He named it Cannabis indica. This species had adapted to its harsh growing environment in countries like Afghanistan, India, Turkey, and Morocco and developed unique characteristics distinguishing it from the previously known sativa.
If you want to read more about the origins of cannabis indica, check out our blog post.
Cannabis indica hails from Central Asia's rocky, environmentally hostile Hindu Kush Mountains. Visually, indica plants are short (roughly 3-4 feet high) and densely branched with broad leaves.
The buds are compact and dense because their blossoms tend to stick closer to nodes along the stem when they flower. As a result, indica buds look full and feel firm when touched.
Indica has a shorter flowering period, making it a popular choice for many experienced growers; indoor growers can have more annual cycles when growing, and outdoor growers can confidently cultivate in climates where fall quickly turns to winter.
The flowering period for indica strains is typically around eight weeks. Their cultivation conditions are easy to manage as well, both indoor and outdoor.
In general, indica-dominant strains produce a better body high and are better consumed (in legal territories) at night or at the end of a long day. Like any cannabis
While they may sound like complex botanical jargon, the terms ‘indica’ and ‘sativa’ are not particularly accurate scientifically and have become simple terms to categorize strain appearances and effects.
Most experienced cannabis connoisseurs will know what are considered to be the main differences – indicas are short, bushy plants with wide leaves, whilst cannabis sativa plants are essentially the opposite. Indica buds are dense and compact and produce a body high (the infamous couch lock effect), whilst sativa buds are airy, and give a more cerebral, energetic high. Whilst there is a certain amount of truth to this, research has increasingly shown that it’s far from being that simple.
Bear in mind that while these differences between indica and sativa are generally accepted in the cultivation community, there are exceptions to the rules with some strains.
As outlined above, indica varieties can normally be told apart from sativa’s by their short, bushy stature and broad leaves. Sativas on the other hand, tend to be far taller with noticeably thinner leaves. There are also differences to be found in the buds produced by each variety – indica buds are typically more compact than the fluffy, wispy flowers of sativas. As well as these physical differences, indicas vary from sativas in other, less obvious ways. Some of which are only apparent after their flowers have been consumed.
If you’ve consumed both 100% indica and 100% sativa varieties of cannabis, you’ll know that the different effects each can produce could hardly be more obvious. To oversimplify, indicas tend to have much more of an effect on the human body – they produce an intensely relaxing sensation and can cause users to become ‘couch-locked.’
This is no doubt where the lazy stoner stereotype originates. After all, we’ve all experienced what happens after a serious indica session and how difficult it can seem to make that short trip to the fridge to satisfy your munchies.
Conversely, sativas plants, which are less abundant, particularly in countries without a regulated market, are more likely to produce a feeling of euphoria in a user. The effects are widely referred to as a ‘head high’ in that they are more profoundly mental and cerebral than they are physical. Essentially, they are the polar opposite of indica’s couch lock. This is due to the individual species' cannabinoid and terpene profile.
The other main difference between the two varieties is also the reason why – in prohibitionist states at least – it is usually far more difficult to get your hands on a decent sativa. To put it bluntly (no pun intended), sativas take much longer to grow than indicas. They are also not so well suited to indoor growing, thanks to their size, and as a result, are not generally considered to be economically viable for cash-croppers and black market dealers.
Now that we’ve covered the main differences between indicas and sativas, it’s time to throw a spanner in the works. As you have probably figured out by now, in today’s world, it is becoming increasingly rare to come across a strain that is 100% indica or sativa. Most are what is known as a hybrid strain. What this means is that through the selective breeding of different strains from both varieties, growers have been able to pick and choose the traits and effects they want to be present in their new strain.
The utilization of selective breeding has led to the proliferation of hybrid strains, and for good reason. There are positives and benefits associated with both indica and sativa varieties – and these are different from individual to individual – and the ability to create strains that are almost tailor-made to each individual’s needs means that purely sativa or indica strains have become a lot less prevalent. Because of this, every hybrid strain will have unique effects and characteristics, but you can make a good guess as to what those will be by looking at the genetics of that particular strain and working backwards.
Right here! Seedsman has a massive selection of indica strains, both from Seedsman Seeds and other amazing cannabis seed banks. Use the selector tool to narrow down what type of indica you’re looking for and add to your basket. With international discreet delivery and free seeds with every order, you’ll not go wrong with Seedsman!