How Sativa and Indica Differ


Marijuana has two different types: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa.  While they both deliver a “high” the effects do differ slightly.

Origin: Sativa strains thrive in warm weather and grow in countries like Colombia, Mexico and Thailand.

The Indica strains thrive in cooler environments and originated from a high altitude. Indica is found in Morocco, Afghanistan, Nepal and Turkey.

Appearance. Sativa plants are lighter green with skinny leaves. They are usually grown outdoors to an average height of six feet, but can grow as high as twenty feet tall.

Indica plants are a darker green plant with wide leaves. Growing to a height between two and four feet, they are better suited for growing indoors.

Effects. In addition to the origin and appearance of these plants, there is commonly thought to be a difference between sativa and indica in terms of their effects on the user.

There are two main compounds in cannabis: Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which stimulates cells in the brain to produce dopamine and is responsible for the “high,” and Cannabidiol (CBD) which does not have any psychoactive effects, but creates a “body high” that relaxes the muscles.

Sativa tends to produce the following effects:

  • Uplifting and energizing
  • Cerebral, spacey or hallucinogenic
  • Stimulates hunger (it has shown to be useful for those with anorexia and cancer)
  • Promotes creativity
  • Better suited for daytime use
  • Higher THC: CBD ratio

Indica is said to:

  • Be relaxing and calming
  • Create a body buzz or “couch lock” (being too stoned to get off the couch)
  • Work as a sleep aid
  • Useful in the treatment of chronic pain and MS
  • Best suited for nighttime use
  • Higher CBD: THC ratio

Most popular strands are a hybrid of the two, but users tend to have a slight preference for one or the other, and knowing the type of high can ensure you get the best strain suited for your lifestyle.


Interested in trying the two out? Check here for the best deals on medical and recreational marijuana.


Still want to learn more?

What is a Phenotype?

What is Sativa?

The Differences Between Hemp and Marijuana 


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