Cannabis has gained popularity due to its effectiveness in treating a variety of conditions. Medicinal cannabis plays a crucial role in improving the quality of sleep, pain reduction, increasing appetite, and mental and physical relaxation and much more.
Sativa and Indica are the two types of Cannabis. Each of these plants has its unique effects. However, crossbreeding of these two varieties has led to the production of various hybrid strains. Each of the types will have a different impact on the user, and thus they are used for different purposes. So, what is the difference between these two main types of cannabis?
The primary method of distinguishing between Indica and Sativa is through their physical appearance. Scientists call this method of distinction, morphology.
Indica plants are known to have broader leaves, densely branched and are short. They thrive well when grown indoors.
On the other hand, Sativa is known to have narrow and long leaves, loosely branched and are usually tall. They typically do well outdoors and can grow up to 20 feet.
Since these two plants exhibit different effects when used, what they cause can be used to distinguish them, while Indica tends to be more sedating, Sativa is more stimulating.
Additionally, the high feeling resulting from taking Sativa is energizing, cerebral and is an excellent choice for daytime use. They usually give a sense of ease and well-being to its users making them perfect for social situations. The plants are also said to enhance creativity and encourage deep conversation.
Features of Sativa
– Cerebral, hallucinogenic or spacey.
– Uplifting and energetic. Best for use during the day.
Uses of Sativa
Sativa is effective in treating mental ailments; this is because of their uplifting and the energizing effects on the human mind.
Sativa can be used to treat conditions such as depression, ADHD/ADD, including other moods disorders.
However, Sativa strains could increase anxiety in other people; this is why testing out a new strain first is vital before using it for medicinal purposes.
The effects of Indica tend to be opposite. Indica strains give a “couch lock” and a body that is perfect for the night when you need to relax, this explains why people use Indica for a better night sleep and to relieve stress. Indica is also used to treat different kinds of physical ailments like inflammation and pain relief while Sativa is best for treating mental conditions like ADHD and depression.
Features of Indica
– Body buzz or “couch lock.”
– Best suited for night use.
– Relaxing and calming.
Uses of Indica
Indica is known for causing full-bodied muscle relaxation effects which are useful in handling sleep disorders, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, and multiple sclerosis. Indica is also helpful in treating anxiety. Contrary, Sativa is known to worsen anxiety or create paranoia.
This cannabis strain, a product of crossbreed, contains the two cannabis genetics: Indica and Sativa. The strains can blend on both plants or take after one of the parents. The aim of crossbreeding is to get a plant that has desirable characteristic inherited from each of its parents.
Hybrids are increasingly gaining in popularity, and a majority of Sativa and Indica strains have hybridization at some point in their ancestry.
In some instances, a hybrid strain may inherit more characteristics from one parent plant than the other. Such strains are called Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant. A good example is the Northern Lights which inherits up to 90% characteristics from Sativa, and it is, therefore, an Indica-dominant strain.
Reasons For Crossbreeding
Crossbreeding, also known as hybridization is useful in some ways.
The process is also useful in eliminating Sativa strain which is responsible for causing paranoia and in decreasing the tiredness brought about by certain varieties of Indica.
Crossbreeding enables growers to produce a particular set of effects; this is because the new hybrid can provide a range of different highs.
History And Origin
Jean Baptiste Lamarck, a French biologist, was the first to classify Indica, in 1785.
After observing that Indica cannabis had several distinct characteristics that were different from the European hemp, known at that time as Sativa. The differences including firm stems, thin bark, and the overall shape of their leaves and flowers, Lamarck called the plant Indica to create a distinction from Sativa that became recognized as a therapeutic medicine in the course of 1800s.
Several theories which are genetically based have emerged out of scientific studies each trying to explain the difference between Sativa and Indica. One of them, which is the most prevailing, is centered at the genetic production of CBD and THC.
Plants which produce considerably high levels of THC are known to express genes which code for THCA synthase. The enzyme is useful in converting CBG into THCA. When heated, TCHA becomes THC. These kinds of plants are usually considered Indica.
Concerning this explanation, Sativa plants have high CBD: THC ratios while Indica plants have high THC: CBD ratios. However, other scientific sources differ from this theory since their explanation is opposite.
This problem could be due to the production of different amounts of the two enzymes by many strains as explained by some researchers. Due to this hybridization of the gene pool, some Sativa contains a high level of THC something which some Indica plants do not.
There are majorly two varieties of cannabis: Sativa and Indica. However, due to hybridization of these two plants, growers have managed to obtain a hybrid which contains the desirable characteristics of both plants.
Sativa is better for use during the day while Indica is a better fit for night use. Various strains are also beneficial to different conditions. For instance, Sativa is commonly used for the treatment of mental disorders while Sativa is used for pain relief.
However, each of the strains contains unique genetics thus causing the levels of CBD and THC to vary.
Due to the advancement of breeding, the terms Sativa and Indica are no longer the best way to predict the level of cannabinoid. Instead, they are better when used to describe the features of the plant.