What’s the Difference Between Sativa and Indica?

It remains to be seen if cannabis is actually numerous true species or a single polymorphic species. In this guide, we will mostly be talking about the differences between pure strains of sativa and indica with hardly any cross-breeding.


These strains are ideal for those seeking relaxation since it produces a body high and couch-lock. French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was the first to describe it using a specimen from India, where it was already in use for the cultivation of hashish. He was the one to give it the name that we now use for it.

Indica had a different terpene and cannabinoid profile from the cannabis found in Europe. He classified the specimen from India as a whole different species, but others dispute this.


There are users who do not enjoy the heavy high offered by indica, so they prefer the energizing high of sativa. These strains are known for their head high, which comes with better mental focus and mood improvement. Sativa is known to boost creativity as well. It is more commonly consumed within the day instead of at night.

Physical Attributes

Indica plants are often bushy and short, only reaching a height of three to six feet. They have thick stems and wider deep-green leaves. Meanwhile, sativa plants are tall with widely spaced branches, narrower light-green leaves and longer and lighter buds. They are about ten feet tall when fully grown but can reach 20 feet tall too!

Growth Patterns

Indica is more popular among indoor growers. Its flowering cycle is shorter with first flower blooming seven to nine weeks later. It also takes up less space and has higher yield than sativa. Meanwhile, sativa strains flower around 10 to 16 weeks after they are planted.


Indica are traditionally grown in places with colder and shorter growing signs like Afghanistan, India, Morocco, Nepal, and Pakistan. Meanwhile, sativa prefers a warmer and sunnier climate like that of Southeast Asia, Colombia, and Mexico.

Cannabinoid Profile

Indica has a balanced profile with high concentrations of CBD and THC alike. Indica-dominant strains have 18 to 22 percent THC and 0.2 to 0.5 percent CBD. On the other hand, sativa leans towards THC even though dominant strains have lower THC levels than indica strains on average. Its profile is 0.1 to 0.3 percent CBD and 16 to 19 percent THC.

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