9 Major Differences Between Indica and Sativa

9 Major Differences Between Indica and Sativa

Today, marijuana plants have a broad history regarding their breeding. Here is an overview of indica and Sativa strains as well as the third type known as a hybrid. This strain is a combination of Indica and Sativa plants.

The methods detailed below are not 100 percent foolproof in regard to determining these strains. Use these methods, and you should have a good indication of what strain you have. These distinctions are being kept as simple as possible . Feel free to comment additional information you may have.

1. The Plant’s Origin

Marijuana plants grow worldwide. Origins however, have been traced to certain geographic locations. Here are examples of various strains which are from specific regions.

Indica: Originates from the Hindu Kush area in the Middle East which includes Turkey, Morocco, and Afghanistan.

Sativa: Originates near the equator in Colombia, Mexico, Thailand, and Southeast Asia.

2. Shape of the Leaf

The easiest way to tell if the plant is an indica or a Sativa plant is by looking at the shape of its leaves. Hybrids exhibit either of the forms described below since these strains combine the two plants.

Indica: Broad-leaf shape
Sativa : Slender-leaf shape

3. Height of the Plant

Mature plants will give off the strain by their sheer size. Indicas tend to prefer growing in small spaces. Sativas grow outdoors and therefore can become quite large. A general idea of the various plant heights is given below:

Indica plants: 3-4 feet tall
Sativas: Up to 20 feet tall

4. Flowering Time

The time it takes each plant to flower is generally:

Indicas: 8 – 12 weeks
Sativas: 10 – 16 weeks

5. Yield of the Plant

Naturally, the size of the plant will play a role in how much can be harvested. Below, I provided the return size (erring on the high side) for each plant.

Indica plant: 1.5 to 2.5 ounces
Sativa plant: 3 ounces to 1 pound

6. Effect of the Strain

Plan your smoking sessions based on the following effects each plant provides.

Indica Provides a full-body experience:  relaxing and sedating. Use it to relax or rest.
Sativa Cerebral, energetic experience: Energy promotion. Use while exercising, going on adventures or focusing.


7. Symptom Relief

Each strain relieves specific symptoms like pain, nausea or a loss of appetite. Certain strains work to conquer these and other symptoms more efficiently.

Indica Fights insomnia
Sativa Beats fatigue and depression

8. Flavors

While plant breeding brings us many different flavors, these are the classics as produced by Indicas and Sativas:

Indica Sweet flavors like blueberry or strawberry
Sativa Earthy flavors reminiscent of pine

9. Names

Names are pretty much all over the place, but some strains are still conventionally named. Below you will see examples that tell you if you are getting an Indica or a Sativa. Names are very often made up, so be aware that this makes it hard to know when you have a legitimate strain.

Indica often called Kush
Sativa famous for being called “Haze.”

For example, I recommend reading “Green: A Field Guide to Marijuana.” This beautiful, coffee-table book is filled with information and gorgeous photographs. I do think it is an awesome read which you will find informative and enjoyable, too.