Apr 202014
 April 20, 2014

dank nuggetSativa vs Indica: The Biggest Differences Between The Two Cannabis Plants

Sativa and Indica are the two major types of cannabis plants which can mix together to create hybrid strains. Each strain has its own range of effects on the body and mind resulting in a wide range of medicinal benefits.

Indica plants typically grow short and wide, compared to Sativa plants which grow tall and thin. Indica plants are better suited for indoor growing because of their short growth and sativa plants are better suited for outdoor growing because some strains can reach over 25 ft. in height.

The high produced from smoking Indica bud is a strong physical body high that will make you sleepy or ‘couch-locked’ and provides a deep relaxation feeling compared to a Sativa high, which is known to be more energetic and uplifting.

Marijuana strains range from pure sativas to pure indicas and hybrid strains consisting of both indica and sativa (30% indica – 70% sativa, 50% – 50% combinations, 80% indica – 20% sativa). Because Sativa and Indica buds have very different medicinal benefits and effects, certain strains can be targeted to better treat specific illnesses.

Indica dominant marijuana strains tend to have a strong sweet or sour odor to the buds (ex. Kush, OG Kush) providing a very relaxing and strong body high that is helpful in treating general anxiety, body pain, and sleeping disorders.

Photo of a Sativa and Indica cannabis leaf side-by-side:


image via boards.cannabis.com

Image of a Sativa and Indica cannabis plant side-by-side (Sativa plant on the left, Indica plant in the middle, the mostly benign Ruderalis on the left):


cannabis varieties

image via mmj-guide.com

You can see in the photos above Sativa plants tend to be significantly large while Indica plants are shorter and wider.

Indicas are very effective for overall pain relief and is often used to treat insomnia for many people. Indica buds are most commonly smoked by medical marijuana patients in the late evening or even right before bed due to how sleepy and tired you become when high from an indica strain of marijuana, like Kush.

Benefits of Indica:
1. Relieves body pain
2. Relaxes muscles
3. Relieves spasms, reduces seizures
4. Relieves headaches and migraines
5. Relieves anxiety or stress

Sativa dominant marijuana strains tend to have a more grassy type odor to the buds providing an uplifting, energetic and “cerebral” high that is best suited for daytime smoking. A sativa high is one filled with creativity and energy as being high on sativa can spark new ideas and creations. Many artists take advantage of the creative powers of cannabis sativa (marijuana) to create paintings.

Benefits of Sativa:
1. Feelings of well-being and at-ease
2. Up-lifting and cerebral thoughts
3. Stimulates and energizes
4. Increases focus and creativity
5. Fights depression

The most popular Indica strains currently include Kush, Northern Lights and White Widow, and popular sativa strains include Purple Haze, and Mauwie Wauwie.

About Jay Smoker

I have been smoking marijuana for almost twenty years and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. My life was turned upside down in 2009 after getting arrested and tossed in jail for being in the wrong state with legal medical marijuana. I got fed up, and I now devote all my time to ending this insanity.I am responsible for the technical side of this project, but try to chip in when I can, either with syndicated articles or original content.Follow me on Facebook and Twitter.Feel free to email. any questions or concerns. Peace!
Dissenting opinions are welcome, insults and personal attacks are discouraged and hate speech will not be tolerated. Spammers and people trying to buy or sell cannabis or any drugs will be banned. Read our comment policy and FAQ for more information
  • Breezy

    does anyone know what this is? I was told it’s ice city diesel

    • Breezy

      I am sorry but I am having troubles loading my picture….

      • me

        Looks like trouble focusing more than anything.

    • alexa

      God bud

    • nurseflirt52

      holy guacamole-no- that’s not the name But DAMNED pretty plants I bet they smell great, too.

  • Tyler Lajoie

    thx foolz im outty

  • Singha

    This is growing amongst wild growth on a vacant piece of land next to my house. Is it Indica or Sativa? Secondly, how am I supposed to harvest/use it?

    • Teslar

      I’m thinking its indica, I’m no expert by any means but if it stays low and thickens wide then yes but if it grows tall and a bit wider then I would think it’s sativa. It still looks young, but if it grows a bit taller and spindly then it could also be ruderalis which is pretty much benign. Keep checking the images above as it grows. That’s you best bet in my opinion. Hope that helps.

    • Cece

      See pictures above and count the leave’s lobes. Looks like indica has 5 and sativa 7. Not sure it’s always like this. Nice find :)

      • nurseflirt52

        I counted too, and noted

  • Thyme

    very quickly at an early age I acquired hepatitis C in my blood now at 65 years old I have cirrhosis of the liver it was just bothering me so badly the depression set in. I was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate which I had it taken care of. I have 3 Crushed discs in the left side of my rear lower back. Marijuana is the only thing that I have found to alleviate the pain and relax me to be in a good place. To sleep good at night & eat good during the day marijuana is a must in my life. I have a medical marijuana card, but it is from Michigan and now I live in Florida. I have to hide in the bushes to take my medicine. Something has to be done! I hope it passes on the ballot I know I will vote YES on the marijuana law to Florida

    • julie

      i been on differant planet past 30yrs just moved back to cali got my med card the easiest thing i got done since moved back to ca in january, i put my life and happiness on hold to help my 88yr old darlin moma. i have chronic pain disabled 20+ yr on morphine and other opiate pain med just as long. thank god for med marij here cuz u know the more u do the more u need, constant battle(nitemare) unless u know pain u know how u just rather be dead. this medical stuff is like ray of light in a very dark tunnel, my body is my own personal torture chamber of hell. i want to live now, imagine that dont matter how lazy i get, it not but 6months ago i begged GOD for the peace of death. i came to help my old moma, ended up getting way more help for myself with hope of med maij.thank god he put every herb on earth 4 us to use, if others dont like it let em stay on their own side of the table

      • San

        what strain do you use for your back pain and feeling good??

    • nurseflirt52

      I live in VA and they FINALLY just ok’d it for research in the agricultural sense. Rep Hurt told me he believes in it for NOTHING (I need it for MS symptoms) as a former prosecutor. The farmers must have pushed him and he had to give in. I am also looking at the benefits of hemp seeds and oil. Why is it any different than the seeds that grow sativa hemp for fiber? I am planning to plant LEGAL edible seeds and see what grows and hope I get arrested to make my point.I have a right to wellness as long as I am hurting no one. I do not drive. I am 63 and know more about it than these young congressman do.

  • Kenneth

    I have 8 plants I’m a newbie can I get help they r still baby’s

    • Wally Moss

      How are they doing

  • Eyes Wide Open

    Thanks so much Jay! I’ve been smoking for years, but never paid much attention to what I smoked. I always knew bought from people who sold good stuff, but never knew why one kind made me tired and another got my creative juices flowing. You’ve changed the way and what I smoke forever.

  • eric barnett

    yeah ive been growing for some time now and a few months ago i got some seeds from a guy he claimed they were lemon haze or super lemon haze seeds, spoke to him a couple weeks ago and he said they were randomly given to him and he wasnt sure what they were now i have a huge fully vegged early flower mystery plant its a sativa has big colas with fat super bright white/yellow hairs and the sugar leaves get a nice white coat over them anyone know what it may be ive done some research but cant find any strains like this

    • shane searle

      yes i have read about this.seeds picked out of African brick weed and grown with love and not manhandled into a brick vice can be very special indeed,
      While reading the cannibible the auther describes your exactsituation,
      The resulting plant had effects this world traveling conosuir had never experienced,
      It made him brave.like ananxiolytic ,basically the oposite of paranoia,
      The holy grale for people whosuffer anxiety.
      I would very much like to swap genetics with you,seed or pollen,

      Recently i have beensearching for the relatives to this plant,and got some killermanjaro,which the locals call lion killer due to the bravery it is said to give

      please try to keep hold of these genetics,its the peoples medicine,and thiscocktail of canibonols is very important medicaly.

      • Kurt Fridenberger

        If that’s the case, you got a couple seeds left over? I’ve got some fucking killer anxiety I’m trying to ditch. Hook me up dude!!

      • nurseflirt52

        I am a handicapped former nurse with MS for 28 years. Just started smoking 3 years ago and the relief it has brought me is fantastic. I honestly believe it repairs important components in the nervous system. Research on!!

        • Hady Nassar

          Your the best

        • JocelynsBellinis

          Glad it helped!

  • pissed off american

    wine + weed (sativa) = good times

  • pissed off american

    wine + weed (sativa) = good times

  • Bobby

    What kind of plants have 12 to 14 leaves or fingers on each leaf.????Anyone ever seen such a plant ???

  • Pat

    Hi, I live in Melbourne. Does anyone know how to get some good quality Purple Haze here?

    • Greg Mercante

      no,but im looking at a site now in Amsterdam called ams .If you find some good seed please let me know too.Sativa and indigo 55 -50 would be a good balance Im in the west

    • Hady Nassar

      Go to tizi

      • Pat

        what do you mean?

  • George Sweeney

    Has the difference, chemically, been found between indica and sativa that causes the sleepy vs. uplifting high?

    • Adam Coston

      Ill tell.u i hate sativas just.because of the annoying high i like the high gravity indica lol

  • Mark Mendoza

    My names mark (15) my mother age (46) was diagnosed with parkinsons 13 years ago…they have gave her many prescribed medication such as xanax,levodopa cardidopha, morphine we just dont know what to do her symptoms vary from ankle sweeting,drolling,shaking, rarely sleeps, cant swallow uses the restroom to much, anxiety,depression also she had a neck surgery due to a car accident in october of 2014 i have gave her marijuana however it wasnt medically and she reacted not very well i looked into it and i read that theres different strains that are known as sativa and indica however i dont know exactly what strain she got..but i just wanted to know could marijuana help she cant smoke it but ive heard they have had oils and butter and editables..

    • Hady Nassar

      Put it in tea and boil it ley her drink the water

    • James Cole

      Don’t make tea. Weed needs to be infused with an oil (butter is pretty standard) for it to be digestable. A certain amount will be digested with tea but maybe 5 or 10%. It is cheap because its made from leaf. I generally couch lock people from .85 gms of crap. Post a reply if you want me to post the recipe.

    • JocelynsBellinis

      Put it brownies or cookies, or make a small batch of spaghetti sauce. Saute it with the onions and garlic, but don’t make too big of a batch, unless you use a huge amount of weed.

    • San

      You are asking those who know, what strain to use for your mum, right? I am not sure but others should know that and answer you. To make brownies etc first you need to make some cannabis oil which is not easy. Make a tea might work though as long as it steeps for a long time and then reheat after a few hours of steeping etc.

  • Johnny El-agha

    Hi guys I stopped smoking a year back because I keep having bad panic attacks but prior to that I had smoked for 4 years any advice?

    • Rowdyronnie

      Smoke more

      • Sue McCormick


    • Amy

      Smoke only Indica buds. I had the same issue a couple yrs ago. Smoked for 30 yrs then all of the sudden, my heart races and I would feel scared, something very wrong. Even went to Hospital. Now I make sure only Idica, and all is well. I hate Big Pharma’s answer for pain.

      • Adam Coston

        Well when all 52 go legal it will be the same game and i dont want that id rather produce so i know people will be getting quality not someone great science project

      • Johnny El-agha

        i actually walked my self into a hospital thinking i was having a heart attack… so werid but yea i know what you mean

    • James Cole

      Both previous answers are true but I will elaborate a bit. Smoke more.. get used to it so anxiety isn’t such an issue. Smoke Indica.. the higher CBD levels give a more body stone. Supposedly thc matures into cbd on the plant, ie the longer you leave the bud on the plant, the less headstone/ more bodystone. So if you leave your sativa buds on for longer, they will ‘mellow’ more when smoked and if you pull your indica early, they will ‘bounce’ more when smoked. Hope this helps.
      Smoke Sativa when you want to paint a picture, and Indica when you want to stare at it☺

      • Bobby L Mcknight

        Thanks James that was super informative and to all who made interesting points with pain. I have full on Fibromyalgia. .chronic pain..and don’t wanna take Cymbalta any longer as l am at 160 Mls..lm weening my self off slowly and smoking lndica..just started smoking in the last 4 months..have never really been a die hard..just here n there l would take a hoot..but l really like the taste and what is does for my pain and such a sweet body buzz..l need to now find a medical mj physician..in Victoria, Bc

      • Tony o

        This needs a an award amen

    • James Cole

      Also, try edibles. I don’t care what anybody says, cooking is an artform and well worth your learning. Totally a body stone and works really well with a couple of drinks and a bong to kick it in. The bong won’t kick in anxiety, just initiate your body stone. Try .85gm cooked properly, 4 beers and then a bong. You’ll be fine.

      • Johnny El-agha

        ahah! iv actually never tried edibles… will have to get on it!

      • roundthings

        Try Sensi-Chews, they work very well. I prefer the hybrid, only thing I don’t like is that it has corn syrup in it

    • Jeremy

      smoke indica, not sativa. sativa is what induces your panic attacks due that it causes anxiety in people who are prone to it. Indica is the opposite, it reduces your anxiety(calms you down), which will effectively reduce your chance of having panic attacks. But watch out because indica can and will make you tired so dont smoke or eat indica before doing anything productive.

      • Adam Coston

        Its like high gravity training makes me feel godly smoking Indica dabs then doing some work im in construction so it eases pain while i work allows me 220% of myself even on days when nothing was possible due to lack of sleep or back pain no matter what it alleviates exhaustion

    • SillyAnna

      I have anxiety as well with full blown panic attacks that present like seizures. I have managed by pushing through it by reminding myself that the panic is just an illusion and I take a moment to deep breathe through it with some ujjayi breathing. I also find it helps to set myself up with whatever task I need to get done beforehand so I don’t spin in circles like a whirling dervish. I love the sativa’s because I am so much more productive with my days with it than without. I find it’s worth a little panic now and then. The panic is stronger when you have had time away from smoking, I find it settles with regular use.

      • SillyAnna

        So I also only smoke alone or with only my closest people. That also helps. It’s not an out and about thing for me. Indica puts me into a vegetative state and then I fall asleep – not worth bothering with. I would rather use melatonin when I am having trouble sleeping.

        • Johnny El-agha

          thanks for the feed back sillyanna feels good to know im not alone ! lol

    • Bryan Orr

      Marijuana causes your arteries to dilate which in turn lowers your blood pressure. Your heart will beat faster which in turn has a negative reaction on those who suffer from panic attacks. Stick with the indicas and start slowly. Your body will gradually adjust.

      • Johnny El-agha

        im from Australia and can only ever get my hands on whatever my dealer has.. witch is a 2 hour drive away … how can you tell the difference btw?

      • Ronald Holt


    • Ronald Holt

      im not an expert, but to that, i had the same thing happen . i just started back smoking and dont have those anymore. bye the way,if it helps, im 50 this yr

      • Ronald Holt

        wow, what the f did i say….lol, i will say no more….nite to you all

  • Krista Campbell

    I’ve been a medical mj advocate ever since my cancer drugs caused so much pain (breast cancer 2012, thyroid cancer 2013). Between 2 different cancers drugs, I now have osteoporosis besides my arthritis. I’m a very active 62 year old who doesn’t want to get high, I just want to be out of pain without damaging my body (i.e. stomach, liver, kidney’s) from side effects of what pharma has to offer, then warranting MORE drugs to purchase. It sucks that a law abiding citizen of Florida has to illegally grow her own plant fo medicate for relief.

    • Sue McCormick

      Move to Colorado! All are welcome here!

  • Ishmael Yaaw D.

    High guys, I really need high grade weed to smoke, because where I am there is no high grade over high.

  • Dis

    Hi another year and the weather has been kind to us .let me know what you think

  • Dis

    Another view with a bloom

  • Dis

    Some photos in natures colour. GREEN this photo taken a while back

  • Dis

    My indoor friend

    • http://1111111.com/ LifeInTheVividDream

      that shade of green, my god…..

  • Bud

    What weed do I have

  • Dis
  • novadude

    Jimi’s fav, purple hz

  • Janice

    I want to .start juicing weed and taking it as a supplement, I am so confused as to which one to start with. I am going to make my own oil too. Can anyone suggest a good one to start with.

  • albert

    THC is bound to cereberal/energetic/creative high as far as i know . how comes some INDICA strains contains high level of thc (arround 20%) given this major type is bound for cauchlock effect ? can someone help me make order in my knowledge ?

    • CLouDS

      CBD is bound to cerebral/energetic/creative high. THC is bound to relaxing/couch lock. Sativa is more CBD to THC, while Indica is more THC to CBD. I believe there are quite a few hybrid stains now a days that have almost an equal amount of both THC and CBD.

      • smogo

        Nope, you’ve got it completely wrong. CBD doesn’t give off a high, it’s NOT psychoactive. Sativa’s have a higher THC to CBD ratio, so there is less CBD in Sativa. Indica has higher CBD. CBD has relaxing properties, as well as anti anxiety effects. It can actually reduce the effects of THC (paranoia etc.) You’re obviously a cannabis novice.

  • BeautifulOracleGoddessofBlack

    ORANGE KUSH helps my anxiety & slight paranoia

  • Peanutt

    I don’t like to be high but I need to get off all the pain meds I am taking. I still need to work doing accounting work during the day. What do you suggest is the best

  • Dylan Jacobson

    Vaping a hybrid 60/40, indie/sativa oil, prescribed for ptsd.
    Excellent strain, “Girl scout cookies”. Oil is 62% THC , 42% cbd .
    Very excellent!

    • Ronald Holt

      how did you do the math!… 62% + 42% = 104%…..LOL., just saying