Sativa vs Indica

 Difference in sativa vs indica:

How to know sativa vs indica


What strain is sativa?

With more and more strains of cannabis being bred during the past several decades, it is critical that consumers are aware of the different types medical cannabis being offered. Some varieties of marijuanas are most appropriate for particular conditions and ailments, but not others. Choosing a strain is critical to ensuring that you receive the best therapy available.

How to know sativa vs indica?

What is a sativa strain?

The two main types of cannabis products, labeled cannabis indica and cannabis sativa strains, are explored and consumed for different medicinal and recreational purposes. Sativa cannabis strains are famous for their “head high” an uplifting and vitalizing effects that can help manage anxiety or stress and increase focus and creativity. Indicas strains are typically identified with full body high, and provide better sleep for those dealing with insomnias. Although there is limited research, it appears that this cannabis plant has anti inflammatory properties as well.


Sativa strains are native to hot, dry climates with long sunny days. These include Southeast and western portions of Asia, Africa and Central America..

Physical difference between sativa vs indica:

Botanists use physical differences like variations in height, branching patterns, and the shape of the leaves to identify and determine different strains of plants. This is where the names “indica dominant” and “sativa dominant” come from.

Sativa plants are taller than indica plants, and they also don't have a woody stalk. Sativa plants tend to have a longer growth cycle. 

Effects of sativa vs indica:

We often assume that sativa's are more uplifting and energizing, while indicas are more down and out — but its really not that simple. Individual plants produce different effects, even among the same type of marijuanas. It all depends on how the plant was grown and the chemical composition of the seed.

  • Cannabis indica strains tend to be more physically sedating, perfect for relaxing with a book or an after dinner snack.
  • Cannabis sativa strains are more energizing with uplifting with cerebral effects that pair well with morning and daytime activities.
  • Hybrid strains are a combination of these effects

However if you look inside of indica vs sativa – that is, cannabinoids like thc and terpenes levels (more on that below) – we will see there aren’t clear patterns to explain why one species of cannabis would be inherently sedating and the other up lifting.


Marijuanas plants contain dozens of chemical compounds called cannabinoids. These naturally occurring substances are responsible for creating many of the effects — both positive and negative — of marijuanas use. Scientist still don’t understand what all of the cannabinoids do, but they have identified two main ones — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) as well as several less common compounds that can help.

These include the following:

THC: THC is the main psychoactive compound in marijuanas plants. It’s responsible for the “high” or state of euphoria associated with marijuanas use. Levels of THC have been growing as farmers try to create hybrids with a greater concentration and strength.

CBD: CBD is 100% non-psychoactive. It doesn’t make you “high.” However, it may produce many medical benefits, such as pain relief and nausea, managing seizures, and easing migraine.

CBN: Cannabinol (CBN) is used to reduce symptoms and side effects concerning neurological conditions,like epilepsy, seizures, and non controllable muscle stiffness.

THCA: Tetrahydrocannabinol acid (THCA) is much like THC, but it doesn’t contribute any psychoactive effects. The potential benefits include reducing inflammation from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It may also help with symptoms of neurological conditions like ALS and Parkinson’s disease.

CBG: Cannabigerol (CBG) is recognized with reduction in anxiety and symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress and depression disorders.


sativa vs indica terpene chart


A great amount of attention is paid to how much THC and CBD are in a given strain, but newer research indicate that terpenes could be just as impactful. Terpenes are another naturally occurring compound in the marijuanas plant. The terpenes directly affect the smell of the plant. They can also shape the effects produced by particular strains.

Sativa dominant strains list:

Does sativa vs indica really matter?

If we use the original definitions, varying effects and history then we could see many differences in sativa vs indica. However because of the time and the cross breeding that has occurred between the strains, the effects and appearance seem to be almost interchangeable. This means that now you really have to dig deep and learn about the strain before you buy it.

Consumption and dosing methods:

How much experience do you have with marijuanas? If your tolerance is low, consider a strain with low THC levels in low doses.

Are you affected by anxiety or other side effects of tetrahydrocannabinol? If so, try a strain high in cannabidiol.

Looking for long lasting effects? Consider edibles (begin with a low dose). Conversely, Try inhalation methods or a tinctures for shot term experiences.

There are many considerations before purchasing a new strain, but if you find that pure indica strains consistently deliver a better experience, then stick to what you like. However, if you’re still doing research for an ideal strain, these are important details to keep in mind.

Potential side effects and risks:

  • dry mouth
  • dry eyes
  • dizziness
  • anxiety
  • paranoia
  • lethargy
  • increased heart rate
  • decreased blood pressure

Sativa vs indica most frequent asked question:

Is sativa upper or downer?

If you are applying original definitions and characteristics then sativa has more upper characteristics then black market indica strains. However due to cross breeding between strains you can now find terms indica hybrid strains that are as much uppers as cannabis ruderalis .

Does sativa makes me sleepy?

Sativa strains tend to be more upper then downers however depending on the strain CBD and terpene level you can find sativa strains that make you sleepy.>

Can sativa cause headaches?

Indica and sativa strains can cause headaches. If you smoke too much then a headache is inevitable. Other factors play in to this also mainly the quality of the product and cultivation practices.

Where does sativa come from?

Sativa strains come from primarily from hot, dry climates with long sunny days. These include Southeast and western portions of Asia, Africa and Central America.

How many leaves does sativa have?

Sativa leaves are long in length and slender-fingered. Some can come up as grow as 13 leaf lets. The leaves are more likely to grow in up direction having the branches pointing to the sky.

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