Calling a strain an Indica or Sativa may not be scientifically accurate....but I'm gonna do it anyways
According to taxonomic history the term Cannabis (ancient Scythian for hemp) Sativa (Latin for 'Cultivated') was meant to describe any cannabis plant with thin leaves cultivated for its hemp fiber or seeds. Though 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 simple signs that you're working with a sativa dominant plant
5) It's A Late Bloomer
Sativa dominant strains originate from equatorial regions like Thailand, Southern India, Jamaica, and Mexico. They absolutely love the day light and will hold out as long as possible to drink up the sun. Some speculate that this is why Sativa dominant strains take so much longer to bloom (between 60 and 90 days). On the flip side they tend to need less time for vegetative growth prior to flowering than their Indica dominate counterparts.
4) It's Long And Scrawny
Sativa strains tend to be tall and scraggly. This may be because they originate from regions where the length of day stays pretty much the same throughout the year. To adapt, they flower in shorter bursts while continually gaining length. This makes for awkward looking flowers that start at the plant's nodes (the point where leaves grow from the stem) and expand along the length of the branches growing upwards.
In contrast, Indica plants tend to stay the same height once they transition from the vegetative to the flowering stage. That means that the flowers cluster together rather than spread out making for a tighter denser bud, compared to the light and spindly flowers of sativa.
3) It's Got A Heady High
For reasons that are still a bit of a mystery to cannabis scientists sativas tend to have lower THC levels than Indicas yet they are known to have a very heady 'high' effect. This may have something to do with the plant's unique terpene profile. After partaking of a THC dominate sativa chemovar you might notice that you feel a little energetic, creative, or giggly.
2) It Smells Like Fruits And Pepper
Sativa strains are known to have a very pungent smell but the profiles can be all over the board. You might notice a sweet and fruity aroma with hints of cherry or something a little more earthy with hints of pine and diesel fuel. Strains like Green Crack and Trainwreck are classic examples of that sweet and peppery scent.
1) It's Lighter In Color
Sativas are generally lighter in color than your average Indica heavy strains which tend to be a deep dark green. The tall scraggly sativa plant almost has a sun bleached look appearing to be a little more on the yellow side.
Meet The Author: SSC Founder, Mary J Poppins
An avid learner and social entrepreneur, Mary is forever seeking new ways to unite community around the cause of holistic health. Mary earned her H.R. Certification, CAPM Project Management Certification, A.S in Community Health Education, and B.S in Sustainable Business Management before moving on to a Masters Certificate in Nonprofit Development. Mary utilizes this unique skill set to establish charitable organizations, community development initiatives, and education platforms for forward thinking organizations nationwide. She also lectures about creative marketing and branding at several Oregon Universities. In cannabis, Mary sees the unique opportunity to reach a profoundly sincere and embryonic industry with a message of collaboration, communication, and socially conscious business practices. In 2016, after spending a few years on large scale farms across the Emerald Triangle, She began to develop Sativa Science Club as a powerful leadership tool and success model for industries everywhere.