Sativa or Indica: Knowing the difference

And knowing why it isn’t as simple as either or…

Our goal at Great Lakes Natural Remedies is to ensure all current and future customers are not only educated about our products but about the entire cannabis experience. Here, we have outlined essential information about Sativa and Indica strains so you can learn about the differences. We believe you should have that knowledge prior to making a cannabis purchase. We have also outlined additional cannabis information, so please explore!


What is the common difference?

Indica and Sativa are the two main species of cannabis, and although they tend to have specific tendencies, they do not always follow suit. Here’s how to tell them apart:

Cannabis is one of the oldest crops known to mankind, with records of its cultivation dating back thousands of years, in ancient China, Greece, Rome, and Egypt.

Today, it is widely accepted that cannabis has two different species: Cannabis indica and Cannabis Sativa. Cross-breeding of the two types has led to a wide variety of hybrid strains each with incredibly unique characteristics.


Taking it to the next level

This is where cannabis knowledge ends for most people, however, at Great Lakes Natural Remedies we think you deserve to know more because it is not simply the species that provides the desired effect, but it is, in fact, deeper within the plant that we find the true magic. Within any particular strain, there are a number of factors that contribute to the quality of the experience.


The Great Debate

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 or Sativa is by appearance, or what scientists refer to as morphology.

Mor·phol·o·gy /môrˈfäləjē/
the study of the forms of things.

BIOLOGY the branch of biology that deals with the form of living organisms, and with relationships between their structures.

LINGUISTICS the study of the forms of words.


The Morphology of Sativa

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.


The Morphology of Indica

Indica plants are short, densely branched and have wider leaves. They are better suited for growing indoors.


But, what about the fabled effects?

Besides appearance, Indica and Sativa plants are commonly believed to have different effects on their user. These effects include but are not absolute to each type:

Cannabis Sativa: Stimulating, Uplifting, Energetic, Cerebral head buzz, Spacey or hallucinogenic feeling, Best suited for day use.

Cannabis Indica: Sedating, Relaxing, Calming, Body buzz, Couch-lock feeling, Best suited for night use.


We don’t stop at Morphology! Because Terpenes are the key!

This knowledge is held to be the holy grail of cannabis knowledge among the majority of cannabis consumers, however, as we stated above the true power of cannabis and the difference between strains lies within the different terpenes. For more information head to our Terpene Page.