Recreational and medicinal cannabis markets worldwide are populated predominantly by Hybrids. Combining the properties of both Indica and Sativa cannabis into one purpose-engineered strain, the hybrids we’re seeing today are setting new standards in quality, potency and popularity. Nevertheless, there’s much to be said for the unique enjoyment only a pure Indica strain can offer.
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The Origins of Cannabis Indica
All three classifications of cannabis - cannabis Indica, cannabis Sativa and cannabis Ruderalis - are tricky to trace back to their exact origins. Evidence suggests that mankind has been cultivating and consuming cannabis for more than 5,000 years, but it wasn’t until the 18th century that it was ‘officially’ discovered and classified. Hence, everyone has their own unique theories as to where and when cannabis Indica burst onto the scene.
Increasingly, pure and untainted cannabis Indica is becoming a rare asset in medical and recreational circles alike. The dominance of hybrids have pushed pure cannabis strains to one side, despite their importance for the development of new cannabis strains. As with cannabis Sativa, therefore, a batch of seeds of a cutting taken from a pure Indica mother plant really is a treasure to guard with your life.
How To Spot an Indica Cannabis Plant
If you know how to spot a cannabis Sativa plant, you’ll know how to identify an Indica. The reason being that the most prominent visual characteristics are the exact opposite. Whereas cannabis Sativa produces tall, skinny and relatively pale-looking plants, Indica plants are shorter, bushier and more vibrant in colour.
As a result, this makes Indica cannabis the ideal specimen for indoor cultivation. Left to its own devices, even the most ambitious Indica cannabis plant will struggle to reach a height of more than 2m. Indoors, the vast majority of Indica cannabis plants reach a height of 1m or less. They sometimes require a fair amount of vertical space to accommodate their stocky stature, but are nonetheless perfect for indoor cultivation where space in general is at a premium.
Indica cannabis leaves are also significantly wider and darker, while the buds produced are denser, heavier and juicier than their Sativa counterparts. Cannabis Indica flowers may be smaller in size, but compensate for their compactness with greater density and generous trichome production.
What are the Effects of Cannabis Indica?
The somewhat cliché concept of the lifeless stoner glued to the couch can be credited in no small part to cannabis Indica. Quite the opposite of cannabis Sativa, Indica cannabis is categorised for its incapacitating, near-narcotic body stone that routinely results in paralysis. A pure cannabis Indica strain will have little to no cerebral impact whatsoever, but will almost certainly result in ‘couchlock’ with heavy use.
In recreational circles, this makes cannabis Indica the ideal choice for everyday relaxation and enjoying a good night’s sleep. Hitting a potent Indica strain during the day when you’ve things to do really isn’t the way to go, but there’s nothing better for relaxing and unwinding after a hard day at the office. When you’ve nothing to do and everything you need within arm’s reach, couchlock can be a pretty pleasant experience.
As the vast majority of contemporary cannabis strains combine Indica genetics with Sativa, the resulting effect is a more balanced brain and body stone. The greater the balance leans toward Indica genetics, the more physiological and incapacitating the resulting high.
Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis Indica Strains
A good cannabis Indica strain is capable of bringing on the kind of head-to-toe relaxation that goes beyond almost any traditional pharmaceutical. As a result, it has become a popular organic treatment for a variety of conditions in medical cannabis circles. Just a few examples of which include muscle spasms, chronic pain, insomnia, anxiety and poor appetite. Cannabis Indica is perhaps most renowned of all for its capacity to bring on deep and undisturbed sleep, with no unpleasant side effects the next morning. Even the more advanced cases of insomnia are no match for the power and potency of a quality Indica strain.
Indica cannabis is also routinely prescribed to help combat the often severe after-effects of chemotherapy. Particularly renowned for its anti-nausea and appetite-stimulating effects, cannabis Indica has become the everyday go-to for thousands of cancer patients worldwide. Some medical Indica cannabis strains are bred to maximise THC potency, resulting in the near-elimination of CBD. However, there’s also a growing market for CBD-heavy Indica cannabis strains, reducing THC concentrations to tame the psychoactive effects of the treatment.
Growing Cannabis Indica
Typically producing short, stocky and durable plants, cannabis Indica specimens are ideal for indoor cultivation. They also tend to be far easier to keep under control for newcomers. Particularly if you arm yourself with a batch of premium-quality feminized seeds, it’s difficult to go wrong with cannabis Indica. Flowering times are significantly shorter than those of typical Sativa strains, producing heavier per-metre harvests in confined indoor spaces.
The average cannabis Indica plant will grow to a height of around 1m or less, with dense and bushy foliage calling for a decent amount of horizontal space. Indica cannabis plants are also relatively heavy feeders, so it’s difficult to cause any irreparable damage by making the odd mistake with nutrient provision. Flowering times can be as short as eight weeks, producing incredibly dense and heavy buds with generous trichome coverage.
One of the biggest threats to successful Indica cannabis cultivation is bud rot. It’s important to remember that the denser the foliage, the greater the need to ensure fresh air is able to reach and circulate around all areas of the plant. Careful pruning is often necessary, along with the installation of at least a basic air purification and circulation systems - oscillating fans, external air vents and so on.
Our Favourite Cannabis Indica Strains
The sheer number of indica cannabis strains on the market right now makes it difficult to know where to start. Across medical and recreational circles alike, everyone has their own unique preferences. Nevertheless, there are some legendary Indica cannabis strains you really can’t afford to overlook. A few examples of our own personal favourites being Platinum OG, Grandaddy Purp, MK Ultra and God’s Gift.
If you’re planning on cultivating cannabis at home, the importance of starting out with the highest-quality genetics cannot be overstated. The higher the quality of the seeds, the easier it becomes to produce top-shelf cannabis to be proud of.