Both the terms (sativa vs indica) influence any cannabis related decision made by every consumer. If you are a newcomer or a moderator as far as cannabis culture is concerned, you would be confused while buying certain species of cannabis. You would ask yourself if you want to buy “body high” of indica, the “cerebral rush” of Sativa.
When you go buying weed from a dispensary, you would find every type of cannabis strain in there. Every cultivar or strain has a specific aroma, colour and effects. You won’t be sure how many times you have limited the scope of cannabis consumption by dividing every flower into one or two categories.
You can’t sider both Indica and Sativa terms totally irrelevant. These terms are mostly for the growers to categorize their plants according to the trait and chemical compounds of the plants. Let’s find out the origin of these terms, how we still are using these terms or if they are worth using or not.
Origin of sativa vs indica:
Both the terms Indica and Sativa are in cannabis culture since the 1700s. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist mentions the term cannabis Sativa to describe a psychoactive cannabis plant. Jean Baptiste who was a French biologist mentions the term cannabis Indica to describe different species when was observing the physical features of India’s cannabis plants 32 years later.
Dmitrji Janischewsky, a Russian botanist mentioned cannabis ruderallis as the third species in 1930. This mention was not due to the physical traits but due to the different traits in the flower cycle of the plant. But this term did not get much acceptance by the botanists.
In the 1970s, when American biologists Loran Anderson and Richard E. Schultes argued that there are three cannabis species: C. Sativa, C. indica, and C. ruderalis. Departing somewhat from Linnaeus and Lamarck, Anderson and Schultes characterized a distinction between plants based on their ratio of the cannabinoids THC and CBD. They observed a difference between cultivars high in THC with low CBD (C. Sativa), those with high THC and CBD (C. indica), and those with a high CBD to THC ratio (C. ruderalis).
you should keep in mind that all these three terms were for botanists and not for the pharmacologists. Botanists use these terms to classify plants.
How are These terms used now?
When introducing these terms were, people start using them to identify the plants of cannabis-based on the size and shapes of the leaves of the plants. Also, for the amount of fibre the plants are capable to produce. These terms are still in the same context. Cultivators can use these terms but consumers get confused because of these terms. The effects of Indica and Sativa plants in the 1700s probably aligned more closely with their physical classification than they do today.
The Differences between the two:
Indica plants are shorter in size with wide deep green leaves and thick stems. The flowering cycle of them is also shorter. A cold climate is best for them to grow properly. Sativa has a long flowering cycle when comparing to Indica. They grow better in a warm climate and the plants are taller with light green and short leaves. Because of the crossbreeding, we are unable to find pure Indica and Sativa. Each and every flower that reaches the consumer is a hybrid of some kind.
Sativa vs Indica-Effects:
The “Indica vs. Sativa” framework has drawn controversy, and for a good reason. As you research cultivars online, you may keep coming up against the same phrases to describe Sativas (“cerebral,” “heady,”, “uplifting”, “energizing”) and Indicas (“relaxing,” “sedating,” “full-bodied,” “couchlock,” “Stoney”). It’s still perfectly valid to describe effects as “Sativa-like” or “Indica-like”, as long as we remember that Sativa or Indica-like effects don’t necessarily coincide with a plant’s Sativa or Indica lineage.
Here come the hybrids. Hybrid cultivars are as famous as Indica and Sativa. This thing shows that the marketing of cannabis is getting real. Hybrids are basically the international crossbreeds of Indica and Sativa. These hybrids are produced to have special qualities and effects. A number of budtenders recommend hybrids to their special customers.
How do indica and sativa change your high?
One might think if both these terms are outdated now, then where does that leave us? What relevance do these terms have? What effects can these terms have on high? The answer to these questions is not that simple. Every strain of cannabis has it’s own effect on the human body. But it does not stop you making decisions when it comes to choosing the strain for yourself.
Every cannabinoid and terpene have specific effects on the human body. People talk too much about THC. However, THC is just one dominant compound of the cannabis plant. You can find strains with a high potency of THC in the market.
Terpenes are responsible for the aroma and flavour of the final cannabis product. They also are important when it comes to using marijuana for medical purposes.
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