How to Tell the Difference Between Indica and Sativa

Apr 7, 2023 | Cannabis Cultivation, Cannabis Industry, Cannabis Products, Cannabis Research, Cannabis Science

You may have heard friends talking about how much they love the incredible night’s sleep they get after consuming Indica. You may have heard relatives rejoice in the mental health improvements they experienced after consuming Sativa. If you’re wondering how to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa and which is right for you, read on to find out.

How to Tell the Difference Between Indica and Sativa

If you ask three people how to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa, you shouldn’t be surprised to get two or three different answers. One way to tell the difference between Indica and Sativa is to look at the buds. Indica leaves are shorter and wider than the leaves of a Sativa plant. You also may be able to tell the difference between the two strains by smell. Sativa strains typically smell spicy, sweet, or fruity.

On the other hand, Indica strains are known for earthy or musty odors. Sometimes, the name of a flower or pre-roll can help to differentiate between Sativa and Indica. For instance, many Indica strains, like Blueberry Kush, include in their name the word “kush.” This is due to Indica’s origins, the Kush mountain range, which spans the Pakistani-Afghani border. Some Sativa strains contain fruits or energetic words, like strawberry, pineapple, diesel, or power.

Which Strain Is Right for Me? 


Indica is a highly effective treatment for physical pain. It is often recommended for people who suffer from chronic pain caused by dysfunctional nerves or inflammation or have sudden, involuntary muscle contractions. Additionally, this strain has been shown to treat the symptoms of lupus and fibromyalgia. Other conditions that can be improved with this strain include: 

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia 
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sleep apnea
  • Glaucoma
  • Cancer 


Sativa may be the ideal strain for you if you are suffering from more mental symptoms. For example, it is often used to treat anxiety, ADD, ADHD, depression, and other mood disorders. It may also be right for you if you are suffering from nausea, loss of appetite, headaches, or migraines. Unlike Indica, you should not expect this strain to put you to sleep. It is ideal for people who need help with energy, creativity, and alertness.


Do you feel like you need to relax both your mind and body? If so, a hybrid strain may be right for you. Hybrid strains are the result of crossbreeding Indica and Sativa to provide you with the best of both worlds.

It’s worth noting that hybrid strains fall into three categories: Sativa dominant, Indica dominant, and balanced. An Indica-dominant hybrid may be a good choice for you if you want a strong body high, moderate pain relief, a calm mind, rest, and relaxation. Sativa-dominant hybrids are usually used by people looking for both physical and mental relaxation.

What Dose Should I Try? 


If you’re new to the cannabis world, start with a very small dose containing 1 to 2.5 mg of THC. You may not feel a body high or head high at this dose, but you may experience some benefits, like a reduction in pain, anxiety, or nausea.

Low Dose

A 3 to 5 mg dose may be more appropriate for you if you want a dose that will alleviate pain, nausea, and inflammation. New users can expect to feel sillier and less coordinated  New and inconsistent consumers may start to feel a high at 5 mg.


If you’re an experienced user looking to manage pain, improve the quality of your sleep, or decompress quickly after a long, stressful commute home, a 10 to 15 mg dose of THC may be right for you. If you’re new to THC consumption, the effects you experience from consuming this much THC may be a bit overkill for you.


A 20 to 30 mg dose is often recommended for experienced consumers who suffer from severe pain, insomnia, or chronic illness. If you take this dose, you should expect to feel a very high level of euphoria. This is the ideal dose to take in the evening because it will likely affect your coordination or perception, and you should not be working or making crucial decisions at this time.


Do you need to take time off from work due to intense physical pain caused by PMS? Do you suffer from another very painful condition, like multiple sclerosis? If so, to get the relief you’re looking for, you may want to take a 50 to 100 mg dose.


If you suffer from a severe medical condition, like cancer, or you have GI absorption problems, your best bet may be to consume a dose of 100 to 500 mg. This dose is not recommended for users with a low-tolerance for THC.

What Consumption Method Is Right for Me? 

The right consumption method for you depends on your personal preference and goals. If you’re looking for a quick, convenient high, a pre-roll or vaporizer is probably right for you. If you want to make sure you get a precise dose and don’t want to vape a whole cart, gummies will probably be your best bet. Gummies are also probably right for you if you want a longer-lasting high.

How Long Do Edibles Take to Work? 

Most of the time, edibles take 20 minutes to an hour to kick in. That said, different users have different experiences due to several factors, like the time of day the edible is consumed, whether the dose was taken on an empty stomach,  and how fast one’s metabolism is. If you are new to cannabis use, you should wait at least 45 to 90 minutes to decide if another dose is necessary.

How Long Do the Effects of Edibles Last?  

If you take a very small dose of an edible, you can generally expect the comedown to start two to four hours after you start feeling it. If you have a fast metabolism or high tolerance, you may notice that your high doesn’t last two whole hours at your current dose. On the other hand, your high may last for up to six hours with just a small dose if you have a slower metabolism or low THC tolerance.

When Will the High Take Effect If I Smoke? 

It will only be a few seconds to a few minutes before you feel the effects of cannabis if you smoke. You can expect to get high faster if you smoke or vape on an empty stomach because your body will be able to absorb the THC a lot faster.

How Long Do the Effects of Smoking Last?  

Most people experience the strongest high 10 to 30 minutes after smoking cannabis. You should still enjoy symptom relief for approximately one to three hours after smoking. If you are disappointed by how long your high lasts, consider a higher dose.

We hope you enjoyed learning how to tell the difference between indica and sativa. There are several differences, including the appearance and smell. Whether you think Indica, Sativa, or a hybrid strain will be ideal for you, we can help. Contact us at UBaked for help selecting the best products for your unique needs. 

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