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Difference Between Cannabis Indica & Sativa By Mayelle Flowers

A common question when purchasing Cannabis seeds in Australia is, What is the primary distinction between Indica and Sativa cannabis strains..?  In short, Indica strains are more relaxing and calming, whereas Sativa strains are more rejuvenating and energising.

In-depth; Indica and Sativa are the two main sub-species of cannabis, each with its own characteristics and effects. Learning how Indica vs. Sativa traits contribute to the effects and advantages of different strains can be beneficial for newcomers to the marijuana world.

Because the effects of Indica and Sativa are so different, knowing the difference can help cannabis users better customise the high they get while using marijuana recreationally or medicinally.

What is Cannabis Indica

Indica is a cannabis bush that grows to less than two meters in height. The leaves of an Indica bush are typically dark green or greenish-black. These leaves are short and have broad blades. Indica strains typically have more side branches and thicker overall growth than Sativa strains. As a result, Indica plants are wider and bushier than Sativa plants.

Because Indica flowers form thick clusters around the female plant’s nodes, they typically weigh more than Sativa flowers. Cannabis Indica bushes have thick stems and thin bark. They are, however, unsuitable for fiber production.

Most Cannabis Indica species are high in the cannabinoids THC, CBD, and CBN. THC levels in Cannabis Sativa are frequently higher. Cannabis Indica, on the other hand, contains significant levels of all three types of cannabinoids. Cannabis Indica has a more body-centered effect than Cannabis Sativa.

What is Cannabis Sativa

Sativa is another species of Cannabis bush that is taller and has lighter green colour and its leaves are long and narrow. Sativa bushes produce female flowers that are longer and have a more ‘feathery’ appearance than Indica bushes. A Sativa plant’s foliage has a thin dispersion. It allows for more airflow around and between the bushes, resulting in healthier growth with less fungus damage in humid tropical conditions.

Sativa is the most common cannabis genotype on the planet. This is because cannabis Sativa has a wide range of applications. Hemp Sativa, the tallest variety, is primarily grown for industrial purposes.

Most importantly, people who are undergoing chemotherapy, HIV treatment, or other medical therapies that cause nausea and loss of appetite would greatly benefit from cannabis Sativa.

Choosing Based on Effects

The distinction between Indica and Sativa effects means that individuals can select their ideal cannabis strain based on personal preference and the goals they hope to achieve through consumption.

While an Indica strain would be good for reducing stress and enhancing sleep quality, a Sativa strain would be ideal for someone who has to focus intensely to complete work or be creative with art or music. As a result, Sativa’s are best ingested during the day, whereas Indica’s are best consumed at night.

Growing Indica and Sativa

The distinction between Indica and Sativa extends far beyond their effects; the plants’ similarities begin to diverge as soon as they sprout. When comparing Indica vs Sativa, the leaves, plants, and even the nugs differ once the material is harvested.

Sativa and Indica Climate

The ideal climate conditions for growing Indica and Sativa differ. Warm temperatures are ideal for Sativa’s, which thrive in places like Australia, Mexico, Africa, Brazil, and Thailand. Meanwhile, Indica’s mature more quickly in colder climates like Melbourne, Australia.

When determining whether to grow Indica or Sativa, another element to consider is whether the plant can be grown indoors or outdoors. While Indica plants grow well indoors, Sativa’s grow best outside due to their height.

Plant genetics, as any good grower knows, can be modified to create a hybrid of the two types that will thrive in the chosen growing environment. A Sativa-dominant strain, for example, that grows shorter than a pure Sativa would be ideal for an indoor grower with a low ceiling height.

Cannabis Indica Sativa
Cannabis Indica Sativa

Sativa vs Indica Appearance

When the plants mature, the appearances of Sativa vs Indica are also quite different. Sativa’s are typically tall and slim, reaching heights of twenty feet or more. Most Indicas, on the other hand, are short and bushy, reaching only three or four feet in height.

The buds differ as well; Indica buds are normally denser than Sativa buds, whereas Sativa buds are typically stickier. In terms of plant branches, Sativa’s tend to be longer and more spread out than Indica’s.

Indica plants typically feature bigger and broader leaves than Sativa plants, as well as leaves that are a darker green hue than Sativa plants. Hybrid leaves, which make up the vast majority of plants developed and cultivated, might be of either shape or a combination of the two.

Harvesting Indica vs Sativa

Another difference between the two is the amount of time it takes for Sativa and Indica plants to blossom before it’s time to harvest. Because Sativa plants have less chlorophyll, they take longer to mature or produce buds than Indica’s.

Sativa’s need 60 to 90 days to finish flowering, whereas Indica’s take 45 to 60 days. Sativa strains, on the other hand, typically take less time in the vegetative growth stage than Indica’s thus the overall growth period is similar.

In terms of yield, the difference between Indica and Sativa strains is that Sativa’s produce less than Indica strains. Sativa’s often yield three to one pound per plant, but Indica’s typically yield 1.5 to 2.5 ounces each plant. 

Growers can make hybrid strains that grow and mature in shorter amounts of time or produce a higher yield by crossing Sativa and Indica strains, depending on the demands and needs of marijuana consumers.

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