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Ever wonder what’s the difference between indica and sativa? Below we will cover exactly what those differences are, and what that means for you.

Weed comes from cannabis plants, which can be divided into the following categories: sativa and indica. The two variants differ greatly, and can also be combined to form hybrid strains.

Tall and Thin Sativa

Cannabis sativa plants are distinguishable through their long, narrow leaves and tall characteristics. According to Krymon deCesare, chief research director at Steep Hill Halent Lab, sativa variants differ from indicas because they were developed in contrasting environments. The thin stems of sativa plants allow them to manage air more efficiently in humid, outdoor conditions. Pure sativas are prevalent in dense lowlands and river valleys- mostly in countries near the equator. These days, such origins are not firmly emphasized, since most flowers available in legal retail shops and medical dispensaries come from growing houses.

Sativa-based herbs generate energetic, uplifting effects, which is perfect for daytime sessions. From a medicinal perspective, sativa-dominant buds, such as Purple Haze and Mauwie Wauwie, are effective against depression and PTSD. At full maturity, the herbal plant can reach up to 20 feet in height.

“Sativas can increase in height very rapidly once flowering begins and will often continue to gain height throughout their blooming phase. It is normal for sativas to gain 200-300% (or even more) of their vegetative height while flowering,” said Sensi Seeds.

Thick and Short Indica

Cannabis indica flowers are generally short and stocky, making them highly suitable for indoor growing operations (where space is an issue). The plants reach an average maximum height of three to four feet, with an average flowering time of eight to 12 weeks. Indica variants are common in central Asia, Morocco and the Himalayas. The thick, short stems of the plants allow it to take refuge under tall trees in scorching, dry environments. With a shorter growing season, compared to sativas, a robust indica plant can yield roughly two ounces of bud per cycle.

Indicas are widely known for their heavy, deep highs. The organic compound (terpene) responsible for the sedative effects of this type of cannabis plant is myrcene. “We found consistently elevated levels of the terpenoid myrcene in C. indica, as compared to C. sativa,” explained deCesare. “Myrcene is the major ingredient responsible for ‘flipping’ the normal energetic effect of THC into a couch lock effect.”

The herb’s medicinal properties suggest that it is effective against stress, headaches and chronic pain. Most patients who are exclusively drawn to indica-based medicines take it to counter the effects of insomnia. Popular indica strains include Northern Lights and OG Kush.

Shango is an Oregon-based premium cannabis producer, distributor and seller. The company’s products include specialty buds, potent edibles, rubs and cartridges. The brand also offers its own in-house selection of Shango Flower strains. For more information about Shango and their products, check out their website.

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