Sativa vs. Indica: How They’re the Same

Sativa vs. Indica: How They’re the Same


The primary distinction between Indica and Sativa cannabis strains is that indica plants promote deep sleep while Sativa plants produce more energetic effects when taken. Cannabis plants that combine sativas and indicas are known as hybrids.

The Indian hemp variants were given the name Cannabis indica by the French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, and the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus gave the name Cannabis sativa to the hemp varieties he discovered. The molecular expression of cannabinoids and terpenes in Sativa and indica generally does not differ noticeably.

But the distinctions between indica and Sativa are subtle. For instance, Sativa plants look narrower and sparse, while indica plants have a broader, bushier appearance. In this comprehensive guide to indica and Sativa, you can learn how to tell these varieties of cannabis plants apart.

What is Sativa?

Sativa is the common name for Cannabis sativa, a species of the genus cannabis. It is native to Central Asia and Eastern Europe and was introduced to many other parts of the world via European colonialism.

Sativa is a type of marijuana plant that has tall, thin leaves and makes a higher yield than other strains. It’s also an outdoor strain, which can grow taller than 12 inches indoors. Sativas produce more THC than different strains and often have a high concentration of beneficial terpene compounds that give you a feeling of euphoria.


Beta-caryophyllene and limonene are two significant terpenes in sativas, which often have higher THC concentrations than CBD. Tetrahydrocannabivarin levels in some sativas from tropical regions are high (THCV).

Sativa Effects

Sativa effects are often uplifting and energizing, while Indica effects can be more sedating. The higher THC content in Sativa strains produces a psychoactive euphoric impact.

Sativas tend to be more creative and imaginative than indicas, making them ideal for creative types who need a boost of creative energy. They can also help relieve stress and anxiety by stimulating the mind and body.

Sativa effects are usually more cerebral than physical, although some sativas also have a strong material effect.

How to Use

Sativas should be used during the day, especially in the morning, perhaps in favor of a cup of coffee. The stimulating effects of sativas shouldn’t be used right before night because they can cause insomnia.

Popular Strains

Many different types of Cannabis are available for purchase today. Even though a wide variety of strains are available, not all are created equal.

Some popular Sativa strains include:

  • Jack Herer
  • Trainwreck
  • Strawberry Cough
  • Green Crack
  • Blue Dream

What is Indica?

Indica is a broad category of Cannabis with a history of medicinal use in India and Pakistan. Today, the term is used to describe any strain produced to be heavy and sedating, with an almost guaranteed high.

They grow short, stocky plants with broad leaves, which often have wide fan leaves or large flowers. Indicas produce heavy resin production, making them ideal for hash production.


Indicas typically have significant THC content (similar to the amounts found in Cannabis Sativa). However, some indica strains also contain substantial quantities of CBD. Terpenes like limonene, linalool, beta-caryophyllene, and myrcene may be more prevalent.


Indica strains are known to have a sedative effect, which is why they are often used as painkillers. These strains also have a strong relaxation effect, making them suitable for anxiety disorders and insomnia. They also promote good sleep quality, which can help you get rid of your worries. Indicas are known to relieve pain in the body, making them practical for chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and migraines.

These strains help you relax and enjoy pleasant feelings without being sleepy or stoned. They produce good feelings of well-being and happiness without causing any adverse side effects such as paranoia or anxiety.

When to use

Indica strains are sometimes consumed at night to promote natural sleep. The best time to take indica strains is when you have free time and can unwind, even though they might or might not put you to sleep.

Popular Strains

Here are 5 of the most well-liked indica varieties:

  • Northern Lights
  • Sensi Star
  • Blueberry and CBD Blueberry
  • Hindu Kush
  • Purple OG Kush

Other Cannabis Species

More varieties of Cannabis exist than just indica and Sativa. Two other cannabis species that yield strains with unique qualities are ruderalis and hybrids.


The first popular cannabis strain was Ruderalis. It was created using a high-quality Siberian landrace as its foundation. The strain had been growing in various areas of Eastern Europe for thousands of years before it was introduced to Western Europe in the late 1960s. The strain’s popularity exploded when it was introduced to Canada in the early 1970s, and it’s now one of the most popular strains used for medical marijuana production.

Ruderalis is a high-yield marijuana strain that grows indoors or outdoors under various conditions. This makes it an excellent choice for indoor and outdoor cultivation and home growers just starting with their first crop.

This strain also produces an impressive yield quickly consumed by its users due to its high THC content (around 20 percent).


A hybrid strain combines two or more different strains of Cannabis. This can be done through cross-breeding or mixing with another existing strain. The result is a strain that combines the best qualities of all the strains used in its creation.

Hybrid strains are popular because they tend to be stronger and have more medicinal value than regular strains. They also tend to have higher THC content than their parents, making it easier to grow and yield more buds when harvested.

OG Kush, White Widow, and Girl Scout Cookies are some of the most well-liked hybrid varieties.


A cultivar of Cannabis Sativa known as hemp is farmed more for its stalk and fiber content than for its THC content. Because of this, hemp produces significantly fewer cannabinoids than sativas or indicas, even though it produces cannabinoids. Hemp may have higher levels of CBD than THC, and it may also have higher levels of CBD than THC-heavy cannabis strains.

Although Sativa and indica are linked to hemp, they are not the same because they are used for different things and have different chemical makeups. The other distinction relates to law; in the United States, the hemp must have a THC content of less than 0.3%. It is regarded as “cannabis” or “marijuana” if not (the illegal kinds).

Landrace Cannabis Varieties

Landrace cannabis is the term used to describe a strain of Cannabis developed from a single plant. Landrace refers to the fact that these strains have been bred over many generations, often by small farmers or seed breeders who have developed their unique strains. Landraces are distinct because they are not hybrids but derived from relatively pure populations of cannabis plants.

The use of landrace cannabis varieties is becoming increasingly popular as people realize their health benefits and want to avoid using chemicals and pesticides in their growing process. Landraces can be used for both medicinal and recreational purposes and have been used for thousands of years around the world. Some companies even source their seeds from landraces to produce potent CBD oils with little or no THC content!

Choosing the Right Cannabis

The things that work for you may depend on a variety of things. No matter how you categorize them, plants like Cannabis, indica, Sativa, hemp, and ruderalis may all have health benefits for you. When you’re out and about, you might even prefer something with a higher CBD content during the day to aid with pain and anxiety and something with a somewhat higher THC and cannabinol (CBN) content at night when you need to go to sleep.

Ultimately, testing a few different strains and products for yourself is the best way to determine if a strain or product is suitable. Avoid relying on the indica/Sativa distinction because it is largely irrelevant.

Another thing to consider is the possibility of drastically different chemical compositions across different “strains” of Cannabis (such as OG Kush). This can be because of incorrect labeling or a breeder trying to sell several seeds under a well-known name, but it might also be because of various environments.

Why Dosing Is Important

A prescription from a doctor is recommended because choosing the proper dosage is one of the trickiest yet most important parts of consuming Cannabis. Here are some general dosage recommendations: whether you’re utilizing indica, Sativa, ruderalis, or hybrid strains.

Linalool, myrcene, and humulene combined with high levels of THC, CBN, and CBD are more likely to make you feel sleepier.

Low to moderate doses of CBD may be more refreshing than high levels, which have been found to have more sedative effects.

When CBD and THC are combined in equal amounts, the psychoactive effects of THC are considerably decreased (i.e., 1:1). When the ratio of CBD to THC is higher, the psychoactive effects are minimal.

The euphoric effects of THC and large concentrations of THCV, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and pinene are also common. Lower amounts may be helpful as a mood booster, but more significant doses may be overwhelming.

Low doses of THCV can shorten the duration of THC’s effects. When used in low dosages, THCV can have an anti-psychoactive and appetite-suppressing impact because it is a CB1 receptor antagonist.

High doses of THCV can increase THC’s psychoactivity and its psychoactive effects.

Pinene, limonene, beta-caryophyllene, and modest dosages of THCV, CBD, and CBG may all work together to provide more significant stimulating effects.

Terpenes may influence the behavior of cannabinoids and other terpenes.

A terpene with a fruity scent called terpinolene has soothing properties on its own. It combines THC and terpenes like myrcene and linalool (limonene and pinene). However, it is more stimulating when combined with limonene, pinene, and beta-caryophyllene. There is an actual entourage effect.

When mixed with terpenes and cannabinoids, CBD also exhibits similar behavior and produces distinct effects.

When CBD is combined with myrcene, it may be more calming; when combined with limonene and pinene, it may be more awakening. Depending on the other cannabinoids it interacts with, beta-caryophyllene can have either a sedative or an awakening effect.

Suppose you are using any opioids or opioid-based medications, benzodiazepines (such as anti-epileptic and some types of anti-anxiety meds), or sedatives. In that case, you will probably need to decrease your dosage.

The traditional difference between Sativa and indica is incorrect and is not the best indicator of a product’s effects. Pay closer attention to test findings; if these don’t exist, the genetic heritage and the type of environment the Cannabis was grown in can provide some hints.

The expense and probable health risks of using illicit vape pens and the like are not worth it.

Obtain a medical marijuana card and a doctor’s recommendation for the most excellent dosage outcomes.

Indica vs. Sativa: The Final Word

It is no secret that many of today’s strains are descended from a small number of genotypes first made many public years ago. As a result, barring rare exceptions, many strains are likely to be more similar than different without deliberate breeding for specific chemical makeup qualities.

Examining each strain more closely and taking into account any variations in the cannabinoids and terpenes contributing to the entourage effect may be the best way to get to the heart of the issue.

There might be variations that we are not noticing, and perhaps there are particular cannabis strains that are unique to certain nations. However, it is preferable to focus on the compounds that Cannabis contains rather than how it seems to be cultivated and arbitrarily labeled by the producer, dispensary, or anybody else who may have bias.

Then, we can correctly recognize patterns and identify genetic similarities between strains. According to the available information, the old classification technique may need to be abandoned entirely until then.

Visit KIF Doctors for more information.




How may Sativa and indica be distinguished from one another?


Indicas have more of a couchlock, “body” high than sativas, according to our outdated conception.

These distinctions are artificial and have no real connection to reality. The plant is tall like a sativa or short and bushy like an indica, and the only way to identify the difference is to grow them.


Sativa an uplifter or a depressant?


According to the traditional classifications, sativas create effects that are more uplifting while indicas produce effects that are more depressing. Depending on the ratio of sativa to indica, hybrids can have either an uplifting or depressing impact.

Again, they are erroneous labels, so we should be sceptical of them.


Are Sativa highs different from indica highs?


Yes, in line with earlier schools of thought within the cannabis community. Sativa highs are more “intellectual” and can provide the person a burst of vigor and inspiration. The high from indica strains tends to be more relaxed and promotes mental clarity.

But once more, the majority of these distinctions are incorrect. The chemical makeup of the plant, not how it grows, determines how the effects vary. No matter whether sativa or indica strains predominate, each person’s cannabis use will be different.

If you want to investigate first-hand the variations between sativa and indica strains and engage in the discussion about whether there are variations, you should apply for a medical marijuana license. Get a medical card online right now by contacting the on-call physicians at Leafwell.

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