Sativa vs Indica
What is the difference between Sativa and Indica is a question we get quite a lot- particularly from previous customers of the CBD brothers/ The Original Alternative or those who smoke cannabis recreationally.
For those of you who don’t know, that there are three main strains: Sativa, Indica, & a Hybrid of the two (we will talk about Sensimilla towards the end – no Seeds). These types (or strains) of Cannabis strains are deeply routed in Cannabis culture and usually, if you are into smoking you will be asking which is your preference.
While the battle between Sativa & Indica is fairly obvious in the cannabis community, it is much less obvious when you are looking into CBD oils or CBD paste. All CBD oils in the UK (including ours) are produced (or should be according to the FSA & CTA) using a Hemp extract (from leaves and/ or flower), from a strain called Sativa L. – which is a part of the Cannabis family but isn’t known for being smoked down to the fact that there is a very high level of CBD, and low levels of THC (why people smoke Cannabis in the first place).
If you are looking for an Indica strain CBD product, you can find it here!
So what is the difference between Indica & Sativa (& the CBD oils they produce), and does it matter?
What is the difference between Indica vs Sativa?
Well, if you ask somebody who knows their Cannabis well:
- Indica: is known for being chill and is often taken before bed or to relax after a long day (strains like Northern Lights & Blue Cheese). The Indica strains are known to ‘lock you’ to the couch.
- Sativa: is commonly associated with an ‘uplifting, exciting and cerebral’ effect which is said to be better for creative projects, exercise or at social gatherings (strains like Amnesia or Sour Diesel)
- A Hybrid: is a combination of the two where you may be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Some of the most famous strains are Hybrids: Including Stardawg, Gorilla Glue and OG Kush. All of our Vape concentrates/vape pen options are hybrids with a sativa/indica lean.
The physical differences between the strain are:
- Indica: Short in stature, broad leaves, shorter flowering cycles and are better suited to cooler climates.
- Sativa: Tall in stature, narrow leaves, long flowering cycles and (you guessed it) like the warm sunshine.
The different environments and structures will certainly have an impact on the chemical profile of the plants.
These differences, however, are generalisations and do not truly represent the qualities of either strain; by a long way, the most important factor in this is the Cannabinoid & Terpene profile of the plant. So it is much more important to understand the chemical structure of the plant (eg- CBD ratio to THC etc..) rather than the strain. For instance, a strain that is a Sativa with a high CBD content will feel much more like an Indica for example- there is no real telling the difference.
This is important for those who know a lot about Cannabis and are looking for a CBD oil. It would make sense that you would look for an Indica based oil as most people who buy a CBD oil are not looking for it to get them ‘hyped’. So when faced with an overwhelming array of oils that are made with a Sativa, it may be confusing. Some companies make a big deal of which strain they use but at the end of the day, does it really make too much of a difference.
Indica CBD Oil or Sativa CBD Oil?
In the context of recreational cannabis, the different strains and CBD/THC ratios make some kind of sense. As there is a large amount of THC being consumed, the effects of the cannabinoids and other phytochemicals can be instantly felt. In the UK, the only strain that CBD oils should be produced with is the Sativa L but it seems that this doesn’t make too much of a difference to the finished article.
The production of most CBD oils seems to make the strain somewhat irrelevant. Hemp is used in the production of CBD oils due to its high concentration of CBD, and generally, most of the other important chemicals are stripped out or reduced significantly- for legal reasons: According to the Misuse of Drugs Regulations (MoDR) 2001 regulation 2, the legal level of THC is 1mg per closed container, irrespective of size. 0.2% THC is the maximum content which is for growers and refers to raw extract.
CBD oils are manufactured (in most cases) to remove THC (and often terpenes too) so the nuances between the strains are almost completely lost. There are some oils that are thick and dark (like our full spectrum 10% CBD Oils) and others do not contain THC at all (like our 2000mgs/20% oil) – each hold a very different experience (in regards to taste, general well-being), but often the same outcome in terms of the way they feel. Some oils are manufactured to contain a carefully constructed profile of Cannabinoids specifically to target particular effects. All of our own oils contain natural plant terpenes so they are getting to work without you even knowing it.
There are lots of Indica CBD oils on the market at the moment, but according to some regulators, these may not be strictly legal. Most notably, Indica CBD oils can be purchased online alongside Sativa CBD oils. The main difference between the two will certainly be their terpene profiles. We currently only sell Sativa CBD oils as we wish to be on the safe side of the coming regulation and enforcement.
Terpenes are a set of aromatics that can have a huge impact on the way the body uses cannabinoids, and have their own array of health and well-being benefits. generally, Terpenes are used during aromatherapy to relax or invigorate your mind and body and are produced by plants and fruits. They are very easily found in lavender, oranges, pepper, hops and in cannabis. Do you like the smell of cannabis, and notice that different strains smell differently? Well, that is all down to the terpene profiles? Some smell citrusy, like pine, berries or fuel. The Terpenes that are most commonly found in cannabis are Mycene, Caryophyllene, Limonene and Terpinolene.
The presence of certain terpenes in your CBD oil can have a huge impact on your experience. Some are very soothing, and others may make you feel stimulated or anxious!
The Terpene profiles found in both Sativa and Indica are largely very similar – the main difference between a Sativa CBD oil and an Indica CBD oil is really down to a high level of Terpinolene in certain Sativa strains. Terpinolene can be found in Nutmeg, Teatree Lilacs, Apples and Cumin.
Although there is plenty of research into terpinolene ongoing: the terpene has been found to contribute to a plethora of well-being outcomes.
What Is Sensimilla?
While Cannabis Indica & Sativa are the most commonly talked about forms of Cannabis, there is another sub-sector of cannabis plants called Sensimilla. Question: is Sensimilla Sativa or Indica? Sensimilla plants can be both! A Sensimilla is simply a female cannabis plant that has been grown without male cannabis plants.
In biology, all plants have a male and female part which are essential for the reproduction of plants. For cannabis, the male plants produce pollen which fertilizes the females- the females produce seeds that drop and germinate to produce new plants. These new plants, however, are of random strains and cannot be controlled.
When cannabis growers want to control the strain, cannabinoid levels and yield of the plants, they tend to remove the male plants from the and keep the ‘pure’ females which are seedless and have higher levels of THC. The Sensimilla plants contain more THC (or CBD depending on the strain), have a greater flower yield and there are no seeds that are produced. This process revolutionized the cannabis industry and the quality of smokable flowers.