Having trouble figuring out whether you’re smoking an indica or sativa? Here’s a handy little guide to help you figure it out. This post will tell you the easiest ways to differentiate between cannabis sativa and indica in both live plants and in dried bud. Enjoy!
In live plants, differentiating between indicas and sativas is really quite easy. Once you know what to look for, you’ll be able to tell just from a quick glance. Here’s what you need to know:
When grown under perfect growing conditions outdoors, sativas have been known to reach heights of up to 20 feet. Pretty crazy, right?
To summarize, sativa plants:
-Feature super thin leaves.
-Are less dense, a little sparse.
-Have exponential vegetative growth during flowering.
Sativa buds are longer, thinner, with bud particles that almost look like wispy hairs. Though, while the bud itself may look larger than those from an indica plant, they tend to be a bit lighter when you actually weigh them out. This is because sativa flowers are not as tightly compact as indica flowers. When
When sativas bloom, the flower forms along the branch, almost like it’s a bit stretched out. This lends to the wispy, hairy nature of their buds.
Deep red or orange coloring is also a sign of a sativa. Sativas tend to grow in warmer climates, and they often express deep reddish or strong orange phenotypes. Sativas also tend to put off less of a strong, pungent fragrance. You’re more likely to find fruity, tropical aromas in sativas.
To summarize, sativa buds are:
“Wispy” bud, fluffy
Often feature red or orange coloring
Have a sweeter or lighter aroma
They tend to have dense branches and hover around four feet tall. That’s a pretty big difference when compared to sativa relatives. While sativas nearly triple in size during flowering phase, indicas often increase their vegetative growth by about 100%.
To summarize, indica plants:
-Feature fat, broad leaves
-Are quite dense, squatty
-Double, rather than triple in size during flowering
Differentiating between sativas and indicas in dried bud can be a little more difficult, especially with all of the hybrids out there. Once you know the basic features of each type, however, you can make an educated guess as to whether or not your strain is indica or sativa dominant.
Another thing to keep an eye out for is any purple coloring in the plant. Since indicas are native to cooler climates, they’re more likely to express purple coloration. The big purple strains are all indica dominant, but sativas will develop some purple if they’re grown in cool climates as well.
Perhaps as a survival mechanism for cooler climates, indicas tend to be more THC heavy. They also tend to produce a very thick, pungent aroma.
To summarize, indica buds are:
- Compact and dense
- Often feature purple coloring
- Have a thick, pungent aroma
These are just some quick tips to help you better identify what you’ve got. As mentioned above, with all of the hybrids out there, it can be a little tricky to determine whether you have indica or sativa dominant strains.
Many modern strains now have a good mix of both types, creating truly unique smoking/vaping experiences. If you want to get a taste of what true indicas or sativas are like, ask a local dispensary if they have any landrace or pure indica/ sativa strains.