What Is Indica And Its Effects

Indicas have always been linked to a body high but is it the same nowadays?
20 May 2020
6 min read
What Is Indica And Its Effects

  • 1. The history of indicas
  • 2. Indica's characteristics
  • 3. Differences between sativa, indica, ruderalis, and hybrids
  • 4. The effect of original indicas
  • 5. Indicas nowadays
  • 6. In conclusion

Indica and Sativa have probably influenced every decision related to smoking or growing you’ve ever made. What is Indica? It is probably one of the first questions you have asked if you’re a novice in cannabis.

1. The History Of Indicas

Cannabis Indica is a species of the cannabis plant. It was found in 1785 on the Hindu Kush mountains in the Middle East and is more abundant in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Tibet where the climate is colder and has a low humidity.

Because of this, Indicas have developed different structures, appearance, and effects than other cannabis species and are usually short and stocky with dark-green, wide leaves.


What Is Indica And Its Effects: Indica Leaf

Indica plants are usually short and stocky with dark-green, wide leaves.

Way before the '70s, Indicas were used by locals to make hashish, which they consumed almost daily for their medicinal properties. Because of this, they selected the cultivars with the strongest effect and unknowingly selected plants with high CBD levels, making it super effective as a pain reliever with a body relaxing high.

2. Indica's Characteristics

The typical Indica is an overall more compact plant, it usually grows short and has a thick stem.

The leaves are darker than on Sativa plants, for example, they have really short and wide "fingers". Indica strains tend to grow more side-branches and are bushier than Sativas, and the buds will grow dense and normally will weigh more than other species of cannabis.


What Is Indica And Its Effects: Indica dense buds

Indica strains tend to grow bushier than Sativas, with heavy dense buds.

Due to being from the mountains, Indicas can withstand cold climates with ease and will produce more trichomes due to being used to grow closer to the sun.

Main Characteristics:

•  Short and bushy, usually growing between 90 - 150cm.

•  Thick and dense buds.

•  Resistant to cold climates and low humidity.

3. Differences Between Sativa, Indica, Ruderalis, and Hybrids

•  Sativa 

Sativas are the tallest of all species of cannabis, they can grow well over 3 meters high, developing slim with thin leaves. It grows better in hotter climates with high humidities. Sativas deliver a euphoric, uplifting, and creative high, like Wedding Cheesecake Autousually not recommended for medicinal cannabis patients.

•  Indica 

Indicas are kind of the opposite of Sativas, they grow short and stocky with really wide leaves. This species grows better in cold climates with low humidities and are usually preferred by medicinal users for its relaxing body high, like Gorilla Glue Autothat can be used to treat muscle pain, insomnia, and eating disorders, among others.


What Is Indica And Its Effects: Sativa and Indica leaves

Sativa usually grows tall with slim thin leaves. Indica, on the contrary, grows short and stocky with really wide leaves.

•  Hybrid 

Hybrids are a mix of Indica and Sativa genetics. They can show growing characteristics or effects from both species. Gorilla Cookies Auto is a perfect example of a balanced hybrid of Sativa and Indica.

•  Ruderalis 

Ruderalis grow super short with small chunky buds. It is extremely resistant to harsh climates and unless crossed to another species like the ones above, it will usually contain a very low THC and high CBD levels.


What Is Indica And Its Effects: Ruderalis and Cannabis Hybrids

Ruderalis grow super short with small chunky buds. Hybrid can show characteristics or effects from both Sativa and Indica.

4. The Effect of Original Indicas

The most important characteristic of this subspecies of cannabis is in its medical effects and how they influence energy levels and productivity. Indicas tend to decrease energy and are better for consumption in the evening or at night (when the day ends).

Indicas generally have a higher CBD content than other subspecies, although the CBD to THC ratio is very close to 1:1. 

Nowadays Indicas have been developed to have high THC levels so the only way to get a high-CBD Indica is by getting the original landraces or by looking specifically for CBD-rich Indicas, such as our CBD Auto 20:1.

CBD Auto 201
5 out of 5
I have grown this 3 times now and I always like the result. Each time it has grown slightly different, but I find the effect is always the same.
Verified customer
Reviewed 4 June 2020

It is important to note that there are new ways to categorize a cannabis plant other than Indica or Sativa. Nowadays Indica or Sativa is used to know the structure of a plant will have more than the type of high.

5. Indicas Nowadays

Before Cannabis became so popular, there were original Indicas around. Those original plants were CBD-rich and were what some people think Indicas nowadays deliver: a relaxing, sedating, and potent body high that leads to a couchlock effect. Although that used to be the case, it isn’t anymore.

It’s still perfectly valid to describe those effects as “Indica-like”, as long as we remember that Indica-like effects don’t necessarily mean a plant has Indica lineage.

In the last 50 years, cannabis breeding has been leading the market. As a result, there’s almost no such thing as a “pure” Indica (or Sativa) anymore. Almost every flower you have come in contact with is a hybrid. Calling a strain Indica usually means it is a predominantly-Indica hybrid.

Nowadays, modern cultivators have purposefully bred and grown a wide spectrum of strains within both the Indica and Sativa categories for the purpose of making available the right medicine for every individual.

Each unique combination can influence how it affects a person’s disease and the strain you smoke should be one that fits your preference and adapts to your lifestyle. 

Sometimes patients must maintain jobs or family responsibilities that demand a particular energy level and can’t tolerate the sedative properties of many Indicas, that’s why most Indicas have been genetically modified (crossed) to suit everyone.


What Is Indica And Its Effects: Indica Cannabis effects

Most common effects of Indica dominant strain.

The Indica = relaxation thought is outdated and is inaccurate. So, what does Indica mean and what effect will it have on us?

The real meaning of Indica plants today is in their traits during the cultivation cycle. Indica plants tend to grow short with thick stems and broad, deep-green leaves. They also have shorter flowering cycles and grow well in cold climates with low humidity.

As we know, each strain produces a unique effect and can affect each person differently but that doesn’t mean you can’t make correct decisions when choosing which strain to consume.

The effects you experience from a particular strain (either Indica or Sativa) is connected to the compounds found in the plant (cannabinoids and terpenes).

Each cultivar has its own cannabinoid and terpene mix, they are responsible for delivering a Sativa or Indica-like effect as well as the medicinal benefits.

6. In Conclusion

Labeling a strain Indica or Sativa was established years before we realized how terpenes and cannabinoids interacted together to deliver unique effects. When choosing a strain to consume or grow it is recommended to know the smell and flavors a plant produces to really know the effect you will get.

If you're looking for a strain that will deliver the real effect of an Indica, we recommend our Zkittlez Auto, this Indica-dominant strain will deliver that relaxing, pain-relieving body high you're looking for.

Zkittlez Auto
5 out of 5
Just an easy to grow, solid packed buds. A heavy feeder and can be a bit prone to light burn at the end but otherwise perfection!
Verified customer
Reviewed 21 November 2020

Even though it's really hard to find, there are original landrace Indicas or Sativas (and they truly are 100% Indica or Sativa) the lineage will most likely match their effect, other than that it is not uncommon to consume an “Indica” and have a Sativa-like effect or vice-versa, it all depends on the unique mix of terpenes and cannabinoids a cultivar has.

20 May 2020