Most of what you know about indica is rooted in truth: it does trend toward moderate THC levels and higher CBD than sativa, giving indica a reputation for a stonier, body-numbing high. For pain relief, insomnia, stress, and anxiety, it’s always been the best option.
Though indica is almost always going to be the right flower strain for pain and sleep, that doesn’t exclude its use as a daytime choice. Its mellow, balanced-out vibe can be perfect for activities that don’t require intense focus or physical strain, and won’t necessarily sink you into a state that’s any sleepier than you were to begin with.
Cannabis indica’s origins are roughly traced to the Hindu Kush (if the word “Kush” is in the strain’s name, it’s likely an indica), a formidable mountain range along the Afghan-Pakistani border, where the plant developed a fast-flowering cycle to stay ahead of annual monsoons.
Indica plants are short, broad, bushy, conical, and dense (at least when compared with the taller, lankier, jauntier plants of sativa, which developed in equatorial climates). Famed French botanist Jean-Baptiste Lamarck was the first westerner to identify this “second species” in 1785 and, suspecting it was from India, gave it the name we use today.
The leaves are wider and sturdier, the flowers thicker and more robust. Indica buds are easy to spot, too: Darker in color—purple and blue hues are common—they’re generally more dense, resinous, and skunky in aroma.