Skip to content

What is Cannabis Indica? (A Guide for Beginners)

What is Cannabis, Indica, and Sativa? Are you taking a look into the differences? Then this article is for you!

Thank you for joining me in what should be another fun and educational day at The Stoner Gift Basket! Here is the 1st half of a 2 part series where I break down the difference between the famous Indica and Sativa.


I’m sure you’ve heard at least one street-wise explanation of the subject before. Maybe a friend or colleague described a certain strain of cannabis as “daytime use” or alternatively, “nighttime only”.

That’s mainly how I see the 2 halves being explained, and all too often the explanation kind fizzes and ends there.

And that’s cool, but I feel there is still a lot of valuable knowledge to be gained on the subject and few I know can offer up anything more than that.

Guess that’s why I’m here!

Today is all about our shorter, bushier friend Indica and all its sleepy goodness. Personally this is my go-to among the two as most of my pot use revolves around pain relief and getting a good night’s sleep. Those are also perks of using a Sativa instead, but I prefer ol’  Indy to get the job done here.

What does Indica look like?

The 2 main plants, Indica and Sativa, might all look the same to the untrained eye. In fact cannabis plants often go unnoticed by people who have maybe never seen them before, or just mistake them for other garden-variety plants.

Before I ever knew anything about what cannabis or marijuana was, I had walked by the plants many times in my life and not thought anything of it. It’s amazing what we can learn from television and the internet though.

So, put simply there’s a plant with shorter, bushier leaves and another with longer, more slender leaves.

Indica is the short and bushy plant, and at times comes in a darker shade of green or even purple. But when it’s all busted up it can be very hard to tell the difference.

Indica plants also tend to grow a bit faster than Sativa, if you’re part of the GIY (Grow it Yourself) crowd you may have already noticed this.

Health Effects of Indica

As I’ve mentioned, Indica is often considered and taken as “the nighttime” weed out of the two. It’ll make you drowsy and relaxed enough to drift off into a peaceful slumber, both physically and mentally.

It is however, typically labeled as a “body” high as opposed to “head” high Sativa.

Let’s go over the Benefits in bullet form. Everybody loves lists, right?

– Pain Relief

– Anxiety Relief

– Increased Appetite

– Higher Quality of Sleep

– Reduces Nausea

As you can see, the benefits are numerous to say the least. If you’re like me, pain and anxiety can be a real threat to not only your daytime life but even your sleep as well. Having a freshly rolled joint packed with my favorite Indica, or a warm bath with some CBD bath bombs is a perfect way to get ready for bed.

Oh and don’t forget about edibles!

These are the same couple tricks my Physician taught me when I first signed up at a medical marijuana dispensary. They could easily see the effects that my injuries were having on me, and made sure I was educated before making any purchases.

But I was also warned about the side effects, as any responsible user should know about:

– Drowsiness

– Dry Mouth

– Memory Loss

– Slower Reflexes and Coordination

– Increased Anxiety or Heart rate

Kinda sounds a bit like when you drink too much, eh? It’s less dangerous than alcohol, but still makes you dopey. That being said, always proceed with caution. No toking and driving or doing anything that can put others in harm’s way. That’s all I’m going to say about that, just be responsible.

Oh, and if you consume too much you possibly open the doors to paranoia. You might have been wondering how something can relieve anxiety and cause it as well. Sometimes it comes down to the personality of the user, pre-existing mental issues, or the amount of THC consumed.

Then What are Hybrids?

See, this in my opinion is where the “general knowledge” and stereotypes of Indica and Sativa go to die. More on Hybrids in a moment.

Way back, I mean way back in the day, Indica and Sativa plants were a lot easier to distinguish in both appearance and in the related effects. They were more native to certain geographical locations in the world and therefore kept more pure, or so it is said.

As time went on, so did people go on to travel and explore the world around them. And if the history of cannabis has taught us anything, not even the laws and regulations of an area can completely stop people from bringing their favorite medicine with them. Such is the case with cannabis.

Utimately, the designated strains and clear-cut divisions we once had between the 2 plants (Indica and Sativa) aren’t as obvious anymore. The effects have more overlap than before, and “hybrid” strains (a blend of the two) can be found anywhere that sells weed.

Some places (medical shops, dispensaries) can offer a bit more insight than your average dealer, being able to present the hybrid in a percentage form of Indica vs Sativa and maybe even some keywords to go with it. Sleepy, energizing, creative, and so on.

And in my opinion, those are actually more accurate to follow than a simple Indica/Sativa label. I say this because I’ve had Indica strains that have turned me into an energetic, overly chatty fool while the odd Sativa might cause me to crash early for the night. Strange, right? My friends said the same thing before it happened to me, now I’m a believer.

Other Fun Facts

In recent years, the cannabis industry has been gaining much popularity in the medical science fields. This has resulted in more people looking into strictly the health benefits of cannabis products and concerning themselves less with the psychoactive side of things.

And thanks to much ingenuity on the breeding front, people have discovered how to grow cannabis Indica that is much higher on the CBD scale and lower in THC. This means more of the health benefits you enjoy, and less feeling “stoned” if that’s what you’d like to avoid.

You can even get CBD products with virtually no THC in them. How’s that for cool?

And less THC means less paranoia too, which is great for those with anxiety disorders that don’t respond well to the average strain of cannabis.

But if you want to know more about THC and CBD, check out this other article I wrote here.

Wrap Up

All in all you’re going to find a wealth of health benefits, uses, and fun reasons to enjoy both Indica and Sativa based strains on the market. It seems a lot clearer on paper what the effects are for people, but there is a heavy overlap too.

I know in the end that leaves one with as many questions as it does answers, but I think it’s worth knowing regardless.

My advice? Always talk to an actual physician in the field before coming to conclusions about what is right for you.

But if you’re past that point, then try a few of my guidelines for any time I buy a new strain of cannabis:

1. Have someone you can reach out to if you go on a bad trip.

2. Only smoke/consume a small amount of anything if it’s your first time.

3. Write down some quick notes on how it affected you, for reference.

I know it all sounds pretty generic, but it has helped me out in the past. I’ve had a couple strains that I stay clear of when I’m in the shop now and I would have probably forgotten what they were without taking those 5 seconds to write a note for myself.

But that’s it for today peeps! Thanks again for gracing me with your presence and I hope to have more articles up for you soon! The next one will be on Sativa, so stay tuned.


4 thoughts on “What is Cannabis Indica? (A Guide for Beginners)

  • Oooh. I never realized that there were different types of marijuana for night time and day time use. That’s rad! Thanks for clarifying that and also for talking about the pros and cons of Indica. It’s always nice to have good information!

  • I have never heard about Indica before. Thanks for making me more aware of the health benefits of this plant. Most of us are now trying to go natural when incorporating healing into our daily life. The only thing that scares me about this plan is the body high. What exactly do you mean about this, what would a person experience if they were having a body high?

    • Don’t worry, a body high isn’t as scary as it might sound. Indica is used very effectively to relieve pain and muscle tension, which is basically the body high in a nutshell. The high is less influential on your mind, and more of a sedative for your body. This means you might slur some words, feel a little sluggish, but ultimately be very relaxed.

      Hope it helps!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *