5 Most Prominent Differences Between Indica and Sativa

If you've done some research into cannabis, you've probably noticed that some marijuana strains are classified as "indica" and others are "sativa." And if you're not an expert in marijuana, you probably don't really know what the difference between these two types of marijuana are. 

Well here are the most prominent differences between indica and sativa:

1. Origin

Indica, as the name somewhat suggests, originates from central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Meanwhile sativa originates mostly from areas near the equator, such as Mexico, Thailand and Africa.

2. Physical Characteristics

Indica tends to be a thicker, more bush like plant while sativa is usually taller with thinner leaves. Indica strains also tend to be denser with a more pungent smell, while sativa strains are lighter and usually have a more fruity aroma.

3. Effects

This may be the difference you're most interested in. Sativa strains tend to be more uplifting and provide energy when used. They tend to make people feel more social and productive. Meanwhile, Indica strains are more about providing intense relaxation feelings and making people feel lazy. So sativa strains are what you'll want to use if you need to get something done, while Indica is what you want if you're looking to just chill on the couch.

4. Growth

Indica and sativa also differ when it comes to growing. Indica usually takes 45 to 60 days to grow, and usually produce higher yield outputs. Sativa strains take 60 to 90 days to grow, and considering their equatorial origins, are better adapted to outdoor grows in warmer weather. Indica strains are better for indoor grows because they don't need as much heat to grow.

5. THC/CBD Levels

This is another characteristic you're probably more interested in. Sativa strains tend to have higher levels of THC, the cannabinoid that gets people "high," and lower levels of CBD, the cannabinoid that provides much of marijuana's medical benefits. Indica strains, however, tend to have lower levels of THC when compared to sativa but higher levels of CBD.

Having said that, many of the strains you'll find at dispensaries or other locations will be hybrid strains, meaning they'll mix indica and sativa strains to contain characteristics from both. But if you do find pure sativa or indica strains, the above differences will help you to know which one to get.


There are so many strains of marijuana available it can be nearly impossible to figure out which one is right for you. And sure, a knowledgeable budtender could point you in the right direction, but we think we've figured out a better method for choosing a marijuana strain. Take our quiz below to find out which cannabis strain is your true soulmate.

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