It is anecdotal to look back and remember the times when no distinction was made between Indica and Sativa, and we only spoke of marijuana in general. Even today, this is still the case for many regular cannabis users who use marijuana without taking into account the subspecies, much less the strain. So here we present you a short guide to remember the five basic differences between these two types of plants.
Cannabis can be divided into two main subspecies: indica and sativa plants. There is also another, less common subspecies named Ruderalis, which originates in northern regions such as Siberia. This type of plants is small and has a 3-months life cycle and they are the mothers of the autoflowering cannabis plants. But let's focus on the other two.
We must take into account that it is very rare to find genetically pure indicas and sativas, as most varieties existing today are hybrids of the two subspecies, these two strains having been mixed over time. The sativa subspecies originally comes from regions near the equator: in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Thailand or Cambodia. Indicas come from higher altitude regions, like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal or Turkey, generally in Asia or the Indian subcontinent.
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Indicas are shorter; stouter and therefore better for indoor growing. They have heavier branching as well as thicker stems. Sativas grow taller, especially in outdoor pots or earth, some reaching over three meters in height. Their internodal spacing is larger and they have fewer branches.
2. The high
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The buzz given by a sativa is much more cerebral, more psychoactive. Its effect will strongly narcotise your brain; it is very energetic and stimulating. The typical effect of an indica is more physical; it will glue you to your sofa and make you settle in more. It is much more relaxing and will even help you fall asleep. But you must keep in mind that these are stereotypes. The effects are extremely variable, depending on the hybridization of the strains and the physical and mental constitution of each used.
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Sativas take much more time to bud. Their growth time is longer, and they may take up to 3 months to flower outdoors; you will probably need the whole of November before your can harvest. Their indica sisters are quicker in this regard, and flower in a period of 6 to 9 weeks; once flowering has started, they do not tend to gain height as rapidly.
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Traditionally, indica plants provide a bigger harvest. However, as we have said before, this depends a lot on the hybridization process of each variety and on the cultivation method. Generally, indicas are better suited for indoor growing, as they are shorter and stouter, giving a better yield for each square meter of space they take up. But for outdoors with a lot of sun, a sativa is better, as it will grow several meters tall, giving a better yield as it gets taller.
5. Therapeutic uses
Marijuana users with medical purposes use indica strains to alleviate pain and to treat insomnia. This type of cannabis is used mainly in the evening or at night, even just before going to bed.
Benefits of indicas:
2. Muscular relaxant
4. Migraine and headache relief
5. Increases appetite
Sativa strains are better used during the day for their energetic and anti-depressive effect. They have a very stimulating effect. Not in vain many artists use it during their creative bursts.
Benefits of sativas:
1. Anxiety relief
2. Helps improve mood
3. Stimulates and provides energy
4. Improves concentration and creativity
5. Fights depression