What's The Difference Between Indica And Sativa Marijuana?

Monday, Nov 21, 2016

You’ve heard the basics from your stoner buddy or your local budtender, depending on whether you’re one of the lucky ones who live where you can shop for marijuana legally.

“Indica means ‘in-da-couch’, man; it’s gonna give you a heavy body high,” she might tell you, “Sativas are more uplifting and heady.”

If there ’ s anybody who knows the intricacies of horticulture and organic chemistry, it ’ s the pretty budtender at your local pot shop working toward her undergrad communications degree. (Image: Willamette Week)

That’s a gross generalization, though. It’s kind of like saying that sports cars go fast and electric cars save gas. It’s true enough in general, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find a fuel-efficient sports car or a fast electric car. Other details matter.

Indica strains evolved in the hot, dry conditions. Strains like Afghani or Hindu Kush grew short and bushy with wide leaves to better handle low moisture and hot temperatures.

Sativa strains evolved in wetter, cooler conditions. Strains like Panama Red or Thai grew tall and lanky with thin leaves to better respirate in the high humidity.

These kinds of pure indica or sativa strains are called landrace and are very rare to find these days, though. You’re much more likely to find hybrid strains that are cross-bred from indicas and sativas.

Oh, great, now here comes all the math and science … (Sawler J, Stout JM, Gardner KM, Hudson D, Vidmar J, Butler L, et al. (2015) The Genetic Structure of Marijuana and Hemp. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0133292. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133292) This Entourage Effect, however, is powered by alcohol, cocaine, and celebrity. (Image: HBO) Cannabis terpenes (Source: www.alchimiaweb.com ) “ No, I ’ m sorry, I cannot assign ALL of you to the Cannabis Sampling Taxonomy project! ” (Copyright: wavebreakmediamicro / 123RF Stock Photo )