As most marijuana users know, there are two types or species of cannabis plants: Sativa and Indica. Of course, some will claim that cannabis ruderalis is a separate species, but evidence for the contrary is strong.
Regardless, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are very similar, yet very different. So what is the difference between indica and sativa exactly? To understand, we will consider indica vs sativa in the following ways:
- Similarities between indica and sativa
- Differences between sativa and indica
- Indica vs sativa effects
- Sativa vs indica high
So, What is the Difference Between Indica and Sativa?
Aside from the physical characteristics that determine the species, how people react generally differs as well. Keep reading below for a more in-depth look.
Similarities Between Indica and Sativa
Marijuana is easy to spot. Five long serrated leaves shooting from a central spire– the center leaf the longest, the two outer the shortest— make the cannabis plant easy to identify.
The slang name “weed” is derived from the fact that until recent years, the plant was classified in the Nettle family, as a weed. Today, science classifies cannabis in the same family as hops.
A key similarity between the two species of cannabis is that both contain THC, CBD, and a range of both useful and harmful chemical compounds called cannabinoids.
Key Differences Between Sativa and Indica
What about the users experience and things deeper than the appearance?
Users seeking relief from medical ailments tend to consider differences in symptom relief. Those using cannabis recreationally want to know the different effects that each type of plant provides.
Below are some of the differences in effects, specifically in regards to the sativa vs indica high…
Indica vs Sativa Effects
When considering indica vs sativa effects, one must start with the most basic: Indica produces more of a body high while sativa produces more of a head high. The difference in high is caused by a difference in ratios of THC:CBD, among other components.
Indica produces a body high because the drug causes numbness in the body, easing pain, and causing general relaxation. Many who choose indica suffer from chronic pain, insomnia, or anxiety. It is best when you want to rest, avoid pain, or get creative.
Thus, very generally, the sativa vs indica high can be summed up as a head or body high.
Indica vs Sativa Effects: Medicinal Uses
Now lets consider some of the common medical uses for each.
Both species of cannabis are helpful for stress and pain relief. The THC helps ease pain while the CBD affects the mood centers of the brain, easing stress and bringing general relaxation.
However, by hybridization, growers are able to produce strains of both types that meet the needs of a variety of ailments. They can even combine strains and form Hybrids. Therefore a person suffering from anxiety would choose a different strain than someone smoking weed to ease the symptoms of chemotherapy.
So to sum it up, there are better strains for certain medical symptoms however both sativa and indica can be used for medical benefits.
Indica vs Sativa According to the Nose
One of the final differences worth noting is their difference in smell. As with many of life’s pleasures, putting a fine bud to the nose and giving it a smell is part of the experience.
Smelling marijuana is no different from sniffing the wine before sipping, spitting, then drinking. It is no different from smelling baked bread or a barbeque meal — taking a whiff of the product is part of the pleasure.
Of course, for those using weed for medical reasons, the smell will be of little concern. But for anyone smoking marijuana for pleasure, inhaling the various scents which the plant may produce can be a delight.
Each of these will become part of the experience of smoking marijuana.
Indica vs. Sativa: What is the Difference in Effects, High, and Appearance?
When asking “what is the difference between indica and sativa?” one must bear in mind that each person will experience each strain or hybrid in slightly different ways. These may not be too noticeable, but they will be present.
If you’re trying to choose a strain for medicinal purposes and not sure where to start, check our medical marijuana in Canada library for help.
With so many varieties, scents, flavors, and effects from which to choose, just dive in and start testing some out! You’ll find out pretty easily which ones you like and dislike.