Indica Versus Sativa, What’s the Difference?

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Lavender Plants. Lavender is a common aroma found in the Cannabis plant

As the cannabis industry expands throughout the nation, we are seeing more and more varieties of cannabis become available to consumers. With the increase in variety, it can become hard to distinguish strains of cannabis which you prefer to consume in the crowded marketplace. Already today there are hundreds, if not thousands of different types of cannabis in the market for you to choose from. Luckily, there are a few easy tricks that are standard distinctions between types of cannabis and their differing effects. Today, we’ll dive into the difference between an indica, sativa, and hybrid strains of cannabis. These varieties have different growing styles and more importantly pack a very different type of punch for you while enjoying them. Furthermore, we’ll note that the terpenes can also have a big impact on users high and provide a short overview of the popular cannabis terpenes.

Growing Styles

One of the easiest ways to separate the three different types of cannabis plants is with their growing style. These physical plant differences help growers signify which type a particular plant in the garden maybe. Indica plants have a short and wide appearance compared to their lanky cousins known as sativa plants which are often taller and skinner. The hybrid plant, as the name implies, is a mix between these two extremes. Most sativa plants will not produce as many flowers as indica plants and thus yield far lower amounts of smokable product at the end of harvest time. Furthermore, sativa plants usually tend to take a little bit of a longer period of time to grow when compared to the indica type. These physical plant differences help growers signify which type a particular plant in the garden may be and ensure they are producing enough of one type or another depending on the demand.  

Consumption Difference

Another very important difference between sativa and indica varieties of cannabis are the effects they have. Indicas are often referred to as ‘in-the-couch’ since these strains make you a bit more lethargic with the high being more in the body. A sativa plant on the other end of the spectrum will make users feel a bit more of an energetic high. Although sativa varieties are not a caffeine substitute, you can notice the more functional high associated with them compared to indica strains. Again, hybrid plants will express a few qualities from each variety, hence the name hybrid.

Finally, there can also be a scent difference noticeable between the sativa and indica plant varieties. This takes a little bit of practice but stick your nose in a fresh jar of cannabis and take a giant whiff! If your scent is noticeable to you on the tip of your nose, the cannabis plant in question is most likely an indica. If the scent of the plant is deeper into your nostril, it’s likely a sativa. It’s also worth noting that there are tricks to making a regular indica plant have sativa-like flowers and vice versa. The growing time difference between the two varieties does matter and arguably leads to the effects users feel.  Thus, going with the policy of ‘the nose knows’ while selecting a cannabis variety for you is always the best.

The Terpenes

As legalization has spread across the country, we are learning more than ever before about the cannabis plant. One of the most exciting discoveries with the legalization of cannabis is learning about terpenes. These chemicals, naturally found within all cannabis plants and hundreds of other plants around the world do seem to impact the user’s high more than we previously expected. The most common type of terpene found in cannabis is Myrcene, which is also found naturally in hops. This terpene gives users a couch-lock type feeling upon consumption, as is famous for the OG Kush strain which is heavy in Myrcene terpenes. There is also Linalool, which is the floral scent you see from a Flo or Haze variety of cannabis. Other common terpenes found in cannabis are Bisabolol, Caryophyllene, Ocimene, and Pinene. We’ll dive into these different types of terpenes in a blog post soon friends.

Until next time,

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