Indica and sativa are the two main types of cannabis. Here’s how to tell them apart.
article by Tech
Today, it is widely accepted that marijuana has two different species: Cannabis indica and Cannabis sativa. Cross-breeding of the two types has led to a wide variety of hybrid strains with unique characteristics.
The differences between indica and sativa remain a subject of much debate, especially among scientists who study the plant. However, most agree that indica and sativa plants are distinct in a number of ways.
The most accepted way of distinguishing indica versus sativa is by appearance, or what scientists refer to as morphology.
Sativa plants are tall, loosely branched and have long, narrow leaves. They are usually grown outdoors and can reach heights of up to 20 feet.
Indica plants are short, densely branched and have wider leaves. They are better suited for growing indoors.
Besides appearance, indica and sativa plants are commonly believed to have different effects on their user. These effects include:
- uplifting and energetic
- cerebral, spacey or hallucinogenic
- best suited for day use
- relaxing and calming
- body buzz or ‘couch lock’
- best suited for night use
Scientists that have studied the differences between indica and sativa have come up with a number of theories based on genetics. One prevailing theory focuses on the genetic production of THC and CBD.
Plants that produce high levels of THC express genes that code for the enzyme THCA synthase. This enzyme converts CBG into THCA, which becomes THC when heated. These plants are typically considered indica.
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