Indica vs Sativa: What's the Difference?

Breaking Down The Difference

At least 14% of Canadians used cannabis in the past 3 months and out of the 4.6 million Canadians who admit to smoking weed, 56% identify themselves as weekly or daily users… oh yeah! Thankfully for all of us potheads, there are many different varieties of marijuana strains so there’s no shortage of different highs that we can experience. Most of the weed we smoke, eat, inhale, drink, and rub into our skink is likely to be a strain of either Indica marijuana or Sativa marijuana.  

In today’s post, we’re going to discuss what makes Indica and Sativa strains different from one another so you can get a better handle of what type of pot you’re smoking, what other strains you may want to try, and which ones might work best for you and your needs.

Indica and Sativa 101

First of all, why is it that whenever there’s a comparison between these strains it’s almost always presented as Indica vs Sativa? It’s not like there’s an ongoing, never-ending battle between the two to see which one is the best. Instead, wouldn’t it be better to view it as a discussion of the differences between Indica and Sativa, or maybe even Indica or Sativa? To us, either of those sound more accurate and more closer to the true intent of the discussion than vs does.

Even thought Indica and Sativa are made of the same plant, they are inherently different. Each has its own merits and properties that make it unique and stand out on its own. This is not a battle of the strains, it’s a matter of personal preference to see which 420 varieties work best for us depending on our mood, tolerance levels, time of day, location, environment, and the situation we find ourselves in. 

The differences between them are many and they are even obvious from a physical standpoint. Sativa weed plants have tall, slender stems and narrow leaves. Indica pot plants are short and fluffy with wide leaves. Indica plants yield a bigger crop than Sativa plants do. That's why Indica weed is more prevalent in the black market. In other words, if you've smoked black market weed, it was probably Indica.

Sativa and Indica weed strains have different ratios of THC and CBD. For instance, Indica tends to have higher amounts of CBD and less THC. Sativa, on the other hand, tends to be high in THC and have lower amounts of CBD. Please note that isn’t always the case, what with all the cross-breeding that’s going on… learn more here and here… this is similar to our point about the use of Indica-vs-Sativa instead Indica and Sativa differences.

Indica and sativa also have different effects on your brain. Indica boosts dopamine, a neurotransmitter that controls feelings associated with rewards and pleasure and relaxation. Sativa increases serotonin, a neurotransmitter involved with regulating mood, learning, anxiety, appetite and energy.

Indica High

There's a marked difference between the high you'll get from either Indica or Sativa. If you're inexperienced with marijuana, the high of any weed might hit you like a ton of pot bricks. A seasoned weed smoker can tell the difference between the two. The high you'll get from Indica strains is more of a body high. It's a relaxing, almost sedative kind of high. Experts recommend Indica for nighttime use. Indica is perfect for when you're done with work for the day and need to unwind and just chill.

Warning: Potent Indica strains cause something called "couchlock". That's when you're so relaxed, you feel -yup, you guessed it -locked to a couch. If this happens to you, have some munchies and lemonade nearby to snap you out of it (hopefully:-).

Sativa High

Sativa, however is often described as a mind high. The high is described as being euphoric and uplifting. Sativa increases concentration, creativity, and energy levels. Due to Sativa's energizing qualities, experts recommend Sativa for daytime use. Smoking Sativa will make you feel more alert and awake.

Sure, sativa energizes you, but that doesn't mean you should smoke it before driving. Even in legal provinces in Canada and legal states in the USA, you'll get a DUI. On the other hand, you can enjoy walking and light exercise under the influence of Sativa…. which is something you’re likely not going to even have the inclination to try with an Indica high!


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Medical Benefits of Weed

Medical Benefits of Indica

Indica increases mental relaxation as well as muscle relaxation. It's great for people who need pain relief. Indica strains also decrease nausea and increase appetite. This makes Indica ideal for a plethora of illnesses such as anorexia, cancer, AIDS, and more. Smoking Indica can help promote sleep. That's one of the reasons why it's recommended for nighttime use. You can also use it to treat muscle spasms and tremors as it relaxes muscles and stops the involuntary movements.

Indica Strain Recommendations (see more Indica strains)

Medical Benefits of Sativa

Sativa is popular among people who struggle with anxiety. The mental high helps clear their minds and energize them. Warning: Some people report experiencing higher levels of anxiety while smoking Sativa… so it’s best to start small (holds true for any strain of marijuana) and work your way up. Sativa is also good for treating other mental illnesses like depression and ADHD. Sativa strains improve mood levels and increase concentration. Much like Indica, sativa also treats chronic pain as it’s cerebral effects make it easier to cope with pain.

Professional blazing tip: Don't smoke up before you take a test. Weed doesn't improve your short-term memory.

Sativa Strain Recommendations (see more Sativa strains)

Get Your Ganja On

Hopefully you now have a bit better understanding of some of the differences between Indica and Sativa cannabis and are more comfortable with trying new strains of 420 weed, including Hybrid strains which are a mix of Indica and Sativa allowing you to get the best of both strains! Our types of marijuana strains post provides some information along with the CBD vs THC for pain management post. Now get your ganja on... and puff away:-).