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Sativa vs Indica

The best way to tell if a marijuana plant is Cannabis Indica or Cannabis Sativa is to look at the leaves.

The term sativa is used to indicate cannabis that grows in tall, lanky plants with wide branches, either bamboo- or Christmas tree-shaped. Sativa strains are usually higher in THC and lower in CDB, meaning their effect is cerebral, i.e. it works on the mind rather than the body. The high can be energising or uplifting, making you feel giddy, happy, social or trippy.

The term indica designates cannabis that grows on short, dense, bushy plants. Indica strains are popular for indoor grows, especially when space is limited. Indicas usually show higher levels of CDB than sativas, making for a heavier, stonier effect, also known as a body stone, body buzz or couchlock stone. Indicas may make you feel drowsy, sedated and even numb, and their effect can be pain-killing, sleep-inducing and calming.

There are differences in effect as you can see below.

nirvana sativa

Sativa strains

Indica strains

nirvana indica

Nirvana's Indica Strains

Nirvana's Sativa Strains

Difference in effects

The effect of indica is generally classified as a ‘stone’, meaning that it is more centred on the body. indicas may enhance physical sensations such as taste, touch and sound. The indica effect is noted for being physically and mentally relaxing and it may be soporific in larger doses.

Despite their lower weight and potentially longer flowering time, sativas are valued by many growers for their ‘high’ effect. This high may be characterised as cerebral, energetic, creative, giggly or even psychedelic. It is less overpowering than the indica ‘stone’, and less likely to send the user to sleep.

Difference between flowering

A major difference between indica and sativa is that sativas take longer to flower. They will usually need between 60 and 90 days to finish blooming. However, they need less time for vegetative growth prior to flowering than indicas do, so the overall time required for sativas is about the same as for indicas (and sometimes less in terms of ‘light hours’).