Do Indica And Sativa Actually Mean Anything?
Cannabis 101

Do Indica And Sativa Actually Mean Anything?

The terms indica and sativa aren’t necessarily new. Indica and sativa have been used to describe cannabis for years. But do they actually mean anything? Well, that depends on who you ask. To start, let’s look at what they refer to.

The History 

Like we said, the terms indica and sativa aren’t exactly new. In fact, you’d have to go back to 1753 to find the origins of “sativa.” Swedish scientist Carl Linnaeus believed there was only one species of cannabis, which he referred to as Cannabis sativa. This held up for a few decades, until 1785, when French scientist Jean-Baptiste Lamrack “proposed two species of [c]annabis: C. sativa, the species largely cultivated in Western Continent, and Cannabis indica, a wild species growing in India and neighboring countries.”

The terms clearly stuck around, and people used the terms indica and sativa to describe both the effects of certain strains, and also the actual features of the plant. But are they accurate?


Some people use the term indica to refer to strains that leave them feeling a little more sluggish, or sedated. Indica strains are perceived to have effects more physical in nature. You may have heard the term “in da couch” when referring to indica strains, which tells you a lot of what you need to know. The actual indica plant is usually believed to be shorter in stature with broad leaves.


Some people use the term sativa to describe strains that provide more cerebral or energizing effects. They’re usually the strains people say affect their mind more so than their body. As for sativa plants, they’re usually believed to be taller in stature with narrower leaves.

The Truth 

The truth is…there is no truth. There’s no scientific evidence to back up the classifications of indica and sativa. That doesn’t mean that people who use these classifications are wrong, though. There’s a good amount of anecdotal evidence to support the generalizations. But that’s just what they are though–generalizations. You may feel more sedated effects when you consume an indica, or you may have a different experience entirely. It’s not whether the plant is indica or sativa that affects your high. It’s the THC and CBD content, your cannabis tolerance, your ECS, etc.

Always start low and go slow when it comes to consuming cannabis. You never know how it’s going to affect you, no matter how it’s classified.

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