The Difference Between Indica and Sativa — CannaVine

If you’ve spent any time in cannabis culture, you’ve likely heard the terms “indica” and “sativa.” These are the two primary types of cannabis that carry THC, and they can produce very different effects.

Here’s what you need to know about indica vs sativa, why it’s important to also pay attention to terpenes, and where to get great recommendations for cannabis products in Massachusetts.

Indica 101

What It Looks Like

●      Indica plants are typically squat and bushy

●      Leaves are wide and broad

●      Buds are short, fat, and chunky

●      Typically dark green in color

What It Does

●      Indica traditionally has more relaxing effect than Sativa

●      Is responsible for the “body high” of cannabis; pure Indica strains are likely to cause couch-lock but are excellent for pain relief

●      Ideal for insomnia and anxiety

●      Many patients using medical cannabis in Massachusetts choose Indica strains or hybrids to help with myriad of health conditions

Sativa 101

What It Looks Like

●      Plants tend to grow tall and may look lean instead of bushy with leaves

●      Leaves appear to be long, thin, and “finger-like”

●      Sativa is usually light green in color

●      Buds are often longer and skinnier, but with more thread-like hairs

What It Does

●      Sativa has a more energizing effect than IndicA

●      Is responsible for the cerebral “head high” that comes with some cannabis strains; a good sativa should feel heavy behind the eyes

●      May cause panic and anxiety in new users or when consumed in excess

●      Ideal for daytime use

Hybrids 101

●      Are the result of an Indica and Sativa strain being bred together

●      Some hybrid strains may be an even blend between the two types of cannabis, while others may be Indica or Sativa dominant

●      Tend to create an even balance between the two types of body and head highs

●      Plants have a wide variety of appearances depending on their lineage

●      Ideal for individuals who prefer not to experience extremes of either type of high

Don’t Forget About Terpenes

Many people visit their Massachusetts dispensary asking for a good Sativa or Indica recommendation without paying attention to terpenes. While understanding the basic type of cannabis you want to consume is great, terpenes like myrcene, pinene, linalool, and limonene all have additional individual effects on the user.

For example, an Indica may be great for sleep, but if it has a spicy pinene and limonene terp blend, you may find yourself more energized than relaxed. If your Sativa is linalool heavy, you may have some energizing effects, but those will be dampened by the relaxing nature of linalool, which is the same essential oil in lavender.

Buying Indica vs Sativa

Sorting through Indica vs. Sativa strains and then adding terpene profiles to the mix can make selecting the correct cannabis products for you a daunting task. Most dispensaries have knowledgeable budtenders who will inquire about your intended experience and provide recommendations on which cannabis products are likely to be a suitable fit for you.