Indica strains are one of the two types of recreational cannabis. Indicas are known to be some of the more popular strains in the world not only because of their effects and medicinal uses but also because of how they are generally easier to grow.
Because of how widely used and grown Indicas are, breeders have been making strains of their own to join in on the Indica craze. Effects wise, you can never go wrong with a good Indica by your side. And when it comes to medicinal qualities, Indicas provide a lot of benefits that can help treat a myriad of medical conditions.
Without further adieu, here are the things you should know about Indica strains:
It was in 1785 when the existence of Indicas was first made known to man. Calling the second species of Cannabis Cannabis Indica (the first being Cannabis Sativa), renowned French naturalist and biologist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was able to make the plant’s existence more mainstream when he published its descriptions in one of this works. His findings were based on the specimen of the plants he saw and gathered during one of his visits to India. These plants were most likely collected near the Hindu Kush mountain range, where weather conditions are best suited for Indicas to grow properly.
In a sense, as author Robert Clarke would say, the true Indicas are actually the ones that Lamarck discovered in India. That is exactly the reason they were named Cannabis indica in the first place. The Indicas that come from other countries, in a way, can all trace their roots back to the true Indicas that Lamarck collected back in his day.
Before the rise of modern breeding, most of the Indica strains of cannabis were either coming from India or had originated in India. Even strains that were native to other countries had originated from the same types of plants that Lamarck saw near the Hindu Kush mountain range in India.
It was when breeders and growers from the United States and Europe started to crossbreed one Indica variety with another (especially with the rise of Afghani landraces) that more and more Indica strains came about. However, all of those strains’ roots can still be traced back to the same ancestors in India.
Some strains that closely resemble their original ancestors in terms of genetic makeup and effects are Afghan #1, Bubba Kush, Northern Lights, Hindu Kush, Blueberry, Blue Cheese, Mango, and Granddaddy Purple.
It can be particularly easy to distinguish an Indica strain from their Sativa counterparts.
Size is the biggest determining factor in telling whether a cannabis plant is an Indica strain. These plants tend to be a lot smaller than Sativas. Most Indicas stay under five feet in height while some are even so small that they are barely a foot tall.
The leaves of the plants can also help you determine if what you have is an Indica. This strain’s leaves tend to be wide and broad. Spaces between leaves tend to be tight as these plants are densely branched. Indicas are also bushier in nature and have a darker shade compared to their Sativa counterparts.
Because of the origins of their genetic ancestors, Indicas tend to thrive better when grown in the cold climates of high-altitude areas such as the Hindu Kush mountains or in Afghanistan. Indicas are also resistant to a lot of weather conditions because of how they were able to survive in harsh environments for thousands of years. However, because of genetic modification and breeding, Indicas today are now able to cultivate well in almost any kind of indoor or outdoor conditions.
Because of their somewhat compact size, Indica strains also tend to flower quicker than Sativas. It will only take about six to eight weeks for an Indica to be ready for harvest. And, despite being small plants, they actually have higher yields compared to Sativas.
Their average yield per plant and faster flowering periods are the reasons why cannabis has the reputation of bringing about a stoner-like and couch-locked state. Olympic gold medalist and medical marijuana enthusiast Ross Rebagliati once said that Indicas are much more available in the market because of their higher yields and are thus much more widely used than Sativas. This is why cannabis is much more often associated with Indica effects.
FLAVOR AND AROMA
Flavor and aroma differ from one strain to another but most Indicas do have common tastes and scents. Traditionally, Indicas have scents and flavors that are usually associated with fruits such as grape, berries, and mango. That is why there are a lot of Indica strains that have fruity like Blackberry Kush, Mango Dream, and Granddaddy Purple.
Meanwhile, Afghan lines of Indicas tend to have a kind of fuel-like taste and aroma that is reminiscent of diesel and gas with a bit of earthiness. These Indicas tend to be pungent and strong in terms of odor.
However, because of the advancements in genetic breeding, some Indicas now carry different aromas and tastes that are usually associated with the other fruity varieties of Indicas and with Sativas, which are known for their earthy and hashy flavors and scents.
Indicas are the more “chill” type of strains. They hit the body more than the mind to produce a heavy and sedating effect that tends to relax the body to make the user feel lazy, lethargic, calm, and at ease. These effects usually keep users glued to the couch to bring about that famous “couch-locked” and stoned state that cannabis is usually associated with.
These strains don’t tend to induce the psychoactive sensations that Sativas are known for because the mental effects of Indicas tend to be minimal at best. This means that they do not have the race cerebral effects that Sativas have and most likely will not cause anxiety and panic attacks.
However, this does not mean that Indicas aren’t potent. Some Indica strains tend to be so strong and hard-hitting that they immediately make the user feel heavy and lazy just a few seconds after the first toke.
Indicas also tend to stimulate the appetite as the high intensifies. This causes the “munchies” and an insatiable urge to eat a lot. After that, users tend to fall into a deep and sleepy state that the relaxing properties of Indica strains are popular for.
Indicas have a lot of uses in the medical field. These strains tend to have lower THC levels and higher CBD counts. CBD is responsible for counteracting the psychoactive effects of THC while also amplifying the latter’s pain-relieving effects. In that regard, Indica strains are effective at relieving chronic pains, inflammation, and muscle spasms.
Because of their relaxing properties, Indicas are also widely used as a way of treating anxiety attacks. And because of how they lull users to a deep and relaxed sleep, these strains are effective against sleep disorders such as insomnia.
Indica strains are usually used to help cancer patients. They help treat pains and side-effects caused by chemotherapy while helping the patients keep their strength up by stimulating the appetite. They also aid in giving cancer patients a deep and relaxing sleep.