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Denver Weed Shop Gives You a Cannabis Cheat Sheet: Sativa Versus Indica

November 18, 2021

Weed enthusiasts in Denver and beyond are likely familiar with the terms Indica and Sativa. Although opinions vary, most people know about the supposed body high of an Indica strain and the cerebral rush of a Sativa strain. Further, there is a supposed varied effect with hybrids. If you go into a weed shop, you’ll find many different cannabis strains, and you’ll find them labeled with one of these three terms: Indica, Sativa, and hybrid. 

We’ve put together a guide to help you the next time you want to make a marijuana purchase so you can achieve your preferred results. 

The Origins of the Indica Versus Sativa Debate

These two terms have been part of the cannabis conversation since the mid-1700s. Carl Linnaeus, a Swedish botanist, labeled psychoactive cannabis plants like Cannabis sativa. Later on, in the late 1700s, French biologist Jean Baptiste Lamarck identified Cannabis indica as a different species.

Scientists are still making cannabis discoveries, arguing that Sativa and Indica subspecies may have predated human intervention. The takeaway? These terms were created for botany purposes—and not for their pharmacologic effects on the human body.

Growers use Indica, Sativa, and hybrid to categorize plants based on their growth characteristics and the resultant chemical profiles. Retailers may then market cannabis to consumers by organizing strains under these terms, so buyers should understand that these categorizations are rather misleading. The terms remain, however, because they still serve a purpose for cultivators—and for retailers, it’s simply habit. 

The Differences Between Indica and Sativa

Indica plants tend to be shorter plants with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. Their flowering cycle is short, and they do well in cold weather. Sativa plants usually grow taller with light-green, narrow leaves. Their flowering cycle is longer, and they do better in warmer climates. 

In the past half-century of cannabis cultivation, growers have crossbred widely, so there is no pure Indica or Sativa at this point. When a particular strain is classified as Indica or Sativa, this usually just refers to which side of the indica-sativa spectrum it leans toward. 

The Effects of Sativa Versus Indica

If you do some research, you’ll probably encounter sativa descriptions using terms such as “heady,” “cerebral,” or “energizing” as opposed to words for indica such as “relaxing” and “sedating.” These are still valid descriptors as long as you realize that these might not represent the actual plant’s lineage.

Hybrid strains are just as popular as indicas and sativas—and maybe even more so. More and more cannabis products are labeled hybrid because of the accuracy of that description.

Visit a Denver Weed Shop

For the very best indica, sativa, and hybrid strains, we invite you to stop by Altitude the Dispensary. Our experienced budtenders can help you choose the cannabis that will give you the results you are seeking. We have three convenient locations throughout the Denver metro area, and we carry all the cannabis types and products you need. We look forward to seeing you!