Marijuana: Difference Between Sativa And Indica

There are two main species of cannabis: Sativa and Indica. And each has its unique characteristics and common thrilling effects.

People who use marijuana more likely know that there are different sorts are available, and each of them has its benefits and effects on human body and mind. However, not all novices know what role Sativa and Indica play. So here is the list of differences between these two types of cannabis.

Origin of species

Experts argue if cannabis is one species of plant, or there are more of them. However, they all agree that the plant’s origin is somewhere in southern Serbia and Asia, in particular Mongolia regions.

Yet, in 1753 Carl Linnaeus, a famous biologist, identified that Cannabis Sativa is a single species. But several years later, in 1785 Jean-Baptiste Lamarck described another type which was from India. It was called Cannabis Indica and its characteristics were different from Cannabis Sativa. So, modern biologists accept Indica and Sativa as two major types of Cannabis.

The difference lays in the climate they are planted. Sativa grows better in warm equatorial climate, which is typical for Mexico, Colombia, Southeast Asia and Thailand. And Indica prefers cooler temperatures and high orthometric height. So it is widespread in Pakistan, Morocco, Turkey, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Characteristics of plants

The best way to identify whether a particular plant is Sativa or Indica is its physical appearance. Sativa plant is usually tall and thin. It can be up to 20n feet tall. Indica plant is short and bushy; it can be only 2-4 feet high. Sativa has long branches and narrow leaves; the color is light green. Indica has short branches with broad leaves of dark green color.

sativa vs indica

The harvesting time is also different. Sativa can be harvested between 10-16 weeks, and indica between 6-8 weeks.


Additionally to visible differences Sativa and Indica have their own unique effects after intake:

  • Sativa has stimulative effect
  • Indica – psychoactive

So a feeling of ease when you are high, is usually associated with Sativa, it is ideal for social situations. The high effect from Sativa is connected with energizing and better for daytime use. It is also promoted as a way to enhance creativity.

As for Indica, it has another type of influence. It has a relaxing on your body effect when you just want to have a rest and stay alone with your thoughts and imagination. It is often used to relieve stress and get better sleep.

Also, since heavy users experience unpleasant withdrawal symptoms after quit smoking, it should be noted that marijuana detox from Indica is much weaker than from Sativa.

What are medical benefits?

Both species are widely used in medicine and pharmacy. Sativa, due to high CBD (Cannabidiol) content, is used to treat behavioral and mental issues, like depression or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). It also may help patients with anorexia or different cancer types, because it stimulates hunger. As for Indica, it has a high level of THC. So it is used to treat chronic pains, muscle spasms, nausea and insomnia.