What’s the difference between Sativa and Indica?

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What’s the difference between Sativa and Indica?

Anyone who regularly consumes CBD Products, marijuana, or hemp products has almost certainly heard cannabis products referred to as Sativa or Indica at one point or another. Sativa and Indica are the names of the two distinct species of cannabis plant.  Most people seem to develop theories about the differences between the two species, generally relating to their differing effects on the body when consumed.  Realistically, these theories are probably just passed around from cannabis user to cannabis user and are not likely rooted in reality.

Sativa vs. Indica Theories

The general consensus is that the Cannabis Sativa plant produces more pronounced mood-enhancing, uplifting, and energizing effects.  The Cannabis Indica plant is known for its pain-reducing, calming, stress-reducing, and sedating effects.  These sedating effects are the reason it gets the nickname in-da-couch, since users are perfectly content with sitting on a comfy couch after using it. 

Another common theory is that shorter cannabis plants with broad leaves and dense buds are always Cannabis Indica plants, while taller plants with narrow leaves and fluffy buds are Cannabis Sativa.   This stems from the general belief that Cannabis Indicia plants originated in hot, dry places, like Afghanistan, while Cannabis Sativa plants originated in more mild, fertile places, like California. 

While there are some truths to these theories, these broad generalizations are quite removed from reality and becoming more so every day. 

The Truth About the Two Types of Hemp Plant

The classification of marijuana plants into Sativa or Indica has gotten extremely hazy over time.  Since users have developed these theories of what an Indica or a Sativa should be, strains are often categorized incorrectly.  This is because the theories are incorrect. The species of Cannabis plant a strain belongs to has everything to do with its genetic makeup and nothing to do with its effects when consumed or its physical appearance.   

Since the cannabis plant has been used and exported by humans around the world longer than almost any other plant, different types of cannabis species evolved over time in different places. The climate of these places caused the difference species to take on different physical traits.  As society become more and more connected over time, these different species started being exposed to one another and inter-mating with each other more and more.  As a result, the differences between the species have become much less pronounced than most realize.

Now It Seems Like Every Marijuana Plant is a Hybrid

Humans have genetically modified marijuana to the point that pretty much every strain is a hybrid of Cannabis Sativa and Indica.  Growers have carefully combined the good traits of different strains for years and the result is a lack of strains that are purely Sativa or Indica.  This might not be the answer you were hoping for, but there really isn’t a meaningful difference between Indica and Sativa anymore, at least not to the average cannabis user.  Sure, a scientist would be able to tell that a strain is 37% Indica and 63% Sativa, but for everyone else its impossible to tell.  Unless a strain was grown by a professional operation with access to pure Indica or Sativa seeds, the effects you get from marijuana are probably a combination of Indica and Sativa genetics at this point.  This is totally fine with me,  I will just keep letting people believe their passed-on theories while I enjoy all the high quality hybrid cannabis products that the world sends my way.

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