Whether you are new to cannabis or an experienced user of marijuana, it can be helpful to learn more about Cannabis indica. This is one of the two major categories of cannabis that you will find, with the other being Cannabis sativa. There is also a third, Cannabis ruderalis, but you are unlikely to come across it, except in hybrids, due to its lack of psychoactive effects.
Traits of Cannabis Indica
The best place to start when learning about Cannabis indica is the basics, especially of how it compares to sativa.
Most Cannabis indica strains will grow in a bush manner and be shorter than sativa strains. It is rare for indica to get above six feet tall. Additionally, you will notice that the leaves on a cannabis indica plant are broad and thick, especially compared to the sativa strains. The short, bushy nature of Cannabis indica makes them extremely popular for indoor growing, as height is not a concern.
Indica strains tend to have shorter growing cycles than sativa, appealing to growers who want results in a short period.
To make up for the reduced growing cycle associated with Cannabis indica, this category of strains tends to produce smaller yields.
History of Cannabis Indica
The first person to identify Cannabis indica as a separate species of plants was Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, a French biologist and naturalist. He did so in 1785 and published a description of the species based on the specimens he saw in India.
This initial description of Cannabis indica includes some of the above traits, including the bushy, short appearance and wide leaf.
Most indica strains of cannabis originated close to Central Asia. Typically, they will have either originated or spread to Nepal, India, Afghanistan, Morocco, Pakistan, and Turkey. Each of the specific strains will have naturally evolved to survive their local environments. For example, Hindu Kush, Mazar I Sharif, and Afghani Kush evolved to do well in the Afghan and Kush regions of Central Asia, specifically at latitudes between 30 and 50 degrees.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of strains you find in your local dispensary or for sale online will not be these original strains. Most will have some genetic perfecting by growers or have at least some hybrid components. Most of the time, to find a strain of Cannabis indica that evolved naturally, you will have to get an heirloom strain.
Many of the traits we associate with Cannabis indica are a direct result of the environment that it grew in. The short growing cycle developed out of necessity to increase the chance of successfully growing in such a harsh climate. This is also why it flowers more quickly and has more resin.
Indica Can Be Purple
Some strains of cannabis will turn purple when exposed to the proper conditions, which are typically a drop in temperature at critical stages of the growing cycle. Most of these purple cannabis strains are Cannabis indica, although not all. This comes from its historic growing conditions in colder climates.
High Resin Content
One common characteristic of indica plants that helps set them apart from other strains is their high production of resin. Some experts feel that this may have been the plants’ way of protecting themselves against their original climate’s harsh weather.
The high resin content of indica strains makes them incredibly popular for producing a hash. That is part of the reason that the hash was so popular in the regions where Cannabis indica originated. It remains prevalent in those areas, as well as others.
Flavors and Effects
There is no set rule regarding the effects and flavors associated with Cannabis indica strains. This will depend on the actual strain itself. Some say that indica strains tend to produce effects in the body or be more relaxing while sativa is more energizing. In reality, however, there is a great deal of variation within the category of Cannabis indica (and that of Cannabis sativa), so you cannot accurately make sweeping generalizations like this.
Indica Is Good for Beginning Growers
Due to the traits mentioned above, Cannabis indica is popular among those new to growing marijuana. The ability to produce it indoors helps, as does its quick growing cycle, which gives you less time to make a mistake. These strains also tend to be very resilient, making them easier for beginners to grow as there is more room for errors.
Examples of Cannabis Indica Strains
With the above information in mind, take a look at some of the more popular Cannabis indica strains available.
Blueberry is among the most popular indica strains, with a flavor reminiscent of fresh blueberries. Consuming this strain tends to give users an uplifting feeling of euphoria. It also provides long-lasting relaxation for most consumers.
Bubba Kush is a pungent strain with earthy, sweet flavors. It is famous for providing the user with feelings of euphoria as well as tranquilization to relax the body.
LA Confidential has bright green flowers that are resinous. This strain has a skunky, funky scent and tastes earthy with hints of sweet pine. Users enjoy the ability to calm the body and the mind quickly.
You can find several phenotypes of Northern Lights available due to the popularity of this strain. It has very resinous buds with a spicy, pungent aroma and a distinctive pine flavor. This strain tends to produce psychoactive effects that mellow out the user.
O.G. Kush is known around the world for its unique flavor and potency. Its flavor is dank, and the aftertaste and aroma will linger. The effects of this strain include both a full body and head “high.”
Cannabis indica is one of the significant categories of marijuana strains that you will come across. Indica strains adapted to grow in harsh environments, and they tend to be short and stocky with broad leaves, making them suitable for growing indoors and by beginners.