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Sativa Vs Indica – The Differences In The Strains

Indica Or Sativa – Which Is The Strain Of Choice?

Before we jump into the differences between these two strains let’s take a brief look a few other’s factors surrounding this illicit plant and its usage. The areas we are going to briefly touch on include:

  • What is cannabis?
  • Reason for using cannabis
  • Cannabis and the Law

What is Cannabis?

Cannabis comes from a plant called cannabis sativa and it grows wild in many of the more temperate and tropical climates, but it can be grown anywhere via the use of indoor hydroponics. The active part of the plant that causes the ‘high’ is delta-9 tetrahydro-cannabinol and is commonly referred to as THC. The degree of potency of the product varies greatly depending on which part of the plant is used and how it is prepared for use.

When it comes to an end product that can be used, either via smoking or adding to something edible such as cakes or cookies, there are three types.

  • Marijuana – This is made up of the dried leaves and flowers of the cannabis and tends to have the lowest level of potency of the three types.
  • Hashish – This is made from the resin, which is a secreted gum, and is usually formed into small blocks of blackish brown colour. It is stronger than marijuana but not as potent as hash oil.
  • Hash Oil – This is a thick oil that comes from the hashish resin and is the strongest version of cannabis.

The most commonly used version is hashish, which is also sometimes known as squidgy black as it can have a squashy texture if it has retained a higher level of hashish oil. Obviously the higher the oil content on hashish the stronger it will be. Some of the other names that it can be called include:

  • Grass, pot or dope.
  • Mary Jane, Hooch or Brew.
  • Weed, Hash or Reefers.
  • Joints, Cones or Ganga.

Many people use this drug for a variety of reason and the short and long term effects can include:

  • Feeling of well-being.
  • Becoming very talkative.
  • Loss of inhibition and co-ordination.
  • You may feel sleepy and have blood shot eyes.
  • You may suffer from paranoia or anxiety.
  • Increased appetite, also know as ‘getting the munchies’
  • With long term use there is a risk of respiratory disease if the product is smoked. However, vaping the flower on a dry herb vaporizer reduces the risk drastically.
  • It can have an adverse effect on memory and your ability to learn.

What is it used for?

In most cases the use is recreational, it is the ability to feel a sense of euphoria and peace within oneself. It can be used as a means to relax or as a way to cope if you are under great deal of stress or pressure. Although the above listing does state some unpleasant side effects there are enough good ones the balance it out. With that said there is evidence that suggests that those suffering with other serious illness actually benefit greatly from consuming cannabis. It has even been shown to be able to fight certain types of cancer. It is also useful when dealing with depression as it helps stabilise moods. It is able to help with the discomfort of glaucoma and has been proven that cannabis use can slow and possibility even halt Alzheimer’s disease. So although it is an illegal drug it is safer to use than alcohol as you are never going to find a chilled out person on weed wanting to start a fight in a local bar or club on a Saturday night.

Cannabis and the Law

In the UK cannabis is classed as a class B drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. The current law states the following:

Any adults (18 years and upwards) found in possession of cannabis could face the following, this in addition to possible arrest and confiscation of the drug.

  • The first offence usually warrants a cannabis warning. This is a written warning however it does not show up on PCN and is unlikely to come up during a DBS check.
  • If this is not your first offence then you are likely to be given a Penalty Notice for Disorder which carries a £90 on the spot fine that must be paid in 14 days to avoid going to court.
  • On the third occasion, you will defiantly be arrested and could possibly end up with a conviction and a criminal record.

Sativa Vs Indica

As already mentioned cannabis comes from the plant known as cannabis sativa but there is another option known as cannabis indica. They are both psychoactive plants that produce ‘highs’ but the effects from each plant and its varying method of consumption do differ.


The two plants can easily be told apart by their overall look, a sativa will have a scraggly look with thinner leaves and can easily grow up to 18 feet in height. The indica on the other hand hands to be a shorter and bushier with board full leaves. The sativa plant is native to the warm countries such as Mexica, Southeast Asia and Central America. These plants love the heat which is why anyone trying to grow them in a colder country will need to invest in heating and hydroponics to effectively grow this strain.

The effect of the sativa is similar to a strong cup of coffee, it will give you a boost and a happy buzz. This is why many people that use this drug opt for this strain as it has happy go lucky wellbeing buzz that so many people crave in this day and age. Of course, the type of cannabis being consumed, marijuana, hashish or hash oil will have an effect on how strongly you feel the effects. If you are a regular user you will probably not feel the buzz as readily as someone who only uses occasionally.

The pure strains of sativa include; Hawaiian, Thia and Panama Red.


As already mentioned the indica plant has boarder more dense leaves than the sativa and they are able to cope harsher growing climates, meaning they tend to do better in colder climates than the sativa. They are much shorter than the sativa but they do produce the best resin and therefore the best hash oil as well. This plant started life in the Kush mountain regions of Afgan-Pakistan border. Because the plant came from a mountain region where the climate could vary greatly depending on the season it developed a shorter, bushier appearance and is able to withstand the cold very well. This is also why it is such a great plant of resin as it developed a thicker cannabinoid dense resin to protect itself from the elements.

This plant is very potent and has naturally very high level of THC. It is said that is sativa is like a strong cup of coffee then indica is more like a sleeping pill. It is great for deep relaxation and for people who suffer with issues in getting to sleep as it has a strong sedative effect. Along with feeling deeply relaxed and sleepy the munchies will definitely strike when this plant is consumed. Unlike sativa that has a light and somewhat fruit fragrance the indica has a more skunk like smell which is not anywhere near as pleasant to be around.

These plants tend to grow between 3 to 6 feet in height and will produce a useable crop within as little as 9 weeks. This strain also has a deep purple colour to their stems, they have three pure strains which are; Afghani, Hindu Kush and Ketama.

These are the two original strains of cannabis, however there are many man made strains that have been cross-bred to produce very potent strains.

Ryan Hamilton

Ryan Hamilton

Im Ryan, a Medical Cannabis Activist & Blog Owner @ I started the blog as a medium to answer questions and grow the awareness of the herb. Along with the medicinal properties, cannabis can help grown the economy with its vast amount of taxable finances. Less violent properties than alcohol, cannabis legalisation is inevitable.

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