Indica vs. Sativa: What You Need To Know

Indica vs. Sativa: What You Need To Know

With the wide range of strains available in the cannabis market, the average person will see a lot of labels. These labels might indicate the type of product, the dosage, or even give insight into what you can expect from the strain. Two prominent labels seen on marijuana products of all kinds are indica and sativa. If you have seen these labels, you might be wondering what they actually mean and how it can influence you as a user. To help you make more educated decisions, we wanted to break down these two types of marijuana and explain the real difference when it comes to indica vs. sativa.

Why Are There Different Kinds of Marijuana?

Marijuana strains come in many shapes and sizes because of how they are grown and tended. These changes can alter the marijuana and make it different from other strains, even if they look the same to the average user. There are different kinds because different people use marijuana for different purposes. Depending on the experience that you are looking for, one kind of marijuana will be more appropriate than another. Growers know this and take steps to create diversity in cannabis strains in order to accommodate the differing needs of those who want to use them.

Physical Traits of Indica

The differences in cannabis strains are not just about how they are grown. They are something that you can physically see if you know what to look for. In most cases, indica strains are known for being smaller and wider. These bushy leaves are more prominent than sativa strains in a lot of ways. Indica plants are known to grow to shorter heights than sativa plants in many cases as well. Most iconic drawings of marijuana are of indica strains and their wide leaves.

Physical Traits of Sativa

Sativa strains are generally much taller and more lean than indica plants. Their leaves are commonly very thin and exceptionally pointy, making them more difficult to spot or identify. It is common for these thin leaves to extend longer than the leaves on an indica plant, and the plants are also known to be larger in many cases. Though there are exceptions to every rule, long and somewhat scrawny leaves are a fairly good indicator of a sativa plant.

Indicas are known for their prominent medicinal value. In most cases, these strains are used for rest and recovery. They are known to help people relax, boost hunger, and can help with pain. Their more prominent effect, particularly when used in concentrated amounts, is their ability to act as a perfect sleep aid. Indicas are good for those who are looking to recover, or who have been struggling to sleep.

When you use an indica strain, you can feel it rather prominently. It is known for bringing a deep sense of calm that spreads throughout the entire body. The high that you will experience is something that will be felt throughout the body, which is what gives it such powerful relaxation effects. Rather than concentrating in your head, it will spread out, relaxing your muscles along the way. This effect can be mild at smaller doses, but at higher doses it can be very effective at putting you right to sleep.

What To Expect With A Sativa Strain

Sativas are a more versatile counterpart to indica strains. These are generally the kind of strains that you will want to use in motion. Unlike indicas, which relax you, sativas actually bring a prominent alertness. Many people use them to wake up their minds, particularly before taking on their day. While marijuana should never be used in high doses if you intend to head out for the day, sativas are ideal for time spent being productive at home.

In addition to being useful for productive use, they are effective for instances when you want to get high but don’t want to risk getting sleepy. Sativas are known to offer a vibrancy and sense of well-being that many people find to be a pleasant addition to their day. If you just want to feel good and have a good time, sativas act as effective mood boosters and can offer a little extra silliness if you use a larger amount.

With sativas, you can expect a fairly concentrated head high. While indicas seep through the body, stretching out across your muscles, sativas are primarily responsible for a mental shift. Since they bring a head high, people tend to feel their onset fairly quickly. For some, it can also appear to end faster than what you would expect with an indica.

Which One Should I Choose?

Choosing a strain is dependent upon the user and what they would like to see from the experience. If you are looking to relax at the end of the night or simply want an exceptional night of rest, an indica is likely a great choice. They are a popular nighttime type of strain and are known for the sense of calm and healing they can bring.

In most instances, sativas are a more prominent choice. They are perfect for getting chores done, working on creative projects, and socializing. Whether you are having a game night with friends or you just want to enjoy a little bit of bliss while you take the dog for a walk, sativas are a great choice for most daytime activities, particularly if you plan to be up for a while. When it comes down to indica vs. sativa, you will want to figure out what you are doing first.


Understanding the difference in strain types can help you to make a much better decision when purchasing cannabis products. The last thing that you want is to be sleepy when you are fixing up the house or wide awake and having a creative breakthrough when it is time for bed. At the end of the day, indicas and sativas are designed for use in different circumstances and should be used with intent. This will help you to have a much better experience every time you use them.

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