What is Sativa and Indica?

If you have ever been confused about the terms Indica and Sativa you’re not alone.

Over the years these definitions have caused confusion for many people including cannabis experts. In 1753 Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus believed there was only one species of cannabis plant, the name he gave it was Cannabis Sativa. A few decades later a French naturalist named Jean-Baptiste Lamarck discovered a different sub-species, that he referred to as Cannabis Indica, but what is the actual difference?

In botanical terms the term Indica refers to a plant originating from India whereas Sativa simply means cultivated. Some people use the term Indica to describe effects that are more sedating while Sativa is often used to describe effects that are more energising, however, there is currently no scientific evidence to suggest that either species results in specific effects.

Recent analyses of cannabis varieties have found that, although the genetic makeup of varieties referred to as ‘Indica’  or ‘ Sativa’ was moderately correlated to their reported ancestry, most cannabis varieties today are hybrids, created by crossbreeding of two varieties that may be Indica or Sativa dominant.

Written by Francesca Sonand
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