Cannabis Indica is known for producing a solid and relaxing high. Its effects are thanks to the high concentrations of THC and even higher concentrations of CBD. The two cannabinoids can make for a very chill experience after consumption.

Indica plants have been around for centuries, so there are many popular landrace strains, as well as modern Indica-dominant hybrids within the market.  

Today, we discuss the anatomy of indica cannabis strains, and the differences between Indica and Sativa, and we’ll take a look at some of the trending Indica strains available at many medical and recreational dispensaries. 

What is Cannabis Indica?

Cannabis Indica originates from the Kush region near Afghanistan and is from a colder, mountainous climate. Indica leaves are shorter and bushy and have dark green leaves and clumpy buds. This type of marijuana plant has higher THC and lower CBD and is known for its relaxing high. It’s entirely normal for nighttime due to its body-high and pain-relieving effects.

On the other hand, Cannabis Sativa weed plants are from warmer climates, producing tall, long leaves and dense, thick buds during the flowering stage. It has more CBD cannabinoids and less THC and is the perfect strain to consume in the morning due to its energetic, cerebral high.

How can Indica be used? 

Indica can be used to manage several conditions, including: 

  • Pain 
  • Anxiety 
  • Sleep disorders
  • Inflammation 
  • Muscle relaxation

Because indica strains typically have more CBD than Sativa plants, they are often used for long-term pain, anxiety, and sleep issues like insomnia.

Before using cannabis for a health condition, we suggest that you discuss it with a healthcare professional; a knowledgeable doctor in medical marijuana can guide patients on the best strains, applications, and correct dosage. 

Cannabis does not have to be smoked, although that is one of the most popular ways to consume it. It can be eaten, applied topically, and taken sublingually.

How do Indica leaves look?

The indica leaf is short and broad, producing between seven and nine vast leaflets along the plant stem. Indica-dominant strains usually have a bush-like appearance with chunky and broad leaves.

The indica leaf’s short stature makes it a good choice of cannabis to grow indoors. You can spot Indica leaves, even in young plants, by their deep shade of green, signifying a high chlorophyll content.

What about Sativa Leaves? 

Cannabis Sativa plants do well outdoors due to their height of twelve feet. The thin Sativa leaf produces more leaflets than the indica leaf, up to thirteen, and is a light green color. Sativa-dominant strains typically take longer to mature but produce higher yields and a taller weed leaf.

Indica vs. Sativa

If you have never tried cannabis or cannabis products before, you will find that knowing more about these strains and their impact will help you decide which strain might be right for you.

For example, some might want a strain that will provide energy throughout the day. Others may want a strain to keep them focused on working on a big project. They would likely choose Sativa or Sativa-dominant Hybrid.

Others still may wish to try a cannabis strain that can help them relax and get to sleep, which would point towards an Indica or Indica-dominant Hybrid strain. 

What is a strain?

Cannabis strains are considered to be a pure or hybrid genetic variation of the plant Genus Cannabis. There are three species: Cannabis Sativa strain, Cannabis Indica strain, and Cannabis Ruderalis.

Ruderalis is not as popularly known; however, it is a derivative of cannabis with the lowest THC levels. Although they are popular among the cannabis community, hybrids are not considered a species as they are made of Sativa and Indica, with typically one or the other dominating the gene pool.

Landrace Strains

The word landrace originates from the Danish language and simply means “origin.” Landrace strains are the oldest known strains in the cannabis world. They traveled from the Himalayan mountains all over the world and have become the parent strains to many well-known hybrids we use today.

The majority of today’s best cannabis strains are hybrid, meaning they were selectively produced for desirable genetic qualities such as terpene production, cannabinoid preferences, and THC potency.

Top 10 Most Popular Indica Strains

These are the top ten popular Indica strains for those who want to relax and enjoy a tasty treat after a long day. 

Northern Lights

  • Northern Lights originated in Seattle, Washington
  • It has 18 percent THC and 1 percent CBD
  • Afghani and Thai parent strains created the Northern Lights
  • Northern Lights is one of the most potent Cannabis Indica Strains
  • The flavor is piney while the aroma is earthy for the Northern Lights
  • This pure Indica has an average of six to seven weeks of flowering time indoors
  • Northern Lights is used to treat insomnia, chronic pain, anxiety, and stress
  • It produces sticky buds with a powerful body high, leaving you sleepy and hungry

Grandaddy Purp

With a high THC percentage and heavy, cerebral high, Grandaddy Purp is among the most often used Indica strains. It’s an excellent strain for using at night due to its relaxing and comforting effects. 

When taking marijuana edibles of this purp around bedtime, you’ll be sure to feel some relief. If your chronic pain keeps you awake at night, we recommend giving this medical marijuana strain a try.

OG Kush

  • OG Kush originated in Northern California and was first grown in Florida
  • It has 18 percent THC with zero CBD content
  • It’s a cross between Chemdawg, Lemon Thai, and the Hindu Kush.
  • It is a balanced hybrid breed that leans towards an Indica strain
  • The flavor is sweet citrus, while the aroma is piney with a strong diesel smell.
  • It has an average of eight to nine weeks of flowering time indoors
  • It’s used to treat stress, depression, anxiety, nausea, and appetite loss
  • Users say it produces a euphoric, happy high leaving you carefree and hungry

Cherry Pie

  • Cherry Pie comes from San Francisco, California
  • It has 16 percent THC and one percent CBD
  • It’s a cross between Granddaddy Purp and F1 Durban
  • It has a sweet and sour cherry flavor that smells of berries
  • The flowering time is eight to nine weeks indoors
  • It’s used to treat mental and mood disorders and sexual dysfunction
  • The high will leave you feeling happy, euphoric, and slightly aroused


This Indica-dominant hybrid medical marijuana strain is a mix of OG Kush and Sour Diesel. It’s a top choice for peripheral neuropathy patients due to its euphoric head high and relieving body high. 

Also a smart choice for those with diabetes, this strain is known for helping to regulate and lower blood sugar. It’s a great strain to smoke at night because it provides significant relief for chronic pain while sleeping.


Gelato is an Indica-dominant hybrid with a sweet and fruity flavor profile. It produces optimism and euphoric feelings in many of its users and can help reduce negative thoughts. Despite its mildly Indica-dominant origins, this strain shouldn’t make you drowsy.

Gelato is a strain that is similar to OG Kush due to its well-balanced high that sneaks up on the user, helping ease them into the cerebral and body effects. The uplifting benefits and improved sense of satisfaction and calm are just a few reasons this bud with earthy cherry notes may be perfect for easing fear, stress, anxiety, and depression.

Pound Cake

Pound Cake gets its name from its warm, fruity flavor profile. It is an Indica-dominant strain that can promote self-soothing and mindfulness. This fruity strain is excellent for a quick cure for replacing stress and anxiety with feelings of euphoria due to its extremely high THC level, which can go up to 29 percent.

London Pound cake will help you back to reality when feeling down while offering you a sense of physical relaxation.

Critical Cure

Critical Cure is an Indica-dominant cannabis strain with a lovely balance of CBD and THC percentages at around eight percent each. It’s quick-acting and long-lasting with mildly psychoactive effects. 

This descendant of Critical Kush will be sure to relieve tension, ease muscles, and provide a sense of deep relaxation with its calming effects. It can offset the impact of anxiety from caffeine, nicotine, and other substances.

Girl Scout Cookies

  • Girl Scout Cookies originated in the Bay Area of California
  • It has 19 percent THC and 1 percent CBD
  • Its parent strains are OG Kush and Durban Poison
  • It is an Indica dominant hybrid breed
  • The flavor is sweet and minty with an aroma of vanilla
  • It has an average of ten weeks of flowering time indoors to reach the prime age
  • This cake strain is used to treat muscle spasms, nausea, appetite loss, and depression and is a favorite among medical marijuana patients
  • Users say Girl Scout Cookies produces a happy, cerebral high, leaving you pain-free, euphoric, and hungry

Purple Punch

  • Purple Punch originated in Southern California
  • It has 18 percent THC and zero percent CBD content
  • It’s a cross between Larry OG and Granddaddy Purp
  • It has a tart, grape flavor that smells of berries, similar to Grape Ape
  • This strain is used to treat nausea, insomnia, stress, and body aches for cannabis smokers
  • Purple Punch provides a feeling of euphoria while leaving you relaxed and sleepy

Where can I find the best Indica products? 

Learning which Indica strains will work best for you can feel like an overwhelming process. What is suitable for one person may not be great for another. There are so many cannabis products to choose from it can feel impossible to get started.

Always read product labels for dosage recommendations and keep an open mind as you learn more about how your body responds to weed. 

Leafy Mate is a resource that can help with everything from finding licensed and reputable dispensaries in your area to deals on favorite brands. We can even connect you with medical cannabis doctors and health consultants who can assist you through the journey. Let us help make this process more effective and beneficial for you! 

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