Indica and sativa are the two main types of marijuana. Here’s how to distinguish them.


Cannabis is known as humanity’s oldest cultivated crops, dating back thousands of years ago.
Today it is widely accepted that marijuana is present in two different species: Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa. The intersection of these two types of marijuana led to a large variety of hybrid strains, with unique features.

A mention must be made to hemp, nomenclature indicating the male plant of Cannabis sativa. When we refer to marijuana, however, we consider the inflorescences of the female plant.

The differences between Indica and sativa remain a topic of enormous and open discussion, especially among scientists who study the plant. However, most of them agree on the fact that Indica and Sativa are two plants that stand out in various ways.

types of marijuana

Appearance of Marijuana Types

The most common way to distinguish cannabis from cannabis sativa is the appearance, or what scientists call morphology.
Sativa cannabis appears as a tall, vaguely branched plant with long narrow leaves. They are usually grown outdoors and can reach galactic heights (5 meters). Unbelievable. Real trees.
On the other hand, Indica’s marijuana plants are lower densely branched plant and have broader leaves. These plants are more suitable for indoor cultivation.


Effects of different types of Marijuana

In addition to having different aspects, Marijuana Indica and Marijuana Sativa are plants that have different effects depending on people, but generally have the following distinctions:

Marijuana Sativa

I.Invigorating and energetic. More awake and creative.
II.Cerebral, spatial, travel as if it were raining and hallucinogenic.
III.More suitable for day use

Marijuana Indica

I.Relaxing and calming. Sofa.
II.Flickering or tingling of certain parts of the body and extreme muscle relaxation.
III.More suitable for night use.

However, no scientific study has confirmed these differences. In fact, history suggests a much simpler difference between these two types of marijuana: Indica and Sativa.
The initial classification of Marijuana Indica was made by French biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1785.
Lamarck noted that traditional cannabis crops in Europe did not have any alterations to the mind due to their use, compared to some varieties found in India and from which it had been made hashish.
He then coined the term Cannabis Indica to distinguish Indian Marijuana from European Marijuana, currently known as Cannabis Sativa. Equally, Cannabis Indica was then recognized as a therapeutic by western medicine during the 1800s.

Genetic Differences between Types of Marijuana

Scientists who studied the differences between indica and sativa have created a series of genetic-based theories. A prevalent theory focuses on the genetic production of THC and CBD.
Plants that produce high levels of THC express genes that encode for the synthesis of the THCA enzyme. This enzyme converts CBG into THCA, which becomes THC when heated.
These plants are generally considered Sativa.
On the other hand, some plants express genes coding for the synthesis of CBDA enzyme. This enzyme converts CBG into CBDA, the forerunner of CBD. These plants are generally considered Indica.

Based on this explanation, Sativa’s marijuana presents much more THC than CBD, while Indica marijuana has higher levels of CBD.

The problem is that today, many strains produce variable amounts of both enzymes. Some researchers believe this is due to hybridization.
An alternative theory based on geographic origin has also been proposed.
Recent attempts to distinguish Marijuana Sativa from Marijuana Indica are based on genetic and geographical theories. There are also some lesser known species, such as Cannabis Ruderalis, which is typical of the regions of Eastern Europe, Mongolia and Russia. The latter is widely used to create Indica and Sativa hybrids, exploiting the resistance of Ruderalis.