At one point or another in someone’s pot smoking career the terms “indica” and “sativa” will most likely present themselves.  Most people would immediately be hit by confusion as to what exactly these terms actually mean.  Upon reading further, you will become well versed about what is meant when using these terms, its contextual significance, as well as the difference between the two.

Indica and sativa are both strains of the cannabis weed, commonly referred to as marijuana.  The difference between the two lies not only within its plant structure, but also its chemical properties as well.  The sativa plant grows thinner, taller, and its leaves have a smaller span.  The light green color of the sativa plant’s leaves indicate less chlorophyll and more yellow pigments in order to protect the plant from intense light.  Temperate varieties are darker green.  Sativa plants can grow remarkably tall, some even reaching a soaring height of up to twenty feet.  This type of cannabis typically takes between ten to sixteen weeks until it fully matures.  Sativas are known to give off a far more pungent aroma than that of an indica, but yields significantly less flowers per plant. The marijuana buds are long and thin, far less densely populated than the indica, although much longer in length. The stoma of the leaf, the underside, may give off a dark orange color in a warmer climate, while in a cool climate may possess a purple tinge.  When smoking a sativa the high is very cerebral. You get a rush of energy and a buzz in the body, a great way of getting work done without being sucked into your couch.   The sativa high is thought of as being uplifting and optimistic.  It is also said that since sativas contain a very high THC content, they are best for dealing with certain pain symptoms.

The indica variety is a short plant that typically does not reach over eight feet in height.  Its marijuana leaves are usually dark green and have short, wide fingers.  As the plant matures the grower is more quickly able to spot a dash of purple in the deep green leaf.  Upon maturity, one would expect short branches, laden with thick and dense marijuana buds that mature about four weeks earlier than sativa buds.  It is recommended that this type of bud is grown in a cooler environment to invoke intense coloration of the buds.  Indica strains are known to give off a stinky smell.   Its smoke is very thick, which could catch the novice smoker off guard and induce fits of coughing.  The indica strains possess a relaxing body high that allows the user to gain a sense of his or her environment, rather than deep thought or analysis of the experience. Indicas are great for relaxation purposes, stress relief, and for an overall sense of serenity and tranquility.  Others say that indicas can sneak up on you.  What they mean by this is that it will hit you all at once and put you straight to sleep.  For this reason, the indica variety is commonly used to treat insomnia.  Indica strains are common in areas such as India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and other surrounding areas due to their extremely variable weather.

Various other strains can be produced by crossing indica and sativa strains.  Now, next time you treat yourself to your next strain of weed, put a little more thought into exactly what you want.  Eventually try a pure indica, a pure sativa, and a 50/50 crossbreed to see if you can see the difference in the high.  You will be pleasantly surprised!

Thank you for reading,

The Weed Street Journal Team