Did you know that cannabis is not just one plant, but several species that have different specific characteristics? These differences are not only related to the concentration of active substances but also visible things that can be seen, due to which the plants are far from the same.

The most common varieties we come across are Indica and Sativa. They have very similar characteristics, and those who do not understand much, may not easily recognize the different plants.

What are the basic differences?


In the beginning, we will look at the physical differences between the two plants. When we talk about cannabis Sativa, in fact, it is those stems that grow taller and are visually thinner. The leaves are also oblong and the color is light green. The stem can also be used.

Cannabis indica resembles a shrub or bush, does not grow tall, and the leaves are wider, more rounded, and dark green. The stem is woody and only the leaves are used most often.

These are characteristics according to botany, but in reality, there are many more endemic species, which have acquired unique characteristics according to the geographical climate or breeding conditions. Of course, they are often mixed species, which means that in order to get a pure preparation of Indica or Sativa, you must know the growers and sellers and really trust them.

According to experts, Sativa is used during the day, for stimulation, and the other at night, for relaxation and better sleep. This means that the first type can help you feel more energetic, less anxious, and depressed, but also help you focus on tasks during the day. Cannabis indica has a more sedative effect, soothes, and even helps reduce pain.

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Let’s go deeper into this topic


Many people think that the divisions of these plants make no sense because CBD is CBD no matter what plant it is made of. Others are completely confident in the sedative effects of Cannabis Indica.

The next contrast is the aroma they emit. Cannabis sativa has an aroma and taste that have a mild finish, which is pleasant, soft, and does not cause a feeling of scratching in the nose. On the other hand, Indica has an earthy taste and aroma, which for some users may be too intense.

We have already listed some of the general characteristics of both plants, but now let’s look at something more.

Cannabis Indica


In the largest percentage, this plant predominantly contains CBD and quite small amounts of THC. This means that it has no psychotropic effect, so it affects more:

  • Better sleep at night
  • Soothe acute pain
  • Restores appetite
  • Relaxes the muscles in the body
  • Relaxes the brain and nerves
  • Can be used against nausea
  • Increases the secretion of dopamine
  • Suitable for evening use or when you are not active
  • Psychotropic effects can be quite small

Cannabis Sativa


This type is dominated by THC, so it has the status of a light drug. CBD levels are quite low. Because of that:

  • Relieves anxiety
  • Soothes stress
  • Has an antidepressant effect
  • Has an easing effect on chronic pain
  • Makes you more creative
  • You feel more energetic

Hybrids between the two species are designed to balance THC and CBD levels in plants. Keep in mind that cannabis for medical purposes is usually grown in controlled conditions, so that the best quality oil can be extracted from the plant, without being contaminated with THC.

Hybrids are also achieved if you mix the seeds yourself and pollinate the flowers by hand, from one plant to another. Cannabis grown in this way has no medical value because at first it cannot be grown in large quantities, and then, no one can guarantee that each tree is the same as the other next to it.

Both contain cannabinoids


This group also contains THC and CBD, but also CBN, THCA, and CBG. Both Indica and Sativa contain all of these cannabinoids but in varying amounts. Each of them has its own purpose.

  • THC is a psychoactive substance that has a high effect.
  • CBD does not cause euphoria, but it does have health benefits.
  • CBN relieves the symptoms of epilepsy and seizures, but also muscle weakness.
  • THCA is similar to the THC molecule but has no psychotropic effect.
  • CBG reduces anxiety and PTSD, but also the symptoms of depression.

Cannabis indica is most commonly grown in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tibet. Sativa is commonly grown in Asia and Central and South America. As for the hybrids, they can be grown in different climates.

Cannabis is generally an adaptable plant and adapts quickly to conditions. Sometimes this results in a plant with unique characteristics, but such uncontrolled cultivation has no particular benefit for medicinal purposes.

Our final words

The botanical categorization of cannabis, in practice, has the most scientific meaning. In agriculture and organized farming, these things are impractical. If the plant is grown for recreational purposes, then the grower is responsible for the effects it will have, as well as the one who consumes it.

Control and hybrid cultivation refer to plants used to obtain CBD-based medicinal products used to treat a variety of conditions. To reduce it all to two types actually reduces the full potential of cannabis.

Therefore, although botany recognizes Sativa and Indica, true growers know how to make the most of the benefits of both strains and to obtain products that are intended for different categories of diseases and conditions.

With this, it can be said that in practice, two separate species do not exist and that hybrids are more common so that the benefits of each possible strain can be more easily extracted.