Differences between indica and sativa

As many know, cannabis is a herbaceous species of the -cannabaceae- family, from which certain derivatives are extracted for medicinal uses. In this sense, this is mostly known for its psychotropic properties, better known as marijuana, therefore, its use as a medicinal plant has generated much controversy in recent years.

Thus, cannabis can be subdivided into two main subspecies, indica and sativa. Therefore, in this article we will point out their brief definitions and then show the most relevant differences that exist between them.


To begin with, the plants -cannabis indica- are native to Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tibet, Nepal, among others. The -indica- varieties are known for their relaxing and analgesic power because the plants have a high amount of CBD (cannabidiol) in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol).

Thus, the -indicas- come from mountainous climates, therefore, they produce marijuana plants that are capable of withstanding wind, rain and frost. These plants are compact and robust, with dense, heavy and aromatic buds that tend to stay shorter, around 90 – 150 cm tall. Its leaves are short and thick and the smell they produce tends to be very strong and its color is dark green.

On the other hand, Indicas have a flowering time of approximately 44 days. As for its relaxing effect, indicas are widely used in medicine for insomnia and to treat tremors, spasms, permanent pain, anxiety, stress and lack of appetite. Finally, in general terms, indicas tend to have a higher yield than other cannabis subspecies, so their cultivation and distribution is usually easier and faster.


The plants -cannabis sativa- are native to an area around the equator and can be found in countries such as Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and various African countries. The varieties of -cannabis sativa- have been cultivated for many years and are known for their euphoric and cerebral power, being ideal for daily use in medicine, since it can provide immediate relief to patients.

This plant is a variety that adapts very well to the heat of tropical climates, since it does not resist low temperatures. Among its characteristics, this plant is usually tall and can reach between 3 and 5 meters in height. Its leaves are light green in color and have a thin and elongated shape. Its flowering time is longer than that of other species, lasting around 60 to 90 days, so its yield in the cultivar is lower.

On the other hand, the effect generated by the sativa species in the body is a psychoactive or even psychedelic effect at the brain level that provides energy and enhances creativity. Its medicinal use is applied for countless ailments and pathologies such as cancer, HIV, anorexia, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, among others. This is because it produces feelings of relaxation but with greater energy, disinhibition and decreased anxiety.

That said, the most basic differences between indica and sativa strains can be summed up as:

Cannabis Indica Cannabis Sativa
It usually measures between one and two meters in height. It usually measures between 3 and 5 meters in height.
It has dark green, thick and robust leaves. It has light green leaves, elongated and thin.
It has a flowering time of approximately 44 days. It has a flowering time of between 60 and 90 days.
Produces a relaxing and analgesic effect. Produces a relaxing and psychoactive effect.
It is native to Central Asia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nepal, India and Tibet. It is native to Colombia, Mexico, Thailand and several African countries.

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