Difference between Sativa and Indica in its appearance and effects

All the differences between sativa and indica cannabis

Published on: 28/05/2021

Indica vs sativa: characteristics and effects of these marijuana strains

Have you got to look at the back of the fast growing weed seeds BSF packs? Then you have surely noticed a new term called “Sativity”, a percentage that indicates how much Sativa genetics prevail in that particular strain. But what’s the difference between Sativa and Indica?

Why do those who buy cannabis seeds online look at the percentage of plant saturation even before the price?

We will answer these and other questions during this article, explaining what Indica and Sativa cannabis are, how they differ, and the characteristics and effects of these strains.

What are Sativa and Indica?

Cannabis Sativa: difference with Indica

Hemp, also known as cannabis and marijuana, is a plant of the Cannabaceae family divided into two subspecies: Sativa and Indica. Another sub-category, Ruderalis cannabis (which later gave rise to auto flower seeds thanks to the cross between Indica and/or Sativa varieties), added another sub-category.

Although they all belong to the same type of plant, Sativa and Indica have unique characteristics and effects.

However, these peculiarities and effects are highly sought after… so what have seed banks like BSF seeds done? They crossed the two types with each other, generating cannabis hybrids, to guarantee consumers the qualities of both without giving up either of them.

For this reason, the percentage of activity is indicated on the back of the packs of marijuana seeds. It shows the prevalence of the genetic characteristics of the Indica or Sativa.

But let’s go back to our differences, starting first with the appearance of the plants.

Read also: Autoflowering’s early flowering: when and how long does it last?

Difference between Sativa and Indica in its appearance

The main differences between Sativa and Indica are inherent in the plant itself, in all its parts (except the roots): stem, branches, leaves, and flowers are entirely different from each other, so much so that it is straightforward to recognize the two varieties at a glance.

Characteristics of the Indica cannabis plant

  • Indica has a low and conical shape. It usually reaches a maximum height of one and a half meters.
  • The leaves are wide.
  • An Indica generally grows fast… and often has a higher yield than a Sativa plant.
  • The plant is born in areas with colder climates than the Sativa, so it is very resistant to low temperatures.
  • The flowers generated by the Indica plant are usually high in CBD and low in THC.
  • The Indica inflorescences are elongated and compact.

Characteristics of the Sativa cannabis plant

  • The Sativa plant is taller (it can reach up to five meters in height) and branched.
  • It features leaves with narrow and thin fingers.
  • Compared to indicas, sativas often take longer to flower.
  • Geographically, this type of plant is more common in areas with long summers and hot climates.
  • Unlike the Indica, the flowers of the Sativa plant have a very high THC content and low CBD content.
  • Sativa cannabis flowers are more rounded than Indica ones, which are larger and airier.
Cannabis Sativa flowers

Now you know perfectly well how to recognize the two plants by looking at the stem, leaves, and flowers. But the effects of the two strains are also different!

The different effects of Indica and Sativa flowers

The difference between Indica and Sativa lies not only on the appearance but also in the effects.

The merit of this gap is the balance of THC and CBD. As you could read earlier, in the Sativa, the psychoactive component, THC, prevails, while in the Indica, the non-psychotropic cannabinoid, that is the CBD, prevails.

Here are the effects of the two species.

Cannabis Indica effects

  • relaxing for mind and body
  • soporific
  • calming
  • promote sleep

Furthermore, the high presence of CBD limits the effects of THC, which instead prevail in Sativa.

Cannabis Sativa effects

  • euphoric
  • energizing
  • they can foster creativity and inner dialogue
  • strongly alter the perception of reality
  • they can cause anxiety and paranoia

As you can imagine, Indicas are perfect for those in need of deep relaxation and to promote sleep. On the other hand, Sativa strains are suitable for recreational use and are ideal for daytime use.

Read also: Autoflowering pruning: is it safe to proceed with defoliation?


Today you have discovered every difference between Sativa and Indica and know how to distinguish Indica-dominant strains from Sativa-prevalent in both looks and effects.

In any case, the packages of weed seeds bsf and weed seeds show the percentage of the products’ saturation.

You can also check it before purchasing because, in the product sheets of our shop, you will find both the images (including the back of the packs) and the category “Genetics“, which tells you the percentage of both Indica and Sativa.

Make informed purchases at Sensoryseeds! We are waiting for you.