Indica, Sativa and Ruderalis

Cannabis has always been a popular and fairly controversial topic of discussion in just about any part of the world. And while the internet is full of articles about cannabis, there are still plenty of people who are asking questions like “What makes Sativa different from Indica?” and “What is Ruderalis?” Unless you are a hardcore cannabis fan, chances are you have never even heard of these terms before.

So in an effort to give people a better understanding of the different types of cannabis plants, we are going to discuss in details the differences between indica, sativa, and ruderalis.

Cannabis is one of the most diverse and adaptive plants out there. It can be found and grown in every part of the world except Antarctica and has been around for over 2500 years. Researches have pinpointed cannabis’ origins to be somewhere around Central Asia. Countries around this region include Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, India, Pakistan, and Nepal. So it makes a lot of sense why many cannabis fans think that some of the very best weed comes from this region.

With that said, let us get to the meaty part of this article and talk about the differences between indica, sativa, and ruderalis.


Formerly known as “cannabis sativa”, this type of cannabis is graceful and very tall and can grow up to three meters in length. It can be found mostly in South Asia, particularly in the southern parts of India as it prefers hot and humid climates. These conditions allow sativa to have narrow, long and widely spaced branches where the flowers can grow in clusters.

The lower yielding sativa varieties will usually produce smaller looking buds dispersed around the plant’s branches, while the higher yielding ones produce huge flower clusters that can grow as long and thick as a person’s arm. Sativa’s structure allows for better airflow along its branches and buds, which in turn help the plant endure heat and humidity, and prevents mold from growing.

In terms of effects, sativa can be described as the uplifting and happy sister that packs plenty of THC, but very little CBD. Its uplifting and euphoric properties make sativa useful for those who are suffering from depression, anxiety and a lack of energy. In addition to its high THC levels, sativa also has terpenes that can interact with THC which can produce plenty of stimulating effects.


Indica is much shorter than her Sativa sister and can grow up to a meter in length. Indica can typically be found in the northern parts of Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan where the weather is cooler and the landscape is full of mountains. Her tightly spaced branches allow indica to protect her from the cold weather, while her fat, wide leaves help her get as much sunlight as possible.

Indica plants are seasonal and will begin flowering as soon as the days start becoming shorter. This usually signifies that winter is coming. The flowers of this plant grow in tight buds and can produce plenty of resin. This resin can be used in creating hashish as well as other cannabis extracts.

The effects of indica are the exact opposite of sativa. Her high CBD and moderately low THC levels give her a sedating and more relaxing high. People with insomnia, anxiety, and stress benefit the most from indica’s high CBD volume. It was believed that indica’s sedative properties were because of her high CBD levels, but recent studies have shown that it is a bit more complicated than that.

There are a couple of strains that have an indica-like effect and appearance but might actually have differing THC to CBD ratios. What is even more interesting is that these strains usually have the same terpene profiles.


Ruderalis really doesn’t contain that much CBD in general. It also has very little to no THC as well, and its taste is not exactly all that pleasant either. However, it should be noted that ruderalis plants have high traces of caryophyllene and myrcene – two terpenes that exude a floral aroma. Ruderalis is mostly used because of its auto-flowering properties.

This can mainly be found in some of the world’s northern-most regions, including China, Poland and Russia. It has a short growing season and ruderalis types of seeds are well-adapted to cold and harsh environments. The plants are also quite resistant, not dependent on light, and have rapid flowering as a result,

Although the THC and CBD effects of most ruderalis varieties are pretty much non-existent, there are some varieties that have elevated levels of CBD. These properties make her a very interesting plant for growers.

We hope that this article has given you a better understanding of the different types of cannabis plants. Now, go out there and grow your own strains.