According to taxonomic history the term Cannabis (ancient Scythian for hemp) Indica (for India) was meant to describe any cannabis plant used to generate a buzz, modern DNA research paints a new picture of a plant with very distinctive genetic traits. While calling a plant a Sativa or an Indica may not be 100% botanically accurate we've developed an understanding of the species based on a handful of defining characteristics.
Here are 5 easy Indaca-tions you're working with Cannabis Indica
5) It Flowers Early
Cannabis Indica originates from the dryer climates of Central and Southern Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. For the most part, these regions are dry through October when the humidity begins to settle in. As a sort of defense mechanism, Indicas have evolved to flower a little earlier in the year avoiding the danger of moisture-related mold altogether.
4) It's Got Wide Fan Leaves And Dense Buds
In order to survive in the cold nights of more mountainous regions, Indicas tend to grow short and squat with wide leaves that protect these super dense and resinous buds. Indicas are also a lot more shrub like than their long scraggly Sativa counterparts.
3) It's Got A Decent CBD Content
When Smoked, Cannabis Indica tends to have a higher CBD to THC ratio than sativa dominant strains. Combined with THC, CBD works in tandem to activate an allosteric site on receptors found in the endocannabinoid system. Generally speaking, this is ideal for aches, pains, and inflammation around the body. A good THC:CBD ratio makes for more of a 'sedative body high' rather than the cerebral high typical of THC dominant strains.
2) It's Stinky
The smell of an Indicia is undeniable. It's that classic wet skunk in the woods scent. That's because Indicas tend towards higher quantities of terpenes, such as Caryophyllene and Humulene. Terpenes are the molecules to thank for things like flavor and smell. You may recognize the terpene Caryophyllene from the slightly spicy sweet scent of clove oil or Humulene for the earthy aroma of basil or hops. We'll explore terpenes and the body receptors that deal with them at great length together over the coming months.
1) It's Beautiful
For reasons that are still a mystery to science and wide-eyed stoners everywhere, Indicas develop these beautiful purple and red hues when exposed to the cold. This gives Indica dominate plants their signature purplish look even when the buds are dried and cured.
Now that you know the differences lets learn what all cannabis plants share in common.
I'm Mary J Poppins, herbalist, cannabis connoisseur and founder of the Sativa Science Club. Keep an eye on my blog Cannabis for Curious Creatures for nifty new products reviews, DIY tutorials, and scientific insights.