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Indica vs Sativa

What is your favorite to grow? Given most are hybrids these days, but most strains show a particular lean. What is your favorite choice and why?

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In my experience, I would personally rather grow the short, stumpy and wide plants. I guess you could say I favor indicas. The sativas I’ve grown tend to be taller, more light senstive, and lanky. (Again, this is just what I have had experience growing, I wouldn’t know if this is a general conclusion about sativas across the board).

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What sort of a growing environment do you utilize? The Sativas - especially the more dominant strains or landraces are definitely a more challenging endeavour. I have to say that Ruderalis x Sativa’s (Auto’s) have become my favourite Sativa strains for a short outdoor northern climate.

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We are an indoor grow currently, we have a few rooms in cococoir and a few rooms in organic soil.

Our CBD strains seem to be a real pain to grow also, ACDC is the worst!

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Indoor is definitely more challenging for the sativas - which is why we have so many hybrid strains with ‘sativa dominance’ but in reality they have no correlation whatsoever to a natural landrace sativa which needs the tropical sun and a much longer and more intense growing season - eg. the equator and jungles.

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Our bloom rooms are on a tight 9-wk schedule, but a lot of a our sativa strains do prefer a couple weeks longer. Some of them work with 9wks of bloom but the yield definitely increases when they are given a couple more weeks to finish. We are working on getting our greenhouse up and running, then we will finally be able to grow these babies to their full potential.

Something weird, our Deathstar, which is our heavy-indica strain, grows like a sativa -tall and lanky, light sensitive. Do you ever run into this, sativas or indicas growing opposite of what is expected?

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The Deathstar does have a sativa heritage from the Sour Diesel - which depending on your phenotypes may throw a stronger lean to the Diesels rather than the Sensi Star? I have seen increasing data that shows that what we think of as Sativa and Indica are probably not the right descriptions at all and from a gene point of view maybe we should be looking more at narrow leaf and wide leaf as a better description. However with the increasing hybridization over the last 20+ years there are increasingly less ‘pure’ strains that would truly characterize the Sativa vs Indica concept.

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I mean if a person wants to get really technical, what is “sativa” and “Indica?” There is no definition at a genetic level, if you will, that define which is which, it’s simply the side affects that a person feels after medicating. Dr. Dedi Meiri, a cannabis researcher from Israel, came to our work and spoke about the research being done there and expanded on this; he worded it better than I ever could haha. But it’s interesting to think about, we can try to pinpoint what sativas and indicas are, but outside of the side affects that are felt from medicating and the traits that the plant displays (sometimes), can we even do that?

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Exactly! As we delve deeper into it we will find that it is more the terpene blends, flavinoids and combinations that come from different strains that create the effects rather than just the basic indica/sativa mix that has been the historical breakdown. I imagine it won’t be long before we are looking at say a limonene dominant strain or a humulene dominant for example.

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One of the growers I interviewed a while ago said he preferred sativas, as they’re generally less finicky and prone to fewer microclimates. The bushy varieties tend to create a microenvironment around themselves.

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I have to agree - sativas are much less prone to the moulds and diseases of the indica’s - a tropical sativa can bloom through a jungle wet season (which is really wet) and not suffer mould - whereas an indica can get the whiff off high humidity and before you know it fungal blooms! The difference in the altitudes and ecosystems of the different lineages is very relevant - the indica strains originating from high altitude, dryer and harsher climates with harsher uv - which stimulates the denser trichomes as a self defence mechanism and the sativa strains which tolerate massive tropical downpours, grow a wispy airy bud but with a very different set of trichome and thc development.

I love them all! Each one is such an awesome plant that is specific for conditions and so adaptable… It’s a challenge as a grower to be able to bring out the best of each strain and understand its nature and lineage and provide the optimal growing conditions for that.

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I’d find that helpful when shopping. Listing the dominant terpenes and the effects of those terpenes, rather than telling me it’s sativa or indica or a hybrid.

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Bumping this topic for the newer folks.

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