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Sativa vs Indica

Crescendo Sativa

If you searched “indica” in Google just a handful of years ago you may have been asked alongside your results, “Did you mean indigo?”

But the world has become a more flavorful place with the growing acceptance of marijuana. And this means many of us are now finally in a position to ask ourselves, “Sativa or Indica?”

Let’s start with the basics:

Sativa and indica are the two species of Cannabis. If you’re just shopping casually for a bit of recreational bud, you’re probably safe to assume Sativas will give you a head-high, while Indica’s will give you a body high.

But for the more discerning cannabis consumer, the differences are far more nuanced. Many strains are technically more Hybrid than Sativa or Indica, falling somewhere between the two indicators: 60% Indica, for example. Some Indica strains will give you a cerebral buzz, while some Sativas will leave you couch-locked.

Before we go any further, let’s pause just a moment to look at the history of the Sativa vs Indica debate, as it continues to influence how many dispensaries label their weed.

Defining the Difference Between Sativa vs Indica

In 1785, French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck noted that certain marijuana plants out of India (Cannabis indica) carried an intoxicating effect – unlike the traditional hemp of the time (Cannabis sativa). More recently, as scientists began studying the genetic structure of sativa vs indica, they noted a higher THC to CBD ratio in indicas, and a higher CBD to THC in sativas.

As you may already know, however, that distinction no longer holds up. Sativas, indicas and hybrids are all available today with a wide range of THC to CBD ratios to produce different effects within the user. And the bud you find in your local recreational marijuana dispensary are almost certainly grown from the cannabis plant, not hemp.

So what gives?

Scientists now believe it may be the terpenoids (or terpenes) that give each species their distinct high, as well as their aroma and flavor profile. And it’s this difference in effect that has stuck in the minds of cannabis consumers.

The Mind & Body Effects of Sativas & Indicas

Sativa Arriba!” If you are looking for a strain you can smoke during the day while maintaining your energy and productivity, you’re most likely going to end up smoking a Sativa. The uplifting and often energetic effect can reduce stress and increase feelings of well-being without leaving you tired or couch-locked.

A sativa joint before a beautiful evening hike or a hit of Lemon Diesel CO2 from your vape pen before a workout can help you take the edge off without slowing you down.

Shop our selection of sativa flower and concentrates.

Indica in-da-couch!” Indicas, on the other hand, are typically felt more in the body and generally recommended for evening use. If you want something that will slow you down and/or glue you to your couch or bed, find a strong indica with a deep body high. A large hit or dose can leave you feeling heavy and “melted” to your chair, making indicas the preferred marijuana of Netflix marathoners and nighttime smokers.

Hybrids are strains bred to include some of the benefits from both sativas and indicas. Their effects may lean more heavily in one direction or the other. Your budtender will be able to inform you if a hybrid is sativa or indica-dominant and what kind of high you can expect.

In the end, deciding whether sativa, indica, or a hybrid strain is right for you (and in what strength/dose) largely depends on when you’ll be smoking and what you want to accomplish when you are done.

Browse our wide selection of cannabis flower, concentrates and edibles to plan your next trip or pre-order online. And stop by our location in north Boulder to speak with one of our award-winning budtenders for help finding the right strain.

Karing Kind is just off of US-36, just north of Broadway, open daily from 9:00am to 10:00pm.

While we carry a variety of marijuana edibles and infused products, our inventory and stock levels fluctuate from week to week. Check our menu and follow us on Instagram and Twitter for an up-to-date list of edibles, concentrates and buds available now.

Additional Resources:

    1. Indica vs Sativa: Understanding the Differences – Leaf Science
    2.  Understanding the Effects of Indica vs Sativa – High Times