Cannabis Indica, named by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1785, is relatively short and bushy with wide short leaflets. This species of plant may have originated in the Hindu Kush mountain range near the Afghan-Pakistan border, making it hardy enough to survive cold winters and warm summers. These landrace plants migrated to the United States in the 1970s and were crossbred with Sativas creating some of the first hybrid strains.
Flower to Bud
This darker green plant has a short stature and quicker flowering time (6-8 weeks), making it ideal for indoor grows. Its hardiness comes from its adaptation to harsher climates which means it produces more resin to protect from external threats.
It produces dense heavy buds with more of a purple color tone and offers a pungent skunky smell.
Indica offers a physically sedative feeling. Many people select indica for its relaxing, full-body effects. It is used for pain relief, insomnia, to relax muscles or to simply feel laid back.
Indica tends to have higher CBD levels than Sativa strains but usually more THC than CBD unless selectively bred. When selecting an Indica strain, try to obtain not only its cannabinoid levels (THC, CBD) but also its terpene profile as the aromatic compounds influence the effect it delivers.
The native people of India, Nepal and Afghanistan have been using primarily Indica to make their hashish and kief for thousands of years. Indica is better at producing resins and these resins are collected, compressed and smoked instead of smoking the flower.
Indica was not grown in the United States until President Richard Nixon's War On Drugs made cannabis harder to import and we found that this hardy strain could be grown in Northern California as well as indoors.
Strain names may be the silliest and most fun part of the cannabis buying experience. With monikers like Purple Kush, Northern Lights, Blue Cheese and Skywalker, they just sound like they'll be fun.
Purebreds, or landraces, developed naturally in their environment, not crossing with other strains, just inbreeding over many generations. These pure strains often include their country of origin in their name (Hindu Kush), offer strong original flavors and effects, and may remind long-time tokers of the 60s and 70s since these strains were mainly available then.
But as the cannabis industry grows, and people calibrate their strain for a particular use, we're finding we can't completely rely on strain names or lineage to predict effects. With legalization and regulation comes the benefit of lab testing offering more information that we can use. Not only cannabinoids but terpenes and other chemical variations. The industry is evolving, and with more detailed data we may not be entirely losing wacky strain names but soon we may have the chemovars to prove a strain is what it claims to be.