Indica cannabis is one of the two main types of the cannabis plant.
Unlike Sativa, Indica has a sedative effect appreciated by people seeking relaxation or to get back to sleep, but also by those suffering from anxiety, pain or muscle spasms.
However, as you know, when it comes to choosing a variety of cannabis, you don’t have to choose a pure indica or pure Sativa since hybrid cannabis seeds offer the best of both worlds.
Have you ever wondered what the differences are between Indica and Sativa? They smell the same and look very similar, which is why you might think they have the same effect, right? In fact , they are 2 species of the same cannabis family, but different in some ways.
They have unique growth characteristics, opposite effects and used for different medicinal purposes. Understanding their variations will, therefore, be fundamental for people with different health problems, as this is the only way to know the ideal genetics.
Definition and origins of Indica cannabis
In the original 1753 classification, naturalist Carl von Linné identified a single species of cannabis, Cannabis sativa L., now known as hemp, a non-psychoactive plant cultivated in Europe for its fiber and the manufacture of ropes or sails for boats, for example.
But in 1785 a prominent French biologist, Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck, received samples of cannabis plants collected in India that had a euphoric effect when smoked or consumed.
Based on several characteristics, including their firm stems, thin bark, and the shape of their leaves and flowers. Jean-Baptiste de Lamarck believed that these plants must remain distinct from the Cannabis Sativa then cultivated in Europe.
He, therefore, considered it as a new subspecies. Cannabis Indica, to name these types of Indian plants almost exclusively cultivated for their medicinal and psychoactive properties.
Apparently, Cannabis Indica is said to have separated from a common ancestor of all cannabis subspecies that originated in Central Asia. Some believe that it may originated on the Asian subcontinent or in Afghanistan, specifically in the Hindu Kush mountains, as it adapted to grow in cold and complicated weather conditions.
Thus, Indica cannabis refers to all the genetics from the dry climates of South and Central Asia. Such as India, Nepal, Afghanistan, Turkey, southern China or Pakistan.
These regions have a very dry climate until October when it starts raining for the monsoon. This season of high humidity has caused Indica to evolve to flower earlier and avoid the mold caused by autumn humidity. As a result, Indica strains will generally have a shorter growing phase than Sativas . And will only increase in size by 25-30% during flowering.
These plants will also have different shades of red and purple on the leaves, due to unknown evolutionary causes when cooler temperatures occur.
How do I recognize an Indica cannabis plant?
A typical example of Indica cannabis is a shrub that is more compact and thicker than its Sativa sisters, usually less than two meters tall. With these characteristics :
Generally, the foliage is dark green, although some individuals will have almost blue or purple leaves. These leaves have smaller and wider leaflets, to avoid water loss during transpiration.
Indica varieties tend to develop more lateral branches and grow denser than Sativas, resulting in bushier, wider and thicker plants, with the appearance of small firs.
The flowers form dense clusters around the nodes (where pairs of leaves grow from the stem and branches) of the female plant. Generally, these flower growths are heavier than those of Sativa plants of similar size, as they are denser and more compact.
Thus, Indica cannabis plants produce less, but their shorter growth will compensate. Because of their smaller size. Indica cannabis will be perfect for indoor growing and will not explode in size like Sativa strains.
It will also be an excellent option for terraces, balconies or growers looking for privacy outdoors. It can be harvested in September. Which is why it is so interesting in cold regions where autumn rains are frequent.
Smell and taste of Indica strains
Indica cannabis strains have many flavors and odor profiles ranging from musk to grapes, berries, and other wild fruits. In general, they are more earthy and moist, while Sativas are sweeter (citric or fruity) or spicy.
In a recent study, analyzing the composition of terpenes in Indica varieties and comparing them with Sativa varieties. A greater presence of myrcene was visible in Indica-dominant varieties and could reach up to 60-80% . Putting all the evidence together. We can assume that the effect of myrcene combined with the effect of THC, would produce a highly physical and hypnotic effect typical of Indica strains.
Thus, they are generally considered to have more relaxing and sedative effects than Sativa varieties. Which are characterized by stimulating, energizing and cerebral effects. Indica varieties also produce higher amounts of other sesquiterpenes. Such as humulene and caryophyllene, creating a thick, deep aroma that can be detected from afar.
The effects of Indica cannabis
Most Indica is a source of cannabinoids rich in THC, CBD, and CBN. While Sativa cannabis will often produce a higher amount of THC than other cannabinoids. Indica often contains significant concentrations of all three types.
Thus, Indica plants will tend to produce more effects on the body than Sativa, such as increased physical sensation, relaxation, dry mouth or red eyes.
These effects often considered to be high, unlike the high of Sativa strains. This doesn’t mean that Indica strains don’t have psychoactive effects, but rather that they also have more noticeable physical effects.
That’s why Indica is famous for its sedative body effects, and although it’s best to avoid them during the day. They’re perfect at night and will be very popular with people suffering from insomnia.
However, Indica will be useful for many more things than just insomnia. They are also very good for reducing the discomfort of people with chronic pain . Also to avoid opioid painkillers in the long term.
Indica varieties will often be used as a muscle relaxant or antispasmodic for the treatment of diseases . Such as multiple sclerosis or fibromyalgia. Their analgesic properties also make them an excellent remedy for headaches, especially for people suffering from migraines. And thanks to their calming effects, they are highly recommended for those facing anxiety or panic attacks.