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Indica vs Sativa: Understanding the Differences
There are two major types of Cannabis, Sativa and indica. Cannabis is one of the oldest plants known to man with records of cultivation dating back to civilisations thousands of years ago. The cross breeding of these two strains has yielded many varieties of hybrids with unique and divergent characteristics. Today marijuana, in general, is widely accepted as both a recreational and a medicinal plant across nations. In the United States, marijuana is legal in about 25 states and the District of Columbia. There are several differences between indica and sativa
Indica vs Sativa-Appearance
This is what scientists refer to as morphology. The indica and Sativa strains differ regarding their appearance and look. Sativa tends to be tall and loosely branched with long and characteristically narrow leaves. They are mostly planted outdoors and when well-tended they can reach a height of between 18 and 20 metres. Conversely, indica are short plants with densely branched and wider leaves. They mainly do well when tended indoors. This is one of the distinct difference between the two.
Indica vs Sativa-Their Effects
These two strains are thought to have two completely different effects on human beings. Sativa is known to be uplifting and energetic, and its best suited for day use. It’s also remarkably hallucinogenic. Meanwhile, indica is best suited for night use since it creates a body buzz as well as a relaxing and calming feeling. However, there hasn’t been a ground-breaking research that has ascertained the veracity of these differences. Indica was classified in 1785 while sattva was categorised in the 1800s.
Indica vs Sativa-Origin/Genetics
Cannabis stems that have high levels of THC are though to express genes that code the enzyme THCA synthase which converts CBG to THCA. These plants are thought to be indica. On the other hand, some plants are considered to express the code associated with the enzyme CBDA synthase. These enzyme CBDA converts CBG compound into CBDA which is the precursor for CBD. Such plants are thought to be sativa. In that case, Sativa plants are those with high CBD:THC ratios while indica plants are those with high THC:CBD ratios
Indica vs Sativa-Geography
The theory of classifying the two plants based on the ratios is fraught with challenges which are linked to hybridization. That’s because some sativa have high THC while some indicas do not. This has given way to the third idea that these strains can be differentiated by geography. In this theory, both strains are linked to a common cannabis plant which traces its origins to central Asia. This theory is plausible but still sketchy and under research. Scientists haven’t yet discovered at what point the two strains mutated leading to the different strains.
Most explanations rely on a combination of these two theories, both genetic and geographical. The existence of such unique strains as the cannabis ruderalis has opened up the theories to further scrutiny and research. Even then a lot remains unknown on the differences between these two major strains of marijuana.