As you walk into a dispensary, the main question is, “What kind of strain am I looking for?”
You mull over whether you want an uplifting Sativa high or a stoned, body high from an Indica.
Coming to the conclusion you want to relax today, you choose an Indica. The problem is, looking at the effects of the strains, you realize a handful of Indica strains are labelled as giving ‘energetic’ effects.
Confused, you glance over the Sativas to see the same thing. It looks like the effects are somehow the wrong way around.
The bud tender notices the puzzled look on your face. She asks if she can help.
There must be a mistake, you explain. The effects of the strain are muddled. Aren’t Sativas uplifting and Indicas best for relaxing and falling into a kush coma?
It’s not a mistake.
The world of Indica vs Sativa has vastly changed. Judging the characteristics of a strain by whether it’s an Indica or Sativa is no longer useful.
Choosing the right strain for your needs is essential. With this guide, we dispel the old myths of Indica vs Sativa and usher in the facts and real information that sets you down the right path.
What Is A Sativa Strain?
The Sativa strain is native to Mexico, Africa, Southeast Asia and Central America. The warmer temperatures allow the plant to flourish.
In comparison to the Indica plant, Sativa’s are much taller, with have a thin, fibrous structure. Their leaves are longer and the less dense than their counterpart.
Sativa’s feature a higher ratio of CBD to THC. It is leading many to believe in a weaker potency. But this is only true if using the THC metric as a gauge for potency. A higher ratio of CBD to THC benefits many ailments and needs.
Without knowing the terpene profile of a Sativa, the effects are less predictable. This is due to Sativa’s more extensive array of terpenes than it’s cousin Indica. Terpenes are compounds in cannabis that affect their smell, taste and psychoactive effects.
What Is An Indica Strain?
Indica strains originally called Afghanistan, India, Turkey and Pakistan their home. The plant itself has different physical features.
Most notably, they are shorter than Sativas. As well they have a bushier complex, broader leaves, and compact flowers.
While Sativas have the higher CBD to THC ratio, Indica’s boast impressive levels of THC. Famous Indica strains such as Death Bubba, Granddaddy Purple and Platinum Bubba Kush clock in over 25 percent.
Knowing the difference between the plant structures is essential, but it doesn’t paint the entire picture.
Getting To Know The Differences Between Indica vs Sativa
Sativa and Indica are perceived as the same plant. They’re both cannabis, right?
Only recently have the two crossed to create hybrid strains. Originally they were bred in separate parts of the world. Never having existed together.
Their content of cannabinoids also differs in each variety. As we mentioned, the levels of cannabidiol (CBD) and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) varies in Sativas and Indicas.
Sativa’s being more fibrous, are cultivated for their physical characteristics. Their primary function was for the creation of goods, such as cloth, rope, paper and other necessities. Indica’s, on the other hand, are primarily used for medicine and its psychoactive effects. Thanks to their vast array of cannabinoids and THC content.
Now, this leads us to the next section. We’ll take a look at why the gap between Indica and Sativa has shrunk in recent years.
Welcome To The Unity Of Foreign Ideals
Until the mid 20th century, Sativa and Indica strains were local to their regions. These original strains are known as “landrace.” Meaning they carry 100 percent Sativa or 100 percent Indica lineage. Such varieties include Hindu Kush, Malawi Gold, Nepalese, Durban Poison and Acapulco Gold.
But due to the import of cannabis and the widespread availability of seeds, landrace strains are nearing extinction.
As the trade between continents and seeds increased, so did the crossing of strains. Thus, in turn, creating hybrids. The combination of both sativa and Indica lineage. Today, most stains are hybrids, even if they aren’t labelled so.
The creation of hybrids has many benefits. It allows breeders to enhance selectively enhance cannabinoids and terpenes.
Such combinations become beneficial for medical patients. The selective compound profiles are great for narrowing down which variety to consume.
After 50 years of cross-breeding, the terms Sativa and Indica have become mostly physical.
Do Sativa And Indica Not Matter And Anymore?
After reading this information, you might be thinking, what’s the point of even labelling strains by Sativa or Indica? With cannabinoid lab testing, it’s not so much out of necessity, but tradition and informational.
Specific strains that have stayed true to their original lineage may exhibit some predictable effects. But even this is a bit vague, as the traditional notion of what the Sativa and Indica strains effects are incorrect.
As we mentioned, Sativa strains tend to have higher levels of CBD. CBD has a more sedative effect in comparison to THC. Since Sativa’s have more CBD, in theory, they would be more relaxing. Not the overactive and hyper-stimulating strain it was once thought to be.
Thus, the distinction between the effects of both is murky and diluted.
Where To Go From Here?
Understanding the lineage and cultural importance of both varieties is still important. It tells the story of its original use and may one day help discover even further benefits. For practical purposes, Sativa vs Indica is for nothing more than show.
We suggest getting to know the entire cannabinoid profile. Without doing so, picking a strain will be like walking with a blindfold on. Or playing eenie meenie miney mo, catch a strain by its toe.
In a world of technological advancement in the field of cannabis, neither are a necessary option.