Home Cannabis Indica vs Sativa Cannabis: Know the Difference!

Indica vs Sativa Cannabis: Know the Difference!

Indica vs Sativa Cannabis
Indica vs Sativa Cannabis

There are two types of cannabis plants: Indica and Sativa. These two strains work very differently from each other; for example, Indica can be relaxing while Sativa is said to be energizing. Their chemical makeup also differs, but the plant’s effect depends on their composition. Sometimes, Indica and Sativa are crossbred to create hybrids, unique strains that may contain a mix of qualities from the original plants, thus providing each strain with unique properties.

In this article, we’ll dive deep into the difference between the two suggested strains. We’ll also touch base on the chemical as well as physical differences between the two strains.

Physical Appearance

If you are a new grower, you might want to learn about the differences before investing in a farm for long-term sustainability. It’s better to choose a crop that grows easily and effectively.

As a starter, Indica plants can be identified as short plants growing up to 2-4 feet and are compactly branched, giving them a thick appearance. Also, as per the study, the leaves of this plant are broader and finer. On the other hand, Sativa plants grow much taller than Indica plants, sometimes reaching up to 5-18 feet or more.

Lastly, hybrids are created from cross-pollination and crossbreeding of two different plants for new results. There is still more research needed to explore the possibilities of discovering unique strains.

Plant Composition

CBD and its variants like Delta-9-THC are two compounds that may produce effects similar to cannabis. Within these compounds, there is a ‘miracle molecule’ named cannabinoids, which affect the brain differently in every case.

So, what happens when you combine CBD and THC? It creates a chemical effect named as the entourage effect. This is when your body’s endocannabinoid system is activated. This system is also responsible for keeping the body in a balanced state. Homeostasis is an internal process just like temperature, immune response, and mood.

How They Work In The Human Body?

The cannabinoids discussed in this section are THC. It is one of the most commonly known molecules. Its effects include sleepiness, euphoria, and energy. There are studies suggesting that THC might be able to play a role in reducing pain. So, endocannabinoids are capable of producing such effects by simply binding to the two types of receptors found in the human body.

CB1 Receptors: As per the study, this receptor is present in the brain in abundance. These receptors also perform important brain-related functions like learning and memory, emotion, social behaviors, and balance.

CB2 Receptor: Another one is CB2 receptors. They play a crucial role in immune functions, such as tonsils, spleen, and thymus. Also, this receptor helps in promoting homeostasis in the body by simply regulating inflammatory and immune responses.

So, ongoing research is examining how CBD produces its effects. Such miracle cannabinoids may be consumed to reduce pain and inflammation, prevent seizures, and reduce symptoms of mental health disorders like anxiety.

Also, CBD does so without inducing the ‘high’ feeling commonly witnessed in people consuming THC regularly. Since CBD does not bind with these receptors, it doesn’t produce the effect.

Sometimes, CBD interacts with non-ECS receptors, enzymes, and cellular structures that influence common factors like pain and inflammation. Some even say that there might be another receptor in the body yet unknown that CBD binds to.

As per a study,CBD and THC are the main compounds in the Cannabis Sativa and Indica plants, there are other cannabinoids and compounds within them that can contribute to their effects. 

How Do You Feel, Really?

Some people claim that cannabis Sativa causes an uplifting and energetic feeling or ‘high’. On the other hand, Indica plants cause more of a relaxing feeling.

Now, Sativa strains are commonly recommended for daytime use. They’re claimed to be uplifting and cause more of a cerebral high. Indica strains are usually recommended for relieving pain and insomnia. These strains are often considered ‘bedtime strains’. Indica strains are known to have a calming effect on the body, mind, and spirit.

According to the subjective results from a small survey (95 research participants) conducted by the Western University of Health Sciences, some insight into clinical differences between Indica and Sativas may be provided.

Some of the common results from the survey of online marijuana users are:

As per the survey, some specific medical conditions may be managed using Indica strains. They are effective for headaches, neuropathy, spasticity, seizures, joint pain, and glaucoma.

In the same lines, sativa strains were helpful in treating weight loss, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, trauma, orthopaedic problems, and other painful conditions.

With respect to symptoms, respondents expressed an Indica preference for pain management and sleep.

On the other hand, sativa is mostly used for enhancing energy.

Researchers concluded that Indica was preferred when treating medical conditions, while sativa is preferred for recreational use.

Keeping these basics in mind, you can find the right strain to treat your medical condition. Much more research in this area is needed. Now, whatever you may hear, the effects can differ widely from one person to another. The effect may change as per the dosage, tolerance, method of use, and added ingredients.

Also, the CBD-THC Ratio matters. In general, it’s known that products with a high amount of THC are more likely to cause an intoxicating ‘high’. And there’s some research suggesting that taking only CBD at a dosage of 300 to 600 milligrams may cause a calming effect.

Let’s Talk About Side-effects!

Using cannabis may cause side effects that can differ among individuals. Sometimes, cannabis products that are CBD-predominant may cause side effects such as:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Dry Mouth
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in appetite

Cannabis products that have more THC in them can cause a couple of side effects compared to CBD-predominant products. But if we talk specifically about THC, its effects on the brain and other effects can include:

  • Changes in mood
  • Altered senses
  • Impaired body movement
  • Hallucinations

Moreover, research suggests that early THC use may also impair brain development in terms of functions like memory, thinking, and learning.

Which Strain Has The Strongest Smell?

Cannabis smells have more to do with the age of the flower. Younger buds kept in airtight containers generally give off the strongest smell. Sativa and Indica have different scent profiles; however, Indica flowers lean towards a muskier, skunk-like aroma. On the other hand, Sativa tends to have a slightly sweeter aroma with brighter notes.

Last Words

In case someone talks to you about the effects of a Sativa or Indica cannabis product, understand that it might be coming from their own experience or what they’ve seen on social media. In short, the effects of any cannabis product depend on different factors and may vary from one person to another.


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