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Difference Between Sativa and Indica

Difference Between Sativa and Indica

There's a lot of misinformation about CBD. As a responsible CBD user, it's up to you to dig up the facts and stay educated.

One of the things you need to know about CBD is the plant from which it’s extracted from and the different types of cannabis plants that are available.

There are two main dominant types of cannabis plants. These are Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. At a glance, the differences between the two plants are minimal. A more in-depth look reveals a lot more, including which type makes better CBD.

Here are some of these differences and some of the impacts they have on the CBD you take from either type of cannabis plant.


Legally, there are no differences between Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa plants. Both of them are viewed the same and are both classified as Cannabis Sativa L.


The differences between the two plants start being evident during the growth stages of the two plants.

While the cannabis plant, in general, is able to adapt to a wide variety of environments, the Cannabis Sativa prefers warm environments with long seasons while the Indica variety prefers colder climates with shorter seasons.

It’s also noted that Sativa tends to have narrower and better-defined leaves while Indica has broad leaves. 

Typically, at maturity, the Sativa plant tends to be taller than the Indica plant. This is one of the easiest differences to spot between the two plants.

Once flowering begins, Indica rapidly gains height. The Indica plant can increase by up to 100% in height during the flowering period.

Because the Indica plant grows in the tropics where the days are short, the plant grows and flowers at the same time.

Sativas also grow rapidly once flowering sets in. They continue to gain height throughout the blooming phase. They can grow by as much as 300% or even more of their vegetative height while flowering. 

Origin and History

Considering the difference in climate preference and also the physical stature of both plants, it's evident that the two have different origins.

Cannabis Indica is from Central Asia. It originates from countries like Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet and Nepal. It’s also common in Northern India.

Cannabis Sativa is from the equatorial regions of Mexico, Jamaica, Thailand and Mexico. It’s also popular in Southern India.

Why not also read: The History of CBD

Flowering Time

Flowering time is a crucial factor to consider, particularly for those that plant cannabis on a commercial basis.

Of the two varieties. Indicas flower faster. The flowering time varies between 45 to 60 days compared to Sativas 60 to 90-day flowering period.

However, Cannabis Sativa doesn’t take as much time for vegetative growth. Because of the shorter vegetative growth period, it’s often noted that the flowering period lasts around the same time for both varieties.


After learning the basics of origin, and the physical appearance of both cannabis plants, you need to learn the effects that the CBD extracted from each type will affect you.

Each of the strains targets different receptors, and as such, the effects are different.

Cannabis Sativa targets the brain and produces what can be called a ‘head high.’ After using Sativa, the user can experience increased alertness and creativity with an uplifting and euphoric feel. Sativa is also ideal for boosting energy levels.

Indica, on the other hand, focuses on the rest of the body. Unlike Sativa, which has an alertness kick to it, Indica provides a more relaxed feeling, and it helps to improve sleeping and eating patterns. 

Given the unique effects of both varieties, it’s safe to say, Sativa is best taken during the day while Indica is best taken during the night.

Why not read our guide on 9 facts about CBD

CBD to THC Ratio

Some CBD users are incredibly jittery about the presence of the THC in the CBD products they are using. That's why it's essential to know which of the two strains significantly reduces the chances of THC contamination. 

It's important to note, however, CBD shops and companies take extra caution to avoid contamination of their products. But, it might help you sleep better, knowing which of the two strains have a higher CBD yield.

Typically, the Indica strain has a higher CBD to THC ratio. Sativa is the opposite but can also be engineered to produce more CBD.


One of the easiest ways to tell the two strains apart is by the aroma they produce. Indica has a musty, earthy and skunky odour while Sativa tends to have a fruity, spicy or sweet smell to it.


It is evident that each of the strains has its benefits. To achieve a wholesome experience, you have to wonder if there is a way that the benefits of the two plants can be brought into one plant.

This is where hybrids come in. These are unique strains that are cultivated from the parents of different strains to try and capture the benefits of both parents in one plant.

Hybrids are cross-bred to form a new strain with better efficacy and more benefits. Some hybrids have already been established, and there's more research going into more potential hybrids that could improve the quality and quantity of CBD yield while suppressing THC.

Final Thoughts

As a CBD user, it's vital to know as much as possible about CBD and the strains that it is extracted from. It may take time, but it will prove handy. Knowing the type of CBD, you're using, and the expected effects and experience will go a long way in helping you make the right choices.

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