Cannabis has been cultivated for thousands of years, and its history is rich with stories of use as a medicine, food, fiber and even a fuel source. It’s only been since the late 20th century that cannabis prohibition took effect globally. Even today, there are many countries who still prohibit the use of marijuana.
Cannabis sativa and cannabis indica are two different species of the same plant species. The main difference between sativa and indica strains is their effects on users. Indica strains tend to be more relaxing and sedating while sativas are more energetic and uplifting.
Both species produce flowers that contain high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is responsible for producing psychoactive effects in users when ingested or smoked. Both plants are also known to contain cannabidiol (CBD), which can help treat conditions such as anxiety without producing any psychoactive effects such as euphoria or paranoia.
The following chart shows some common characteristics associated with Sativa and Indica plants, as well as their general effects.
Sativa Vs. Indica Chart
|Taller Less Dense & Leaves are Longer and More Narrow||Shorter Bushier & Leaves are Shorter and Wider|
|Head High||Body High|
|Uplifting and Euphoric||Appetite Stimulant|
|Increased Energy||Pain Relief|
|Better Suited for Daytime||Better Suited for Nighttime|
|Airy Buds||Dense Buds|
|Longer Flowering Period (60-90 days)||Shorter Flowering Period (45-60 days)|
|High THC Levels||High CBD Levels|
|Typically Earthy Flavor||Typically Sweet Flavor|
|Light Green||Dark Green|
|Fights Depression, Stress||Insomnia|
What is Sativa?
This type of cannabis is known for its energizing effects which make it a good choice for daytime use. Users report feeling more alert, focused and creative when using this type of cannabis. This strain can also help users feel more relaxed or even euphoric depending on the exact chemical composition of their particular strain.
What is Indica?
This type of cannabis has relaxing effects which make it a good choice for nighttime use. Users report feeling more calm and relaxed when using this type of cannabis which makes it great for treating pain or anxiety related conditions such as sleep disorders, PTSD etc.
Sativa and Indica Effects
Cerebral effects are the most common among cannabis users. These include a more uplifting and euphoric high, accompanied by heightened focus, creativity and sociability. THC levels in sativa strains tend to be higher than indica strains, which may explain their cerebral effects.
Sativa strains are known for their uplifting effects, cerebral effects, active effects and social effects. You’ll feel more energized and motivated by sativas. These mind-altering flowers tend to make you feel more talkative, energetic and creative.
These plants are often used during the day because they can help with focus and concentration as well as boost your mood. Sativa strains are also known for giving more productive highs than indicas do—for example, they may increase hunger while also making it difficult to sleep at night if you consume too much of them late in the day (or night).
Sativa strains are more active, and can be used during the daytime when you have a lot of energy to burn. Sativas tend to have more of an uplifting effect, which is great if you have a lot of things on your plate. If you need to stay awake or need inspiration while working, sativas are likely your best bet in terms of strain selection.
Indicas are generally sedating in nature and tend to be better as night time strains. In general, indicas will often help users fall asleep faster than other types of cannabis because they provide pain relief for those who suffer from insomnia or other sleeping disorders like restless leg syndrome (RLS). Indica strains are also known for helping people relax after a long day at work or school—a quality that makes them ideal for those who want something that will allow them to unwind after work instead of being active all evening long!
- Sativa is known for being energetic, uplifting and stimulating.
- Indica is known for being sedating and relaxing.
- Sativa can help with depression, anxiety and stress while Indica helps with pain, insomnia and muscle spasms.
Sativa is the more social of the two. It promotes conversation, and can make even shy people feel comfortable enough to be themselves. Sativa strains are also good for group activities, as they don’t tend to put you in a trance or make you zone out on your own thoughts like indicas often do.
Indica strains are more introspective, and may help you get deeper into whatever it is you’re doing (whether that’s reading a book or listening to music). They have a reputation for being great for creative projects—whether writing, painting or playing an instrument—and they can also help with physical labor if that’s what you need at the time.
If your goal is simply to relax after work or unwind before bedtime, then indica might be right up your alley: it tends not only to put people into a state of relaxation but also leads them into sleepiness quicker than sativa does (though not always).
Many people think sativa is more likely to get you thinking, while indica is more likely to get you relaxed and sleepy. But does this mean that the two strains are totally different? Not at all!
The truth is that these two types of marijuana have very similar effects—and it’s not just because they look so different. Although they can affect us in different ways, both sativa and indica produce a sense of euphoria and relaxation when smoked or consumed. Sativas tend to make users feel energetic, creative and uplifted, while indicas tend to relax them physically and mentally into a dreamy state of being “couch-locked” for hours on end!
Sativa strains are known to be more relaxing, often providing a stimulating effect that can increase energy and focus while reducing anxiety. This is why they’re often used by people with ADHD or ADD who need to focus on tasks at hand without feeling distracted.
Indica strains also have a relaxing effect on the body, but are more physically calming than sativas. They tend to slow things down and ease tension in your muscles while helping you get ready for bed. Sometimes indicas can cause couch lock, which makes them great options if you want to relax at home after work or finish off an intense workout session with some quality rest time on the couch!
When you’re couch-locked, you are relaxed and sedated. You might feel very comfortable and don’t want to move, but you can still do some light activity if needed.
Couch-locking is a common effect of indica strains. However, sativa strains can cause this as well!
A common misconception is that sativas are the more “up” or energizing strain and indicas are the sleepy ones. While it’s true that most of the popular daytime sativas have a higher percentage of THC in their chemical profile (the compound in cannabis responsible for getting you high), this isn’t always the case. For example, Durban Poison and Malawi Gold aren’t as known for their high THC content as they are for their ability to make you feel like you can run a marathon without breaking a sweat; meanwhile, Granddaddy Purple is one of the most potent strains around, but it tends to leave consumers feeling relaxed with an almost immediate sense of euphoria.
It’s important to note that there are specific strains on either side of this spectrum—some will put you into dreamland faster than others—but generally speaking, when it comes to sleepiness vs relaxation:
- Sativas tend to make people more alert and energetic.
- Indicas tend to help with pain relief while making users feel relaxed and even sleepy at times
I hope this has given you a better understanding of the difference between sativa and indica cannabis strains. It is important to remember that the effects can vary depending on how they are grown, what they are mixed with, and your own body chemistry. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re looking for a mellow night in or daytime relaxation then indicas are best, while sativas will keep you up all night!