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Sativa vs Indica


Cannabis sativa and Cannabis indica are two species of cannabis. This means that they share many similar features but have specific and distinct differences.

Although anecdotal evidence and some marijuana dispensaries claim that indica is more calming and sativa is more energizing, experts¹ say that such statements are misleading. Many more factors are involved in creating the recreational and medical effects of marijuana than strain alone. ²

As marijuana use for both medical and recreational purposes becomes legal in more and more states, there is a growing interest in the different effects that various types, including indica and sativa, can produce.

Before we dive more into Sativa or Indica we think it is important to speak about cannabinoids.


Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are two of the most studied and discussed elements, or cannabinoids, present in different strains of marijuana. However, researchers have identified at least 144 different cannabinoids so far.

THC and CBD have very different effects on the human body. Knowing whether a cannabis plant is from the indica or sativa strain does not always provide much information about the relative amounts of THC or CBD it may contain, as people tend to believe, but it can be helpful.

It is also important to note that THC and CBD are only two of the hundreds of chemicals that create the varying effects of different strains of marijuana. The sections below provide more information on these two chemicals.


Medical experts say that THC has psychoactive properties. In other words, THC is what produces the “high” effect that people tend to associate with using cannabis.

Strains of marijuana with a high THC content may be helpful for people with pain, difficulty sleeping, and depression, though they can make some people anxious.


CBD does not create a “high,” but it can affect mood and be helpful in addressing anxiety and psychoses. However, despite its reputation for inducing calm, CBD can be a stimulant in small and monitored doses.

What is sativa?

While not all sativa marijuana strains will energize you, most consumers notice a tendency for sativas to produce a “head high,” an uplifting, stimulating effect. They also often report sativas as being helpful in mitigating stress or anxiety, and many consumers enjoy sativas to sharpen focus and boost creativity/motivation.³

Sativa effects

Common effects associated with sativa strains include feeling happy, uplifting, euphoric, and energetic. Sativas are often thought of as “daytime” strains, used for feeling productive, creative, and focused, and for getting chores done.

Popular sativa strains

There are many sativa strains to try, and you’ve likely heard of some of the most popular. Most dispensaries should stock at least some of these sativa weed strains as they’re generally a crowd-favorite.

  • Sour Diesel

  • Jack Herer

  • Green Crack

  • Durban Poison

  • Strawberry Cough

  • Amnesia Haze

  • Super Lemon Haze

  • Super Silver Haze

What is indica?

Not all indica strains will put you “in da couch,” but nevertheless, many consumers associate indicas with full-body effects, for example, heavy limbs or a tingly face. They also report indicas as being helpful in aiding relaxation and curbing insomnia.

Indica effects

Common effects associated with indica strains include feeling relaxed, euphoric, happy, and sleepy. Indicas are commonly known as “nighttime” strains, used for relaxing and unwinding at the end of the night.

Popular indica strains

There are many indica strains to try, many of which you may be familiar. Check your local dispensary for these popular indica weed strains.

  • Purple Punch

  • Granddaddy Purple

  • White Rhino

  • Bubba Kush

  • Northern Lights

  • Blueberry

  • Grape Ape

  • Blue Cheese

Following Table shall conclude upon other differences which have been noted between sativa and indica





Equatorial climates such as Thailand, southern Africa and Mexico

Mostly central Asia and the Indian subcontinent


60-90 days to flower, good for outdoor ,grows in warm climates

45-60 days to flower, higher yields

Plant Features

Tall with thin leaves

Short, sturdy and bushy with the wide leaves

Bud Features

Lighter weight with subtle fruity. aromas, sometimes hints or red

Dense with pungent sometimes purple


Stimulates creativity

• Uplifting and energizing

• Headaches and migraine relief

• Reduces nausea

• Relieves depression Increases appetite

• Increases sense of well-being fights depression

• Relieves aches and pains

• Relaxing and laid-back

• Aids sleep

• Stimulates the appetite

.• Reduces stress and anxiety

• Anti-inflammatory

• Helps relieve spasms and seizures



  1. Piomelli, D., & Russo, E. B. (2016). The Cannabis sativa Versus Cannabis indica Debate: An Interview with Ethan Russo, MD. Cannabis and cannabinoid research, 1(1), 44–46.



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