Indica vs Sativa

In the era of legal cannabis, getting and using marijuana has gotten a lot easier. Now, go into any retail outlet and you’ll find a number of “top-shelf” strains with various names like Northern Lights, Girl Scout Cookies, Trainwreck, and Purple Urkle.

Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa are the most popular varieties, which are often referred to as Indica and Sativa. Cannabis ruderalis is a third species that isn’t commonly grown as a drug, although botanists may cross-breed them to create crossbreds.

Some people think that Sativa and Indica strains have different effects. Some professionals, on the other hand, argue that this viewpoint is incorrect and subjective because each plant’s amount of effect-producing chemicals might differ. This article will compare the chemical and physical differences between these species as well as their supposed impacts.

Cannabis and Marijuana: Are They Different?

Hemp is a strain of cannabis with low amounts of THC, whereas marijuana refers to drugs. Cannabis and marijuana are both slang terms for marijuana. The term “marijuana” refers to any one of hundreds of species known as Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica, or Cannabis ruderalis. Marijuana is a term that is frequently used to refer to cannabis plants that have a high THC content.

Indica vs Sativa: The Beginnings

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck was developing several interesting ideas that would later be debunked.

The idea that animals may develop new traits throughout their lives was proposed by Lamarck, according to which creatures improve with age. The giraffe’s neck would grow longer as the tasty goodies got higher and higher in the trees, causing it to elongate its neck. Darwin debunked Lamarck’s theory later in the nineteenth century, when he published The Descent of Man, demonstrating that these changes occur over many generations rather than instantly. However, Lamarck’s idea that marijuana extends the lives of animals has endured throughout history.

Cannabis is divided into two species by Lamarck: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. When consumed, C indica and C sativa acquired unique appearances and perceptions, despite having emerged in distinct regions. These ideas have been handed down through generations and are now seen in today’s marijuana culture, with the distinction between sativa and indica plants.

Sativa vs indica – what does Lamarck’s theory say?

The second, more well-known aspect of this hypothesis is that these two cannabis species vary in how they affect users when consumed. It’s the part of the theory that most marijuana smokers are most familiar with since it’s how most manufacturers (and drug dealers) categorize their goods.

Combining it all together

According to the preceding argument, a tall plant with thin leaves should be sedating, while a short one with broad leaves should be stimulating. A tiny plant with large leaves, on the other hand, would be anticipated to be invigorating. Furthermore, genetic disparities between C sativa and C indica strains may explain these variations.

But the distinction between sativa and indica is where it collapses.

Today, scientists and cannabis experts agree that the difference between physiologic impact based on form or DNA is illusory.

It’s not the plant’s appearance that determines its impact, but rather the chemical makeup. And based on neurologist and psychopharmacology researcher Dr Ethan Russo, “one cannot presently predict a cannabis plant’s chemical composition based on its height, branching, or leaf shape.”

But, wait – there’s more! What about genetics? Is it true that sativa plants and indica plants have different genetics that aren’t visible to the naked eye?

In a 2015 PLoS ONE study, researchers examined the gene pools of 81 marijuana strains and found that only a modest link existed between a strain’s genetic structure and its labeled “sativa” or “indica” classification. Furthermore, when it comes to categorization, the strain names are considerably less meaningful.

While indica or sativa categorization and genetic composition are linked, some “indicas” will be more comparable to “sativas,” and vice versa. Furthermore, while there is a slight connection between classification and genetic make-up, it isn’t because one variety is more likely to be an indica than the other (as we’ll see later).

The Real Sativa vs Indica

Hemp plants, on the other hand, appear to fall outside of these categories. Marijuana and hemp plants were found to belong to two different kinds of cannabis that seem to fit within the C. sativa and C. indica genetic divisions in a 2017 study: marijuana and hemp plants. When it comes to genetics, hemp is more comparable to C. indica, whereas marijuana is more comparable to C. sativa. As a result, few marijuana plants would be closer genetically related to C

Does that mean hemp and marijuana are different species?

The short answer is that hemp and marijuana are not the same species of plant. Cannabis and hemp are often considered to be the same species of plant. There isn’t a consensus among botanical taxonomists, however, whether cannabis is one or many species.

Because they may all breed together, some people believe that all cannabis plants are members of the same polymorphic species. This would imply that C. sativa as a whole is C. sativa, implying that Cannabis sativa is not a distinct variety but rather a separate species.

Others feel there are three or four distinct species, such as C. indica, C. sativa, Cannabis afghanica, and C. ruderalis, all of which originated in various locations.

The evolution of cannabis

The differences between these three groups are based on the plant’s evolutionary history. Cannabis plants were divided into two growing areas tens of thousands of years ago, most likely as a consequence of ice sheets: one in Europe and the other in south-east Asia. Because of this geographic distinction, there were differences in appearance and optimal cultivation conditions, which led to the creation of two (or, according to some taxonomists, more than two) cannabis types: C. sativa in Europe and C. indica in southeast Asia.

Both C. indica and C. sativa seeds were carried by humans hundreds of years later, both of which are still being cultivated today. Humans dispersed cannabis seeds throughout the world at the same time, as well as selected the population’s genes. Over time, selective breeding has resulted in most marijuana plants being a hybrid (a genetic combination) between C. sativa and C. indica (and continuing today).

This implies that every cannabis plant available today is a hybrid, neither exclusively C. sativa nor C. indica, and as a result, even if there was ever a method to predict physiological impact based on appearance and genetics, it would not apply today.

Does indica vs Sativa mean anything today?

Let’s take a look at what we’ve accomplished. Despite the fact that botanists dispute the validity of the indica vs sativa distinction in terms of how it is commonly defined, no one has been able to stop people from doing so.

When you ask about which strains are indica and which are sativa, what you’re really asking about is how different marijuana strains affect you. This implies that, although this word has been associated with one particular type of cannabis plant, it may still be utilized as a reference to help you choose a strain with the desired effects.

In fact, certain dispensaries market their strains as “sativa-like” or “indica-like” to describe their physiological effects, recognizing that this is a useful tool even though it isn’t completely precise.

If not indica or Sativa, how should we categorize marijuana and hemp?

Throughout history, cannabis has been categorized in a variety of ways, many of which are based on species and strain. It’s not about the plant’s genetic line that influences us; it’s all about its chemical composition. As a result, when selecting our favorite marijuana strain, each of us must look at the chemovar or chemotype of our cannabis.

Let’s look at marijuana vs hemp for argument’s sake. Is one of these plants a sativa and the other an indica? Is one of them sativa and the other indica? nInstead, the distinction between legality is based on the percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Marijuana is defined as any plant with more than 0.3 percent THC in the United States. In Canada, it’s considered hemp if its THC level is less than 0.3 percent.

Using chemovars to choose your ideal bud

The percentage of THC and cannabidiol (CBD), the two most well-known and studied cannabinoids found in cannabis, is usually the first thing that springs to mind when considering chemical composition as a tool for classifying marijuana. However, examining cannabis strains beyond just THC and CBD percentages may be useful.

Consider this: most marijuana strains available at dispensaries now have a high THC concentration and a low CBD content. It can’t be other phytochemicals found in cannabis plants, such as minor cannabinoids and another group of phytochemicals known as terpenes, because they account for these differences.

Terpenes are odiferous chemicals found in cannabis plants that have an impact on human health and cognition. Terpenes, in fact, contribute to the distinct smell of each strain. The presence of a high myrcene content, a terpene with narcotic-like effects, is frequently to blame for these effects with a sedative cannabis strain. Citrus oils, on the other hand, include significant quantities of limonene, a terpene best known for its high concentration in citrus essential oils.

Alpha-pinene is a rare terpene that has the amazing and unusual ability to counteract THC-induced short-term memory loss. So, if you can find a strain with both limonene and alpha-pinene, your memory and energy will be considerably better than if you smoke one high in myrcene.

Choosing the best marijuana strain for you

You can now purchase cannabis from your neighborhood store. You’ve acquired all of the information you need to pick out the type of bud that appeals to you.

Instead of asking for indicas or sativas, start by learning about the characteristics of the different marijuana strains. Experienced and helpful dispensary staff will be able to tell you what to anticipate, allowing you to choose the product that best meets your demands.

Look for a company that tests each batch and strain of cannabis for not only the cannabinoid content, but also the terpene profile. This way, you can keep track of which cannabinoids and terpenes are contributing to your desired experience.

How to Choose the Right Strain Type for You

Many individuals smoke both Indica and Sativa strains for a variety of reasons, but there are certain purposes for each. A Sativa strain is best for staying energetic throughout the day. To help you relax before bed, consider smoking an Indica.

The most popular kind of cannabis is a hybrid. It’s preferable to pick one with a balanced high and some focus, which is often an Indica-dominant strain with only modest amounts of Sativa. Look for one that contains mostly Indica genetics while having only minor quantities of Sativa.

The best strain type to select is based on what you’ll use it for. The following are the most frequent reasons people use each strain.


There are numerous different types of cannabis available, each with its own set of characteristics and effects. There’s a good chance that whatever type of high you’re looking for, it may be found in one of the strains on our list. Cannabis is a complicated plant, which can generate feelings of calmness, drowsiness, and relaxation as well as enhance energy levels and lift the spirit.

If ever you have your moment with the cosmic green again, knowing that you can now tell indica from sativa weed if it was growing in a field and how your body will react to each specific variety should make you feel great.

Settle down with a relaxing indica if you’re looking to unwind and enjoy a peaceful night in, or try an uplifting sativa if you’re going out with friends and want a little lift of spunk, creativity, and energy. And of course, there’s a whole world of hybrid marijuana strains (crosses between indicas and sativas) for your pleasure and enjoyment if you want something in-between.

Let’s look at the different strains and see which ones our readers selected as the finest.

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