these favorable conditions and longer exposure to sunlight, Sativa dominant strains developed their tall structure and far-fetched branches.

Many Sativa dominant strains can reach heights of up to 10 meters when grown in good outdoor conditions. They have sparse foliage and thin leaves.

Sativa plants often have a lighter green shade on their leaves. These leaves are also not robust as their counterparts. The reason Sativa strains have a lighter green shade is that they use a lesser amount of chlorophyll during their vegetative period than Indica plants.

The flowering time of Sativa strains is also longer compared to Indica ones. They even have lower yields as well. The best place to grow a sativa should be out in the open if you have favorable weather. These plants need sunny temperatures and high humidity to grow.

The buds on the Cannabis Sativa plant are going to be smaller and firmer compared to Idnica. These buds will be denser and will weigh more than the buds of the Sativa dominant plant.

Indica Vs Sativa: How to germinate

Indica Germination

The right temperature to grow an Indica seed is between 71 to 75 Fahreinhets or 22 to 25 Degrees Celsius. It will take lesser days for this seed to germinate compared to Sativa weed.
Sativa Germination

Sativa plants can grow from seed only when you germinate them at an average temperature of 75 Fahreinhets or 24 Degrees Celsius. You will need about 5 to 7 days for it to germinate.

Note: Lower temperature can increase the germination time for sativa seeds. Take special care when transferring the newly grown seedling into a new pot. The seedling stage is going to last for about 2 weeks.

Indica Vs Sativa: The difference in THC Vs CBD Effects

The best way you can tell the type of marijuana is based on its effects on people. Sativa plants offer a more exciting and energetic feeling to the smoker. On the other hand, the Indica plants will have a sedative and therapeutic effect.

The following shows what kind of effect Sativa or Indica cannabis might give you.

INDICA
 •    Head high
 •    Alertness
 •    Euphoric
 •    Uplifting
 •    Creative
 •    Focus
SATIVA
 •    Body buzz
 •    Body high
 •    Relaxing
 •    Calming
 •    Appetite stimulating
 •    Sedative

Indica Cannabis will have a higher CBD ratio in it compared to Sativa dominant strains. This higher CBD is very useful when ailing diseases. Most Indica dominant plants will have nearly a 1:1 THC/CBD ratio.

On the other hand, the Sativa plant contains higher THC, which helps people to get an energy boost and euphoric experience.

Note: The effects rely hugely on how the cannabis is grown. So, a strain grown in the colder atmosphere in Canada is going to be very different when it is growing in a warmer climate in the USA.

Indica and Sativa: The difference in Aroma and Taste

If you are not an expert on cannabis, you will not be able to differentiate cannabis based on its smell and taste. You would have to be somewhat a Marijuana Connoisseur to do it.

The secret difference between Sativa vs Indica lies inside its terpenes. The terpenes give the marijuana its odor and taste. The Indica dominant plants are going to offer you sweeter and fruity-smelling/tasting buds.

However, the sativa dominant strains will grow buds that are going to be a bit more earthy smelling.

Benefits: Indica or Sativa?

INDICA
 •    Smaller: Fits inside cannabis grow box
 •    Higher yields
 •    Shorter flowering period
 •    Matures faster than Sativa strains
 •    Gives you an energy boost
SATIVA
 •    Can grow up to 10 feet in height
 •    The buds are denser and weigh more
 •    Perfect for ailments
 •    Will give immense pain relief
 •    Makes you Hungry

Indica strains and Sativa strains: The most popular strains in 2021

The most popular Indica StrainsGranddaddy PurpleBubba KushBlueberryNorthern Lights
The most popular Sativa StrainsSuper Silver HazeSour DieselJack HererAmnesia Haze

The 3rd Type of Cannabis: Hybrid Strains of 2021

If you go on the market, most of the strains you find might have a hybrid strains tag on them. The reason for that is, nowadays, people like to custom blend their weed.

Hybrid marijuana is a blend of both Indica strains and Sativa strains. The strain will be tagged with a ratio of either 20-80, 30-70, or 50-50. These are simply the ratios of Indica and Sativa properties.

The breeders have started to get very nerdy when breeding two plants. The end goal of having a hybrid strain is to mix and match the perfect terpenes to get the desired effects from the buds.

The following is a list of the Most popular Hybrid strains of 2021:

The following is a list of Terpenes and their effects that can be found in new Hybrid strains in 2021:

  • Terpinolene: Active and Upliftment
  • Bisabolol: Reduces Inflammation and Irritation
  • Linalool: Relaxing and Soothing
  • Myrcene: Relaxing and Therapeutic
  • Caryophyllene: Helps with Ulcers and Depression
  • Limonene: Relief and Destress
  • Humulene: Appetiting and Supressant
  • Ocimene: Fights viruses and Bacterias
  • Pinene: Alertness
  • Eucalyptol: Refreshing and Invigorating

Frequently Asked Question

Are all Indica strains physically affecting and Sativa strains energizing?

No, the effects stated in dispensaries and online seed banks are just general guidance. There are strains out there that behave like a sativa but are Indica dominant.

Why do some people say that there is no major difference between indica and sativa marijuana?

A group of researchers in the USA conducted a study in the year 2015. They took a total of nearly 500 samples of 35 marijuana strains. these 35 varieties either included Indica, sativa, or hybrids strains.

The result of this research was that they did not find any major difference in the chemical makeup of these samples, which can help us differentiate between indica, sativa, and hybrids variants. Also, they even found that the same strain can have a widely varying THC level as well.

Technically, the Indica vs Sativa classification system we use is completely wrong, as research has already shown that it’s the same plant. But well, we are still using it as a general guide for people who do not want to go around trying and testing all the strains there are.

So how do you exactly classify different types of marijuana?

Right now, there is no full-proof classification method in existence. But some people have started their research of classifying marijuana based on the terpenes compound. These terpenes play a crucial role in providing marijuana with its odor and taste.

But it is a long way before someone can actually invent a new system because there are more than 100 different types of terpenes in cannabis strains. I think the government should make a controlling body, so people don’t go out mislabeling strains for business.

Can the same strain give out the same effects to different people?

An effect of a weed strain on a person can greatly depend on how it was grown and under which environmental conditions it was nurtured. Even different people can experience the same weed in different ways.

So, you can only take the marijuana strain information on any seller’s page as guidance. The true effects can only be experimented with and observed after testing the sample yourself.

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