what is indica weed

What Is Indica Weed? Exploring Its Unique Traits

You don’t need to have a Ph.D. from the Cannabis University to know that there are two main variants of the miraculous cannabis plant – sativa and indica. 

But do you know the difference between the two?

Although deriving from, theoretically, the same type of plant, these two marijuana strains couldn’t be more different, be it when discussing their origin, chemical profile, or effects. 

In today’s lesson, we’d like to focus on indica weed. Don’t worry, though. We’ll keep it short and nothing like those boring research papers in online medical journals. 

So, without further ado, sit back and discover the marvelous world of the famous Cannabis indica

Key Highlights

In a hurry? Here’s a quick overview of the key facts about indica weed:

  • Cannabis indica plants originate from the Hindu Kush mountain region that spans across today’s Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan territories.
  • Indica strains have a higher concentration of CBD (cannabidiol) than sativa strains. 
  • The higher ratio of CBD to THC associated with indica weed influences its properties, with indica strains offering relaxing and sedative effects. 
  • Because of its relaxing effects, indica strains are typically used in the evening to support better sleep. 
  • Due to its sedative properties, indica weed is often used for medicinal purposes, such as pain management, sleep disorders, and muscle spasms. 


What Is Cannabis Indica? Origins, Appearance & Chemical Profile

Indica weed, also known under its official name, Cannabis indica, owes its name to the 18th-century famous French naturalist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. 

Why indica? Well, the answer is actually quite prosaic. The plant’s samples he received were (drumroll please) from… India. And that’s precisely where indica weed originates from. Or at least partially.

Cannabis indica was initially cultivated in the Hindu Kush mountains, a region known for its harsh and turbulent climate. Also a region that stretches across several countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

This is why saying that indica weed is native solely to India is factually wrong. 

But enough of the history lesson. Now, let’s talk about indica’s biology and chemistry. 

First things first, what does the cannabis indica plant even look like?

cannabis indica plant

As beautifully presented above, indica is a thick, bushy plant with dark shade green leaves composed of short and wide blades. Indica plants are also relatively short, growing up to between 2 and 4 feet (60-120 cm). 

Regarding indica’s chemical composition, like in the case of all cannabis plants, it consists mostly of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol), the two cannabinoids that interact with our body’s endocannabinoid system (ECS). 

Without getting into too much detail, THC is a psychoactive compound (the one that makes you high), whereas CBD isn’t (that’s the one responsible for the relaxing and calming effects). 

Cannabis indica strains generally produce more CBD than THC, which greatly affects their properties. And speaking of that…

What Type of Weed Is Indica? Effects & Medicinal Uses

Due to the higher concentration of CBD, indica weed is associated with calming and soothing properties, providing more body-centred effects. 

When listing the most common indica weed effects, we can include:

  • Physical Relaxation: Indica strains are well-known for providing a deep sense of physical relaxation and tension relief.
  • Sleepiness and Sedation: As reported by numerous cases, cannabis indica can support better sleep, helping those with sleeping disorders. 
  • Stress and Anxiety Alleviation: Indica weed can help a user calm their mind, which makes it an excellent potential remedy for stress and anxiety. 
  • Pain Relief: Many users choose indica weed for its soothing effects, which can help alleviate and manage pain and discomfort. 
  • Appetite Stimulation: Some indica strains are potent appetite stimulants, offering potential help to those struggling with appetite loss. 

If you’re interested in learning more about the effects of indica weed, refer to our in-depth guide to indica properties

Long story short, though, indica is the calming type of weed, responsible for the ‘stoned’ feeling and ‘munchies.’ However, it’s not that you won’t feel high after using indica weed. Its strains still have a high concentration of THC, the main active psychoactive compound present in cannabis plants. 

Still, these psychoactive effects are less potent than in the case of sativa strains. 

And as we mentioned sativa, let’s quickly go through the key differences between the two primary cannabis plants. 

Indica Weed vs. Sativa: What’s the Difference?

At this point, you’re probably still wondering what truly differentiates indica weed from sativa. However, instead of explaining it to you, we think throwing all the key differences into the table is a much better option.

Characteristics Cannabis Indica Cannabis Sativa
Physical Appearance Shorter, bushier plants with wider leaves. Taller and more slender plants with thin leaves.
Place of Origin The Hindu Kush Region (Eastern Asia) Equatorial regions (Central America, Africa, and Southeast Asia)
Cannabinoid Profile Higher CBD to THC ratio Higher THC to CBD ratio
Effects on Mind Calming and sedating effects More uplifting and stimulating effects
Effects on Body Physical relaxation and appetite stimulation Enhanced creativity and mood elevation
Flavor and Aroma More earthy, musky-sweet, and sometimes fruity Citrus, pine, and herbal with a wide range of flavours
Best Time of Use Evening or nighttime Daytime

What Are the Most Popular Indica Strains?

indica weed plant in a pot

The beauty of weed lies in its diversity. Well, not only that, but you get the gist.

Like sativa weed, cannabis indica derives into multiple sub-strains, each coming with its own distinct set of effects and benefits. 

We don’t have time to go through each in too much detail (we’ve already done that in our guide to best indica strains), but here’s an overview of some of the most popular indica weed strains:

  • Northern Lights: Probably the most recognized indica strain, Northern Lights has a legendary status in the cannabis community. The strain is known for its potent sedative effects, making it a favourite choice among those seeking an effective way to relax or sleep better. 
  • White Widow: Another popular indica weed strain is White Widow. This one offers a more balanced set of effects, ranging from relaxation to mild euphoria. 
  • Ice Cream Cake: Best for relaxation, Ice Cream Cake offers an incredibly soothing experience, providing users with an instant sense of calmness. 
  • Purple Kush: This famous indica strain is an excellent choice for relieving physical discomfort, often used by those struggling with muscle spasms, chronic pain, and inflammation.

How Much Indica Weed to Take? Dosage & Side Effects

As we slowly approach the end of our journey into the exciting world of cannabis indica, there are several important things we’d like to clear before leaving you with the final choice – buying your preferred indica strain. 

First of all, the dosage. How much weed you take can greatly impact the effects you experience. 

If the amount is too low, you won’t feel the desired effect. Too much, and you risk experiencing more severe side effects (more about them in a moment). 

Here’s a quick rundown of key considerations to keep in mind when choosing how much indica you’d like to use:

  • Consider the strain potency. The stronger the indica strain, the less of it is required to feel its effects. Use our guide to the strongest indica weed strains to better understand how this can affect the overall experience. 
  • Think about individual factors. Consider your weight, metabolism, and well-being. All these can influence how the weed affects your body and mind. 
  • Start low and go slow. Using cannabis isn’t a sprint. Don’t rush into larger doses to impress your pals. Start with slower doses and gradually increase the amount of indica you use. This will help you assess your tolerance and find that sweet spot for the best experience. 

Getting your dosage right is more critical than some claim it is. The truth is that it’s the simplest way of decreasing the risk of potential side effects, such as dry mouth, drowsiness, anxiety, or impaired coordination, ruining your experience.

Wrapping Up

And that’s it. We’ve covered all the indica weed basics you should know to make your cannabis experience even more magical and, more importantly, safe. 

For more information about indica strains, refer to our in-depth guide. 

And for a place to buy those strains, refer to our online store, where you’ll find all the popular indica weed strains, each coming from licensed producers who follow the highest industry standards and practice ethical cannabis cultivation. 


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/cannabis-sativa-subsp-indica 
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5576603/


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