Most Indica landraces originate from the more northern countries in South-East Asia. Countries, like; India, Pakistan, Nepal and Afghanistan. They are mostly found in mountainous regions where they have adapted to a climate where cold sets in as early as end of September, beginning of October. Indica’s in general have a ferocious growing and flowering stage. They contain lots of chlorophyll, more so than Sativa’s and have little accessory pigments unlike Sativa’s.
These accesory pigments are there to absorb solar energy and protect the plant from excessive UV rays. Indica’s contain way fewer of these accesory pigments than Sativa’s. As result of the scarce presence of accessory pigments in Indica’s, sunlight is used much more efficiently during photosynthesis. The accesory pigments will absorb too much solar energy. Hence less solar energy will remain for the chlorophyls to turn into chemical energy. Less chemical energy leads to slower cell development and slows down the plant process.
To clarify this process we will briefly explain how photosynthesis works. Photosynthesis is a process within the plant where solar energy, with the help of CO2 and water, is converted into sugars (glucose, among which carbohydrates). This conversion takes place in the chlorophylls and is also stored there. Byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen (O2) and water vapor ((H2O(g)). Glucose is used as fuel for cell development.. In brief, as a result of the low numbers of accesory pigment nearly all solar energy is at the disposal of the chlorophyls. And can be turned into a vast amount of chemical energy. Indica’s use the sunlight much more efficiently leading to faster growth and flowering. Outdoor than can make do with a shorter period of warm weather (shorter timespan of intense sunlight), yet mature faster than a Sativa’s. A typical flowering period for a landrace Indica is between 7 to 9 weeks.
Landrace Indica’s are commonly used to make hashish (Charas) in countries, such as; Afghanistan, Pakistan, Morocco and Northern India. Famous landraces include Afghan Kush, Hindu Kush and Ketama. Indicas have a short, bushy and stout structure. This makes them more suitable for indoor growing. On top of that Indica’s yield better than Sativas indoor and have a shorter flowering period. They usually mature in only 7 to 9 weeks. Indica’s have those typical wide fingered (ovalshaped) short leaves. The leaves are of a dark color green. This is because of the abundant presence of chlorophyls.
Budstructure is dense and compact. Taste and aroma are more powerful (sometimes more pungent) than Sativa’s, ranging from sweet to fruity and from skunky to rather earthy. Indica’s contain more CBD than Sativa’s. CBD/THC ratio is better in Indica’s resulting in more of a bodystone high. The high can range anywhere between relaxing, laid back, chilled out, sleepy, lethargic to highly sedative, couchlocked, fullblown apathy and narcotic. Since the 90’s research has discovered great medicinal benefits of the Cannabinoid CBD. This subject will be discussed in more detail on our blog post THC vs. CBD.
The more you descend towards the equator, the more Sativa dominant landraces you will encounter. In countries, such as; Colombia, Kenya, Laos and Thailand. They contain way more accessory pigments than Indica’s. These pigments shield the plants from excessive UV light from the sun by absorbing solar energy and uv rays. As you will know sunlight is fierce round the equator. Sativa’s also contain less chlorophylls than Indica’s. Because of this abundant presence and lack of chlorophylls a Sativa will grow and bloom slower than a Indica. In their natural habitat they will grow and flower simultaneously, because round the equator you have the same hours of sunlight in both summer and wintertime. This is also the reason, when growing indoors, they tend to stretch so much during the flowering stage. Because they are used to 12 hours of light constantly in their natural environment. Sativa’s will achieve two thirds of their length during the flowering stage and stretch enormously. We advise when growing indoors it to give them continuous light to limit their height.
Sativa’s are tall and widely branched plants. They have narrowfingered leaves, which are sharply serrated and are widely set apart. A typical Sativa has a lightgreen color, because of the lack of chlorophylls. A Sativa has few (but large)leaves. An outdoor a landrace Sativa will flower for a minimum of 12 weeks with a considerable number flowering for up to 4 to 5 months. By crossing, selecting the fastest phenos and backcrossing we have come up with Sativa dominant outdoor strains that will flower in only 7-10 weeks! These outdoor strains are Fast Bud Outdoor, Gold Rush Outdoor, Polm Gold Outdoor and Sweet ’n Sour Outdoor.
Budstructure of a Sativa is fluffy and airy. This airy structure means that mould has less chance of success when growing outdoor. The buds are stretched and candleshaped with hardly any leaves. These two characteristics make them an ideal outdoor strain. Sativa’s generally contain more THC than CBD leading to a more psycho-active, cerebral and energetic high. The medicinal benefits of THC have been known considerably longer than that of CBD (only to be discovered in the 90’s). THC can be used as a anti-analgesic (painkiller), appetite stimulant and as an anti-emetic (against nausea).
Crossbreeding indicas and Sativas will creates hybrids. Hybrids are created for a bunch of reasons. To shorten flowering time, limit height, to adapt to a specific climate, improve taste, aroma and high, to improve budstructure and yield. Experimentation with crossbreeding Indica and Sativa strains results in the creation of exciting new hybrids.