There are many strains and flavors of cannabis available these days. However, there are two main varieties or species of the plant, Cannabis Indica and Cannabis Sativa, which these all originate from. They each have their own distinctive physical characteristics as well as medicinal effects. The most immediate difference between the two is their physical appearance.
Sativa plants are light green and grow tall and lean, with long narrow fan leaves. The Indica variety grow somewhat shorter and with dense dark green foliage. Fan leaves on India plants are typically much wider and shorter as well. It is believed that both varieties originate from different parts of the world, Sativa naturally growing in countries closer to the equator (Colombia, Central America and Southeast Asia) and Indica being from the Hindu Kush region of the Middle East and South-Central Asia (Turkey, Morocco, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India).
Each strain gives its own unique effect that have been commonly described as either more “mind” or “body.” Sativa being more of a mind or mood lifting stimulant and good for daytime usage versus indica being more of a bodily experience that is good for nighttime use. However, it truly is the combination of the strain type, strain’s cannabinoid and terpenoid composition as well as what a conditions the plant grew in, that contribute to the potency and effects when consuming cannabis. We’ll get more into the science behind it later, but for now, here’s a simple graph that summarizes the differences between Indica and Sativa.