Indica Sativa

Sativa vs. Indica Cannabis: What’s The Difference?

Do you know the difference between sativa and indica cannabis? When selecting your weed seeds or certain types of cannabis strains, you soon run into these two names. They’re often used in a single sentence. This is not a problem for experts familiar with cannabis specifics, but it can be confusing for normal people like you and me. Are you just getting to know the lingo of the cannabis world? Then the sativa and indica concepts may feel alien. Just for you, here’s a quick read on the similarities and the distinctions between sativa and indica weed.

great cannabis sativa indica seeds
Can you tell an indica from a sativa?


Crude Distinction

When comparing strains, always keep in mind that this is a crude distinction. The modern word of cannabis is so full of crossbreeds between indicas and sativas that pure strains of either type are very rare. Most strains have a mix of sativa and indica properties in their genetics; we call them hybrids. Therefore, you should use these characteristics as a broad guideline rather than a strict scientific divide.

What Are Sativa And Indica Plants?

Alright, so sativa and indica are both simply cannabis. But 60% indica / 40% sativa, 90% sativa / 10% indica – uhm, come again..? You’ll find these descriptions all over the Amsterdam Genetics seeds catalogue. The composition and the genetics ratio concern the type of plant that develops from the seeds. In the image below you can see an example of our Magic OG Kush, consisting of 60% indica and 40% sativa genetics.

Let’s use ice cream as a metaphor. There are countless types of ice cream, but how do you know what kind you like best without tasting? It helps, for example, if you know whether you like very sweet ice cream or a fresh and fruity flavour. The same applies to purchasing cannabis seeds. Do you want to get “stoned” or “high”? Depending on your preference, or the choice of the type of plant, one plant tends more towards “stoned” while the other plant will tend towards “high”. If you’re looking for a fast grower or and abundant bloom, the (sub)species offer differences, too.

Cannabis seeds indica dominant
Magic OG Kush: 60% indica; 40% sativa

Physical Distinctions Between Indica And Sativa: Leaves, Height & Flowering Time

The main difference between these variants can be seen in the plant itself. Indicas have a short, conical shape with broad leaves. An indica generally grows faster and often has a more impressive harvest than a sativa plant. Indica is naturally found in colder climates. Generally speaking, the end product of the indica plant usually has a relatively high CBD content relatively lower THC levels. Still, these are only very broad characterizations rather than strict scientific rules.

The sativa plant is taller, with spindly branches and narrow leaves. Compared to indicas, sativas often take longer to bloom. In contrast to indica, the end product of the sativa plant usually has a lower CBD content and more THC. Again, this is a very broad distinction. Geographically, the plant is more common in areas with long summers and a warmer climate.

weed plant leaf
This is an Indica leaf
This is a Sativa leaf. *Don’t mind the colour; we’ll explain how strains get purple here.

Difference In Effects: ‘Stoned’ Versus ‘High’?

Is it time to sink into your couch for an evening and not going anywhere soon? Then an indica strain seems the logical choice. Apart from all other aspects determining a strain’s effect, indicas generally produce a more ‘stoned’ effect. Think of a lazy, ‘dopy’ sensation, with more of a sedative than an energizing result. Indica strains are often used for an alleged calming effect on the body and mind. A lot of research is also taking place into the alleged medicinal sides of indica and the CBD it often contains. One of the effects of indica is that it can make you quite sleepy. That makes indica weed strains especially suited for evening use.

The sativa strain, on the other hand, is more suited for daytime use. Sativa has a stimulating effect and is mainly appreciated for its energizing capacity. The sativa traits of weed strains can boost your creativity and focus, and improve your mood. From a medical perspective, sativas are often used by people suffering from anxiety or depression. For recreational users, choosing a sativa-dominant cannabis strain is often a matter of taste, based on their intended effects.

So Which Kind Is Best?

Here too, the ice cream metaphor applies. Chocolate ice cream is not necessarily better than strawberry ice cream. Sativa is no better than indica; it’s just different. Most individuals simply prefer either kind. Perhaps you feel like a sativa one day, and prefer an indica the next. Today’s endless range of hybrid strains give you plenty of room to sample and experiment.

Best seeds
It’s all a matter of taste

The Best Taste? Your Taste!

Depending on your preference, you can look for a pronounced sativa strain or an indica-heavy plant. Or you can go for a mix of both, like the Magic OG Kush shown above. You may well discover a new taste that you never had before that’s right up your street. There is only one way to find out, because ultimately, the most important taste is your personal taste!

Find Out More About Indica And Sativa Strains

As we’ve said, the distinction between sativa and indica strains is very crude in this article. If you want to find out more about the many subtle differences between sativa, indica, and hybrid strains, check out this blog for much more interesting facts. If you’ve made your choice and simply want to start growing, check our various indica seeds or sativa seeds and taste for yourself!


TIP: Learn how to spot male or female cannabis plants here!