Indica vs Sativa: Everything You Need to know

Cannabis can be classified in different ways. There's hemp and marijuana, which distinguishes cannabis for its THC levels, and there's also Indica and Sativa, which determine cannabis for its application or effect on the consumer.


While both have medicinal value, knowing which one you need matters, especially when you're after a particular effect on your body. 
In a nutshell, Indica and Sativa have relatively contrasting effects, which is why it's important to know what you need for your application.


Indica Characteristics 

Indica is endemic to Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Turkey. These plants are known to survive the harsh Hindu Kush Mountain Range settings. These plants grow short with thicker foliage created by broad leaves. Indicas are known to grow faster and produce more buds than Sativas. Because of how they grow, Indicas benefit nicely from a  screen of green or sea of green grow setup.


Indica strains are often known to have higher amounts of CBD, although THC levels may vary. These strains are suitable for relaxing and can mitigate nausea and pain. Indica can also induce your appetite. Because of its relaxing effect, Indica strains are best used during nighttime. Popular species include the Hindu Kush, Northern Lights, and Granddaddy Purple.

If you want to grow Indica indoors, many options for grow tents are available since they grow low. But because they also go wide, you should also consider having a good LED grow light that has a wide light spread, such as something that goes up to 5 x 5 feet. Since Indica grows in the Hindu Kush Mountain Range, you may need to find a way to drop the temperatures to come close to the climate in this region. Options you can consider include integrating vents connected to the HVAC system. As Indica produces more buds, you should also ensure proper nutrients are available to maximize the harvest.


Sativa Characteristics

Sativa often grows in dry climates in regions known for long sunny days, such as Africa, Central America, Southeast Asia, and some parts of Western Asia. They're known to grow at least 12 feet in height and have thin finger-like leaves. Some popular Sativa include Lemon Haze, Green Crack, and Durban Poison.

Sativa usually has lower CBD content and higher THC. These strains help reduce anxiety attacks and stimulate productivity or creativity. Because of this effect, Sativa is best used during the daytime or in preparation for long work.

Growing Sativa indoors can be challenging, especially when recreating the dry climates in the area. But it’s a good way to master growing cannabis in a more controlled environment. If you plan on cultivating Sativa strains, you must ensure that you can simulate these climates by employing sufficient  ventilation, keeping track, and controlling  temperatures and  humidity. Since Sativa tend to grow tall, you should consider going for a grow tent with high headroom, such as those made by  Goliath. And because Sativas thrive in harsher conditions that can be hard to replicate, it's essential to have proper  nutrients to compensate. 


Breeding Hybrids 

Because Indica and Sativa are known for their respective effects, many growers try developing newer strains by mixing the two properties of Indica and Sativa. These are called hybrids.  Hybrids take on the physical characteristics of the parent plant. THC and CBD content vary, although hybrids are developed primarily to increase THC levels. The levels can be hit or miss here, so tools like the  Botanical Analyzers are necessary for any breeder. 

The overall effects of hybrids vary. They can work as a reliever for anxiety or stress from chemotherapy and radiation. And depending on the dominant effects of the hybrid, cannabis users can take them either day or night. Some hybrids may have dominant traits, making them either Sativa-dominant or Indica-dominant. The Pineapple Express, Trainwreck, and the Blue Dream are sought-after combinations.



Knowing your general type of strain will let you know how to use them. You might only feel pleased if you knew what the species are known for. You would not want to use Sativa when you're looking to get a good night's sleep. If you want to make Bulletproof CannaCoffee to start your day, you should look into Sativa strains to make the  cannabutter go with your caffeine dose. And for those wishing to make  tinctures or balms to help soothe pain after a physical workout or engaging in contact sports, look for Indica strains. To make these, you would need to  extract or infuse the concentrates in the oils and butter required for these products. 


Is Hemp Sativa or Indica? 

Since it was mentioned that Indica often has lower amounts of THC, does that make hemp Indica? Unfortunately, hemp cannot be counted as an Indica. Hemp is derived from Sativa strains and is cultivated with a controlled level of THC. As some state laws prescribe THC levels, growers develop and grow these strains to match existing regulations. If you are in a state that restricts THC levels, chances are growers are harvesting Sativas in your area.



Indica and Sativa can get you that high, but the difference matters with your goal in mind. While using the wrong type won't be a fatal mistake, consuming the wrong kind may affect your plans. You wouldn't want to have an Indica when trying to beat a deadline, nor do you want to use a Sativa to relax after a tiring day.  Growing them indoors has pros and cons, but luckily, there are  grow tent packages that provide growers with the must-haves to create a more controlled environment that will make your cannabis develop and flower for high yields.